Monday 21 August 2017

Bring McCreevy back to Cabinet

Liam Collins

Liam Collins

Charlie McCreevy should be brought back from Brussels because he would "cheer everyone up".

That's the advice to the Taoiseach Brian Cowen from Bertie Ahern's biographer, Professor Richard Aldous

He says that Mr McCreevy -- whose term as Ireland's EU Commissioner ends in June 2009 -- should be brought back "immediately" to help shore up Mr Cowen's "beleaguered government".

The plain-speaking McCreevy might also lift the spirit of a country battered by rising unemployment, falling tax revenue and failing businesses. Prof Aldous, academic and writer, who is head of the School of History & Archives at University College Dublin, has some further advice for the Taoiseach, who has come across as grumpy and truculent since he took over.

"Mr Cowen is not afraid of a fight. But he may need to mix it with a smile on his face."


He believes that Mr Cowen should now adopt a similar strategy to Britain's Gordon Brown, who brought Peter Mandelson back from Europe and gave him a key cabinet position. "Mr Cowen could do worse than immediately bringing Charlie McCreevy back from Brussels," he says in an opinion column for the Sunday Independent.

"Like Mandelson he is a controversial figure, but he has chutzpah and is a bold thinker. More than any other individual in Fianna Fail, Mr McCreevy has the ability to get the Government on the front foot again."

While some commentators have advocated the need for a national government, this is unlikely, according to the architect of the Tallaght Strategy, Alan Dukes.

Mr Dukes made the point during a recent debate that he had supported the Fianna Fail government when he was party leader because it was "doing the right thing" under Charlie Haughey.

But in the present circumstances he questioned why should the opposition support Mr Cowen's government when it was in such deep trouble and where the main opposition parties -- Fine Gael and Labour -- disagree fundamentally with its handling of the financial crisis.

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