Saturday 21 January 2017

Kenny hopes findings will be awkward but not politically fatal

Published 02/09/2015 | 02:30

Former garda chief Martin Callinan and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter Photo: Steve Humphreys
Former garda chief Martin Callinan and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter Photo: Steve Humphreys

Enda Kenny is among the very few people still at Leinster House who will have a personal recall of the last time a Taoiseach tried "to get his retaliation in first" in relation to an official inquiry report.

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On July 29, 1994, Albert Reynolds had a statement issued saying he had been "totally vindicated" in the voluminous Beef Tribunal report. That assertion became the subject of a bitter row between the governing parties in the then-Fianna Fáil coalition with the Labour Party which had 101 of the Dáil's 166 TDs.

By November 17, 1994, Mr Reynolds had to resign as Taoiseach and his government had fallen. Most observers, in both Labour and Fianna Fáil agree that the huge tangled controversy about clerical sex abuse, which actually broke that government, was totally compounded by Mr Reynolds's decision to pre-empt publication of the full beef report with his own contentious interpretation.

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