PAC to have emergency meeting

Sinn Féin Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that an emergency meeting of the Public Accounts Committee will take place on Tuesday to discuss the issue surrounding sex and physical abuse allegations at a foster care home in the southeast.

Speaking on this week's edition of The Gathering on RTÉ's Today with Keelin Shanley programme, Ms McDonald was joined by Fine Gael TD Fergus O'Dowd, Tony Foley (Senior Lecturer, DCU Business School) and Irish Daily Star Political Correspondent Catherine Halloran.

The panel discussed the abuse scandal revelation as well as the Banking Inquiry.

HSE Director General Tony O'Brien has urged the HSE's social care division to "get to the bottom of" the scandal.

Education sector under pressure

Class sizes, student welfare and new schools are just some of issues that those working in the Education sector are looking to politicians to address ahead of Election 2016.

Reporting for Morning Ireland, RTÉ's Education Correspondent Emer O'Kelly visited two schools in Cork to find out more.

More than half 'supported Referendum' in 2011

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is considering re-running the referendum to strengthen the powers of Oireachtas committees to conduct public inquiries on foot of the outcome of the Banking Inquiry.

A poll conducted shortly after the 2011 Oireachtas Referendum showed that, despite 53% voting against giving further powers to Oireachtas committees, in fact 58% of voters surveyed actually supported a proposal to grant full powers to Oireachtas committees investigating matters of public interest.

Dr Jane Suiter, who was a member of the panel who analysed the poll, spoke to Morning Ireland about her findings. 

'X-Factor politicians' all the rage

Four TDs will retire at the end of this Government's term. RTÉ's Justin McCarthy spoke to Frank Feighan (Fine Gael), Labour's Pat Rabbitte, Michael Colreavy of Sinn Féin and Fine Fáil's Seamus Kirk as they prepare to exit Dáil Éireann.

An end to 'boom-bust' cycle?

Professor John McHale from the Fiscal Advisory Council spoke to RTÉ's Morning Ireland about the council's 'pre-election view' on what might be a prudent economic strategy for the next government.

Professor McHale explained: "Recovery all depends on how it is done... if the idea is to follow prudent counter-cyclical policy very much in line with the fiscal framework that has been put in place that really ends the 'boom-bust' cycle, then that would be very welcome indeed."  

The Taoiseach responded by insisting that financial parameters had been set out and "European controls" still applied, adding that "Ireland will be on the safe side" of those controls.