Enda in reverse while blasting on about new fleet
Dáil Sketch:It was a very lengthy Cabinet meeting and well past lunchtime before the Ministers emerged.
We found out why later in the afternoon: the Government had made a decision.
An embarrassing one, but a decision nonetheless. Things are looking up . . .
Meanwhile, certain Government deputies were full of cake, having celebrated Senator Eamonn Coghlan’s 60th birthday with him earlier in the day.
But that wasn’t the reason for the unfettered joy in Leinster House. This was because of the news that the G8 world leaders are coming over next year for The Gathering.
Gabriel Byrne, we hear, has been signed up to escort them across the Border from Fermanagh. This is because they are all leaders of a certain age and think Gabriel is great.
Their first stop will be a Seán Quinn rally in Ballyconnell and, after a set-dance from Mattie McGrath, the visitors will kiss the Blarney Stone.
Michael Ring will then convey the honoured guests to St James’s Gate and pour Guinness into them and Dr James Reilly will convey them home senseless.
Needless to say, this excellent news lifted the gloom around the Dáil a little, but not a lot. Abortion was the main topic of discussion in the evening, while the death of Savita Halappanavar was brought up again at Leaders’ Questions.
But back to the Cabinet.
At their weekly meeting yesterday, Ministers decided to order the HSE to reverse engines and remove three Galway-based consultants from the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Ms Halappanavar’s death at the hospital. When the Taoiseach announced this move, it took the sting out of the questions from Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams.
Donegal’s Thomas Pringle moved matters on to the closure of rural Garda stations. “The Government would close them all if it could get away with it,” snorted Michael Healy-Rae.
Enda said modern policing demands that members of the Garda Síochána be visible in their communities and not stuck in decrepit old buildings stamping forms. “A variety of opportunities present themselves in that regard,” he remarked.
“Maybe you’ll put up photos,” suggested Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley.
“Like scarecrows,” said Mattie McGrath.
The Government has purchased more than 200 new Garda cars, boasted Enda, prompting a cryptic “Lucky bags at Christmas” from Mattie.
The Taoiseach is convinced that the increased visibility of our guardians of the peace is marvellous.
Healy-Rae set him straight.
“That’s because they’re following you. You see them all the time.” And he couldn’t argue with that.