The search party for missing ministers Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy can be called off, Leo Varadkar has assured us, as they are not missing.
Fine Gael spent much of today discussing how Fianna Fail’s Junior B team aren’t to be trusted. But there’s been neither hide nor hair of a few of their own senior pros over the campaign thus far. Not to worry, they’re just in the recuperation tank.
Asked whether Eoghan Murphy and Simon Harris have been sent down to the minors the Taoiseach replied: “they’re very much part of the A team and you’ll be seeing them during the campaign I can guarantee you that”. Hannibal will be relieved.
Sinn Fein councillor and MMA fighter Paddy Holohan who had to clarify his remarks over wanting a “family man” to lead the country and not Leo Varadkar, who is gay man with no children.
Holohan was forced to later take to Twitter to apologise and to insist his comments were “misinterpreted”.
“I would like to take a minute to address comments that were made on my podcast. Firstly, I would like to apologise as my comments may have offended people, as I of course did not intend to do so. My comments may have been misinterpreted and not in any way meant the way they have been portrayed. A careless own goal.
As if Fine Gael didn't have enough problems, there were ructions this week in Cork South-West.
Fine Gael party leadership had to intervene to quell a bubbling row over candidate selection in Cork South-West.
In December, Cllr Karen Coakley, a Skibbereen native, was added to the ticket, however, this prompted outrage from some members in the Clonakilty branch of Fine Gael, who had backed Noel O'Donovan.
Frustration boiled over in recent weeks. A petition on the matter was signed by more than 500 members and was presented at a party meeting earlier this week.
The row escalated to the point that Ms Coakley said she felt she had been "bullied" in an attempt to make her withdraw her name. We watch this one with interest.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan abandons his bonkers dream to restore wild wolves into Ireland.
Ryan said he “regrets” raising the issue before Christmas and the controversy it attracted. He said he thinks the science behind the desire is valid but his comments distracted from his point about reestablishing native forestry.
Top marks go to retiring Minister Finian McGrath who represented the Government at the Aras an Uachtarain during the visit of Greek President His Excellency Prokopis Pavlopoulos. For his meeting with the President, McGrath cheekily donned the scarf of his local GAA team St Vincents, whose colours are blue and white, the same as the Greek national colours.
The President, sources say, was bowled over with the gesture and thanked a smiling McGrath profusely.
Poor Paschal Donohoe and Heather Humphreys held a press briefing on new flexible working hours failed to attract much attention. Just three committed hacks, two from the one paper, showed up and were vastly outnumbered by politicians and party handlers. A sign of things to come?
Data courtesy of The Irish Times