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Door still open for FF rebels

THE door has been left wide open for four TDs who quit the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party to return. Taoiseach Brian Cowen wants the rebels to return in order to shore up his weakening majority in the Dail.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen wants the rebels to return in order to shore up his weakening majority in the Dail.

The four -- Jimmy Devins, Eamon Scanlon, Mattie McGrath and Jim McDaid -- are outside the party whip but continue to vote with Fianna Fail in Leinster House.

It now appears that the party's hierarchy would like them to come back to the parliamentary party ahead of the likely by-elections next year.

Mr Cowen acknowledged that the four continue to support the Government on a regular basis and that their continued support is necessary to keep the coalition on a stable footing.



Dempsey works through pain

TRANSPORT Minister Noel Dempsey did not take the Government jet to Galway, but is expected to arrive there today even with a bad back.

The controversial Meath TD is expected to address TDs and senators about election strategy this afternoon, despite sustaining a serious back injury playing golf.

The Herald understands that Fianna Fail organisers still anticipate that Mr Dempsey will attend the two-day conference.

"He is still coming but everything is dependent on his doctors giving the ok," explained a source.



Minister U-turn on evolution

SCIENCE Minister Conor Lenihan will not launch a controversial new book that claims to expose the "fiction of evolution", despite originally accepting an invitation to do so.

Mr Lenihan had agreed to be present for the launch of The Origin Of Specious Nonsense, but the Herald can reveal that the author reneged on the invite late last night.

The Dublin TD was scheduled to help unveil the new book at Buswells Hotel in Dublin tomorrow evening.

However, the concept of the junior minister with responsibility for science launching an anti-science book was set to cause huge uproar among scientists and academics.


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