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How the day will unfold

THE leadership of Fianna Fail will be decided in a hectic and dramatic sequence of events that will unfold as follows:

8.30am: Fianna Fail ministers meet around breakfast before the full Cabinet meets. Micheal Martin will attend. Taoiseach Brian Cowen will also meet Green Party leader John Gormley before the Cabinet.

10am: Meeting of the full Cabinet. Mr Martin will also attend this meeting.

Lunchtime: Cabinet breaks up.

2.30pm -- 3.15pm: Mr Cowen attends in the Dail for Questions to the Taoiseach.

3.15pm -- 4.15pm: Mr Cowen prepares for Leaders' Questions in the Dail.

4.15pm - 4.36pm: Leaders' Questions take place. it may run overtime.

4.36pm: Mr Cowen will then take the Dail Order of Business, which can sometimes run for up to an hour but is usually shorter.

5.30pm: FF parliamentary party meeting begins in the party rooms on the fifth floor of Leinster House. Only TDs have a vote in the confidence motion but senators will be allowed attend the meeting.

There is no time limit on the meeting and no limit on the number of speakers, so it may run on for hours. The outcome of the vote will be announced after, but Mr Cowen said the exact number of deputies voting for and against will not be revealed.

Irish Independent