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  • 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.

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  • Country and Western Alliance 2009?

    November 5, 2009 @ 8:55 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    A certain wag who worked on this newspaper some years back used to have great fun at the expense of aspirants for jobs and promotions that appeared “on the board”. His favourite witticism was to tell one or other of the hopefuls: “Your name is being linked to the job – people are saying ‘Joe Bloggs hasn’t a chance of getting that one’.” Oh the cruelty of it! But it was very funny and the victim usually laughed as well.

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     Tá Máire réidh! (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.

  • 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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  • The Outlook is Blue

    September 10, 2009 @ 10:07 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Nothing is certain except death and taxes but the polls do suggest that a Fine Gael-led government is a strong possibility if, as many currently expect, a general election is held in the next six or nine months. 

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    Enda Kenny – not everyone’s cup of tea? (Photograph by David Sleator)

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  • Where is the silver lining? And a bit on NAMA…

    September 3, 2009 @ 4:34 pm | by Harry McGee

    There is none. Silver lining that is. See the bit on NAMA at the end.

    We have the result of the next election already and it is this: change of government. The only question is: when. Some of my colleagues believe as early as the New Year. I say the end of 2010, at the earliest.

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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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  • 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…)

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