Here is a timeline of some the major events in the life of the Fianna Fáil-Green coalition:


FF-Green Party coalition Government timeline

Here is a timeline of some the major events in the life of the Fianna Fáil-Green coalition:

Here is a timeline of some the major events in the life of the Fianna Fáil-Green coalition:

:: May 2007: Bertie Ahern wins third successive term as Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil remain the largest party.

:: June 2007: The Greens enter Government for the first time as junior coalition partner, with the support of the Progressive Democrats and several Independent TDs.

:: May 2008: Mr Ahern resigns after 11 years as Taoiseach over his financial affairs. He is the country’s second longest-serving Taoiseach after Fianna Fáil founder Eamon De Valera. Former Finance Minister Brian Cowen takes his place.

:: June 2008: Economic and Social Research Institute says Ireland is heading for its first recession since the days of high unemployment and emigration in the early 1980s.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan tells construction industry conference about the misfortune of taking control of state coffers as the building boom was coming to a “shuddering end”.

:: September 2008: An official economic report states Ireland is officially in recession.

The Government announces a €400bn state guarantee of all deposits in Irish financial firms.

:: January 2009: Disgraced lender Anglo Irish Bank nationalised because of share price collapse, massive losses, scandal of loans to directors and multibillion deposit loan from rival lender.

:: April 2009: Emergency Budget sets out €3.25bn of tax rises and spending cuts.

:: June 2009: Support for both Fianna Fáil and Green Party plummet in local and European elections.

:: September 2009: Green Party threatens to pull out of coalition over the setting up of state’s bad bank, the National Assets Management Agency.

:: December 2009: Government holds third Budget in 12 months with a €4bn cuts package.

:: February 2010: Veteran Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea resigns as Defence Minister because he falsely denied linking a Sinn Féin councillor to a brothel. A week later Green junior minister Trevor Sargent quits over his interference in a criminal prosecution, the third government resignation in a fortnight.

:: September 2010: Mr Cowen hits international headlines when he is forced to deny being drunk or hungover during a live morning radio interview on RTE's Morning Ireland. He branded the claim as a pathetic stunt by opponents.

:: October 2010: High Court orders Government, with a razor-thin majority of two, to end an 18-month wait for by-election in Donegal South West. Two other cases pending.

:: November 2010: Taoiseach Brian Cowen denies Ireland approached Europe for emergency funds. Within a week, Ireland accepts international bailout and Government is thrown into crisis when the Green Party calls for a General Election. Government publishes €15bn plan for drastic savings.

:: December 2010: Government unveils Budget 2011, making €6bn of cuts, the most draconian in the history of the state.

January 2011

:: Sunday January 9: Previously undisclosed contacts revealed between Brian Cowen and former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick in run-up to 2008 state banking guarantee.

Mr Cowen insists the next day that no secret agenda lay behind a golf game and dinner and that there was nothing inappropriate in his contacts. Green Party leader John Gormley criticises his coalition colleague for not being more open.

:: Wednesday January 12: Taoiseach reveals in Dáil the golf party was joined at dinner by Alan Gray, former managing partner of consultancy firm Indecon and appointed by Mr Cowen as Central Bank director in 2007, and Gary McGann, Smurfit Kappa chief executive and member of Anglo board at the time.

:: Tuesday January 18: Mr Cowen survives a self-tabled vote of confidence in his leadership and rebel TD Micheal Martin resigns as Foreign Affairs Minister.

:: Wednesday January 19: Greens hold talks with the Taoiseach over timing of election. Mary Harney resigns as health minister at 9pm. Mr Gormley knows nothing about it until his wife Penny Stuart tells him.

Three other ministers follow her out of the door at 11pm - Dermot Ahern, Noel Dempsey and Tony Killeen. This time, Mr Gormley hears about it on RTE’s news bulletin the following morning.

:: Thursday January 20: Mr Gormley rings Mr Cowen after 7am over the affair as another minister, Batt O’Keeffe, quits.

Mr Cowen fails to appoint new ministers as Greens threaten walkout. The empty posts are later reassigned to existing ministers in an embarrassing climbdown for the Taoiseach.

General election set for March 11.

Greens say they knew nothing of reshuffle attempt.

:: Saturday January 22: Taoiseach reveals he will move aside as Fianna Fáil leader but will remain as Taoiseach.

Sunday January 23: Green Party pulls out of government, stating it has lost patience with Fianna Fáil.

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