Wednesday 26 October 2016

Kevin Doyle: Good time for Government to have bad week

Published 21/11/2015 | 02:30

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald

It has been an awful week for the Government - but nobody in the real world noticed. In the normal scheme of things Enda Kenny would be fighting off the perfect storm this weekend after abandoning a key election promise, capitulating to the legal elites on reform and putting on the long-finger inquiries that were supposed to shed light on alleged corruption and constitutional breaches.

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There's no suggestion that Merrion Street decided this was a good week to dump bad news, but timing is everything in politics.

Days before the tragic events in France began to unfold, it had been indicated that we could expect interim reports from the Fennelly Commission and the Commission of Investigation into IBRC. When they landed on Wednesday and Thursday respectively they told similar stories.

Both need more resources to cope with their massive workloads and have no chance of providing any substantial report before the General Election.

Then there was the dropping of Universal Health Insurance which the Government "remains committed" to, but won't be touching anytime this side of 2020.

And when Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald (pictured inset) published more than 100 amendments to the long-awaited Legal Services Bill 2011 which was suppose to clamp down on greedy barristers, it was greeted with smiles by the Bar Council.

They are all topics that could confuse even the most astute political junkie - but put together there would be enough bad news to create political upheaval for the Government.

Instead, the backbenchers have remained silent and the Opposition were shouting into a wind worthy of Storm Barney.

To be fair a promise to end the long-term use of prefabs in schools and some positive jobs figures got drowned out too.

We will hear more about the garda tapes, Siteserv, the health crisis and sky-high legal costs in the months to come - but for now, the initial shock has been neutralised.

Irish Independent

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