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  • Offaly Nice Farewell in Tullamore

    January 31, 2011 @ 11:42 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    For a man who is generally quite low-key, if you exclude the occasional Dail outburst, Brian Cowen has sure been generating plenty of excitement in recent weeks. Tonight was the penultimate act before the anticipated valedictory address when he winds up the 30th Dail in a few hours’ time, prior to the general election. (more…)

  • High Drama in Cowenland

    January 28, 2011 @ 6:22 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    So the race will be on at last when Brian Cowen fires the starter’s pistol on Tuesday afternoon in Dail Eireann. There has rarely been such a long lead-in to any poll. There seems to have been an endless overture before the grand opera finally began. (more…)

  • The failure of politics and the politics of failure

    January 24, 2011 @ 1:06 pm | by Harry McGee

    The end of these arrangement tends to be a grubby affair.

    When heterogenous parties are yoked together like that, there are inevitably going to be tensions. Initially – sometimes for a long time – the fit seems workable. But in times of looming crisis, the stitches just rip out. Sometimes it’s drawn out. At other times, it falls apart so quickly that it’s gone in the flash of an eye. (more…)

  • So What Happens Now?

    January 21, 2011 @ 10:02 am | by Harry McGee

    The last time Leinster House was in such turmoil was in 1994 when Fianna Fail and Labour had their spectacular fallout that stemeed from the appointment of then attorney general Harry Whelehan to the post of President of the High Court.


  • A cleanout of Government

    January 20, 2011 @ 9:46 am | by Harry McGee

    * Update: A lot of noise that  Batt O’Keeffe is about to resign but no official confirmation quite yet. If it’s true, it”s six in 24 hours. Half of the Cabinet smote in one night!


  • Win-Win for Cowen and Martin

    January 19, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    It’s not easy to foretell the result or outworking of political developments. But it was pretty obvious even before yesterday that Brian Cowen was going to win and win well. The only thing that could have gone wrong was if Brian Lenihan had come out against the motion of confidence but his RTE interview with Sean O’Rourke on “The News at One” made it clear where he stood. This piece from today’s print edition reflects my state of knowledge prior to the result of the vote being announced last night:-


  • Margin was substantial

    January 18, 2011 @ 11:13 pm | by Harry McGee

    It may have been a sideshow but these sideshows are always more instructive (and  much more  entertaining)  than the drudgery and misery  being served up by the star billing. (more…)

  • Cowen but not quite out

    January 16, 2011 @ 4:48 pm | by Harry McGee

    * UPDATE: 6.07pm: Brian Cowen has indeed said he will stay but added the extra ingredient of putting down a motion of confidence in himself. He must have been reading the Phil Hogan manual for political chicanery. For Enda Kenny used that tactic to great effect last June. By putting down a motion of confidence in yourself you seize the initiative and deprive any challenger from seizing the high grounde. Cowen seemed very confident at the conference. He after all has spoken to every TD and Senator. Secret ballot or no secret ballot, he is confident that he will have the backing.


    Brian Cowen is standing his ground.

    When I started ringing around this morning, it quickly became clear that he was going nowhere. His supporters – some of whom were very windy and indecisive on Thursday into Friday- had all changed their tunes. Even those supporting his putative rivals were saying their gut instinct was that he would stay.


  • Cowen’s prospects

    January 14, 2011 @ 12:49 pm | by Harry McGee

    There was a time when a challenge to a party leadership happened in two ways.
    The first was the modh direach method. That was when somebody threw down the gauntlet and declared that the leader no longer commanded the support of the authority.

  • The Parable of Andrei Arshavin

    January 11, 2011 @ 2:46 pm | by Harry McGee

    This is the parable of Andrei Arshavin*, Russian international, a man of quixotic and enigmatic talents.

    The very first time I saw him play was during the European championships.


  • Sticking One’s Neck Out

    January 8, 2011 @ 8:31 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Herewith a piece from your humble scribe which appeared in the Op-Ed page of today’s print edition. Civil and constructive comments most welcome – but  you don’t have to agree!


  • New Deal for a Suffering Nation?

    January 3, 2011 @ 11:51 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Due to some technical glitch, this Inside Politics column from last Saturday doesn’t appear in the normal way on the website (except for the e-paper of course) which means I don’t get the usual comments from readers. Here it is and any civil response is most welcome.


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