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  • Needed: Lucky Fianna Fáil Generals

    May 1, 2009 @ 10:42 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The counting of votes in the European elections won’t start until 9pm on Sunday June 7th but we should know the outcome of the by-elections in the Dublin Central and Dublin South constituencies sometime the previous day, probably around lunchtime, and the make-up of the local authorities will also be known on the Saturday.

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    Just the man to lead FF?
    (Photograph: Frank Miller)

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  • Terrible Beauty, date of birth 5 June 2009?

    April 29, 2009 @ 11:06 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Byelection, by-election or bye-election? Whatever way you spell it, the fact is that the constituencies of Dublin Central and Dublin South will go to the polls after all to select new TDs on June 5th, in succession to the late Seamus Brennan and Tony Gregory.

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    Jack Lynch (1917-99): two by-election defeats put paid to his leadership

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  • Taking Stock: Junior Ministers, Lisbon and the ‘Locals’

    April 23, 2009 @ 11:20 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Whereas Dara Calleary and Áine Brady were delighted recipients of general congratulations in Leinster House last evening, I saw no sign of the 13 who were re-appointed as junior ministers; the seven whose services were dispensed were not in evidence either.

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    Dara Calleary, Brian Cowen and Áine Brady – and is that Our Trevor in the background? (Photograph: Eric Luke)

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  • ‘Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end’

    April 20, 2009 @ 9:59 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    In these difficult times, everyone needs a good laugh now and then. They say it is the best medicine of all. In that spirit, I am offering the introductory paragraph of then-Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s statement when he announced an increase in the number of junior ministers from 17 to 20 on 20 June 2007.

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     Brian Cowen in happier times with 18 of the 20 outgoing ministers of state (Photograph by Dara MacDonaill, 13 May 2008)

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  • Easter Reflections

    April 10, 2009 @ 9:49 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    It’s Easter and we’re all too worn-out physically, emotionally and above all politically to enjoy the break properly. What a hectic time! But before we start the annual guilty nibbling at those calorie-rich chocolate eggs, let’s take stock of where we are.

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    Good Friday 1998: John Hume gives thanks for the peace agreement, with Eddie McGrady (left) and Sean Farren (Photograph by Alan Betson) (more…)

  • Fine Gael Rallies its Troops

    April 4, 2009 @ 10:55 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The Fine Gael ardfheis started off quietly enough last night. The high-point of the evening when leader Enda Kenny and Deputy Lucinda Creighton publicly embraced to show that their recent spat at the parliamentary party was now water under the bridge.

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    Lucinda and Enda kiss and make up (Photograph by Frank Miller)

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  • Tales of a Fortune-Teller

    February 13, 2009 @ 1:17 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    I dreamt about a visit to the fortune-teller last night. It wasn’t my love-life she was interested in, or indeed any other aspect of my personal situation. No, this was a political seer, looking to the future of the country. (more…)

  • Cowen could take leaf from Dev’s book

    January 29, 2009 @ 10:49 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    YouTube Preview ImageI met Brian Cowen in the corridor at Leinster House last night (corridors of power and all that). We exchanged pleasantries but afterwards I realised I had completely forgotten to ask  him, When Are You Giving Your State of the Nation Address? I bet my excellent colleague Harry McGee would have remembered, since he has been on this story for some time now. (more…)

  • George Mitchell: Blessed are the peacemakers

    January 23, 2009 @ 11:46 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The appointment of  George Mitchell as President Obama’s new Middle East peace envoy has to be the first piece of good news about that troubled part of the world in a long, long time. (more…)

  • Cute hoorism and the public purse

    January 19, 2009 @ 10:25 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The penny is beginning to drop. We have a debate about the excessive number of junior ministers and the plethora of (often very loquacious) committees in the Oireachtas. Now I see Enda Kenny is talking of a cut in the number of TDs. Can it be that the political system is reconnecting with the people at last? (more…)

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