Thursday 17 August 2017

Dark shadows of 'old politics' have shrouded the new Taoiseach's debut

Former attorney general Máire Whelan, who will take up a new role in the Court of Appeal Photo: Arthur Carron
Former attorney general Máire Whelan, who will take up a new role in the Court of Appeal Photo: Arthur Carron
Transport Minister Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance and Cllr Kevin Daly announcing the reopening of Stepaside garda station earlier this week Photo: Justin Farrelly
John Downing

John Downing

Leo Varadkar was never going to get a "political honeymoon". But it seemed reasonable to expect he would get the rest of the week out of the goodwill surrounding his election as Taoiseach on Wednesday.

Instead, the new Taoiseach has been hit by a political freight train from day one. There is huge disquiet about how the Attorney General (AG) was appointed a judge in the Court of Appeal. There are questions about special arrangements to top up the pay of demoted minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor. And yet again there have been questions about special treatment for Independent TD Michael Lowry in return for his vote.

Now Mr Varadkar faces a simple choice. He can face up to the issues threatening the reputation of his new Government, or, he can continue ducking and diving, clinging to the faint hope that this will all just abate.

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