The Moment of Truth…
… well for 19 FF junior ministers, that is.
The Cabinet meeting is on as I write.
If Cowen is conservative he will drop five.
He can’t drop both female juniors.
My guess: Sean Power; Mary Wallace; Sean Haughey; Micheál Kitt, Jimmy Devins.
It would make sense to promote Aine Brady (a sister of Micheál Kitt). That would leave a junior in Kildare and soften the blow for the Kitt family.
If she were to be promoted, Maire Hoctor would be vulnerable.
If Cowen were bold, he would drop eight. The other two who might face the chop in that instance would be Noel Ahern and either Martin Mansergh, Tony Killeen (but only on health grounds for the latter as Killeen is a high calibre politician).
In that scenario, two other TDS other than Aine Brady would be up for promotion. Timmy Dooley of Clare is an obvious choice (bright and not afraid to mix it). But so are Darragh O’Brien (Dublin North) who would compensate for the loss of Ahern and Haughey; and Dara Calleary in Mayo who would cover for the loss of Jimmy Devins and Micheál Kitt. And yes, Margaret Conlon is also a possibility.
It’s a pure punt. Buille de thuairim as they say in the Gaeltacht. We’ll find out shortly…