Well folks, I have taken drugs. Marijuana quite a lot when I was at Harvard, cocaine once. And, as I recall, admitted to this in Hot Press. Is this now a qualification to be Taoiseach ? Of course not, because what we need is a leader who understands what is happening in this country and who will adopt policies and take action to deal with a problem that is literally destroying communities. Every available arm of the State must now be used to achieve the incarceration of the gang leaders involved in these feuds. CAB should immediately seize all assets they have acquired with no legal explanation – cars, houses, cash, whatever. The Special Criminal Courts must be used to deal with them and if any amendments to the existing legislation is required it should be an absolute priority of the incoming government to introduce them. For example, the collection of debts related to the sale of illegal substances could be deemed a crime. This might do something to alleviate the appalling thuggery and intimidation that is now blighting Drogheda and its hinterland. Drugs are awash in this State and it is an issue that any incoming government should take seriously. I hope it comes up in the forthcoming debates.
So who won the Virgin One debate? Probably Pat Kenny – sharpest suit and totally on top of his brief. To be honest there was little to separate them. Leo even admitted that he could do a reverse Confidence and Supply, opening up the possibility of a Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition and ultimately the reshaping of Irish politics. But back to now. Fair play to Leo for apologising for Fine Gael’s mistakes and his lack of empathy, even if that came across a little awkwardly. Still, Micheal displayed an air of quiet confidence and perhaps a sense that he really was speaking for “All”.
However, you have to hand it to Mary O’Rourke. She raised a very important issue on RTE on Thursday morning. Why wasn’t Mary Lou McDonald being included in these debates? This is a very valid argument. Like Micheal Martin, I have very deep concerns about Sinn Fein and particularly some rather shadowy figures in the North. However, it is hard to ignore the competence of some of their current deputies, Eoin O’Broin and Pearse Doherty in particular. Post-election it will come down to a numbers game.