Tuesday 6 December 2016

Eddie Molloy: Abuse of power didn't die with demise of Fianna Fail

Eddie Molloy

Published 02/12/2012 | 05:00

My wife and I once went to view "a fine period residence in need of modernising" in Co Wicklow and, as the owner escorted us around and I began to ask questions like, "is this staircase sound?" or "what is that smell?", he would ignore each question and with a sweep of his hand usher us to the nearest window where he would exclaim: "Behold the view!"

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I recalled this encounter in September when several government ministers and backbenchers attempted a similar deceit when for weeks they ducked and dived, throwing sand in our eyes, to avoid admitting that Dr James Reilly had pulled a political stroke, which he patently had done. Dr Reilly's own dodge-the-bullet manoeuvres included: "It's an insult to the people of Swords and Balbriggan to suggest that they needed political interference to give them what they are entitled to – a good health service." Then to crown it all, in the Dail, live on television, he told the nation that his decision was based on "logistical, logarithmic progressions".

Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher's reaction, on hearing Dr Reilly utter this word salad said it all. He physically cringed, turning away with his head in his hand, while the bubble over his head said: "In the name of God, would you please stop, please!" Whatever about insults to Dr Reilly's constituents, it surely is an insult to every citizen that, with a few honourable exceptions, politicians, of all parties, continue to dish out this kind of pap routinely and expect adults to swallow it as a credible explanation for dubious decisions, inappropriate political interference, incompetence, U-turns and the like. Have they forgotten already what we have endured as a society: two decades of denial, selective amnesia, spin, obfuscation, mental reservations and every other form of deceit known to man, not to mention brazen lying and rampant perjury?

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