Posted on 9th September 2017

Slane Castle

People keep asking me what I think about Leo ?  Well, let me start with the only conversation I’ve had with him since he was elected Taoiseach.  I wished him good luck but told him I would be watching him.  Cheeky, I will admit, but it was on the sound deck at the U2 concert at Croker and what the hell, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for, evidence of radical leadership prepared to tackle the housing crisis, the never-ending problems in Health and the complexities of Brexit.

To be absolutely honest, I’m a little tired of seeing the photos of the Lycra Lads, Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, and the Taoiseach, looking like they are auditioning for the next super hero movie.  It just stokes up the impression that this administration is improperly focused on style rather than substance.  This has not been helped by much publicity surrounding the creation of the government’s new strategic communications unit, to be headed by John Concannon, who was behind the Wild Atlantic Way.  What is wrong with the Government Press Office and the Fine Gael Press Office ?  Is Mr. Concannon going to show us the path to Political Redemption.  So far we have had a lot of attention to happy clappy photographs of Leo with Justin Trudeau and a lot of nonsense about colourful socks.  It’s time to roll up their sleeves and get down to the serious business of government and produce results.  After all, the next general election is likely to be just around the corner and Fianna Fail will pull the plug when they think it is to their best advantage.

Now, on that subject, a lot of people have been saying to me with some trepidation that the next government is shaping up to be a Fianna Fail/Sinn Fein coalition and that Micheal Martin’s protestations that he would never agree to such an unholy alliance is just a load of guff.  Politics, as we all know, is ultimately a numbers game.  What if the Labour Party only has a paltry number of seats and Brendan Howlin is as eager as ever to play a role in the government of the nation.  He will put himself forward as a buffer to Grizzly Adam’s hombres and a new coalition will be born.

Such a prospect does not fill me with joy.  In fact it would be true to say over the last week dark shadows have emerged from the past.  In 1992 I stood for the Dail in County Louth, Gerry Adam’s constituency.  The murder of Tom Oliver loomed over the county.  It still does.  Gerry Adam’s denial that he knows nothing about it is just not credible –  and he wants to be in government ?

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