Monday 5 December 2016

James Downey: Hold by-elections now, for democracy's sake

Published 22/05/2010 | 05:00

MARY Coughlan's favourite word is "important". She calls numerous subjects important, or very important, or hugely important. On Tuesday, in a variation on the theme, she said that the promised referendum on children's rights is "absolutely important".

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This she advanced as an argument for holding the referendum on its own (when?) and continuing to ignore the three by-elections due in Donegal South West, Dublin South and Waterford. Since she was answering questions in the Dail on behalf of the Taoiseach, her comment seemed . . . well . . . important.

However, Taoiseach Brian Cowen more or less repudiated it the following day. That left us all, once again, in limbo on the questions of the referendum, the by-elections and, let's not forget, the Dublin mayoral election.

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