Sunday 4 December 2016

Penrose move a sign of much deeper malaise

The Government is a living example of the right wing not knowing what the left wing is doing, says Willie O'Dea

Published 20/11/2011 | 05:00

IF I had been asked to guess which Labour TD would be the first to resign the whip on an issue of policy, I would probably not have picked Willie Penrose. This is somewhat ironic as if I were asked to name the Labour TDs I think are the most committed and principled, his name would be near the top of the list.

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The attacks on him since he took his stand tell us more about the state of politics than they do about the man, or the issue. Some have sought to paint him as a parish-pump politician whose commitment was more to his political base than to the country.

This is to mischievously misread his motivation in quitting. His resignation statement cites his objection was not just to closing his local barracks, but to doing so in the absence of any real hard facts or figures.

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