Politics »

  • Calm after the Storm

    February 28, 2011 @ 11:40 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The talks have begun and it looks like a fairly smooth transition to a coalition. Will there be a standoff over the Finance portfolio? Michael Noonan has had a great run in recent months but why would anyone want the job in the current climate?


  • Rebellion through the Ballot-Box

    February 27, 2011 @ 8:24 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    I’ve spent the weekend in Louth, chronicling the success of G. Adams in the constituency and the Sinn Fein electoral performance in general. I don’t feel qualified just now to pronounce in any detail about the overall result of the general election except to say that whoever remarked on radio that this was rebellion through the ballot-box put it very well.


  • My prediction at 5pm: FG 76, LP 36, FF at 24, SF at 12, Ind 13, ULA 4.

    February 26, 2011 @ 5:28 pm | by Harry McGee

    Phil Hogan arrived into the RTE radio studio wearing the kind of wide smile that has not been seen since the Cheshire Cat made a cameo appearance in Alice in Wonderland.

    When it comes to strategy and campaign (and yes, the dark arts of spin) there are few better in the business than Big Phil.  Of course, Phil is a politician, so you also need to subtract a little bit for bluster.  But at the same time, when  he expresses a view, you listen very carefully to what he says.


  • Legion of the Rearguard

    @ 4:40 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    So that’s it then. All the prophecies of doom about Fianna Fail are coming true. Who would have thought it, five, four, even two years ago?


  • Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will

    February 25, 2011 @ 9:19 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    At the request of the BBC, I made my way across Dublin city to a polling station in Drumcondra at 9am to talk on camera about the election. Even at that time there was a significant turnout. Looks like the vote will be very high: a lot of people are out for “vingeance”!


  • Calling the Result of the Election

    February 24, 2011 @ 5:55 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    We’re having a sweepstake among the political journalists. You pay the grand total of five euro to join, then have to list  your predictions for the election result. Just a bit of fun, but interesting in its way.


  • 20 things about this campaign

    @ 2:39 pm | by Harry McGee

    1. Universal Social Charge had just come in at the start of the campaign and Fianna Fail were hammered on it. It was a massive issue, espeically for PAYE workers.

    2. It was a party campaign; not a presidential campaign. This has favoured Fine Gael. It has not favoured Labour.


  • Wise Analysis of Our Woes

    February 23, 2011 @ 6:14 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Plenty of common sense in a piece today by the distinguished commentator Martin Wolf . He sets out clearly and concisely the background to our economic woes and the high price ordinary people are paying for sins they did not commit. (more…)

  • Primetime Debate

    @ 1:11 am | by Harry McGee

    For an anorak, it was all your showers raining down at you at once.

    The 90 minute debate was an absorbing battle, given an extra dimension because it was triangular. (more…)

  • Shifting Sands

    February 22, 2011 @ 7:52 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The closer you get to an event, the more unreliable become the predictions. Labour people are telling me the tide has turned, Fine Gael’s cough has been softened, it’ll be all right on the night, etc. Meanwhile, a leader FG-er I met today was happily proclaiming that FF supporters were coming over to the “blue” side as never before.

  • Shane Ross, Alan Shatter, Dublin South and the banks

    @ 7:12 pm | by Harry McGee

    There will be few attacks on a constituency rival as ferocious as that of Alan Shatter on Shane Ross this week. Of course, Ross is standing in Shatter’s constituency of Dublin South.  There is one view there that Ross poses a direct threat to Shatter’s seat and that the third Fine Gaeler Peter Matthews may have edged ahead and may claim the second of Fine Gael’s seat. (more…)

  • NewERA? Or just OldWINE in NewVESSEL?

    @ 9:45 am | by Harry McGee

    There have been a number of incidents in the past few days which suggest that the new Fine Gael or Fine Gael/Labour or Fine Gael/and modest Paul Somerville/and modest Shane Ross (delete as applicable) will be so different to the current regime that it will remind you of just about every Fianna Fail administration that didn’t have Charlie Haughey or Charlie McCreevy/Mary Harney in positions of influence. (more…)

  • We Are Where We Are – But Where Are We?

    February 21, 2011 @ 8:25 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    There is a delicious moment of uncertainty before most general elections. The campaign is nearly over, the candidates and party workers are virtually exhausted and the die is almost cast.


  • Irish Times Opinion Poll

    February 20, 2011 @ 10:14 pm | by Harry McGee

    The figures in the final Irish Times/ Ipsos MRBI poll are astounding and confirm a few trends that have been evident in the past week.

    They are:

    Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (+1); Fine Gael, 37 per cent (+4); Labour, 19 per cent (-5); Sinn Féin, 11 per cent (-1); Green Party, 2 per cent (+1); and Independents/Others, 15 per cent (no change).


  • TG4 debate

    February 17, 2011 @ 8:29 am | by Harry McGee

    Last night’s TG4 debate was the first time we have had a full debate between the main party leaders in Irish.

    It was also the first ever three-way debate and, as such, was a historic moment in Irish televisoin. (more…)

  • Barry Andrews finds out what a real Minister is like

    February 16, 2011 @ 11:21 am | by Harry McGee
    YouTube Preview Image

    A well made little film recording the legendary encounter of the Minister for Three Words and the Minister for Three Portfolions (at least!) in Dun Laoghaire.

    It’s the Minister for Health (and many other things) Barry Andrews and his comedian brother David Andrews (aka David McSavage) on the campaign trail together, with McSavage in his Minister for Three Words role.

    It’s not exactly a laugh a minute but there are moments of funny engagement.

  • The Frontline Debate

    February 15, 2011 @ 10:11 am | by Harry McGee

    There is something a little bit surreal about televised leaders debate.

    It’s like a guy managing an ailing company meeting his creditors and being told that the only way he can convince them he can continue is by slapping on the rouge and playing Widow Twanky in the Christmas pantomime at the end of the pier. (more…)

  • FG is the new FF

    February 14, 2011 @ 9:11 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    One of the first things to remembers about politics is that logic is a very poor guide. We may be in a phase in our evolution as a State when that maxim is about to be proven yet again. (more…)

  • The End of History

    @ 10:54 am | by Harry McGee

    “We are feasting over the carcass of Fianna Fail,” the Dublin South West Brian Hayes said to me on Friday when explaining why Fine Gael and Labour are at each other’s throats.

    “This isn’t an election between us and Fianna Fail. It’s between Fine Gael and Labour,” he said. (more…)

  • FG, Sinn Féin and the Green Arrow

    February 11, 2011 @ 12:33 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Fine Gael and Sinn Fein are the parties which appear to be doing best in the election campaign. FG  are advancing steadily but apparently inexorably in the polls. SF are holding up too. A lot of people will be alarmed by these two phenomena but it’s a time unlike any other that we have known.


  • The New Reality

    February 10, 2011 @ 12:07 pm | by Harry McGee

    Even in ordinary times, the world of politics is over-freighted with noise and guff.

    The trick is to try to distinguish between what’s merely rhetoric and what is – or might be – real.


  • The TV3 Debate

    February 8, 2011 @ 8:53 pm | by Harry McGee

    * Update 9.05pm. Micheal Martin has been very strong, surprisingly so.  The marginal winner, even though he has nothing to lose.  In a way it’s not about winners. It’s about a loser. And the loser tonight has been Enda Kenny. Would Enda Kenny have been able to last the pace here tonight against such impassioned, animated and confident performers?

    I just don’t think s.

    And here are my thoughts from 8.30pm

    There is no Enda Kenny. I have never seen Vincent Browne so subdued, so timid in my life. It’s maybe lacking a little of the razzamatazz and glitz. (more…)

  • Micheál Upsets the Apple-Tart (stet)

    February 7, 2011 @ 7:47 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Not really sure about this Fianna Fail proposal that ministers should cease to be serving members of the Dail. They would be substituted from a list of alternates in the same way as Members of the European Parliament when they retire, etc.


  • Egypt and Ireland: A Study in Contrasts

    February 6, 2011 @ 11:37 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    What happens in Egypt in the coming weeks and months will have repercussions for us all. For example, the peace treaty with Israel could be in peril and, if that broke down, we could be looking at another war in fairly short order. It puts Ireland’s problems in perspective. At least we have a stable, consensual democracy, although failure to deal with the economic problems we face could ultimately put that at risk too. (more…)

  • Does Fianna Fail Have a Future?

    February 2, 2011 @ 1:37 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Some thoughts on the future, if any, of the Fianna Fail party:  click here and here. The number of Others in the outgoing Dail should be eight, not seven as in the second paragraph of the latter article.

  • Lord let me save the country… but not yet

    @ 12:27 pm | by Harry McGee

    I’ve just come from the launch of the Fianna Fail campaign.  Micheal Martin  has got off to a flying start and put in a (unsurprisingly) smooth and agressive performance this morning.  (more…)

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