EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie casts its eye over events inside and outside Leinster House that have got people talking.
As the saying goes: ‘You win some, you lose some.’
So here are our political winners and losers from the past seven days:
The 5 winners of the week are…
1. Pearse Doherty
The Sinn Féin finance spokesperson continues to pursue the issue of the missing bank guarantee documents with a series of parliamentary questions yielding some new information from Michael Noonan this week. More questions are being asked as they should be given the seriousness of this matter that has been largely overshadowed by the CRC, Irish Water and Rehab Group controversies.
2. The government PR machine
It’s hard not to think there was some degree of political motive behind Alan Shatter’s decision to disclose the small and controversial profits of the Rehab Group’s lottery in the Dáil this week.
It had the affect of shifting the focus onto another charity that has faced criticism in recent weeks and move attention away from the Irish Water debacle given that news of its salaries and credit card use largely slipped under the radar on Thursday. The focus is likely to remain on Rehab until we find out just what Angela Kerins is earning – and that could be weeks away.
3. Peadar Tóibín
The Meath West TD is on his way back into the Sinn Féin fold after six months in the wilderness as a result of his vote against the abortion bill last July. Tóibín may face further problems if and when a vote is held on a private members’ bill to allow abortion for cases of fatal foetal abnormality, something he things would not be constitutional. But his party may not agree.
4. Mick Wallace
Shunned by the Technical Group in 2012 for having under-declared his VAT returns, the Wexford deputy is now back in the fold as he was put on the Oireachtas Transport Committee much to the annoyance of the ousted Mattie McGrath this week. It’s an interesting committee to put Wallace on given he has been very vocal on the penalty points controversy, sitting through some of Martin Callinan’s evidence to the PAC this week.
5. Seán Tyrrell
This independent candidate in north Dublin may have some questions surrounding the number of ‘Likes’ on his Facebook page and is definitely issuing ridiculous press statements, but fair play to him for being honest about needing campaign funds. So much so he’s selling his Playstation 3.
… and the 5 losers of the week are…
1. Enda Kenny
It was at Davos two years ago that Enda Kenny remarked that Irish people “went mad with borrowing” – a remark which earned sharp criticism at home. You would have thought he had learned his lesson, but once again he put his foot in it at the World Economic Forum this week.
Speaking about emigration he said that “many leave to get experience, many leave and go to places around the world and come back with that experience.” A fair comment perhaps, but this is a hugely sensitive and emotive issue for many Irish people which requires more delicate remarks.
2. Shane Ross
The likelihood that subjective commentary on bankers and the crisis will preclude TDs from participating in the banking inquiry means that the independent deputy for Dublin South and PAC member will almost certainly be prevented from participating in any investigation.
Some view that as beneficial given his tendency to court publicity on these issues, but he has a forensic questioning style which would benefit any inquiry.
3. Mattie McGrath
The boisterous Tipperary South TD has been ousted from two Oireachtas Committees, claiming a pro-choice conspiracy by the Technical Group, allegations denied by members of the grouping of independent TDs.
The reality is that McGrath hasn’t shown up for its meetings since July and is annoyed at the increased cost of employing two staff for the group. Will he now join the Reform Alliance? More importantly: will they let him?
4. Eamon Gilmore
The Tánaiste got into an awful tizzy over the Legal Services Bill on Morning Ireland last Wednesday, repeating ad-nauseam that its delay is “normal”. Though the reality is that it was due before Cabinet earlier this month, but was delayed until “next week” amid reports of differences over a provision in the bill for so-called one-stop legal shops.
5. Ian Paisley
Not to be flippant but the film (and book) ‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’ comes to mind when one thinks of the former DUP leader. His revealing interviews with Eamonn Mallie appear to have done just that as former colleagues of Paisley’s said events, as he recalled them, about his departure from the party “simply did not happen”.
Pics: Press Association, Dáil Screengrabs via Oireachtas TV, CNBC
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