Centre parties bottled it once on water charges so it's crucial they hold their nerve this time around
Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30
Talk is cheap. The established political parties - Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in particular - have been very vocal about the importance of the centre of Irish politics holding. Now have to back it up with action.
They must lay down a marker that they're willing to walk the walk. The report of the Commission on water charges, due in the coming days, is the time to do so.
Ever since Paul Murphy won the Dublin South-West by-election two years ago on an anti-water charges platform, the centre of Irish politics has been on the run. In electoral terms, the hard left is still relatively small. But there's no question it has been punching far beyond its weight. Murphy's shock victory prompted a previously hesitant Sinn Féin to fully row in behind the anti-water charges campaign and that, in turn, prompted a rethink in Fianna Fáil on water charges.