Friday 28 October 2016

Taoiseach's contempt for loyal Tánaiste

Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30

Enda Kenny has refused to end speculation over when he intends to call a general election
Enda Kenny has refused to end speculation over when he intends to call a general election

Tánaiste Joan Burton deserves more courtesy than that which is being afforded to her at present by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

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It is a lack of courtesy bordering, if not trespassing, on contempt.

The issue? The refusal by Mr Kenny to end speculation as to when he intends to call the General Election - next month or next spring.

The date of the election is the Taoiseach's constitutional prerogative. However, the Fine Gael leader has repeatedly made a virtue of his intention to run to a full term and complete key legislative programmes.

Why the drama?

The Labour party, led by Ms Burton, has its own reasons for wanting a spring 2016 election. This is not least because it would afford the junior coalition partner additional time and space to stem potential losses that could see severe reductions in Labour's parliamentary representation in the next Dáil.

But it is Ms Burton who has had to bear the public brunt of Mr Kenny's wearisome guile over the date of the election.

What his equivocation suggests is that in reality all bets may be off when it comes to any transfer pact between the Government partners.

Together, the Taoiseach and Tánaiste have promoted - and continue to promote - a key message of stability to voters.

This stability does not just extend to economic or fiscal matters.

Indeed, one of the hallmarks of the 31st Dáil has been the resilience of the Coalition and its ability to maintain a unified stance as the Government weathered a series of challenges and controversies in its near five-year term.

These include the enactment of Ireland's first abortion laws since the 1992 'X' case, the sacking in all but name of the former Garda Commissioner and a series of tense annual budgets. In short, Ms Burton has supported Mr Kenny at times when other partners might have wavered or pulled the political plug.

It's no way to treat a lady - and no way to treat an electorate either.

Nation hopes for glory on 'Super Sunday'

Goodison Park, Liverpool in 1948, Neckar Stadium, Stuttgart in 1988, Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa in 1990, Giants Stadium in New Jersey in 1994, Lansdowne Road in 2001.

The Aviva Stadium joined the list of stadia where memorable victories were pulled off by our national football team on Thursday night.

The 1-0 victory against World Cup winners Germany brought back memories of past wins against England, Romania, Italy and the Netherlands.

The win guaranteed Ireland a place in the play-offs for the Euro 2016 football championships in France, and we now head to the National Stadium in Warsaw tomorrow on a quest for an automatic slot.

Just hours beforehand, Ireland's rugby team face our old bogey team France in Cardiff.

The Millennium Stadium is already in the history books of Irish rugby following the Six Nations win in 2009.

Let's hope there's another reason to remember the venue fondly on Sunday night, with a win that will see Ireland top the group and tee us up for a quarter-final.

A 'Super Sunday' of glory awaits.

Irish Independent

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