So, as things stand, in the midst of the deepest economic crisis that has faced the State since its inception, and with many people crying out for leadership and reform, we are confronted by the absolute certainty that our next Taoiseach will be a man who has been in the Dail since 1975 and is the father of the house. As I write this column and to the intense relief of his supporters he hasn’t so far made a gaffe. He has even been to Germany to talk to Angela Merkel. The future Minister for Enda, Phil Hogan, must be delighted and Fine Gael handler, Frank Flannery, must be trembling with excitement at the extraordinary prospect that the Blue Shirts might get an overall majority.
I do not envy the task of this incoming government , for immediately following its formation it will be faced with the job of defending the nation from financial penury. Fine Gael and Labour’s achievements in the election were stunning, and Enda Kenny’s dedication to electioneering by personally telephoning voters nothing short of inspired.
St. Patrick’s Day was special. I was home. Standing in the streets of Slane holding my granddaughter and watching a float go by celebrating 30 years of rock and roll, in the midst of a village steeped in history was joyous. St. Patrick lit his fire from the Hill of Slane. White doves of peace were released during the parade. It was a gathering of family and friends. There were cheerful and smiling faces everywhere. It was a reminder that we can get through this dark economic crisis that threatens to engulf us.
What a week. Ming Flanagan, the Independent T.D. for Roscommon/South Leitrim, is giving up smoking dope. I am shocked. Michael Lowry, Independent T.D. for North Tipperary, should take it up as, quite frankly, if he was permanently stoned he might have some excuse for so brazenly challenging the conclusions of the Moriarty Tribunal.