herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

May 22 is date of equality vote

Enda and Miriam
Enda and Miriam

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has announced that the preferred date for the same-sex marriage referendum is May 22.

The referendum on lowering the voting age for presidential elections to 16 and the Carlow Kilkenny by-election are likely to be held on the same day.

Mr Kenny said he hoped that support for marriage equality in opinion polls "holds up" and the referendum would be carried, showing Ireland to be a tolerant and inclusive society.

Mr Kenny's interview with RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan was delayed by 35 minutes due to a surprise episode revealing the end of the EastEnders murder mystery (see above) and she thanked him for changing his schedule.

CONFIRM

Mr Kenny refused to confirm or deny whether he was recalled for a second session of questioning by the inquiry commission, headed by former judge Niall Fennelly, examining alleged garda misconduct.

The inquiry is looking into the circumstances which led to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan stepping down.

On the eve of Mr Callinan's decision to retire early, Mr Kenny sent then Justice Department secretary Brian Purcell to his home to convey Government concerns about garda phone recordings.

An interim report from Mr Justice Fennelly has revealed that three witnesses were recalled for additional testimony.

Last night, Mr Kenny again steadfastly refused to comment on this.

Instead, the Taoiseach said the entire issue was a matter for Mr Justice Fennelly and his proceedings, for now, remain confidential.

Mr Kenny also repeatedly dodged a direct question on whether his Government had directly applied for bank debt reduction from the EU-ECB.

hnews@herald.ie

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