Gilmore comes out from the shadows over O’Donoghue…

The quiet that greeted Labour leader Eamon Gilmore when he made his big play in the Dail yesterday and set the agenda for the John O’Donoghue’s rather hurried and undignified departure from Office of Ceann Comhairle. In one deft move (having given Fianna Fail leader Brian Cowen enough rope to hang himself with) this intervention lead to the issuing of JOD’s announcement of his pending resignation at just after 10 last night… Forget the rights and wrongs of the reasons for his going (and there is a legitimate defence to be made on the CC’s part), and look for a moment at the way Fianna Fail’s tried and tested stonewalling of the Opposition broke down. The power of Gilmore’s moment arises not from the call itself, but the refusal of the Taoiseach to deal with an issue concerning Dail Eireann (ie the legislature, not the executive) in a multilateral, off piste manner… Offside and his only remaining party sponsor politically unmanned, O’Donoghue had no option but to walk… Leaving even Fine Gael playing catch-up…Adds: As bootman points out below, Sinn Fein were the first to call for the Taoiseach’s in a letter which was sent directly and privately on Monday, and then press conferenced yesterday morning…

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  • bootman

    Bullshit, shinners were first out to call for him to go, Gilmore playing catch up

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s something I pointed out last night bootman. But you are entirely missing the importance of the telling detail of how Gilmore played it yesterday.

    Calling a meeting to deal with the matter in a non political between heads of parties was his first positive play, then in response to negative response, he had the Taoiseach (and JOD, and FG to be honest) caught cold. Right up until last night, FF TDs were in denial that JOD would have to go…

    It wasn’t what happened on the floor of the Dail that counted in the end and case JOD to walk; but what didn’t happen behind the scenes…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    re. “The power of Gilmore’s moment arises not from the call itself, but the refusal of the Taoiseach to deal with an issue concerning Dail Eireann (ie the legislature, not the executive) in a multilateral, off piste manner”

    Yes, great stuff and Gilmore is an excellent performer (poor Enda looks worse by the day by comparison)- and easily the best of the leaders in the house – and was able to present himself as reluctant excutioner due to the absence of Cowen from the suggested get together.

    A brilliant manouevre – you can picture him ditching his sombre tone when he leaves the chamber and allowing himself a massive self-congratulatory smile and perhaps even a little jump in the air and a clicking of heels.

    2009 is still favourite (just) as year of the next election with PP (papal predictor) and they have the chances of the nicley named ‘Green Mutiny’ at 13/8 – though the odds on them staying in government at 4/9.

  • I think that the misreading of the situation by Cowen is the real person who screwed up here. He could have at least bought O’Donoghue some times by agreeing to a meeting on the old talks about talks basis. Bertie would met with people at the drop of a hat because he knew the meeting was for optics only.

    I would agree that Enda Kenny was very much overshadowed by Gilmore’s call for the CC’s resignation but I suspect that FG generally were looking to play this out over the weekend where it would have some impact on the Green party conference (bringing down the government and forcing a genera election is the big prize here). That boil is somewhat lanced by his resignation announcement, but not gone entirely. I also think the part of SF in upping the ante has been missed in a lot of the commentary. I’d personally rate it as SF/Gilmore B+, FG C and Cowen an F.

  • dunreavynomore

    “Bullshit, shinners were first out to call for him to go, Gilmore playing catch up”

    Very true but speaking to journalists outside the dail did not compare to tackling the Bull in his own bailiwick. A bit more political savvy and Sinn Féin will learn that where you speak may be more important than what you say, and that ‘added value’ like Gilmore’s calling of a meeting, has much more credibility than running to the press.

  • Mick Fealty

    DNM:

    Did you not get the email about your red card?

  • bettyswallox

    one good thing that will come out this will be dumping of ff and all it’s total incompetence,also it will give us a chance to see if kenny/gilmore really do have any real solutions to the mess we are in