Cabinet longs for rewind button as EU glory fades
The Anglo tapes and abortion Bill were poor consolation for sufferers of the Post-Presidency Slump
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan: collapsed in his seat like a warm Cornetto. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Cabinet sat in differing stages of subsidence, as if the air was slowly escaping from their inner tubes.
Ministers were coming down from their European high, experiencing the Post-Presidency Slump.
Enda and Eamon had just flown in from Strasbourg, having made their fond farewells after six glorious months away from the drudgery of the Dáil.
The Taoiseach, all but blowing kisses at his fellow leaders before he left, proclaiming himself to be “truly, madly, deeply European”.
The Irish party left with the applause of their peers ringing in their ears.
And it was back, back to the ongoing AA meeting in Leinster House, where Anglo and abortion continued to be the main items on the political menu.
The abortion bit would come at teatime, when the keenly awaited vote on Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill was scheduled to happen.
There was no sign of Lucinda Creighton during Leaders’ Questions, although it was assumed the Minister of State for European Affairs had travelled back on the jet with the Taoiseach and Tánaiste.
The pilots must have been worried about a sudden drop in cabin pressure with Lucinda on board, given that she is at odds with the boss over the abortion legislation.
But that’s a different battle: over on the Continent, Enda couldn’t praise her enough for her sterling work and “invaluable contribution” to the Irish presidency.
Everyone was happy and there were no reports of individual oxygen masks falling from the overhead panels as they flew home.
“I’ve just returned from briefing the European Parliament in Strasbourg,” the Taoiseach, resplendent in his green presidency tie, told the House. James Bannon, above on the backbenches, wore the other one.
They’ll be able to wash them now.
The Post-Presidency Slump. And a night-time Cabinet meeting still ahead of them all after the abortion business was done.
Oh, yes. The tapes. Any more of them from the other banks, Gerry wondered? Not an unreasonable question, if a little on the innocent side from the Sinn Féin leader.
As it happens, there are, replied Enda. There are tapes available from the other banks.
“The Minister for Finance will be writing to those banks tomorrow, clearly setting out the position that those tapes be preserved in the interests of being available for a banking inquiry.”
Oh, thank God for the banks. We can trust them. Those recordings were probably preserved as soon as the bankers were found out, carefully preserved in concrete and stored for safekeeping where the fishes swim.
However, while copies of some files have been removed by gardaí from the Department of Finance, the Taoiseach said “there is not a series of tape decks in the Department of Finance, similar to those contained in the banks”.