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house of cards

“Smart-alec Tánaiste thinks it is smart...": Here are the winners and losers from the political week

In which Mary Lou unleashes hell in the Dáil, Michael and Brendan enjoy their big day out, and the Leinster House barrier strikes again…

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. Noonan and Howlin

Remember the Budget? For the last half-decade or so, it’s been the event of the year (in certain circles, and not for any particularly positive reasons) — but this year’s is almost a distant memory. Further problems at Irish Water have knocked it off the front-pages and out of our newsfeeds in the last few days.

But … remember Wednesday morning?

Obviously, there’s plenty of problems with the Budget (there always is, isn’t there?). But if Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin were attempting to ‘buy the election’ — as they’ve been accused of doing — they certainly got off to a good start.

2. Mary Lou McDonald

The Sinn Féin deputy leader unleashed hell on Joan Burton on Thursday in a row over whether tenants in a government housing initiative could face eviction over a refusal to pay water charges.

The issue was at the centre of the political news agenda yesterday as a result (more here).

She’d probably have achieved the same goal without this tirade against the Tánaiste — but it still made for gripping viewing for Dáil-watchers…

You know what Tánaiste, if anyone had any doubt as to whether or not you gave a toss about struggling families, they’ve had —by your smart-alec, dismissive and inaccurate response — they have their answer.

3. Regina Doherty

The Fine Gael TD caused a bit of stir on Sunday night with this status update… 

Source: Regina Doherty via Facebook

Odd, right?

All was explained the following day… The Meath East deputy was simply trying to attract as many people as possible to her Facebook page so she could raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Politicians take note. That’s how you do social media.

The 3 losers of the week are…

1. Micheál Martin 

The Fianna Fáil leader put in some impressive performances in Leader’s Questions this week — scoring points from the coalition over its handling of the Budget and the set-up of Irish Water.

Sinn Féin, however, stole the limelight and much of the media coverage from the Cork TD — and the novelty of having a few positive things to talk about in a Budget announcement (some commentators labelled it a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ affair) meant the opposition wasn’t left with much to get its teeth into anyway.

On top of all that, there were warnings at a parliamentary party meeting this week that FF could become the “next SDLP” (yikes)…

It all could have seemed so much different for Micheál, if the Soldiers had managed to win last week’s by-election.

2. Vladimir Putin

For keeping a lady waiting…

The German Chancellor walked away from scheduled talks with the Russian President on Thursday night, because of his poor timekeeping.

The two leaders had been scheduled to meet at 6pm on the sidelines of the annual Asia-European meeting in Milan — but Putin was late leaving Belgrade, and Merkel’s office cancelled their pow-wow.

Fortunately, EU-Russian diplomatic ties have been in tip-top shape over the last year, so it probably won’t do much to hamper relations.


3. TDs’ cars…

…and the one we can’t decide is…

Taoiseach Enda Kenny…

Niall Carson Niall Carson

Aside from Dáil appearances, Enda’s been keeping a low profile in recent days — stepping aside to let Michael and Brendan to the heavy lifting (and radio phone-ins) about the Budget. Traditional enough behaviour for a Taoiseach, and pretty wise considering the controversies of recent weeks.

How do you think Enda handled the Budget, and the rest of the political week?

Poll Results:

Not well at all. He should resign. (1950)
I like turtles. (1110)
I'm on the fence. (532)
Very well. He's awesome. (492)

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