Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lise Hand: Doc left home alone as Kenny fails to shake off ghostly beard

WHAT'S a head of Government to do? There was the Taoiseach standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Brussels bigwig Jose Manuel Barroso, who was heaping praise upon him for his "steadfast determination" in steering the ship of state between the IMF icebergs, and addressing him affectionately as "my dear Enda", even -- when a ghostly beard drifted into the press conference like the portentous shade of Hamlet's father.

The question was simple -- did the Taoiseach have confidence in James Reilly? Enda looked sombre. The focus had switched from Brussels to Balbriggan in an instant, and not in a good way. Perhaps it's time that James, like a packet of 20 cigs, should come with his own government health warning: THIS MINISTER IS HARMFUL TO COALITIONS.

"The Government has given absolute backing to Minister Reilly," he chanted, not for the first time in recent days. But there's no getting away from the Health Minister, not even in Belgium, not even when James was left cooling his heels at home while a whopping 11 members of the Cabinet headed off on an away-day to Brussels.

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