Saturday 3 December 2016

With a bank holiday to think of, nobody wanted another all-night talkfest

Published 30/05/2015 | 02:30

Niall Shanahan, IMPACT, briefs the media on the Lansdowne Road agreement at Lansdowne House in Dublin
Niall Shanahan, IMPACT, briefs the media on the Lansdowne Road agreement at Lansdowne House in Dublin
Thierry Henry, whose handball against Ireland was as popular among public servants as the public sector pension levy

The new deal is to be known as the Lansdowne Road Agreement, Brendan Howlin explained outside Lansdowne House, the utilitarian building where the dotted lines on the latest public sector pay agreement were signed by union and government negotiators.

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Given that the last such arrangement was called Croke Park, the Government could've stuck with a sports stadium theme and dubbed the new version the Aviva Agreement. It has a jolly ring to it and also reflects the fact that more moolah in the pockets of the country's 300,000 public sector workers will surely give the Coalition a bit of extra house insurance when the election rolls around.

The Public Expenditure and Reform Minister arrived at 5pm for the final round of handshakes. He looked a little fatigued - but then it has been an extraordinarily eventful week in Irish politics. It was exactly a week yesterday since the country went to the polls and voted by a considerable majority for marriage equality. By Monday, Fianna Fáil had lost Averil Power as a bitter falling-out between the party and the senator dominated the airwaves. But then on Thursday Labour lost one of their own when Clare TD Michael McNamara deplaned after voting against the government on the motion to sell the state's Aer Lingus shares.

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