Daggers were drawn but he fell on his own sword
There was something eerily familiar about the array of solemn-faced ministers gathered around their leader, as Eamon Gilmore announced that he was to step down for the good of his party and the country.
Facing a hastily assembled posse of media who had scrambled into Iveagh House at short notice, the Tanaiste calmly read from a statement. "We must, and we will, continue to put the country and the needs of the Irish people first. And in doing so, we must hear, heed and act on the clear message we received last Friday," he said.
But there were stark differences between the abdication of Mr Gilmore yesterday and the tear-stained, self-serving exit of Bertie Ahern four years ago in a similar tableau enacted in Government Buildings (and the huffy recent flounce-out of a Justice Minister, while we're at it) – the Tanaiste had exited swiftly and with his dignity fully intact.