Politics watch: General election talk persists as Dáil heads for summer break

Politics Watch: General Election Talk Persists As Dáil Heads For Summer Break
Here, we have a look at the topics likely to dominate political discourse in the week to come.
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James Cox

Here, we have a look at the topics likely to dominate political discourse in the week to come.

Autumn general election?

Taoiseach Simon Harris and Tánaiste Micheál Martin continue to dismiss any talk of a general election before 2025.


However, all the signs are pointing towards an autumn general election.

The Government would face a staggering five by-elections if they insist on the Coalition going its full term to March 2025.

This would allow Sinn Féin a chance to gain momentum, with Government parties said to be keen (behind the scenes) to capitalise on their steady showing in the June local and European elections.

In an interview with BreakingNews.ie, former minister for agriculture Ivan Yates has suggested November 15th as the most likely date for a general election.


This is the last week of the current Dáil term before the summer break, and while all will insist there is no election on the cards, it is starting to come across as protesting too much.

Budget 2025

The summer economic statement is due on Tuesday, and will set out the shape of Budget 2025.

It will be the first big test for new Minister for Finance Jack Chambers, who will decide on the finer details along with Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe.

While there are hopes among politicians, and the public, for a giveaway budget, it is likely to disappoint some as the Government has already committed to putting €6 billion into the State’s saving funds.


Roderic O'Gorman named new Green Party leader

Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman has defeated Senator Pippa Hackett in the Green Party leadership contest.

Eamon Ryan's successor will face a tough task in reinvigorating the party, with sources indicating they will not form part of the next government.

Sinn Féin electoral review

Sinn Féin continues to review its underwhelming performance in the local and European elections, as they party seeks to learn from its mistakes ahead of the general election.

They have held a number of meetings including TDs and senators already.


Meanwhile, the Irish Examiner reported Sinn Féin has appointed former Kerry TD Martin Ferris and former Belfast mayor Alex Maskey to review the party's performance.

Taoiseach Simon Harris criticised for comments on Cathal Crotty case

Taoiseach Simon Harris "threw the Defence Forces under the bus" with his comments after a serving soldier was sentenced for the assault of a woman in Limerick, according to an employment lawyer and former army officer.

Cathal Crotty pleaded guilty to assaulting Natasha O’Brien in 2022, and was handed a fully suspended sentence, prompting public outcry.

Following the case, the Taoiseach said: “There are people in the Defence Forces who clearly knew this was happening, why did they do nothing? These are very serious questions and as Taoiseach I am not satisfied in relation to this, I am not satisfied at all.”


Barry Crushell is an employment law solicitor and former army officer, who served with the United Nations on multiple deployments.

In an interview with BreakingNews.ie, Mr Crushell pointed out that regulations prevent the Defence Forces from taking action against an individual before the criminal/civil courts before a case has concluded.

With this in mind, he argued that the criticism from Mr Harris and other politicians was unfair.

"The outcry, in particular from Harris, has not gone down well within the Defence Forces or among its former members. It feels as if Harris deliberately threw the Defence Forces under the bus.

"He will be well aware the Defence Forces has no power to suspend Crotty. The Defence Forces could not intervene at an earlier stage because to do so might have prejudiced the criminal case."


In the UK, Keir Starmer's Labour Party is getting to grips with governing after their comprehensive UK general election victory.

Already, Mr Starmer has announced the Conservatives' controversial Rwanda deportation scheme will be scrapped.

The Taoiseach will visit Downing Street on Wednesday, July 17th, with hopes that the new administration will see a renewal in positive Anglo-Irish relations.

In the US, president Joe Biden continues to insist he will continue with his 2024 campaign. However, many of his Democratic colleagues have suggested he should step aside for vice president Kamala Harris after his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump.

Mr Trump has been uncharacteristically muted on the unrest in the Democratic Party. Mr Biden has been carrying out events across the country as he looks to solidify his position, and he alluded to this by claiming Trump hasn't been seen for 10 days.

However, Mr Trump and his team have increased their attacks on Ms Harris, suggesting they may think a change in opponent is imminent.


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