Dan and Wille

Dan Boyle, in fairness, is acknowledged to do two things well. He is a regular contributor to the Seanad and is also a good user of social media. Therefore when I saw his (now famous tweet) when heading into Leinster House on Wednesday night I thought something was up. When he didn’t appear in the Seanad yesterday I knew something was up.

We placed a motion of No Confidence in Deputy O’Dea yesterday morning in the chamber. It was a moment of gravity. FF didn’t know that it was coming. The absence of the Green Party Senators added to the sense that something was going to happen. We then saw the Government barely win a vote in the Dail at lunchtime. The simmering atmosphere in Leinster House began to crackle.

And then, the fatal wound. Most such wounds in politics are self inflicted. Yesterday was no different. A disastrous performance on the News at One where the Minister described himself as a victim ended the saga.

What now for the Green Party? At the end of the day they voted for a minister on Wednesday and then finished off his career yesterday. But I think what this illustrates is a lack of experience in Government. They were bounced into a decision on Wednesday and then realised they did the wrong thing. They’ll pay a price for that lack of judgement. In the end I’m pretty sure that both FF and the Greens will do all they can to avoid an election now. Almost certain decimation would await them on their current polling figures. However this week again shows that the little things are as dangerous as the big ones in politics!

Paschal Donohoe is a Fine Gael Senator

  • RobertNoonan

    I am mentionning this here as unfortunately this is not being discussed. Presently in Naas 1 one man is on hunger strike in connection with the TEEU dispute with Green Isle Foods in Naas , Co Kildare.3 workers were dismissed and the LRC and other parties say they should be re-employed, but the company won’t take them back. Next Saturday at 12 in Naas there will a demonstration in support of the workers. I call on all Workers to go to this March and support these felllow workers.27 Feb @ 12 Naas

  • Munsterview

    The Greens were shortchanged yet again by F.F., they threw shapes for a scalp and were fobbed off with a mustache !

  • Lugs Brannigan

    “Mr O’Dea’s future seemed secure last night when Mr Cowen, Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail, said that although the Minister’s behaviour had been ‘unacceptable’, he would be allowed to stay on in his job. ‘Everyone was entitled to make a mistake,’ he said. Mr O’Dea’s performance as a minister had been ‘excellent’.”

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me…

  • Jimmy Sands

    “But I think what this illustrates is a lack of experience in Government.”

    What it demonstrates is cowardice. They were bounced the second time, not the first. I’m no fan of FF, but a well liked and competent Minister is gone for a stupid mistake that had no conceivable bearing on his fitness for office. Feeding frenzies are unattractive. This is the sort of rubbish that puts people off politics.

  • Munsterview

    Maurice Quinlivan in drawing public attention to the claim that Willie O’Dea had six civil servants employed in helping with his constituency affairs and questioning the appropriateness of this, had raised a legitimate matter of political concern regarding the use or possible misuse of public funds.

    When Willie O’Dea was questioned on this and other matters raised by Maurice Quinlivan, he did not directly address any of these issues put to him by the Limerick Leader reporter, but instead resorted to evasion and diversion by launching into what was reported in the Irish Times as a ferocious attack in which the object of the exercise seemed to be to throw enough mud at his opponent in the hope that some of would stick.

    The reporters questions on the issues raised per se went unanswered . They still remain unanswered !.

    M.Q. on april 9th. issued legal proceedings against O’D arising from some of the allegations spewed about in the course of this quoted ferocious attack, O’D replied by sworn affidavit on April 14th, and the hearing was on April 20th.

    When before the court O’D was not just another election candidate, he had standing and status as a Barrister and as a T.D. When Mr. Justice Cooke refused M.Q’s application he said that he noted O’Dea’s denial and implicit in that was that O’Dea was believed and M.Q. was not.

    That certainly was the impression the Limerick and other public had. Consequently that untrue and non factual affidavit of O’D could not but have enhanced his standing with his electorate while correspondingly diminishing that of M.V.

    Because of O’D untrue and non factual affidavit M.V. was not only deprived by the court of his constitutional rights and protections that he should have received from the court but he was also de facto portrayed as person that the court did not believe in a situation where given the fact that he was running for public office, his credibility was vital.

    Are we expected to believe that O’D of F.F. did not make use of this issue against M.Q. when canvassing?

    As a matter of honor it was already a resigning issue, it is unfortunate that it was brought about by political expedience rather than principle but being Irish Public Life and O’Daliagh long in his grave, I suppose it is a start!

  • richiep

    “What it demonstrates is cowardice. They were bounced the second time, not the first. I’m no fan of FF, but a well liked and competent Minister is gone for a stupid mistake that had no conceivable bearing on his fitness for office. Feeding frenzies are unattractive. This is the sort of rubbish that puts people off politics.

    I find it hard to believe that any non partisan observer would hold such a view. A government minister ( also a barrister ) would have us believe that an untruth was put by mistake in an affidavit lodged in court. If that was done by a Joe Soap, he would have been up for perjury in jig time. Our beliefs have not been tested as much since Bertie claimed that the unexplained money came from backing horses.

  • Lugs Brannigan

    “Mr O’Dea’s future seemed secure last night when Mr Cowen, Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fail, said that although the Minister’s behaviour had been ‘unacceptable’, he would be allowed to stay on in his job. ‘Everyone was entitled to make a mistake,’ he said. Mr O’Dea’s performance as a minister had been ‘excellent’.

    Apologies. Should be…

    “”Mr Stagg’s future seemed secure last night when Dick Spring, the deputy prime minister and leader of the Labour Party, said that although the Minister’s behaviour had been ‘unacceptable’, he would be allowed to stay on in his job. ‘Everyone was entitled to make a mistake,’ he said. Mr Stagg’s performance as a minister had been ‘excellent’.
    (London) Independent, 1994.

    Everyone’s allowed to make a mistake apparently. Unless of course you’re a FFer of course.

  • Munsterview

    No Lugs……….. Not different standards, just an angered public and a fine appreciation by F.F. backroom boys as to what the public will wear and what they would get away with! One has only to look at the antics of Ahern Minister for Justice during the debate, to see that it was all a big joke as far as any Justice implications went.

    The George Lee event showed that F.G Enda Kenny and his front benchers had the same miserable, petty preoccupations with maintaining power within an existing, ineffectual cabal.

    Wee Willies exit had absolutely nothing to do with new morals in Fianna Fail, it had to do with retaining power or risking loosing power ! Did Michael O’ Kennedy and the rest of F.F. publicly take back their peans of praise to their Fellow Government Minister when he was sentenced and jailed? In Gogartys infamous outburst ‘Did they F*** ! Those edifying words of praise and tribute to a convicted and time served criminal are still part of the Dail Records.

    I suppose he too was hard done too by your standards !

  • Jimmy Sands

    Richie p,

    If it was perjury then charge him. At least let one of those pols who went after him make that allegation in terms outside the House. Lugs is right to make the comparison with Stagg. the question is not whether he screwed up (clearly he did) but whether the screw up was incompatible with carrying on. If it were perjury then I would agree. I don’t believe it was, but for those who believe otherwise there is a mechanism which doesn’t involve trial by media

  • Munsterview

    Jimmy

    ” If it was perjury then charge him “. To the best of my knowledge a member of the Greens have made a formal complaint to the Gardai. Time will tell what will come out of that !

    As to the Emmet Stag/Willie O’Dea comparisons ; this smacks of what in the North is known as ‘whataboutery’ In (5) above I pointed out as to how M Quinlivan was disadvantaged both in the courts and before his electorate arising from the court decision.

    Willie O’Dea claims that he became aware on July 24th, that information in his affidavit sworn as true was not true, yet it was a full eighteen days later on August 11th, before the untruth was officially admitted.

    When was M. Quinlivan informed by Willie O’Dea after the 24th that his affidavit was untrue ?

    Why did Willie O’Dea, in light of the public wrong done to M.Q, not publicly apologize immediately after the 24th, If he knew that he had wronged somebody in such a damaging way and he was genuinely contrite? Why the delay in putting the public record straight ? Why did he not have the common decency to give M.Q. a phone call himself in person the following day ?

    It is many a long year now since George Colley spoke of low standards in high places ! At what point do we begin to insist on high standards in High Places ? On a matter of honor it was a resigning issue, the disgrace is compounded by the circumstances of how the resignation had to be forced. If it was a matter of ‘trial by media’ it was only because the politicians had not done what they should have in the first instance and left it to the media to do their business.

  • RobertNoonan

    Lugs is back from the Dead. Now that is what we need a new Lugs Branigna, to clean our streets of all the filth and scum out there.