Monday 18 December 2017

Coalition holds the hopes of nation

Now is the time for us to celebrate the new administration -- proper criticism will follow in due time, writes Willie O'Dea

LOOKING across at the ranks of government TDs reinforced the message sent by the people on February 25 last. It was not just the number of them that struck me, but rather their youth and freshness, a youth and freshness not reflected in the formation of the Cabinet.

It would be peevish to carp at the Government after only a few days, so I will refrain. The vagueness of many of the recommendations in the Programme for Government, not to mention those opinions too weakly held to make it into the programme (like greater gender balance and reducing the number of junior ministers) leaves sufficient material for many critical articles in the weeks and months ahead.

Instead I wish to use my first article of the 31st Dail to focus on more positive matters. Congratulating my constituency colleague Michael Noonan in the Dail on his much-deserved appointment as Minister for Finance, I observed that while there are supposed to be two ministers with responsibility for finance, Michael will become known in Limerick as the real Finance Minister in the same way the late Jack Lynch was known in Cork as the real Taoiseach.

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