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Europe is likely to be a recurring theme in Irish politics during 2019. The fate of the Brexit process across the Irish Sea has been Issue No 1 for some time, and despite all that happened last week, including the thumping defeat for Theresa May's deal in the Commons, the only certainty is the promise of further drama to follow.
On August 28, the St Vincent de Paul reported a 20 per cent increase in calls for “back to school help”. The same day, the man presiding over the housing crisis, Minister Eoghan Murphy, announced the election date for the most lucrative Irish political post - the presidency - with a salary of €325,507 plus untold expenses.
The abortion referendum at the end of the month may be dominating political discourse at the moment, but behind the scenes the issue really vexing, and increasingly troubling, the Government is the ongoing saga of Brexit.
For many years, Galway East was derided for its predictability – ‘the boring constituency’ guaranteed to return two FF and one FG TD and with no doubt about who the individuals concerned would be.
The first six months of 2017 have been hectic to say the least - a change of taoiseach, arguments which have severely tested the stability of the government and brought us to the brink of a general election more than once, a UK general election, and the collapse of the Stormont Assembly.
THE LATE Bobby Molloy clocked in an astonishing 37 years as TD for Galway West, being first elected in 1965, and eventually standing down in 2002. The only other TD to yet come close to that tally is Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív who celebrates 25 years in Dáil Éireann this year.
Insider recalls a recent decision of An Bord Pleanala, where it reversed the Galway County Council's grant of permission for a new access link road and junction at the IDA's Parkmore West Business Park.
In what has been a tumultuous year to date – an inconclusive general election result in February, the shock of Brexit in June, and then the judgment in the Apple case at the end of August – last week’s Budget arguably posed the biggest challenge to date to the minority Government and the much vaunted ‘new politics’.
As the Dáil rose for the summer recess last week, there was an almost audible sigh of relief in Leinster House - and not only on the Government side.
Even the most sceptical observer cannot accuse those who describe last week’s Brexit referendum result as 'seismic' or 'a political earthquake' of engaging in hyperbole. From an Irish perspective, it is potentially the most significant thing to happen in peace-time British politics since the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936.