Two out of three ain't bad for FF high financiers


AFTER much coming and going, it appears that the main economic ministries are going to go to two Fianna Fail ministers and one Progressive Democrat - Mary Harney. Charlie McCreevy, Fianna Fail's long-standing Finance spokesman is now hot-favourite for the finance post.

As the man accused of introducing the dirty dozen" social welfare cuts he will be charged with taking a tough line on public spending to leave scope for tax cuts in the months ahead.

Brian Cowen's name had been mentioned as a possible inhabitant of Merrion Street, but it appears that he may go to the tricky post of health instead.

Mary O'Rourke is now expected to be sent to look after the many semi-states under the wing of the Department of Transport, Energy and Communications. Meanwhile Mary Harney is now expected to head to Kildare Street and the Department of Enterprise and Employment, which may also now cover the trade brief. The new secretary of the Department, Paul Haran, was previously a special adviser to Dessie O'Malley.

The outgoing administration is certainly doing everything in its power to ensure that the cupboard is bare of jobs announcements for the new minister, with a number of major projects pushed over the past week. And there may be a few more to come before Richard Bruton cleans out his desk at the end of next week.