OUR ROLE TO PRESS LEO ON EVENTS

I have only met Leo Varadkar once since he became Taoiseach.  That was when U2 played Croke Park,.  I wished him good luck and told him I would be watching him – that, after all, is what folks like me are supposed to do, hold people to account and make observations.  After all I am not part of any Confidence and Supply Deal.  So it turns out that Leo is a little upset with the press.  Well here’s news for you.  I think you have had an easy ride.  Let’s start with this business of colourful socks.  I’m a veteran when it comes to this subject.  Unlike a poser like you I’ve been wearing them since I was 15.  I wore odd socks first by accident and something wonderful happened and have worn them for good luck ever since.  I think wearing silly socks to impress Justin Trudeau is just what it looks – damn silly.  This is the thing about you, Leo, matters tend to look a little contrived.  I remember the cup cakes you gave to waiting journalists during the F.G. leadership contest – the dinner you gave in Slane for local councillors – then when you became Taoiseach the crash and burn of your Strategic Communications Unit.  Oops, you didn’t like that.  The sucking up to Mary Lou MacDonald in a craven attempt to lay the groundwork for a S.F. F.G. coalition – you want to be careful with that, because it is causing disquiet in the Fine Gael ranks.

I met Tony Blair in a private setting before he ever became Prime Minister and at the time I walked away from the meeting with a sense that here was a man who was smooth and slippery and would do whatever it required to gain power.  There are a growing number of people who see similar characteristics in you.  I think it is fair to say that in this respect, question marks can be raised about the government’s current campaign to seek a seat at the UN Security Council.  Is this driven in any way by the Taoiseach’s desire to expand his role on the world stage ?  I don’t know the answer to that question but I damn well defend my right to raise it.

In recent days Michael Lowry has returned to the front pages.  The thickness of his brass neck never ceases to amaze me.  I remember him when he was flying high – a right Flash Harry.  I was warned to stay away from him.  Lowry’s return to the front pages serves to remind us all about the findings of the Moriarty Tribunal and the damning things it has to say about him and Denis O’Brien.  Then on Wednesday, RTE offered up “Denis O’Brien : The story so far”.  I watched it.  I learnt nothing new.  What I am waiting for is very simple.  The conclusion of the Investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.  I fear I shall be waiting a while.