Politics »

  • Butcher, Baker, Cabinet-Maker

    March 13, 2011 @ 10:16 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    It’s an unlikely prospect, but if any TDs in the Government parties feel they were excluded from Cabinet because of either being too young or a female, a legal case could theoretically be taken against the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.


  • Pat Kenny’s new show and the (other) only show in town.

    September 22, 2009 @ 8:53 pm | by Harry McGee

    I didn’t get to see Pat Kenny’s new show, the Frontline,  last night (link here)  but will look at it on the RTE player tonight when I get home. My colleagues thought it was very worthy and very heavy and didn’t have the ping you would expect from a brand new show.

    What did ye think? (more…)

  • ‘He Who Is Not With Us Is McGuinness’

    April 25, 2009 @ 12:00 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    So are we in for a period of dissent in Fianna Fáil that will be reminiscent of the Haughey era? John McGuinness is certainly not taking his dismissal as a junior minister lying down. But could he seriously undermine Cowen’s leadership?


    Mary Coughlan and John McGuinness in happier times, with still-in-situ Minister of State Michael Finneran on left (photograph by Eric Luke) (more…)

  • Pat Kenny’s New Politics Show: a cri de coeur

    March 28, 2009 @ 6:43 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Pat Kenny showed that he can keep a secret. His announcement that he was quitting the Late Late Show to take over the Monday-night politics slot on RTE television caught everyone by surprise.


  • Those Senators on the ‘Late Late Show’

    March 21, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    People who couldn’t get through to RTE to complain about the Senators on the Late Late Show last night were ringing The Irish Times instead. It’s very hard to blame them. To watch the programme, click here (item is about one hour into the programme.)


  • Jade Goody and the Death of Privacy

    February 26, 2009 @ 7:40 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    As a former cancer patient,  now happily in possession of a clean bill of health, I have to say I find the whole Jade Goody melodrama quite disturbing. Obviously one has to feel great human sympathy for someone in her predicament but . . . whatever happened to dignity? (more…)

  • When Kenny met Carey

    February 1, 2009 @ 12:59 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Before it fades from memory, the interview Pat Kenny did with Government Chief Whip Pat Carey on RTE Radio last Tuesday is worth a listen. Eamon Gilmore is on for about 12 minutes at the start but when Carey comes on, things start to get hot. Click here.

  • They friggin’ love ya, Brian

    December 1, 2008 @ 1:46 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

     Who would want to be Taoiseach at this time?There have always been doubts as to whether Brian Cowen really wanted the job. Given the state of the economy, he must be having the occasional doubt himself. (more…)

  • You might not know this…

    October 15, 2008 @ 1:18 pm | by Harry McGee

    Brian Lenihan’s most difficult moments after delivering the Budget didn’t come anywhere in the vicinity of Leinster House.  The set-speech format is so engrained there that no amount of huffing or puffing from the far side of the House is going to hurt him. (more…)

  • Brian Cowen on the Late Late Show

    September 5, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | by Harry McGee

    The Late Late Show has become a rehab centre for prominent politicians whose careers are hitting a downer, providing a home-grown Oprah moment to give a little lift to flagging reputations.

    It’s did the trick for Bertie (his LLS show appearance in the run-up to the 2007 campaign did him no harm at all as he showed himself expert at striking exactly the right balance between serious politician and man of the people).

    Tonight will be very important for Cowen. There has been no substantial interview with him for two months and tonight will tell us a lot about the measure of the man. He’ll have to be able to give a strong impression to the public that he is in command and knows how to get the country out of this crisis when Pat Kenny asks hard questions (and, with his current affaris edge, he will ask hard questions).

    He’ll also to be able to lighten up and show a little of his human side, his talent for mimickry, his quick wit.

    And as sure as rain on any give day this summer and autumn, Brian Cowen will be prevailed upon to belt out a song… which he will do!.

    It’s the Late Late and it’s classed as light entertainment. But don’t let that fool you. This is an enormous test. The history of the show is littered with dead political stiffs like Padraig Flynn’s spectacular gaffe about Tom Gilmarting and then Northern secretary Peter Brooke’s disastrous decision to sing ‘My Darling Clementine’ only days after an IRA bomb had killed several people in 1992.

    Cowen is a bit like Eamon Dunphy. You are so mesmerised when they are outraged or outspoken or on the warpath that you forget how incredibly dull and boring they can be at other times. Cowen is ultra cautious and always on guard. So his biggest danger when asked about the economy will be giving long indeterminate and rambling answers, kicking to touch in slow motion.

    The problem with the human side of the interview is that he just won’t lighten up. He was on with the supreme witterer and interview-lite merchant Ryan Tubridy early this year and came across as stolid and wooden. The same happened with Pat Rabbitte. This kind of chat show dross is well outside their milieu and their comfort zone… unlike the chameleon Bertie who thrived.

    Of course, it’s important to hear what Cowen does say. Knowing his paranoid caution, he’s going to let no cats out of any bags. But he needs to be able to communciate the sense of where the Government’s thinking is and the kind of strategy they want to implement. And despite the Government media handlers dismissing my story about a State of the Nation address at every turn, you know, if it works out well for Cowen tonight… this might in fact be it.

    But it will be keenly watched on all kinds of levels. This will be our first real chance to assess whether the dauphin prince of many years is really a king, or merely another man who would be king.

    If you want another listen to his rendition of Paddy’s Green Shamrock in Tullamore (with cartoon accompaniment!) here it is:

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