Miriam Lord’s Week: Áras garden party on moral high ground

Michael D Higgins wants his term to be a Presidency of ideas – recognising new paradigms of thought and action

Sat, Jun 28, 2014, 01:00

It’s all part of the “In the Footsteps of Humbert” festival this weekend. Tomorrow sees the general’s Franco-Irish army take on the British redcoats in a full-dress 1798 Rebellion battle re-enactment.

Speaking of battlefields, Ring tells us he would be delighted to escort soccer player Luis Suárez to some GAA matches in the coming months as the All-Ireland championships hot up.

“Suárez won’t be able to do much in Liverpool until November, so he’s welcome to come to any of our fine stadiums here to watch some real, manly, football action. If he wants to keep his eye in, we could throw him into a hurling match for a few pucks. That’d soften his cough.”

One sushi breaks ice for Shatter Alan Shatter is a big fan of sushi. On Thursday, we spotted him enjoying a lunchtime fix in Yamamori Noodles on Sth Gt George’s Street. An agency photographer, on a mission to get a current shot of the former minister for justice, loitered outside. Alan likes that Japanese restaurant.

In March, when the Government took off on the annual St Patrick’s Day airlift, the controversy surrounding his handling of the Garda whistleblowers story seemed to be dying down. The Government was relieved and Shatter went off to Mexico thinking the worst was now behind him.

But he didn’t figure on Leo Varadkar popping up at a road safety conference in Dublin Castle where he praised the whistleblowers for highlighting abuses in the penalty points system and called them “distinguished”. Leo will have been aware that his colleague in justice had pointedly refused to give any credit to Garda John Wilson and Sgt Maurice McCabe and was standing by the then Garda commissioner, who had described their actions as “disgusting”.

This led to a souring of the relationship between the two ministers. Shatter was furious. Varadkar’s comments revived the controversy and drew Labour into the row. It was said that they were barely speaking to each other.

The poisonous atmosphere between the two went on for weeks. Then Leo went out for a bite to eat with a pal and ended up in Yamamori. They were led to a table only to find Alan sitting at the next one. Peace talks broke out. The incident is now known as the “Sushi Summit”.

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