Sunday 11 December 2016

We may not love our politicians - but we can admire them

Niamh Gallagher

Published 10/06/2015 | 02:30

Jeremy Paxman, who tried to define the key requirements for a politician
Jeremy Paxman, who tried to define the key requirements for a politician

What characteristics do we want our politicians to have? Do you praise the postman for delivering letters? Probably not. Nor should you, according to Roy Keane, who was furious when Alex Ferguson praised him for 'covering every blade of grass' in a game. It's not a big deal, was his view - it's just what you do: it's your job.

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The week before last, Deputy Catherine Murphy did her job. She had privileged information that she believed was in the public interest. She read it into the Dáil record so it could be dealt with. I imagine that her view of what she did might be similar to Keane's - it's just what you do, it's the job.

But for me, what she did took courage. Such courage is an important trait in a politician, and a trait we need to see more of.

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