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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 8, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

    Martin Cullen, ex-minister, ex-TD

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Take a look at this press statement just issued by the Government Information Service. Martin Cullen has resigned, not just as Arts Minister, but as a TD. This presumably means a Waterford by-election. Interesting times indeed!
      The Taoiseach was today advised by Martin Cullen T.D., the Minister for
    Arts, Sport and Tourism of his intention to resign from membership of the
    Government, and from public life, in the context of the serious back
    condition from which he has been suffering for some time.
    It is the Taoiseach’s intention, at the request of Minister Cullen, to
    advise the President to accept his resignation on a date on which other
    matters relating to the Government, which the Taoiseach is currently
    considering, will also be the subject of decision.
    The Taoiseach has expressed his deep appreciation for the great personal
    efforts that Martin Cullen has made to carry out in full his duties as
    Minister in the context of what has been a very painful condition.   He
    respects the Minister’s intention to retire also from his role as a public
    representative in the light of his assessment that he would not be in a
    position to discharge these duties in the future.   The Taoiseach said that
    this is entirely in keeping with the seriousness with which Minister Cullen
    has approached his duties as a public representative, for which he won the
    support of the people of Waterford City and County since he entered Dáil
    Éireann in 1987.
    The Taoiseach paid tribute to the contribution which Martin Cullen has made
    as a Minister in the Government, in charge of the Departments of the
    Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Transport;  and Social and
    Family Affairs, as well as Minister with responsibility for the Office of
    Public Works and not least in his current post in the Department of Arts,
    Sport and Tourism, where the commitment and flair which he has brought to
    the discharge of his duties have been widely appreciated.
    The Taoiseach expressed his best wishes to the Minister as he faces the
    challenges arising from his present medical condition.

    • Liam says:

      What about the by election here? another potential FG seat? will FF try to delay it?

    • Deaglán says:

      You know FF won’t be rushing to hold that by-election although it is (or rather, was) one of their stronger constituencies. FG would have a very good chance with the right candidate. But no RTE big names, I’d wager!

    • Michael says:

      It would be hard for the government not to hold a by-election here at the same time that the other two due by-elections take place. I understand the current thinking is that these two would take place at the same time as the Dublin Mayoral election, the children’s rights referendum late in 2010.

    • Deaglán says:

      Yes, that’s what Minister Mary Hanafin said on “The Week in Politics” recently.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Firstly, let me say he will have first class VHI paid for by the Irish taxpayer that continues for the rest of his life so he won’t exactly be facing a ‘struggle’ to get the best care available to him so if you don’t mind Deaglán I’ll save my sympathy for a person deserving of it as they do actually have a battle on their hands to get the care and treatment that is their right. Cullen is not one of those people …

      Politically good riddance to him. I hope his back problems are not as bad as when he felt like he was being ‘raped’ by the media ‘instrusion’ into his personal failings and how it affected his children. An issue he brought into the public domain and he has still not apologised for the ‘deliberate’ choice of that word – that choice was unacceptable by any standard given the scale of sexual abuse that places in Ireland.

      Another self indlulgence orgasmic overload for the Leinster House bubble with the stench of hypocrisy becoming overwhelming.

      Cullen was one of the worst Ministers of any government in the entire history of the State. At no point was he ever fit for purpose.

      All his failings are now glossed over with the nonsense that we can’t speak ill of the politically dead and yet again we are denied the chance to hold a politician to account for their many failings.

      I’m sure it was a hard decision to resign from a job he was about to be fired from and the blow will be softened by the obscene pension he is now ‘entitled’ to. He won’t need to worry about being inundated with offers to sit on boards or prestigious organisations.

      No discussion of how long this ‘bad back’ has been going on and why he took so long to leave the job if his health was not up to it.

      The bit I liked the best was listening to him claim he always gave 100% – I dread to think how much worse he would have been if he had given only 90%.

      He doesn’t have a single policy achievement to his name no matter what department he was in. He inherited the e-voting machines from the other dullard Dempsey – oh I’m sorry I mean the other ‘intelligent’ minister – and then lacked the ability to know when to cut our losses.

      I don’t suppose you saw Andrew Rawnsley’s documentrary on Cameron on C4 this evening? Amazing how in the UK serious journalists can make such a programme and not have to worry about Westminster closing ranks against them.

      You’d never see a programme like that made by any of your colleagues with access to Leinster House.

      I hope that wasn’t too vindictive Deaglán, as I know how you hate to hold politicians to account or to raise any unpleasantness.

    • Deaglán says:

      As sure God love ya, Des, you’re harmless enough behind all the bluster.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Patronising too Deaglán? I also toned down my comments – quite considerably – as I know how you don’t like the fuss. If calamity Coughlan were to go I might even spontaneously combust!

      As per usual no mention of how his replacement should be appointed on merit – just how it makes it easier for Biffo to satisfy the geography and crony needs of Fianna Fáil.

      Party first as usual …

    • Joe says:

      That the government can so easily dismiss the constitutional rights of the public to full representation for party politics is a damning indictment of Irish society.

      There should be legislation introduced that compels a government to hold a by-election within 3 months of a seat being vacated.

    • Deaglán says:

      You’re not the worst, Des, though some might balk at the way you are kicking a man when he’s down.

    • 'QC' says:

      Patronising…Deaglan? Welcome to our world Des…

      I didn’t catch the Rawnsley programme. I was watching the other side, literally and figuratively speaking, given the day that was in it the first in the BBC series on Feminism…we haven’t gone away you know…I caught it later on the web tho’.
      High class stuff as one would expect…the tortuous metaphors were quite, er, tortured… Ed’s ‘ed might well be surplus to requirements after that…and as for Hague whoever described him as looking like a foetus should be awarded some kind of gong for services to satire.
      I also caught the re run of ‘In the Loop’ on Sunday night.
      I really think I might be Malcolm Tucker’s bastard child, either that or his twin separated at birth… he even used a variation of Marie Antionette’s immortal line…that I have used elsewhere…Brilliant…!
      I think I could possibly write for the Thick Of It anyone got Armando Ioanucci’s number?

    • In fairness Deaglán, it was hard enough to try and kick him when he was up. Apparently, if one were to try and do so it was the same as raping him.

    • robespierre says:

      Well said Deaglán, we’d have to reluctantly concede that Pol Pot and Stalin had a greater negative impact on the world than the intrepid Desmond.

    • 'QC' says:

      Dan..I think mere presence of the press was considered tantamount to Rape what ‘kicking’ him might have been compared to I can’t imagine..!

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