Sam Smyth: Ministers give up their aul' sins in bonfire of the vanities
EU Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn ignored the ritual of polite small talk when she rang Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in his office on Monday evening.
Mr Lenihan was curtly instructed to start the process of suspending her Dail and ministerial pensions. He was told to issue a statement but further instructed not to elaborate beyond the simple fact that she was "gifting" her pension to the nation.
The commissioner made it clear to anyone who would listen that it was with great reluctance that she was surrendering the €108,000 annual top-up to her €243,000 salary from the EU.