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'Seagulls have lost the run of themselves': 5 winners and 5 losers from the political week

You win some, you lose some…

Tánaiste Joan Burton welcoming members of the deaf community in the Dáil gallery with a wave on Thursday
Tánaiste Joan Burton welcoming members of the deaf community in the Dáil gallery with a wave on Thursday
Image: Screengrab via Oireachtas TV

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. Simon Harris

The new junior finance minister has landed the most important Minister of State job and at just 27 it’s a huge responsibility to place on young shoulders. But the Wicklow TD has proved himself a capable performer at the Public Accounts Committee and elsewhere and he was already in the Seanad this week taking legislation.

2. Frank Flannery

The former Rehab chief took to the airwaves on Friday to hit out at the Public Accounts Committee after it failed in its bid to compel him. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the ongoing Flannery/Rehab/lobbying saga, the former Fine Gael strategist will feel vindicated this weekend and heads for the MacGill Summer School next week where there’ll be plenty of focus on what he says.

3. Anne Ferris

The Labour TD gave a very moving account of meeting her sister for the first time just two weeks ago as she told the Dáil how each of them had been adopted from different mother-and-baby homes. Take five minutes and watch this:

Source: Labour/YouTube

4. Ned O’Sullivan

You probably wouldn’t have heard of the Fianna Fáil senator before his intervention on Dublin’s seagull crisis this week. Senators have a habit of making bizarre public pronouncements – remember Catherine Noone and the ice cream vans? – in order to gain a bit of notoriety and O’Sullivan succeeded this week.

5.  Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

The Labour TD was a surprise pick for a junior ministry at the Department of Justice with responsibility for equality. Even Ó Riordáin himself wasn’t expecting a promotion but he’s already settling in:

… and the 5 losers of the week are…

1. The Fine Gael five-a-side

None of the group of outspoken backbench Fine Gael TDs got promoted in the junior ministerial reshuffle this week. The most likely was Dublin South East deputy Eoghan Murphy who is highly-rated but who now must content himself with the banking inquiry of which he is a member.

2. Joe McHugh

We have a minister for the Gaeltacht who can’t speak Irish fluently. He’s promising to improve and we wish him well, but perhaps the Donegal TD should have thought a bit more about taking a job which he clearly doesn’t yet have the necessary skills for.

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

3. Ciaran Cannon

The Fine Gael TD was one of five junior ministers dropped this week but while the other four might well have been dropped for their age the 48-year-old can consider himself very unlucky to get the boot. Cannon didn’t appear to do anything wrong which makes his departure, and Galway’s lack of any government representation, slightly puzzling.

4. Fine Gael women

None of the party’s female TDs were promoted to the junior ministerial ranks this week, a move that was noted and criticised by many. Marcella Corcoran Kennedy’s expected elevation to chair of the Oireachtas Jobs Committee is small consolation and there’s no doubt that many female deputies in the party are unhappy with this week’s events.

5. Enda Kenny

And all of that spells trouble for the Taoiseach whose decision to shun women in the junior reshuffle is likely to come back to haunt him and the party when it comes to finding women to run in the next general election when gender quotas will be in place.

Like politics? Then ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?

‘I never fought with her over toys’: Here is Anne Ferris’s moving Dáil speech about her sister

Read: Here are 7 things you need to know about the junior minister reshuffle

Read: Here’s how the junior minister reshuffle showed up Enda Kenny’s women problem

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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