#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15°C Tuesday 22 June 2021

'Cheated death': 4 winners, 4 losers and one for you to decide on from the political week

You win some, you lose some – even during the summer recess.

Pat Rabbitte is no longer communications and energy minister but he still has plenty to say...
Pat Rabbitte is no longer communications and energy minister but he still has plenty to say...
Image: Niall Carson

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.’

Though TDs and Senators have largely vacated Kildare Street for the summer there’s still plenty happening politically.

So here are our political winners and losers from the past seven days and a bonus one that we can’t decide on…

The 4 winners of the week are…

1. Leo Varadkar

The new Health Minister has only been in the job a month but is already making his mark by setting expectations lower than his predecessor. Varadkar is acutely aware of the land mines that litter the department known as Angola and by opting to be realistic about what he can achieve he is ensuring that he will not suffer the same problems as James Reilly who talked a good game but struggled to deliver.

2. Alan Shatter

The former justice minister “cheated death” if the dramatic front page of The Irish Sun on Wednesday is to be believed. The reality of what happened at Dublin Airport on Tuesday morning is a little more sedate.

3. Sayeeda Warsi 

The first Muslim to sit in the British cabinet resigned this week over David Cameron and his government’s policy on Gaza. It’s not often that politicians sacrifice their career for their principles and although some would argue that Warsi was seeking to a boost a flagging media profile she has taken an admirable stand whatever your views on the conflict.

4. Mary Mitchell O’Connor

August is the silly season where not much happens that is particularly newsworthy. That means it’s the perfect time for a backbench TD to drum up a bit of publicity for themselves. What better way to do that than engage in a rather odd Twitter conversation with an inanimate plinth…


… the 4 losers of the week are…

1. John Bruton 

The former taoiseach has not been afraid to air his views in recent years be it on the economy or the abortion issue but has he overstepped the mark with his declaration that the 1916 Rising “was a mistake”?

Bruton has argued this week that Ireland would have achieved better results had it followed up on the passing of the Home Rule Bill in 1914 instead of resorting to violence. Perhaps understandably, the reaction hasn’t been great:

screenshot.1407491785.30264 Source: www.thejournal.ie

2. Simon Harris

The new junior finance minister, who also has responsibility for the Office of Public Works, released a statement on Thursday saying that a total of €16.8 million had been allocated to repair storm damage in Clare. Only for the council to say it knew nothing about the statement and that it was waiting for a response from Harris’s department to its proposals. Not a great way to start your new brief.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

3. Pat Rabbitte

The former communications minister appears determined not to go quietly to the backbenches. He gave a fiery interview to the Irish Independent this week in which he said he had “great difficulty” with people elected for the first time in 2011 going into Cabinet. Relations between Rabbitte and his new party leader Joan Burton have never been great and Rabbitte appears determined to undermine her in the months ahead.

Irish election Source: Niall Carson


The political ethics watchdog continues to struggle to ensure that politicians and political parties are following the rules particularly in relation to accounting practices. It seems that parties aren’t afraid of SIPO and only respond when the gardaí or the DPP are called in. One source close to the matter said that the wrangling of accounts from branches is “worse than dealing with schoolchildren”. That says it all.

… and the one we couldn’t decide on is…

Marcia D’Alton 

The independent Cork county councillor has told Irish Water that if it installs a water meter at her house it will be removed. Why? “We will not pay for water which has been fluoridated…We will not pay for a medicated product when we do not desire that medication,” she wrote to the new utility company.

We can’t decide on this one. So what do you think? Is Marcia D’Alton a winner or a loser? 

Poll Results:

Loser (750)
Winner (701)

See all of our winners and losers from previous weeks > 

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

Analysis: Here’s why Leo Varadkar is looking to avoid ‘land mines in Angola’

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: