Saturday 17 February 2018

Fianna Fail must up ante in opposition

With Sinn Fein hot on its heels, there will be no time for licking wounds in the 31st Dail, writes Celia Larkin

THE battle for leadership of the opposition has well and truly begun. And, without question, round one goes to Gerry Adams.

Wednesday was Enda Kenny's day. He played a blinder. He was elegant, eloquent and quick-witted. The catch in his voice when he spoke of his family and the obvious pride on the face of his wife Fionnuala as she watched from the distinguished visitors' gallery was heart-warming. But it wasn't just warmth and sentiment. Kenny also demonstrated a mastery of House procedures, which established that he will be no pushover when it comes to the management of Dail business. Congratulations are definitely in order.

Perhaps it was that sense that the day so clearly belonged to the Mayo man that caught Micheal Martin badly off guard. It happened at speed but was infinitely revealing. First, the Taoiseach announced that the Dail would sit on Tuesday next, March 15, but that he wouldn't take oral questions. The words were only out of his mouth when Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Fein, was on his feet questioning the purpose of convening the house if the Taoiseach proposed not to allow oral questions. Good question. Fair point.

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