Lise Hand: Minister of No Defence his own worst enemy
It was the tone of voice that struck you. The sly, nudge-nudge, wink-wink insinuation of it. "I suppose I'm going a bit too far when I say this but I'd like to ask Mr Quinlivan is the brothel still closed?" Willie suggested to journalist Mike Dwane.
It sounded grubby when Labour's Joan Burton read out a transcript of the exchange during the confidence debate in the Dail on Wednesday, and it sounded sleazier still when the fateful taped conversation was played out across the national airwaves yesterday.
It was an old-school Fianna Fail throw-mud-and-see-what-sticks dirty trick, but instead it rebounded and landed squarely back on Willie O'Dea.