Stagnation once again in the Dáil
Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30
The inventor Rube Goldberg spent an inordinate amount of time deliberately inventing machines which were over-engineered to perform a simple task in a ludicrously complicated way. The Dáil is beginning to look like one of Mr Goldberg's elaborate, but ultimately useless contraptions.
All the component working parts for government are in Leinster House, the trouble is the incumbents of the 32nd Dáil have neither the collective will or political integrity to put them together. They have demonstrated a disgraceful inability to elevate the interests of the Irish people above their own.
It is hard to countenance a time in our history when a Dáil has been so poorly served. Micheál Martin has refused to be part of, or even potentially the head of government.
He dismissed the option after just 18 minutes.
He has followed this up by another breath-taking show of hubris by telling the Independents that they must either vote for him or be stuck with Enda Kenny. And so the cock has crowed three times, and we have endured an extended agony in the garden, but we are still being denied a government.
The Independents, Sinn Féin, and Labour cannot justify sitting on the fence. Fianna Fáil's transparent and brazenly self-serving strategy has been evident from the start. It clearly has no intention of being part of government this time round. Far better to sit on a grassy knoll, with the cross-hairs firmly fixed on the sitting ducks, and fire cheap shots until enough time lapses to take them out. They can then present themselves to the country as the "natural party of government" and a grateful nation will sweep them back to power.
Or so their narrative runs. Never mind what happened the last time voters gave them a free pass. If they believe this is a constructive use of Dáil time, or that such tactics might be in the best interests of our nation, they have truly lost the plot.
Gerry Adams has also been sorely testing the public's patience. Objecting to the Dáil being adjourned and lecturing TDs on how well-paid they are all plays well; but his party's 23 TDs have an opportunity to be part of a solution instead of sitting tight. There is a searing irony in the fact that the biggest obstacle to forming a government is that those who stood for and won office, are too small-minded to honour it.
Merely serving up stagnation once again is a travesty.
We must not flinch in the face of gang murders
Another gangland murder in the middle of our capital city in broad daylight. This time, it appears that the victim was not the intended target.
It is also believed that the intended target may have been part of the feud between associates of Gary Hutch, who was shot dead in Spain last year, and David Byrne, who was connected to the Kinahan drugs cartel. If this is the case, the murdered man would be the fifth victim in this gang war. The chilling murder is another stark reminder of how much contempt these ruthless killers have for the rule of law, and how cheap life has become in the Ireland of 2016.
This week, we heard from the gardaí at their annual conference of how morale within the force is at an all-time low, and how they felt that they needed bullet-proof vests and better support to fight the threats from gangland. They also voiced concerns about their preparedness to deal with terrorism.
Yesterday, we saw the Australians issue a travel warning about visiting our country because of possible risks. Another murder in the afternoon will nor help our reputation.
Flinching in the face of crime is not an option.