Enda prepares for mud-slinging as Róisín gives it welly
SKETCH:RÓISÍN HAS walked on a matter of principle. That’s the long and the Shortall of it.
Her resignation stunned Leinster House last night.
This new Dáil session is turning into a proper nightmare for the Coalition.
There’ll be no peace for Enda Kenny at the ploughing today. He’ll need more than a pair of re-enforced wellies to cope with the incoming mud.
As if he hadn’t enough on his plate with the embarrassing exploits of Calamity James and Hapless Hogan, the Taoiseach was left reeling from the bank debt sucker punch delivered by Europe’s financial kingpins on Tuesday.
And where is Eamon Gilmore? In America, that’s where, crisis-managing his fractured party over the phone.
Joan Burton will be in his place for Leaders’ Questions this morning. The way things are going, it’ll be no surprise if she turns up in full widow’s weeds as a gesture of solidarity with Róisín.
What is certain is that Minister Burton will need the wellies, too. There’s been more manure flying around the Labour party in the last few days than in the livestock pens down at New Ross.
But Fine Gael is in no position to gloat. They’re also in a mess.
It all points to one thing: this government is sick. And with the preparations for the December budget simmering in the background, recovery doesn’t look likely anytime soon.
Is there a leader in the house?
That’s the big question.
If yesterday’s political events finished with Róisín Shortall’s bombshell announcement – some people are already muttering that the wrong Health Minister walked the plank, it began with a very unsettling communication from Europe.
On Tuesday night, a breakaway group of the EU’s three most powerful ministers for finance came together to discuss the financial crisis. At the end of their deliberations, they climbed on to the higher ground with their moneybags in tow and pulled up the ladder behind them.
The EU summit in June may have agreed in principle to help ease the burden of Ireland’s crippling banking debt. But the big three aren’t so sure.
These are no ordinary finance ministers. These are Marks and Guilder ministers. Or at least they were before the Euro arrived. We’re all equal now. Oh, yes.
To quote Enda in the Dáil: “every finance minister is equal when they sit around the table”.
The big worry yesterday was that some are more equal than others.
Unsporting behaviour it may be, but the special ones from Germany, Finland and the Netherlands have ganged up on poor Ireland and say they won’t be giving us a dig-out with our bank debt.