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  • Enda Lives to Fight Another Day

    February 11, 2010 @ 11:08 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Very ‘Oirish’ scene at Leinster House last night. The Fine Gael people were doing a “doorstep” with reporters outside the front gates. Two lads arrive on the scene, clearly coming from the pub (it’s about 12.30 a.m.) The  looks of puzzlement and bemusement on their faces are priceless. (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.

    (more…)

  • Mattie McGrath and the spirit of 1968

    February 3, 2010 @ 10:50 am | by Harry McGee

    Fianna Fail’s claim as the great catch-all party can in a sense be personified by the two honourable members for Tipperary South.

    I don’t think there is any other constituency where the contrast between party colleagues is more glaring.

    (more…)

  • An unremarkable recovery and a remarkable outburst

    January 22, 2010 @ 11:49 am | by Harry McGee

    poll.jpg

    A little more on the poll. I don’t know if the word stoic can be transferred to a political body. But in a sense all the political parties have remained stoic in the face of all the dramatic events of the past four months. The swings up and down are all within the margin of error. (more…)

  • Hybrid equals what?

    January 19, 2010 @ 1:09 pm | by Harry McGee

    Dan Boyle said he hopes to see a hybrid inquiry emerging from this morning’s Cabinet meeting.

    Hybrid equals compromise equals fudge equals watered-down mish mash.

    Attorney General Paul Gallagher has supposedly given advice that a Commission of Investigation is the safest option. I would not be surprised if that is the case, given Gallagher’s very conservative approach to date (judges’ pay being the most signal example).

    (And while I’m at it, wouldn’t it be great if we knew the identity of the 30 beaks who have not ponied up any contribution to the pension levy).

    Brian Lenihan will outline the scheme in the Dail today.

    Will the opposition attack? Are Kilkenny the best hurling team in the country? Is Brian O’Driscoll the best centre in the world?

    Of course, of course, of course.

    And they will be right. A Commission of Investigation is a classic bit of rope-a-dope strategy, string it along as long as possible, with nothing emerging this side of the next General Election.

  • Banking Inquiry

    January 18, 2010 @ 10:57 am | by Harry McGee

    There will be a kerfuffle when the Dáil returns tomorrow over the form that the banking inquiry will take. Most of the Sunday broadsheets yesterday reported that the Government is veering towards a Commission of Inquiry model.

    That’s the concept brought to us by Michael McDowell. And, yes, it works. Very well too. But it’s not a utility player as such. It’s specialist. Worked well with Judge Murphy’s investigation of how the Dublin Archdioices responded to allegations of clerical sex abuse. It was also effective when inquiring into the death of a young boy whilst in custody.

    (more…)

  • What kind of Inquiry for the banks?

    December 22, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    The Moriarty Tribunal, so the rumour goes, is due to issue its second report soon after 12 years in existence.

    (more…)

  • The Rebels within awaken

    December 3, 2009 @ 2:12 pm | by Harry McGee

    Being a backbencher for a Government party is the most unenviable job in Irish politics. Made more so because there is no tradition of rebellion here as they have in Westminster. (more…)

  • Audacity of opposition versus timidity of Government

    November 4, 2009 @ 10:42 am | by Harry McGee

    Arianna Huffington in her eponymous blog  poses a great question in her headline on Obama’s first year in office (see the blog posting here).

    “Obama One Year  Later,” it reads. “The Audacity of Winning vs. The Timidity of Governing”.

    (more…)

  • Seanad writs moved

    October 15, 2009 @ 11:54 am | by Harry McGee

    The writs have been moved to fill the two vacancies in the Seanad.

    There will be an election for both but it will be an election confined to the Oireachtas. So the seats wi go to Fianna Fail which is fair enough as both were Fianna Fail seats.

    Essentially they will be Fianna Fail nominations. Eoin Ryan must be a contender. So too must one or two of the rising stars: Averill Power comes to mind, though others will point to the fact that she failed to win a council seat in June

    Blogger Dan Sullivan, an authority on these matters, emailed me recently to point out that even if FF winthe next election, they have done so badly in the locals that they can’t muster a majority in the Upper House, even with the Taoiseach’s 11 nominations. Interesting times!

    * Addendum. There are three vacancies in the Seanad, two created by the death of Tony Kett and the election of Alan Kelly to Europe. The third only happened last weekend, when Senator Peter Callanan from Clonakilty died suddenly.

    Having been around Leinster House today, several names have come out. You can’t rule out the Greens getting Kelly’s seat but I’d say that FF will go for it. Other FF names who may get the nod are: Shay Brennan (an obvious choice after undertaking a thankless task in Dublin South); another son, Michael Smith, son of the epynomous Michael in Tipp North; a daughter, Cllr Mary Fitzpatrick, daughter of former Dublin Central TD, Dr Dermot Fitzpatrick.

    The Green who would be the most likely is its only newly-elected councillor, Mark Dearey in Co Louth.

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