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Monday 19 March 2018

Watchdogs stumble around in fuzzy haze of 'Garglegate'

Fiach Kelly

GET THE Alka Seltzer. Cook up a fry. Hit the couch. Watch daytime TV. Take a walk.

Do anything to try and shake it -- but it seems this hangover isn't going away for the Government any time soon.

The Greens were enveloped in its fuzzy haze yesterday, and they weren't even on the session at their own 'think-in' in the Lord Bagenal Hotel in Leighlinbridge, Carlow.

Will the watchdogs of Government -- the ones who claimed Willie O'Dea's ministerial 'tache -- bite if there is another gaffe like Mr Cowen's carousing and below-par interview in Galway?

Earlier yesterday, in his own 'Morning Ireland' interview, Mr Gormley had put the Taoiseach's poor performance down to an "off day". But, at the close of the Green think-in, he wouldn't be drawn on how many more off-days Mr Cowen would be granted before the Greens call time on his period as Taoiseach.

That kind of thinking is "hypothetical", he sniffed.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan said politicians had to provide "hope and optimism" but admitted there wasn't much hope and optimism in slurring your words in a hoarse voice on the biggest radio show in the country.

But he's big on the hope and optimism, is Eamon -- and big on long, rambling speeches. At the conclusion of the think-in, Dan Boyle asked the notoriously waffle-prone minister to say a few words.

"Ah, jaysus," came the groan from down the room. Undeterred, Eamon gave it his best.

"It's a green revolution that will take us out of the downturn we're in and into a much more sustainable and better future," he said to applause from one person in the room.

Some Greens have privately acknowledged that 'Garglegate' has brought a General Election closer, with or without Mr Cowen at the helm. But all eyes are now on the other dog, the Fianna Fail backbenches -- the one that often growls, rarely barks and never seems to bite.

Irish Independent

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