Prize was there on a plate but Martin has lost his appetite
It was Fianna Fail's turn to host lunch for the Independent Alliance.
As we broke up from the morning session of negotiations, someone from the Fianna Fail team told us that lunch was ready upstairs. We wandered up to the Leinster House cafe for the tea and sandwiches where a section was cordoned off for us. We waited a few minutes for our hosts and then, waiting no longer, tucked into the grub. It was a modest menu. There was only one missing ingredient: Fianna Fail.
No one from Fianna Fail turned up. The food was there, but the hosts were missing. No Micheal Martin. No Barry Cowen. No Michael McGrath. No Charlie McConalogue and no Jim O'Callaghan. We sampled the Fianna Fail fare with relish, but alone. We were welcome, but unloved. There was none of the schmoozing, the "let's get to know each other, we'll soon be united in government" feel of Fine Gael lunches.