Delay for Fine Gael election reviews

Two reviews of Fine Gael’s disastrous election campaign will not be concluded before the summer break, reducing the risk of outspoken TDs lashing senior party figures over the findings.

Several Fine Gael sources confirmed that neither an independent report by Dr Marion Coy nor a separate report on grass-roots by four TDs will be available by tomorrow’s final parliamentary party meeting before the end of the Dáil term on Thursday. It is understood both documents, called for in the aftermath of February’s election result, were due to go before TDs and senators by late June or early July to allow for a detailed debate before the political summer hiatus.

However, partially due to Dr Coy suffering an arm injury this summer, the documents are not due to be finished until the end of next week.

Dr Coy and the TDs given responsibility for drawing up the second report — Kate O’Connell, Alan Farrell, Peter Burke, and Maria Bailey — met late last week to discuss their initial findings, but, despite this and other meetings, there is disagreement, with both reports due to undergo further drafts.

One Fine Gael member who is aware of the situation said TDs “haven’t seen one word of Marion Coy’s report” and that both documents vary substantially.

However, another senior figure noted only Dr Coy’s report is independent.

The completed reports will be given to Taoiseach Enda Kenny before being disseminated to party members. There are not believed to be plans to hold the reports until September’s annual pre-Dáil term think-in, as this may negatively frame the start of the new term.

Dr Coy, who leads the Fine Gael-linked think-tank the Michael Collins Institute, was asked by Mr Kenny to review the party’s election campaign. She has focussed her attention on senior officials and over-arching campaign matters. The separate TDs-led report focusses on the views of 400 TDs, senators, councillors, and grass-roots members.

Meanwhile, today’s cabinet meeting is expected to discuss Low Pay Commission plans to increase the minimum wage to up to €10.

The cabinet meeting will also hear words of support for France in light of last week’s terror attack. It is also expected to sign off on the Government’s long-awaited housing strategy.

Due to the large number of report’s to be agreed before the Dáil summer recess on Thursday, a further cabinet meeting may take place next week at which the appointment of a citizens’ assembly chief is expected.


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