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'End the agony': Four years of speculation to be put to an end with election date reveal

'End the agony': Four years of speculation to be put to an end with election date reveal

A general election is expected to be called this week as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar meets the leaders of Northern Ireland’s restored powersharing executive on a visit to Belfast today.

Almost four years of speculation about an election date is likely to be put to bed this week with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying he has made his mind up about when to go to the polls.

He said he wants to tie up some loose ends first - including a cabinet meeting tomorrow, and a visit from the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

Varadkar is also due to meet the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin again in the coming days.

All that puts Wednesday evening or Thursday in line to be the day Mr Varadkar seeks the dissolution of the 32nd Dáil.

This morning he is traveling to Belfast to meet the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as political leaders in Northern Ireland after the re-establishment of the Stormont Executive over the weekend.

Fine Gael will be trying to push the government's record on Brexit during the election and Mr Varadkar may feel a few days sharing the podium with other world leaders will be a good look to kick start his bid to win a mandate to govern for the next five years.

Labour leader Brendan Howlin says that whatever happens over the coming days it is clear that this Dáil has run its course.

"I think if it continues it will be a fractious Dáil that won't address the real issues because there is no majority for the Government currently," said Mr Howlin.

"So they won't be bringing forward solutions to the problems in housing and health that people want addressed.

"So my advice to him is to simply end the agony of this Dáil."

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