Politics watch: New Taoiseach, new Cabinet?

Politics Watch: New Taoiseach, New Cabinet?
Here, we have a look at the topics that will dominate political discourse in the week to come
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James Cox

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

New Taoiseach

Simon Harris' speech at the Fine Gael ard fheis in Galway on Saturday had all the hallmarks of a coronation.


The crowd was jubilant as he set out his goals including a return to the party's law and order identity, a pledge to build 250,000 houses in the next five years, and support for small businesses.

He will be voted the next Taoiseach when the Dáil resumes on Tuesday, April 9th, barring any dramatic events before then.

However, he has a year at most to achieve any of these lofty ambitions lined out and opposition parties will be quick to attack him about that.

New Cabinet?

Attention will then turn to the makeup of Mr Harris' Cabinet.


He will look to strike a balance between putting his own stamp on it, and not shaking things up too much to make sure Fine Gael's Coalition partners do not become restless.

The Higher Education and Enterprise portfolios are vacant, the former being Mr Harris' former post while Simon Coveney has announced he will step down from Cabinet.

The names linked with those ministerial roles include junior ministers Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, Neale Richmond and Peter Burke.

The highest profile change is likely to be a new role for Minister for Justice Helen McEntee.


Whether it's fair or not, she has become something of a scapegoat for the problems with crime and violence in Dublin, and the riots in the capital in November.

With the issues of arson at buildings earmarked for asylum seekers and the new hate crime legislation, sources have indicated Mr Harris may opt for a fresh face to lead the justice department.

That could mean another Cabinet shift, or one of the names mentioned, taking the role.

Ms McEntee is unlikely to be demoted though, so she may be moved to the Higher Education or Enterprise portfolio.


A number of ambitious TDs will be disappointed, so there may be a bigger reshuffle in the junior ministerial ranks.


In the UK, the news keeps getting worse for prime minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party.

With a British general election set to take place in the second half of this year, a YouGov poll this week predicted a 154-seat majority in the House of Commons for the Labour Party.

In the US, the fundraising race is heating up ahead of the November presidential election.

US president Joe Biden raked in $26 million (€24 million) for his re-election campaign at a recent fundraiser in New York also attended by former Democratic presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

In contrast, Republican candidate Donald Trump has been struggling to raise funds amid his ongoing legal battles.

However, the former US president made a huge $50 million (€46.5 million) at an event in Palm Beach, Florida.

Expect more eye-watering figures like these in the weeks ahead.


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