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  • Cullen – more stumbling through valleys than scaling high mountains?

    March 9, 2010 @ 12:10 pm | by Harry McGee

    Martin Cullen quoted Woodrow Wilson when announcing his resignation last nigh (Richard Nixon also liked the phrase and possibly made it more famous): “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

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  • Martin Cullen, ex-minister, ex-TD

    March 8, 2010 @ 7:57 pm | by 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!
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  • Thank God it’s Thursday

    March 4, 2010 @ 11:29 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Having written a piece in Tuesday’s paper that the cabinet “reshuffle” would not take place that day and probably not the next, I feel a certain sense of relief at being proved right. Thank God it’s Thursday! (more…)

  • Calamity Coughlan?

    March 2, 2010 @ 12:45 pm | by Harry McGee

    Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has a huge perception problem. Her reputation is probably unrecoverable at this stage. The Sunday Times gave her a going-over, not once but twice, the weekend before last.

    However, the evidence that has the commentariat dub her as Calamity Coughlan is thin on the ground, when you begin to parse it. I think she is lacking in the requisite skills for this job, but for different reasons than  my fellow members of the commentariat have chosen. (more…)

  • The Mess We’re In and meaningless speculation about a reshuffle

    February 26, 2010 @ 2:50 pm | by Harry McGee

    One of my favourite books of all time is Joe Lee’s 1912 to 1985, A Social and Political history of Ireland.

    In the amazing Perspectives chapter at the end of the book, Lee rails and vents against the dearth of ideas, courage and innovation in Ireland during most of the first six miserable decades of the State. Denmark started off the last century on equal footing to Ireland but innovated, adapted and adjusted while Ireland stagnated and stalled into a decades-long sclerosis.

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  • Willie’s ouster: Was it a twick or Tweet?

    February 19, 2010 @ 11:28 am | by Harry McGee

    There will be a lot of commentary about how Dan Boyle’s two blogs on his Twitter site on Wednesday night did for Willie O’Dea. Though new media enthusiasts will always point trimphantly to how some miracle was achieved Facebook or Twitter or whatever, all it is is  a pretty basic form of communication, with its own benefits but also with its own limits.

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  • Short Visits Make Long Friends: The Case of George Lee

    February 8, 2010 @ 3:33 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The recruitment of George Lee and his subsequent by-election success were the best things that happened to Fine Gael for years. Now he’s gone: just like that. (more…)

  • Cowen off the cuff but still off the track

    February 5, 2010 @ 10:59 am | by Harry McGee

    Brian Cowen at a Fianna Fail Event last year. Pic Brian O’Brien

    It has been one of few moments that Brian Cowen has been on fire since becoming Taoiseach.

    Last year, he stood up at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and, without warning, delivered a master class in rhetoric.  First of all let’s pile up the negatives. His lacklustre record as Taoiseach. His general inaccessibility. His mule-like refusal to come out and tell it like it is. His gruesome prose. His secretive instincts. Suspicion of the media.

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  • Artist Puts Comic in the Picture

    February 2, 2010 @ 10:27 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    This particular blogger has devoted much time and energy to the fall-out from the Holocaust “joke” from our own Tommy Tiernan. The responses have been fairly dispiriting by and large and have weakened my faith in human nature – at least in its blogospheric manifestation. (more…)

  • Up in the Polls and Up in the Air

    February 1, 2010 @ 12:05 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The latest Sunday Business Post poll as well as the last poll in The Irish Times show a modest revival in Fianna Fail’s standing with the public. Clearly they will be hoping to hang in for as long as possible and stave off the general election until they are in a position to win or at least emerge with only minimal damage. (more…)

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