Adams's native tongue can't put Old Father TIME off his stroke
DÁIL SKETCH:He might be Father of the House but Enda was skipping around like a two-year-old yesterday
AS THE longest-serving TD in the Dáil, the Taoiseach is also known as the Father of the House.
Although now that he’s become the cover-boy for an international news magazine, perhaps Old Father TIME might be a more apt title for Enda these days.
But enough of the old. He was skipping around town like a two-year-old yesterday thanks to a major announcement on the jobs front.
It’s a Taoiseach’s prerogative to go to these good news events and make speeches and get into the photographs. If it’s a relatively minor occasion – like new opportunities for car clampers – then Enda’s people might allow the Minister in charge of job creation to make the announcement all on his own.
Some people say Richard Bruton got away fairly lightly after he mounted an unsuccessful challenge to Kenny’s leadership.
But maybe not. Richard now toils away in a peculiar type of political purgatory. Enda made him boss of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and he is nothing if not diligent. Witness all the big announcements on those fronts.
Except when it comes to spreading the joyous word, the Taoiseach invariably sweeps in to steal his limelight.
And there’s nothing Bruton can do about it except smile and hope he isn’t cropped out of too many photographs. All the same it must rankle.
Yesterday’s good news was imparted from the comfortable confines of Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel. Government TDs from Kildare (that’s where the new jobs are to be created) were instructed to turn up and sit in the front row.
Just as well James Reilly and his Cabinet cohorts were caught trying to sex up the list of primary care locations otherwise they’d have had to hire a bigger hall to accommodate all the TDs turning up to share in the credit at the official launch.
With quite a few newsworthy topics to choose from, Enda was probably confident that the James Reilly controversy would fade into the background at Leaders’ Questions. As it turned out it didn’t.
Micheál Martin talked about the “entirely unacceptable” differential between tracker and standard rate mortgages.
A pessimistic Shane Ross wondered if Ireland’s “deal” on bank debt, supposedly reached at an EU summit back in June, had gone down the tubes. “June’s breakthrough is October’s non-event,” he declared.
The Taoiseach, buoyed by his trip to the Shelbourne, didn’t seem overly worried by the questions.