Key Cowen ally's modest approach pays dividends
JOHN Curran could not be more different than the Fianna Fail TD he replaced in Dublin Mid-West.
The late Liam Lawlor was loud, boastful and was also jailed three times for refusing to co-operate with the Flood Tribunal.
Mr Curran (49), elected in Dublin Mid-West in 2002 after Mr Lawlor resigned from the Fianna Fail party, is softly spoken, modest and has never been called before the planning tribunal.
As the previous deputy chief whip, he was the natural successor when government chief whip Pat Carey was promoted to the Cabinet. The fact that he is a close ally of Brian Cowen and Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe certainly did not hurt either.
His career has been free of major controversy -- although he was embarrassed in 2008 when he outlined his views on the importance of having a tax clearance certificate.
He was attending the Dail's Public Accounts Committee when he said: "If I was to get a contract with someone who was financed by the State, I'd have to produce a tax clearance certificate. As simple as that, or I wouldn't get my cheque."
Mr Curran's innocuous remark was seized on by the opposition because his leader Bertie Ahern had admitted at the time that he would be not be able to get a tax clearance certificate from the Revenue.