So Francie Molloy is the new ‘principal’ deputy Speaker for the Northern Ireland Assembly. New as in the post is new. Francie has a reputation for being his man, running into trouble with his own party over the initial RPA settlement which suggested 11 new councils rather than the party’s preference for 7.
He also has another reputation for being a little headstrong, and dogged. Only a few days ago, he ran into trouble for mentioning an incident during the meeting of the OFMDFM committee, in which he alleged, the manager of Linfield, Bill Jeffries (it seems he meant David Jeffrey) walked out of a restaurant when he saw himself and Barry McElduff.
The meeting was abruptly closed by the committee’s chair, Tom Elliott.
Largely urbane and pleasant company, Mr Molloy can also be ferocious on the attack. Such qualities may serve him well in dealing with a hostile chamber. But the manner not to mention the disconnected nature of his intervention raise important questions about his judgement.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty