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'You need a humour bypass': Here are the winners and losers from the political week

In a week that saw a new Garda Commissioner, a big fat ‘no’ from the ECB and some serious eye-rolling.

EVERY WEEK, 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. Frances Fitzgerald

Several groups including the Rape Crisis Network and Ruhama welcomed the Sexual Offences Bill 2014, which was published by the Justice Minister on Thursday.

Strategies on Domestic Violence Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The Bill, which will punish online child grooming and criminalise buying sex, is expected to pass into law easily.

In other good news for the Minister, the role of Garda Commissioner was permanently filled by interim Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan – a move that was broadly welcomed by the force and the Garda Síochána Ombudsman (GSOC). Although, not everyone was happy about it.

2. Leo Varadkar

Ebola Issues Crisis in Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

There were a lot of announcements by the Government this week – including the publication of the HSE’s service plan for 2015. The document was cautiosuly welcomed by many interest groups as it represents the first increase in the HSE’s budget for seven years.

Varadkar said he didn’t want to “overpromise” what the plan would achieve but noted it was the “first step in nursing our health service back to health”.

On a lighter note, he was also voted the country’s “most kissable” politician.

3. Jean Claude Juncker

The president of the European Commission survived a motion of no-confidence.

Belgium EU Tax Avoidance AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The motion was brought forward by Britain’s Ukip, France’s Front National, and Italy’s 5 Star movement after it emerged that multinationals brokered secret deals with Luxembourg to avoid paying billions in tax while he was prime minister of the country. It was easily defeated by 461 votes.

The 3 losers of the week are…

1. The Banking Inquiry

File photo: Banking inquiry release

The Oireachtas Banking Inquiry was dealt a blow when Patrick Honohan all but confirmed that officials from the European Central Bank won’t attend.

The Central Bank Governor told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that the ECB had “more or less” told Irish authorities it will not be participating in the forthcoming inquiry.

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy said the ECB’s refusal shows its disregard for democratically elected parliaments.

I hope and expect the Irish Government to be very robust in its assertion that the ECB must, in fact, engage in a banking inquiry.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Michael Noonan told Newstalk that the ECB “should man up and appear before the inquiry”.

2. Gregory Campbell

The DUP politician came in for more criticism after refusing to apologise for mocking the Irish language with his now infamous “curry my yoghurt” remark.

Broadsheet Ie / YouTube

Campbell said he didn’t regret this comment or saying that he would treat a proposed Irish Language Act “as no more than toilet paper”.

The politician added that anyone who didn’t find his comments funny needed a “humour bypass“.

3. Barack Obama

Even the President of the United States has ‘embarrassing dad’ moments. A video showing his daughters, Malia and Sasha, struggling to hide their boredom at the White House’s Thanksgiving ‘turkey pardoning’ event went viral.


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