Fifteen uses for an abolished Seanad
This week Miriam Lord looks at Enda’s breakfast and Cong’s new quiet man
”Why didn’t we have a stand at the Tullamore Show . . .”
Eamon Gilmore and Joan Burton presented a united front at their party’s final referendum press conference on Wednesday. But touchiness at the top may linger.
In between the usual drifting and doodling, this column diligently took notes while the party leader spoke. And the same when it was Burton’s turn to speak, although we admit to having looked up to get a good squint at her nice cream fitted suit.
”I see you’ve woken up now” harrumphed one of the Tánaiste’s handlers, standing behind us.
”I see you’ve woken up, now that Joan is speaking . . .”
Is Brussels ready for Big Phil?
And in betting news this week, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is now 2/5 with Paddy Power to be Ireland’s next EU commissioner. Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and Minister for Justice Alan Shatter are both at 8/1, with Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton at 9/1.
The appointment will be made next summer after the local and European elections and the new team in Brussels will take over in November 2014 when commission president José Manuel Barroso and Ireland’s
Big Phil was in generous form when he addressed the Association of European Journalists during the week. He told the Mail’s political journalist, Ferghal Blaney, he regarded Neil T Blaney as a “political power house in the Custom House where we are still amending many of his Bills”. But he added he would be very happy if he could achieve the same level of success in local government reform as Neil T.
When asked about the possibility of some Senators causing problems for the Government if the Seanad is abolished he replied: “I’ve heard fellas asking people to ‘hold my coat’ in the past and they haven’t hit anyone.”
Meanwhile, we hear Hogan recently appointed former Garda commissioner Noel Conroy to the board of the Private Residential Tenancies Board.