Saturday 23 September 2017

A bizarre attempt to defend the indefensible

As has been argued, a cigarette is the only consumer product that, when used as directed, can kill its consumer. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
As has been argued, a cigarette is the only consumer product that, when used as directed, can kill its consumer. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Editorial

Editorial

The phrase "ah, sure..." could be one of the most dangerous in Irish politics. It becomes even more so when followed by "it's just" or "it's only" - and is used to explain away the indefensible and inexcusable.

So when Junior Minister Finian McGrath feels he can sign up for a Programme for Government and not pay his water bill, we have an "ah, sure" moment followed by "it's just Finian". The problem is that the Government is barely a week old, and Mr McGrath is back in the news bizarrely seeking an easing up of the smoking ban that has unquestionably saved countless lives and has been seen as a model in world health policy.

His ill-advised and ill-judged comments on the unfair treatment of smokers and the need to provide indoor smoking rooms have been roundly condemned. Naively and disingenuously, he sought to defend himself by arguing that he can support Government policy while holding completely contradictory personal views.

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