Tomorrow marks 100 days since the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party administration took office as Ireland grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic. What were the coalition's promises and has it lived up to its commitments?


When the new administration was formed housing was one of the main issues on the agenda.

There were significant commitments in the Programme for Government about social housing, rental reform and home ownership over the next five years.

The document pledged to provide more than 50,000 additional social homes.

It also committed to deliver affordable homes for working people and implement the affordable purchase scheme on state-owned land.

There were significant promises too for those in the rental market. The Programme for Government said that it would improve the supply and affordability of rental accommodation.

One hundred days into the new Government's time in office and it's clear that the pandemic has impacted those plans.

The proposal to build 11,000 social homes this year has been decreased to 9,000 due to Covid-19.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has acknowledged that the virus has provided "a serious challenge for the construction sector".

One of the first issues Minister O'Brien had to deal with was a blanket rent freeze and eviction ban brought in by the previous government when the virus first arrived in Ireland.

The new administration replaced the emergency tenant protections, bringing in new legislation which protected tenants who can prove their income has been affected by the pandemic but the normal process applies to everyone else.

It has been criticised by Opposition TDs who claimed it stripped the majority of renters of any protections from evictions and rent increases.

An Affordable Housing Purchase Scheme, aimed at getting people on the property ladder, was due to be launched in September but still has not happened.

The minister says he will announce details of the scheme in the autumn.

He wants the Affordable Housing Scheme, which is in the Programme for Government, introduced as part of Budget 2021.

Housing will be one of the key elements in this month's budget. With immense pressure on the public finances due to the pandemic, the minister will be hoping to secure enough funding to follow through on the promises outlined in Programme for Government.

Climate Change

Tomorrow is the deadline the new administration had set to publish legislation on climate action.

Concerns over Covid-19 may have pushed worries about global warming to the back of some people's minds but the problem has not gone away.

It's expected the Climate Action Bill 2020, promised in the Programme for Government, will be published on Tuesday of next week, seven days before the Budget on 13 October.

The heads of the bill which will set in law the 2050 target for carbon neutrality were approved by Cabinet last week.

It will provide for the setting of five-year "carbon budgets" which will place an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposed legislation will set out a roadmap of the oversight and accountability structures for reducing emissions every year.

It's due to be discussed by the Oireachtas Climate Committee before being debated in the Dáil.

Under the new regulations the Climate Change Advisory Council will be strengthened and renamed the Climate Action Council which will propose an overall carbon budget.

Ministers will be accountable for delivering the action in each their sectors.

The passing of the Bill will be a test on how united government parties are with concerns surfacing about the impact of the emissions targets on areas such as agriculture and the motor industry.

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan has said he hopes the Bill will pass through the Oireachtas and be signed into law before Christmas in time for the fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate Agreement.

However, some in government parties have raised concerns about the risk of the Bill being rushed through the Oireachtas.

One Government TD said the Bill contains significant changes for households and businesses and the coalition must get it right.

Another acknowledged that passing the Bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas is unlikely to be "plain sailing" but many TDs agreed that political consensus can be reached if the will is there to address climate change.


As the healthcare system responds to surges of Covid-19 across the country many other areas of health have been overlooked during past few months.

Implementing Sláintecare was a key priority in the Programme for Government.

The document also promised to extend medical cards to the terminally ill, extend free GP care to more children and cap parking charges in hospitals.

It said that significant work will be done for women’s health, mental health and drug treatment policy.

One hundred days in and many of those plans have been put on ice as the Government and the HSE grapples with the pandemic.

Restrictions resulted in growing waiting lists which could cause long-term problems for the new administration.

National screening services were paused when the virus peaked and now face a substantial backlog.

The problems that existed before Covid-19 have not disappeared and if anything have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Some €600 million was announced for the health service in the Winter Plan last month.

The HSE promised hundreds of additional hospital beds as part of the plan, along with the hiring of extra hospital staff.

It also promised to carry out an additional 20,000 operations.

This winter is likely to be like no other - many observers question whether the Government can deliver all it has promised.


Much political capital has been spent on the pandemic but waiting in the wings is the possibility of a damaging no trade deal Brexit.

There has been concern within Government circles that the potential impacts of an abrupt exit of the UK from the EU have been overlooked by some.

Now ministers are keen to refocus attention on Brexit preparations.

The Programme for Government states that "the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is a key priority".

The protocol aims to protect the Good Friday Agreement, North/South cooperation and the all-island economy.

It would also avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, while preserving the integrity of the EU Single Market and Ireland's place in it.

However, Britain's Internal Market Bill has threatened to undermine the protocol.

The proposed legislation gives British ministers the power to "disapply" rules for goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland which had been previously agreed with the EU.

The European Union says the bill would "flagrantly violate" the protocol and has now triggered legal action.

The deadline of 31 October to reach a free trade agreement is fast approaching - but the EU won't agree one unless the Internal Market Bill's clauses have been dropped.

If the EU and the UK fail to reach a deal, World Trade Organisation rules would be used and have a detrimental impact on Irish exports with tariffs rising sharply.

A no-deal Brexit and a global pandemic in the space of 12 months could be catastrophic for the Irish economy and the Government will be hoping that can be avoided.