Read more: Prime Minister Brian Cowen quits politics

Former Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen will asked President Mary McAleese to dissolve the Irish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. This will pave the way for a General Election to be called.

Party leaders will get a chance to respond to his announcement before Cowen visits the President. Due to the large numbers of retiring deputies and results of recent opinion polls it seems that the change to government in the upcoming election will be dramatic.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government Éamon Ó Cuív have said that Friday, 25 February is the most likely date for the election. On Tuesday Ó Cuív spoke to Adhmhaidm on Raidió na Gaeltachta. He said that the 25th was the only available Friday in the timeframe when the election could be held. The date will be decided upon during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

Pat Rabbitte, the Labour Justice spokesperson spoke to RTE's Pat Kenny on Tuesday morning. He said there were mixed feelings as the Parliament came to an end. He said for some people it was a “long goodbye”.

Speaking on the same show Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Mary O'Rourke said that she wants to get it all over with and get back to canvassing.

On Monday evening Cowen announced that he would not run in the General Election.  Cowen called his decision momentous and insisted that he was not asked to make this decision by the new Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin. Barry Cowen, the former Prime Minister’s brother has announced that he will run for the election in the Laois-Offaly constituency.

Requesting that the government be dissolved will be Brian Cowen’s final act in his political career. 

Read more: Prime Minister Brian Cowen quits politics