independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Fionnan Sheahan: Martin's staunch defence of his man smacks of 'Old Fianna Fail'

Micheal Martin
Micheal Martin

ANYBODY excited by Dan Brown's blockbuster novel 'Inferno' will be waiting with bated breath for Micheal Martin's forthcoming tome.

The Fianna Fail leader is putting pen to paper on a thriller featuring an innocent hero being chased by dark forces.

His central protagonist is the heroic Mr McGuinness, a rough around the edges, misunderstood kinda guy, whose sole purpose in life is the pursuit of accountability.

(Except in the case of any spending undertaken in his own area.)

But Mr McGuinness attempts to turn the tables on his foes by calling in the support of his loyal colleagues.

Mr Martin himself has a long track record of defending pals like former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, during the unrelenting questions about his record.

New Fianna Fail sounds an awful lot like Old Fianna Fail.

Mr Martin was busy playing the victim card for John McGuinness yesterday, claiming he "recognised the Fine Gael party's hand" in the revelations about the spending on the Fianna Fail TDs former ministerial office, which he claims he had no hand in the specification or fit out, his son's overtime and his justification of his wife accompanying him on trips abroad.

"I don't know why there has been this constant targeting of John McGuinness in his position as chair," he proclaimed.

The reason for raising these questions now is that the government Mr Martin served in as a minister for 14 years didn't bother posing any questions about how taxpayers money was spent.

The culture of excess that characterised the Celtic Tiger era which Fianna Fail presided over continues to be defended by the party leader.

He sees nothing wrong with a former minister standing over the position of a former junior minister.

Yet Mr Martin actually argued with Mr McGuinness about wives not travelling with ministers on foreign business, expressing "very strong ethical views" when he was the senior minister in the department where they both service.

He says he still holds to this view, just sees nothing wrong with Mr McGuinness's belief the taxpayer should pay for his wife to travel abroad in some circumstances.

Go figure.

Rather than composing fiction, maybe Martin will write his leadership manual entitled 'Fifty Shades of Flip-Flop'.

Irish Independent

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