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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Shatter's righteous anger is missing an audience

Published 12/07/2014 | 02:30

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The former Justice Minister launched yet another broadside at the report from Sean Guerin into garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s allegations of misconduct
The former Justice Minister launched yet another broadside at the report from Sean Guerin into garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe’s allegations of misconduct
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AFTER all the messing over Garth Brooks, by yesterday attention was firmly back on the political Lanigan's Ball of the reshuffle.

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It's always a bit of drama and the permutations were being chewed over by everyone. Or not quite everyone, actually. Alan Shatter, whose ministerial fate was sealed in May when he resigned from Justice, had no skin in this particular game of shuffle-board.

The Dublin South deputy had other things on his mind. During a debate on amendments to the Legal Services Bill, the former Justice Minister launched yet another broadside at the report from Sean Guerin into garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe's allegations of misconduct.

It was a point which doubtless the Taoiseach would have taken on board, but alas, he wasn't in the chamber. In fact, precious few TDs were in the chamber. Politics is a cruel business – when you're gone from Cabinet, you're gone ...

OUT IN THE COLD

ALTHOUGH the team of junior ministers still has to be selected next week, one disgruntled Labour member was resigned to getting that sad equation (the square root of damn all) in Part Two of the shake-up.

"A bitter lesson has been learned – anyone who walked over the Rosie Hackett with Alex White is going nowhere," lamented the member.

This was a reference to the cohort of members who supported Alex White for the leadership, some of whom stood beside him at his press conference on the Rosie when he announced his candidacy.

But surely this is being a bit pessimistic – now that new Communications Minister Alex himself will be seated with the adults at the big table, surely he'll be persuading Joan to build a few bridges within the party and leave the walking on bridges to him.

MICHELLE NAILED IT

RESHUFFLES are a serious business for those hoping for a leg-up the pecking order, but there were a few TDs who were able to see the amusing side of the whole kerfuffle.

The symbol of any reshuffle is the Headless Chicken, which best reflects the behaviour of the TDs, their staff, supporters and the roving packs of media scouring the corridors for clues in the run-up to the announcement.

And into their midst sailed Fine Gael's Michelle Mulherin, sporting a big round yellow badge on her lapel, which read: "Everyone pretend to be normal."

It was excellent advice – sadly ignored by all the Headless Chickens clucking around the corridors.

Fair play to her, though. Michelle knows the truth about Leinster House: you don't have to be mad to work there, but it helps ...

KEHOE'S SACRIFICE

NOT for the first time for a politician, work plays havoc with their best-laid plans for weekends, family occasions and such. And government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe was in one such pickle this week.

His nephew, Garda Damien Fenlon, was getting married to Niamh Stafford in Wexford yesterday, and Paul had to put in a last-minute call on Thursday evening to send his regrets, as the reshuffle had arisen for the wedding day. However, the Kehoe clan was represented by his wife Brigid and their three children.

Irish Independent

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