All eyes on Coveney as the R-question looms large
Published 24/05/2014 | 02:30
Weary political scribes, commentators, pundits and participants are beginning to get the impression that the chances of slipping off to their respective summer dachas for some well-earned post-election R'n'R are looking dodgier by the day.
For a different class of R'n'R beast may well trot into the arena next week, if Labour and Fianna Fail in particular suffer a drubbing at the polls – Resignations 'n' Reshuffles, that is.
After Eamon Gilmore refused to stamp down on Thursday the notion of a rapid-response reshuffle in the coming weeks, government backbenchers and ministers alike have quietly begun studying the form of the runners and riders.
From the Coalition's point of view, there's a lot to be said for a quick reshuffle: it will deflect media attention from what's shaping up to be a battering at the ballot-box; it'll remove the Tanaiste from Foreign Affairs into a meatier portfolio which may stay backbench knives in their scabbards, it would give newly anointed ministers the summer months to read into their brand-new briefs, and it would stop Enda getting the R-question flung at him every time he sticks his snout in front of a microphone from here on in.
Of course, this Taoiseach isn't in the habit of keeping everyone apprised of his plans, so the studiers of form were intrigued by a tweet posted by Paddy Power Politics yesterday, which revealed: "Several punts on Simon Coveney for next health minister, now in to 5/2 from 5/1."
Could someone have the inside track on the Agriculture Minister, left, swapping his wellies for a flak-jacket and a one-way ticket to Angola? One government insider reckoned it could be worth a flutter, commenting: "Simon's found the going easy for the last three years. Let's see how he gets over one Beechers' Brook after another."
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