Fianna Fáil meets in Carlow for pre-Dáil think-in

Brexit and homelessness high on agenda for party meeting before Oireachtas returns

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin: set to  outline his strategy for the forthcoming Dáil term. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin: set to outline his strategy for the forthcoming Dáil term. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin will outline his strategy on Monday for the forthcoming Dáil term, which will be dominated by October’s budget.

The party’s TDs and senators are meeting in Carlow for the party’s annual September think-in ahead of the resumption of Oireachtas business next week.

Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party chairman Brendan Smith said two issues in particular will dominate political thinking in the coming months: “The ongoing housing emergency and the unfolding impact of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. ”

“Fianna Fáil is determined to make a significant and informed contribution to both debates and, for that reason, a significant portion of the agenda for our special parliamentary party meeting will look at these issues,” he said.

Challenges

Mr Smith said attendees were keen to hear from the Irish League of Credit Unions on possible solutions to the lack of credit available to farming families and rural businesses, which he said was “emerging as a problem across the country”.

Members of the parliamentary party will also hear presentations from Catherine Kenny of the homeless charity Simon, who will speak about housing issues and homelessness.

Ronan Costello from Twitter will also advise TDs on the use of social media. Mr Smith said social media was playing “an ever greater role in the interaction between voters and their representatives” and it was important to “make the most of the platform as a conduit with our constituents”.

Third level

Peter CassellsFrank Ryan

Tomorrow, John McGrane of the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce and Colm Eastwood, the leader of the SDLP, will make presentations on the impact of Brexit.

TDs are also likely to spend much of their time pondering the future of the Government. Recent weeks have seen Cabinet divisions between Independent Ministers and Fine Gael on both the Apple tax ruling and facilities at University Hospital Waterford.

The minority Government faces its biggest challenge so far, when it must agree and pass a budget. Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has indicated that he expects to have discussions on the budget with Fianna Fáil shortly.

Fianna Fáil has committed to facilitating at least three budgets in its confidence and supply agreement with Fine Gael which underpinned the formation of the minority Government.