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  • Walking the plank, Greens preening on the banks, Cycling from the ranks.

    September 14, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    John O’Donoghue

    John O’Donoghue’s statement is just out and I’ve read it and it’s long enough on volume but short enough on substance. Essentially, he refuses to engage on the subject of his travel expenses other than a half-apology at the end for some of those that ‘seemed’ high. There has been a strange silence from opposition parties about this, save for Aengus O Snodaigh and Paschal Donohoe.

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  • Never underestimate the voter etc

    September 2, 2009 @ 5:02 pm | by Harry McGee

    As a quick follow-on to this morning, there are a number of strands to the Fianna Fail campaign other than the nuclear option of: vote Yes or else we’re all goners. Brian Cowen’s delivery of the speech won’t have Barack Obama quaking in his boots but the content was interesting… and substantial (devoid of a lot of the cliched guff to which he can be prone). You can read it for yourself HERE . 

    So here are my own observations, without having had the luxury of proper contemplation.

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  • Slugfest

    August 27, 2009 @ 10:35 am | by Harry McGee

    The row between the Government and Fine Gael over Nama is good old-fashioned toe-to-toe political pugilism. The subject matter of the debate is complicated (class exercise: explain the difference between senior, and subordinated, debt in one sentence) but the intensity and adversarial nature of it is unmistakable.

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  • There may be trouble ahead

    August 25, 2009 @ 11:28 am | by Harry McGee

    Over the past couple of years, I have done the Overlook Hotel metaphor to death when describing Leinster House during the summer months. (For those who are not film buffs, it’s the hotel to which Jack Nicholson takes his family in Stanley Kubrick’s film on Stephen King’s novel The Shining).

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  • Stark Honesty (for once) in Leinster House

    August 22, 2009 @ 1:58 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Maybe it’s the Dog Days of August but there is an air of considerable fatalism in Leinster House these days. Talking to seasoned politicians this week, two strong messages came forward, both of them surprising to a greater or lesser extent.

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     Gloom and doom at Leinster House (Photograph by Alan Betson)

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  • Thirty Years Waiting for Seanad Reform

    August 19, 2009 @ 9:36 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

     It’s hard to believe that 30  years have elapsed since the people decided by referendum to extend the Seanad election franchise beyond Trinity and the National University of Ireland, to include graduates of other institutions of higher education.

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    ‘Non-TCD and non-NUI graduates need not apply for a vote’ (Photograph of Seanad chamber by Alan Betson) (more…)

  • Bigger questions

    July 21, 2009 @ 7:38 pm | by Harry McGee

    This half of the Politics blog has been away for the past couple of weeks. The village in the Swiss Bernese Oberland that I stayed in had the connectivity of rural Ireland. That, added to the extortionate rates that O2 charge for data roaming abroad (and I’m sure it is no exception) meant that little news from Ireland came through. (more…)

  • First Anniversary Reflections

    July 8, 2009 @ 8:51 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    It nearly slipped past. Today is the first anniversary of this blog. As it happens, a young graduate student has interviewed both of us separately on the experience.

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    Aargh, no, not another referendum campaign (Photograph by Matt Kavanagh) (more…)

  • Rope a dope?

    June 17, 2009 @ 12:59 pm | by Harry McGee

    I am looking at Brian Cowen on the TV screen in the office, drudging through Taoiseach’s Questions. The Dáil this week has been like a burst balloon  or a wind without sails or an end-of-season clash between two mid-table teams.

    There has been a sense of tiredness – maybe it’s anti-climax – after the elections season and the emotion of the debate on the Ryan report. Nobody has whipped themselves into a froth of fury this week. There have been some more wringing of hands by parties (mainly the Greens) about the future and all the dreadful things that may be in store.

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  • Could Our Political Parties Organise a Booze-Up in a Brewery?

    June 15, 2009 @ 1:23 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Here’s a little saga that may or may not speak volumes about the political set-up in this country. The story begins with a news report by yours truly last week on a report from the Standards in Public Office Commission about the funding of political parties. flag-1.jpg

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