Lise Hand: Baldemort unbroken -- even with pate above parapet
Michael Noonan strolled into the Dail chamber for his question time yesterday afternoon with a nonchalant air. And why wouldn't he be feeling a tad nonchalant? While the Taoiseach has been taking dog's abuse for the past few weeks on all sorts of thorny topics such as paying Anglo bondholders and signing up to fiscal treaties, the Finance minister has managed with admirable agility to keep his shining pate below the parapet.
In fact, he even manages to give off the air of somebody who actually enjoys fending off attacks from the Opposition. And, when proceedings are in danger of getting mired in a welter of turgid figures, he reaches into his rucksack of red herrings, colourful metaphors and cheery put-downs, and lobs a random verbal grenade across the floor.
Fianna Fail's Michael McGrath was busily haranguing him about budget deficits when the minister decided to take the scenic route in his reply.