Embattled Prime Minister Brian Cowen told an Irish language radio station that he would inform Parliament on Tuesday that he would be asking President Mary McAleese to dissolve the chamber.
The prime minister did not tell Raidió na Gaeltachta when the election date would be, but it is widely believed the polling day will be February 25. However, rumors abound that the outgoing Taoiseach will give new Fianna Fail Leader Michael Martin more time to organize the part by calling the election for March 2.
Cowen went on to say that he would talk to his own constituents and advisors before deciding whether to run himself in the next general election. He represents the Laois-Offaly constituency.
February 25 would be an ideal date for the elections logistically, as local schools will be on mid-term vacation (a lot of the voting in Ireland is held in national schools) and students who lost multiple days because of heavy snow in December and January would not be further inconvenienced.
However, once the President ok's the dissolution of the Dail, a general election must take place within a window of 17-28 days of her doing so.
Once President McAleese dissolves the Dail, the Minister for Local Government Éamon Ó Cuív will set the election date and set the official wheels in motion.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore