Imagine for one moment if your brother, your son, or indeed any friend or relative, is beaten to death with a nail-studded bar. Imagine also if it was falsely suggested by a senior politician that your brother, your son, or friend, was involved in criminality. How bloody awful is that ?
That is what Conor Murphy, the current Sinn Fein Finance Minister in the North did to the Quinn family and it took him 13 years to apologise. Think about that before you consider voting for Sinn Fein. If Sinn Fein were a normal political party he would be asked to resign, but then Sinn Fein is not a normal party operating within democratic norms. Voters beware.
There are reasons that Sinn Fein have been rising in the polls and one gets the clear impression that the government have only just woken up to the scale of the discontent. Leo Varadkar has ahead of him some very difficult days. He is not used to dealing with defeat. Already Fine Gael’s big beast, Michael Noonan, has suggested Pascal Donohoe would make a good Leader, which kind of makes Leo look a bit like Dead Man Walking. There will be rumblings amongst the Fine Gael membership who overwhelmingly voted for Simon Coveney as Leader. What remains of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party after the votes are counted will be fascinating to watch. Some Ministers could lose their seats.
I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to vote but I have no problem telling you what will be governing my thinking. Every constituency is different and I’m in Meath East. Fine Gael deserve a kicking but I always reward competence. I look to the future and Fianna Fail will have to form a government, ideally with the inclusion of the Greens. There you go. We all have our individual ways of deciding and what makes this election so fascinating is that I genuinely sense that the public are very engaged in the process and, without doubt, there is a significant appetite for change. I hope the result brings a Dail capable of dealing with the challenges we face.
I’m still in St. James’s – looking at the Children’s Hospital. Simon Harris needs a kick.