Tuesday 6 December 2016

From 'Ho Chi Quinn' to first Labour Finance chief, Ruairi can look on long march with pride

Published 03/07/2014 | 02:30

Ruairi Quinn
Ruairi Quinn

THE Maison d'Antoine is one of Europe's most famous chippers, celebrated for its double-fried Belgian frites. My first conversation with Ruairi Quinn was in the huge queue for Brussels's most celebrated take-away at a late hour on a freezing cold night in January 1995.

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As newly-appointed finance minister he was determined to deliver dinner promised to a group of journalists after an EU ministerial meeting which had dragged on well after restaurant closing time.

Thanks to indulgent staff the "health food" was consumed in a nearby bar. The rest of us had beer but Ruairi Quinn opted for a nice glass of French red as he talked quietly about his plans as Labour's first finance minister in the State's history.

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