Thursday 29 September 2016

Public have a right to see history being made

Published 12/03/2016 | 02:30

Dáil ushers carry the ballot box containing votes for the new Ceann Comhairle past portraits of former taoisigh in Dáil Éireann. Photo: Maxwell's
Dáil ushers carry the ballot box containing votes for the new Ceann Comhairle past portraits of former taoisigh in Dáil Éireann. Photo: Maxwell's

He started out the week accused of being a political corpse. He ended it as a political sulk.

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There was something of the night about Acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny's decision to creep out of Government Buildings under cover of darkness on Thursday night and sneak into Áras an Uachtaráin to resign after he failed to put a government together.

From a seemingly unassailable position just six weeks ago, it's quite the turn of events. He was supposed to be the first Fine Gael leader ever returned to power after consecutive elections.

Instead, he blew it. Mr Kenny clearly didn't want the moment encapsulating his embarrassment being recorded for the historical record. So he and his handlers contrived to not allow any photographs or TV pictures of his humiliation. It was a petty and childish decision, which was demeaning to his office.

Not content with losing the election, the Acting Taoiseach now chooses to demean his office by placing party political considerations - and his ego - ahead of the right of the public to see history being made.

Mr Kenny's preening behaviour was a further illustration of how out of touch he is with reality after becoming bloated with arrogance from his five years in power.

Even his own party backbenchers were bemused by the actions of a man who looks increasingly out of his depth.

By contrast, the Leinster House authorities, in particular Superintendent Paul Conway and Head of Communications Derek Dignam, are to the congratulated for their open coverage of the first sitting of the Dáil.

The images, for example, of the ballot boxes from the Ceann Comhairle election being carried from the Dáil Chamber, across the balcony where the portraits of former Taoisigh hang, down the Seanad corridor to the anteroom, where the count was taking place, allowed the public a realtime view of these important State events.

History was witnessed. It wasn't hidden away.

Irish Independent

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