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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 1, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    Kenny Wears the Green Jersey to Brussels

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    It’s been a while since the present writer was on assignment in Brussels. It takes a while to get back into the rhythm of the place. Happily I managed to find accommodation close to the EU complex of buildings and it is a blessing not to have to traipse all over town.

    Needless to say, one of my first ports of call was Kitty O’Shea’s pub, even though alcohol does not pass my lips. The bartender who poured my soft drink turned out to be Irish and the Ireland-Czech Republic soccer international was playing out on the TV screen, so one felt right at home – especially when Simon Cox equalised for the boys in green.

    Enda Kenny was wearing the green jersey, metaphorically, when he arrived for the lunch of European People’s Party leaders today. The media crowd for himself and the other leaders was so intense, it was almost impossible to get close to the Taoiseach.

    He is a softspoken fellow, apart from an occasional back-of-the-lorry ‘spake’ at election-time, so it can be quite difficult to pick up his pronouncements on the voice recorder. Is he too ‘nice’ to be Taoiseach? Er, maybe not.

    The Irish referendum is of course a point of interest here but since we cannot hold up progress by voting against it this time, there isn’t the same sense of urgency among our European partners.

    The Irish here are, of course, following the Éamon Ó Cuív row with his party leader with keen interest. It can safely be said that the outcome of the referendum, whenever it is held, will determine the political futures of both.

    It’s unfortunate from Micheál Martin’s point of view to be having this spat with a grandson of the legendary Eamon de Valera, just days in advance of the party’s ardfheis. I even heard a bad joke here to the effect that it is “not the first time there was a split over a treaty between a de Valera and a Corkman called Micheál.”

    At the present moment, it looks like the Treaty campaign is going to be tough and the Yes side will need to pull out all the stops to get the document approved. From a media point of view, it promises to be the most lively and entertaining few months since the presidential election!

    • Popular Front of JODea says:

      There’s a great steak and guinness pie lovely chips too in Kitty O’Shea’s. I recall a couple lovely monastic bottles there too. Leffe I think. Mighty stuff. ”Strong to the point of weakness” as Joyce said of Parnell. Who’d never set foot in an establishment named KITTY O’Shea’s for all her friend’s called her Katie and ‘Kitty’ referred to ladies of questionable virtue. Which she was not. imo. Perhaps one may not hold up ‘progress’ in terms at least of setting a ne plus ultra to the march of a sEUperstate and a militarising one too but one may always protest. Go down with all guns blazing rather than a gurgle and a whimper. Parnell again might agree though God knows ’twas probably with those last sounds he went down himself abandoned broken and betrayed. Bit like Ireland today really.

    • Scarecrows Of The Stipe says:

      Is he too ‘nice’ to be Taoiseach?

      Crouching Taoiseach , hidden sleveen

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      I hear our Europe Minister is as unpopular in the EU as her predecessors albeit for different reasons. Ms Creighton should try work on her interpersonal skills as well as her French (which I hear is appalling) but that’s no surpirise from someone with as little emotional intelligence as a certain other Cabinet Minister who deals with the trains.

      There is no reason to vote Yes for this Treaty and we can sure that Enda Kenny won’t be leading the Yes campaign as he’s not one for the finer details so there’s no way he’s going to be let lose to explain the details.

      Essentially there are two problems. Our own failings led to debt (a) on the day to day side and the IMF/EU has helped us fund the spending to income gap while we balance the books. However, the debt we are building up also includes debt for part (b) which is the bank debt linked to what Lehmans did and which should never have been passed onto the taxpayer.

      So when we balance the books, then we have to start repaying the 60 billion debt and in the event we can’t then we get access to debt (c) according to the terms of this treaty – having also signed over any control over our budgetry process in the meantime.

      So why should Ireland need the (c) debt at all when it’s going to the banks we shouldn’t be bailing out? Once we balance our books then we need to start paying that debt back so it’s not true that in 2016 when we are taking in 30 billion and it costs 30 billion to run the place that we’ll be grand the next year as the next year we have to start paying 3 billion in interest on a debt – God knows if we’ll ever get to repay the actual capital.

      So we do need to be bribed – we need a 30 billion bribe – and the markets know it. Greece got 75% off its banking debt so how much should we get?

    • barb.ie says:

      It makes me ill, the way the FG PR machine wheels out Ms Lucinda she think she all that but she ain’t Creighton to “pose” beside the colourless, boring Enda to make him look attractive.

      Anyway, re signing treaties and FG, Michael Collins’s words come to mind…………”I have signed my own death warrant”……….and as for the coalition partner and its pompous little leader E Gilmore…….definitely signed his own political death warrant with that dreadful dreadful move to close Ireland’s historic embassy to the Holy See at Rome…….can’t wait to see the back of these pretenders to government..

    • JOD says:

      barb, Collins didn’t say ”I have signed my own death warrant.” He said: ”I may have signed my actual death warrant.”
      He was replying to Birkenhead’s remark that ”I may have signed my political death warrant tonight.”

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