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  • Reshuffle – early verdict

    March 23, 2010 @ 7:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    I’ve written a piece of analysis for the online edition, which should be going up about now. Here is it (written slightly less informally than the blog).

    There was never even a remote possibility that today’s Cabinet reshuffle would emulate Albert Reynolds’s sacking of eight Ministers when he became Taoiseach in 1992.


  • Rumour, Speculation, hot air.

    March 22, 2010 @ 6:59 pm | by Harry McGee

    I’ve just finished a bit of punditing on one of the radio stations, in which I dispensed what knowledge I have (not very much) of what’s going on in Brian Cowen’s mind. (more…)

  • Green jobs that are not very smart

    March 5, 2010 @ 11:36 am | by Harry McGee

    The Green Party, its chairman Senator Dan Boyle argued this week, is not about individuals and personalities, rather about policies.


    The phrase is a compelling one and the thinking behind it may be laudable. Indeed, it has been common currency among Green members for almost three decades, ever since the Irish ecological and green movement came into being in the early 1980s.


  • 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…)

  • Greens rotating the crop

    March 3, 2010 @ 2:12 pm | by Harry McGee

    If John Gormley stands down as Minister for the Environment and as party leader to honour a rotation agreement brokered two years ago, it’s not going to do the Greens much good. (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.


  • Willie? Won’t he? Resign? Gone at 9pm

    February 18, 2010 @ 10:22 pm | by Harry McGee

    The inevitable happened at 9 o’clock. The Taoiseach issued a statement saying he had accepted Willie’s resignation. It praised him for his contribution, made no reference really to the events that downed him. (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.


  • 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.

  • 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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