From dipped toes to Dicey Reilly's woes
Noonan and Howlin’s briefing was almost as mind-numbing as Dr Debt’s Dáil statement, writes MIRIAM LORD
SOGGY TOE time now.
Although better still would be a serious outbreak of trench foot. Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin are keen to catch it, in the national interest.
At the troika review, they pegged out their wet socks with pride.
For this is good news. Michael and Brendan were happy to announce yesterday that the nation had been dipping its “toe in the water”.
Total immersion is the objective. This is some way off yet.
“Getting back into the market is the real test of success,” said the Minister for Finance.
However, we are halfway up the ladder to the high-diving platform.
The troika is pleased. “Steady as she goes,” said the Minister for Public Expenditure, speaking from the middle rung of the four-year bailout programme.
He had no surprises for his audience in the Government Press Centre: the troika handed down their latest set of economic targets and their Irish enforcers met them. “We’ve done this seven times now,” smiled Brendan, relaxing in the post-troikal glow with his Fine Gael colleague.
“The fact that it’s routine is the most noticeable issue,” he added, as Michael nodded in agreement.
Their double-hander after troika reviews is now a regular feature.
Noonan and Howlin sitting shoulder to shoulder and batting the financial breeze after the Bailout Boys have departed isn’t really box office any more.
As the reviews roll around and the report cards pile up, the audience for the latest progress bulletin grows smaller and smaller.
On track, targets met, difficult journey going forward, still a way to travel, challenging budget ahead . . . It’s a familiar refrain now.
But it was nice to hear that the troika representatives are getting the chance to go out and about in Dublin during their stays here.
According to Brendan, they are “very satisfied” with Croke Park.
Smart move, there, Minister, exposing them to a spot of senior hurling at the weekend. They’ll have returned, traumatised, to their fancy glass offices after witnessing the fury of an All-Ireland hurling clash.
Best not upset the Irish too much, they will tell their masters. They have sticks and, by God, do they know how to use them.
But then Brendan ruined the moment. It seems they were more taken by “the architecture of Croke Park”.
The man is a disgrace to Wexford. Unless he brought them all the way up to the skywalk above the Cusack Stand and threatened to throw them off.
Michael and Brendan will have been happy, though, with the way yesterday’s briefing went.
Everyone is so used to listening to them by this stage that they don’t have to explain much any more. The Promiscuous Notes – there is always a question about them – are now the “Prom Notes”.