Can Simon Harris implement fresh policies before this Government ends?

Plus, will Jeffrey Donaldson’s resignation destabilise the reconstituted Assembly?

Listen | 40:56

Ahead of Simon Harris’s first Fine Gael Ard Fheis as party leader, Cormac McQuinn and Jack Horgan-Jones join Hugh Linehan to discuss the potential quick wins and policy departures Harris can look to implement when his expected tenure as taoiseach begins next Tuesday.

And while we were denied the excitement of hustings and voting, there is still much speculation as to the potential make-up of Simon Harris’s Cabinet. How does he find the balance between merit and geography? And will some Fine Gael party departees have their arms twisted to stay?

Also on the podcast: the other recent earthquake in Irish politics was the unexpected resignation of DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson, following his charging for historical sexual offences. Just a few short weeks after the Assembly was reconstituted, the revelation has been received with a certain level of calm by the political establishment, with interim DUP leader Gavin Robinson coming from the more moderate tradition within the party.

But could the deal struck for power-sharing be tested in the months ahead? And will the looming Westminster election give rise to turmoil within a deeply divided DUP party?

Plus, the panel pick their Irish Times pieces of the week:

Mark Hennesey wrote about the findings of a recent study which suggested that the cost of Irish unification could run to €20 billion each year for two decades.

Justine McCarthy on the dangers of demonising non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

And Naomi O’Leary reporting on an Irish Times investigation that found former members of the Defence Forces trained a rogue Libyan militia.

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