The new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has spent the evening in the panto – ahead of a key meeting with his coalition colleagues to decide tomorrow’s cabinet reshuffle.
s ministers impatiently await their fate, the leader of the Fine Gael enjoying Snow White and Sammy & Buffy at the National Stadium.
Other familiar faces at Panto included presenter Claire Byrne, former rugby star Tommy Bowe and author Kathleen Watkins.
He did so knowing that he would be elected Taoiseach for a second time tomorrow in an agreed transfer of power with Fianna Fáil’s leader, Micheál Martin.
He will return to Government Houses later in the evening to decide on the look of the Cabinet with Mr Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan.
If all goes according to plan, the country will have a new Taoiseach at noon on Saturday afternoon. In a historic first, Fianna Fáil will join forces with Fine Gael and the Green Party to elect Leo Varadkar back to power. The day will include some pageantry and ceremony as Mr. Varadkar becomes Taoiseach for the second time in his career. Once that is done, the difficult task of cabinet reshuffle begins.
Here we look at how the day will go.
What are the key times?
Taoiseach Micheál Martin will travel to Áras an Uachtaráin at 9:30 am Saturday morning where he will formally tender his resignation to President Michael D. Higgins. This will effectively dissolve the government.
Mr Martin will then return to Leinster House and inform the Dáil at 10.30am that he has resigned as Taoiseach.
Shortly thereafter, Fine Gael’s most recent TD, Emer Higgins, and party leader Richard Bruton will nominate Leo Varadkar for the Taoiseach, and there will be a number of contributions from TDs from all sides of the House.
Sinn Féin had considered nominating Mary Lou McDonald for the position of Taoiseach in Saturday’s vote, despite not having the numbers to win, but last night a spokesman said the party had decided against it.
“Nothing will change until we have a change of government. Because of tomorrow’s Dáil proceedings, there will be no change in policy and no change in the ability of this government to adequately address the issues we face. We need general elections, no rotation in the office of Taoiseach from Fianna Fáil to Fine Gael,” the spokesman said.
A vote will finally take place around 1pm and TDs could be asked to vote by roll call or walk through.
It is a majority coalition government, so there is no indication Mr Varadkar will not be appointed without a massive last-minute revolt among government TDs.
Following his election as Taoiseach, Mr Varadkar will proceed through Leinster House to the Kildare Street exit where he will be taken by his Garda driver to Áras an Uachtaráin at around 1.30pm. President Higgins will officially bestow his seal of office on Lord Varadkar and the leader of the Fine Gael will officially begin his second term as Taoiseach.
The new Taoiseach and Tánaiste will begin appointing the Cabinet when Mr. Varadkar returns to Government Houses after his visit to Phoenix Park. One by one, ministers are called to their chief’s office to tell them whether to stay or go. Around four hours are planned for this, with the new cabinet being voted on at 5 p.m. in the Dáil. Depending on how the day goes or the impact of the reshuffle, this time can change significantly.
Still, the president expects the new cabinet to return to the Áras around 8 p.m. where he will sign the government and attorney general’s instruments of appointment. The new Taoiseach will countersign the warrant and the new cabinet will receive its seals of office. The government’s first cabinet meeting will then be held in Aras once everyone has received their seal and posed for the new government’s official photograph. The meeting is scheduled for 9 p.m., but that too is subject to change and the cabinet could meet until after 11 p.m. on Saturday.
The process of appointing ministers of state does not start until next week and the cabinet will have to meet again to sign off on the appointments.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/leo-varadkar-spends-evening-at-snow-white-panto-while-ministers-await-cabinet-reshuffle-42225183.html Leo Varadkar spends the evening in Snow White Panto while ministers await the reshuffle