The Haass process is about encouraging further progress. It is 15 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. It was a momentous achievement, but translating it from paper into political, societal and economic reality continues to take time and great effort – not least by community groups, non-governmental organisations and individuals across Ireland.
Leaders' Questions from this morning is now available to watch back on YouTube. Among the issues discussed were concerns raised regarding recent child welfare incidents, and the European Stability Mechanism.
Over the last two and a half years Ireland has made enormous progress and at the end of this year we are poised to regain control of our economy. This is the last of the bailout budgets and the treatment has been tough. It has been hard to do what is necessary but it is working and it will work. The economy is growing and we are creating jobs and reducing unemployment. We are working our way to recovery.
Leaders' Questions, taken by the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, this morning saw debate on the recent HIQA Report into maternity services, and fuel costs. You can watch the entire debate back from the accompanying video.
This weekend 25 dynamic and impressive women gathered in Portlaoise for the first Labour Women pre election “Bootcamp” for local election candidates. Sinead Ahern, chairperson of Labour Women, has blogged about the weekend over on Labour Women's section of our website, do check it out from here.
In May 2014 Dublin voters will be asked in a referendum whether or not they want to have a directly-elected mayor for the whole city. The referendum will take place at the same time as the local elections.
Currently, Dublin is made up of four councils – Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, with Labour Cllr Carrie Smyth as Chairperson, South Dublin, with Labour Cllr Dermot Looney as Mayor, Dublin City, with Labour Cllr Oisín Quinn as Lord Mayor, and Fingal, with Cllr Kieran Dennison as Mayor.
This week has been a busy week for campaigning on the forthcoming referenda. Minister Alex White held a well attended public meeting with contributions from journalist Kevin Rafter and Deputy Aodhan ORiordain also held a public meeting on Dublin's North side with contributions from Noel Whelan and Dr. Eoin O'Malley. Over the weekend party members will be out canvassing so do keep an eye out for them in your area and they'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
You can also check out FAQs on both referenda which are linked to below.