Sunday 17 December 2017

Celia Larkin: Taoiseach should know how to manage the media

The real scandal of the 'flowerpot incident' is that neither Enda nor his advisers were prepared, writes Celia Larkin

Peace has broken out between the Government Information Service (GIS) and TV3. Hallelujah. Now we can all sleep safely in our beds.

The whole "flowerpot incident" involving allegedly assaultive media and the Taoiseach recently would be funny if it wasn't so damn maddening. Here's why we should be mad as hell: as taxpayers we're forking out nearly €120,000 a year to Government Press Secretary Feargal Purcell and €168,000 a year to Enda Kenny's adviser Mark Kennelly, and between them they couldn't handle a door-step interview with the Taoiseach outside the National Library last week.

Given the events leading up to the incident, they had plenty of warning. In the previous week the leader of the Labour Party and the Minister for Justice both declared their personal support for gay marriage. It's what's called a pincer movement, and the one being squeezed by the pincers was Enda Kenny. Every dog in the street could have told the press secretary and the adviser that the Taoiseach was going to be door-stepped so the world would know whether he was for or against the proposition.

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