Politics watch: Taoiseach in waiting, Cabinet makeup, Donaldson resignation

Politics Watch: Taoiseach In Waiting, Cabinet Makeup, Donaldson Resignation
Here, we have a look at the topics likely to dominate political discourse in the coming week. 
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James Cox

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

Taoiseach in waiting

With the Dáil set to resume on Tuesday, April 9th, Simon Harris does not have long to wait until he becomes Ireland's next taoiseach.


Some Independent TDs are said to be unsure over whether they will vote against his nomination as taoiseach.

Sinn Féin has been looking to dissuade Independents from doing so.

However, it is little more than political point-scoring as Mr Harris will pass the threshold with votes from Government TDs.

Cabinet makeup

There is unlikely to be a huge reshuffle when Mr Harris is named taoiseach, however, there are expected to be a number of significant changes.


Political sources have indicated Minister for Justice Helen McEntee may be at risk as Mr Harris may target a change after putting law and order at the top of his agenda.

The hate speech legislation has led to much debate, while Ms McEntee was criticised in the wake of the Dublin riots.

Mr Harris' Department of Further and Higher Education will have a vacancy for a ministerial role when he becomes taoiseach.

Names linked with this post include junior ministers Neale Richmond, Peter Burke and Jennifer Carroll MacNeill.


Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney is the other senior figure who has been rumoured to be at risk of demotion. However, Mr Harris may choose to keep the former party deputy leader in his role to prevent any controversy early on in his tenure.

Beyond the mentioned posts, changes are likely to be at the junior ministerial level.

Jeffrey Donaldson resignation

The shock resignation of DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has been a huge talking point.

Northern Ireland’s political parties have been praised by the Irish and UK governments for emphasising the need for stability following the shock resignation.


Mr Donaldson quit as DUP leader on Friday after being charged with several historical sexual offences.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill and deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly have since given reassurances over the future of the recently-revived powersharing institutions.


In the UK, the latest polls have indicated the Conservative Party is due for record losses in a general election that will take place at some point this year.

Keir Starmer's Labour Party is all but certain to be in government after the election, and rumours about behind-the-scenes moves to oust UK prime minister Rishi Sunak before the vote persist.


In the US, fundraising for the 2024 US presidential election is well underway.

President Joe Biden raked in over $26 million (€24 million) at a New York fundraiser during the week, with a little help from former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, former president Donald Trump is now selling Bibles as he runs to return to the White House.

Mr Trump, who became the presumptive Republican nominee earlier this month, released a video on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday urging his supporters to buy the “God Bless the USA Bible”, which is inspired by country singer Lee Greenwood’s patriotic ballad.

The move comes amid reported struggles for Mr Trump to raise money amid his numerous court cases.


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