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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 24 April, 2019
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'I will not leave the House': Here are the winners and losers from the political week

In a week where Mary Lou McDonald staged a sit-in in the Dáil and ministers were heckled at the launch of the Government’s 1916 commemoration plans.

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 3 winners of the week are…

1. Christy Burke

New Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Dublin’s Lord Mayor got into a disagreement with a protester outside a Remembrance Day ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral, and RTÉ caught it all on camera.

The man told Burke he would prefer if he didn’t attend the service, but the mayor responded by saying that he commemorated “all men and women who died in wars, every one of them”.

For 800 years, by ignoring people, people lost lives.

Things could have gone either way, but Burke handled the situation well and the interaction ended with a handshake.

2. Ivor Callely 

Former junior minister Ivor Callely was granted bail pending his challenge to the refusal to grant him temporary release or remission.

Callely had been serving a five-month sentence in Wheatfield prison for making false expenses claims while he was a Fianna Fáil Senator.

Ivor Callely Court Cases Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

3. Leo Varadkar

Garda stations phone tapping Source: Brian Lawless/PA Images

The Health Minister was tipped to be the next leader of Fine Gael by former party strategist Frank Flannery, who also described him as ‘tall and good-looking with a certain exotic feel’.

The 3 losers of the week are…

1. Gerry Adams

The Sinn Féin leader was roundly criticised in the Dáil this week, during a heated debate on allegations that Republicans moved sex offenders to the South.

Referencing the Disappeared, the Taoiseach told Adams: “Down here you ‘buried’ the dangerous living along with the discarded dead.”

Adams has repeatedly denied that Sinn Féin was involved in any cover-up of abuse.

2. Heather Humphreys

There was no mention of John McNulty but the Arts Minister had a particularly difficult week.

Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTube

On Wednesday, some relatives of participants in the 1916 Rising boycotted the launch of the Government’s plans to commemorate the centenary of the event. A spokesperson for the relatives said that Humphreys “had no understanding as to the plans for 2016″.

Humphreys was heckled while speaking at the launch by anti-water charges protesters, as were Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Joan Burton.

The minister’s troubles didn’t end there, however: her Department was sharply criticised for the 1916 commemoration video and for using an online translating tool for the Irish on the ‘Ireland 2016′ website.

3. Jan O’Sullivan

Leaving Cert Exams Results Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Yesterday it was confirmed that second level teachers are going to go on strike in December, after talks between the Education Department and teaching unions about proposed reform of the Junior Cycle collapsed.

And the one we can’t decide…

Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Féin’s deputy leader was arguably the most talked-about politician of the week.

On Thursday Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett adjourned the Dáil when McDonald failed to leave the chamber after being asked to do so.

A row started during Leaders’ Questions when McDonald was angered by what she believed was Tanáiste Joan Burton’s failure to answer her questions about water charges, specifically whether unpaid bills could be deducted from wages or social welfare.

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

McDonald and her colleagues then staged a sit-in for 3 hours and 58 minutes.

Some people praised her for not backing down, while others dismissed her actions as an attempt to create a diversion from the Maíria Cahill controversy.

At the time of publication, just over half (52%) of you thought her sit-in was a political stunt, while 43% said it was justified.

mary lou poll

So, what do you think? Is McDonald a winner or loser this week?


Poll Results:

Loser (2551)
Winner (1995)


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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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