News Comment

Monday 22 September 2014

Quotes of the week

Published 27/07/2014 | 02:30

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny with former Fine Gael strategist and Rehab director Frank Flannery
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with former Fine Gael strategist and Rehab director Frank Flannery

"They have been ineffective in elections since they went into government by and large, with the exception of some very well run by-elections, but if you just recall back to the presidential election, the party polled seven per cent of the national vote some months after getting 36pc of the vote in a general election… that took some ingenuity to achieve a result like that. The recent local elections, probably, as an election campaign was, in my honest view, one of the worst I every saw."

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Frank Flannery, former Fine Gael election strategist.

"President Putin faces a clear choice in how he decides to respond to this appalling tragedy… If he does not change his approach to Ukraine, then Europe and the West must ­fundamentally change our approach to Russia. Those of us in Europe should not need to be reminded of the consequences of turning a blind eye when big countries bully smaller countries."

David Cameron, British Prime Minister.

"Reports of my wealth have been greatly exaggerated. I've read that I'm supposed to be worth £100m. Cherie's asking me where it is. I'm not worth that. A half of that. A third of that. A quarter of that. A fifth of that. I could go on."

Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister.

"I can't envisage a coalition between Fine Gael and Sinn Fein. Until Sinn Fein trusts the people with the truth about its own past, it can never expect a majority of the people to trust it on the key political issues of our time."

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health.

"I've said we're not going into power with Sinn Fein."

Micheal Martin, FF leader.

"For Joe (Biden) and for Hillary (Clinton), they've already accomplished an awful lot in their lives. The question is, do they, at this phase in their lives, want to go through the pretty undignifying process of running all over again."

Barack Obama, US President.

"The Civil Service needs a new chapter. It needs to be more effective, more ­responsive and higher ­performing, and this must be clearly evident to the public."

Robert Watt, Secretary ­General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

"Recent controversies have focused the public mind on instances where we have not lived up to our own ­standards. ...But when we're good, we're very, very good."

Noirin O'Sullivan, Acting Garda Commissioner.

"If you simply acquire a small company in Ireland or some other country to take advantage of the low tax rate and you start saying: "We are now magically an Irish company," despite the fact that you might have only 100 employees there and you have got 10,000 employees in the United States, you are just gaming the system. You are an American company."

President Barack Obama.

"There is no chance Ireland's legacy assets will be paid by the European Stability Mechanism. This ­instrument is only an instrument of emergency. The financial meltdown did not fall from heaven… there were bubbles in the banking sector and all of this was home-made."

Joachim Pfeiffer, German Christian Democrats economics spokesman.

"The problem with our ­politics and political ­institutions is not that they are out of touch. It is that they are hard-wired to the prevailing popular will to an extent that makes sustaining effective decision-making always difficult and usually ultimately impossible."

Gerard Howlin, former adviser to Bertie Ahern.

Sunday Independent

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