Friday 30 September 2016

The Front Bench Podcast 2: Pat Rabbitte on how Alan Kelly 'watches too much American TV'

Independent.ie counts down to the general election with insights from some of the country's most experienced former politicians

Published 10/02/2016 | 10:17

Labour's Pat Rabbitte believes Minister for Environment Alan Kelly 'watches too much American television'.

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Speaking on Independent.ie’s Front Bench podcast, Mr Rabbitte welcomes the personality and colour Mr Kelly brings as “it’s been a dull ‘aul campaign so far so”.

Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of the Irish Independent with former politicians Bertie Ahern, Pat Rabbitte and Nora Owen after taking part in the Irish Independent podcast
Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of the Irish Independent with former politicians Bertie Ahern, Pat Rabbitte and Nora Owen after taking part in the Irish Independent podcast

“I’d say it’s going down well in Tipperary, which is his immediate concern,” Rabbite said.

“People are aware of him. He’s a very blunt straight talker but I can’t say he’s a household name.”

Also on the show, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern revealed that Dublin's drug addicts were a source of one of Fianna Fail's General Election campaign slogans.

The former party leader remembers the day he “was on to a winner.”

Mr Ahern remembered meeting a group of young addicts he sat down to talk to about the Amiens Street Drugs Clinic.

“At the end of it the young girl, who wasn’t that high on drugs but who was a drug taker, turned to me and said remember what you said – a lot done, a lot more to do,” he said.

He also described the recent Dublin gang killings as a “wake up call for everybody” and believes that some form of mediation between the feuding gangs is required.

All of the Front Bench panel – Bertie Ahern, Nora Owen and Pat Rabbitte – agreed that Sinn Fein’s calls for the abolition of the Special Criminal Court was wrong.

As to the dreaded ‘F’ word, Nora Owen said the reality is you can’t plan for economic certainty beyond the next twelve months and everything else is guesswork after that.

Bertie Ahern pointed to the growth figures in 2002 that nobody predicted and likewise the crash of 2007 that nobody saw coming either.

The Front Bench podcast, presented by Irish Independent Editor, Fionnan Sheahan, is counting down to the general election each week with Bertie Ahern, Nora Owen and Pat Rabbitte.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Independent.ie.

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