Simon Coveney's enthusiasm for the European Union does us no favours either on Covid or calming tensions in Northern Ireland.
On Thursday's Morning Ireland, he defended the EU's appalling record on vaccines while at the same time backing its negative role in Northern Ireland.
First, Coveney got sanctimonious about countries (like the Austrians and Danes) who bypassed the EU on vaccines.
"Ireland will certainly not be sourcing any vaccines that aren't approved by the European Medicines Agency," he told us piously.
Let me give Coveney a reality check. Boris Johnson is forging ahead with his vaccination programme because early on he sourced vaccines outside the EU.
In contrast, our rate of vaccinations is plodding behind Britain's and is light years behind Israel's.
The main reason for our slow progress is supply. Last week, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he had asked the High Level Task Force to examine the possibility of seeking extra vaccine supplies outside of the EU arrangement.
But why kick it on to another committee? Why doesn't Donnelly pick up the phone himself?
Better still, why doesn't Foreign Minister Coveney start calling other countries?
Contrast our supine dependence on the EU with Austria, which has sought vaccine supplies from Israel. If Austria - the birthplace of Adolf Hitler - can reach out to Israel, what is stopping us doing the same?
Admittedly, if Coveney picked up the phone to Israel they might give him the vaccine - but only after a stern reminder of his relentless right-on criticisms of their Palestinian policies.
But Coveney is far too busy laying down his green credentials to lead Fine Gael by lambasting the Brits and waving the green flag.
On Morning Ireland, somehow getting puce on radio, he raised the tribal temperature north and south by bashing the British for easing the protocol and pussyfooting around the EU on the vaccine debacle.
Like most Irish people, I support the EU. But we have now crossed the line between sensible support and sycophantic support as in Coveney's case.
Some of our excessive enthusiasm for an EU which let us down badly on the vaccines is just another way of bashing the Brits and unionists, even Remainer unionists like the UUP.
All week Coveney was complaining about Boris Johnson's "lack of respect" for the European Union.
How can Coveney compare an abstract issue like "respect" for the EU with Johnson's urgent need to calm unionist anger?
Because it's not just the DUP that has problems with the protocol. Steve Aiken and the UUP - who were Remainers - have consistently criticised Coveney's dismissive approach to their concerns.
In fact, Boris Johnson's move to give a grace period on the protocol will benefit entrepreneurs and producers from both traditions.
The director of Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, Aodhán Michael Connolly, told RTÉ he welcomed the British government's move.
He added he would have preferred if it had been done bilaterally rather than unilaterally. But Boris Johnson had to move fast.
Tensions were rising steadily - witness the loyalist paramilitaries' statement on the GFA - and Johnson presumably wasn't up for protracted negotiations with sullen EU bureaucrats who have never forgiven him for leaving the European Union.
As for acting unilaterally, Johnson could credibly argue the EU had also acted unilaterally when it activated Article 16.
Even a tincture of empathy by Coveney should have shown him that in the eyes of even moderate unionists the protocol has cut off Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and left it at the mercy of hostile EU bureaucrats.
Why should unionists feel safe in the hands of a clearly hostile EU bureaucracy which only recently triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol?
What is wrong with Boris Johnson - who has a duty of care to unionists as well as nationalists in Northern Ireland - acting rapidly to calm unionist fears?
Another reason it's hard to take Coveney's criticisms of Boris Johnson's action seriously is that Ireland and the EU acknowledged last week that a grace period was in the offing anyway.
In sum, Coveney's political tantrum was about the manner rather than content of the British move.
Let me once again nail my pluralist colours to the mast by making three points about the Northern Ireland sea border that contradicts the tribal position of hawks in the Republic's Government and media.
First, while the Irish Sea border poses no economic threat to Northern Ireland, it has dealt an enormous political and psychological blow to unionists.
Even a small effort at empathy should show us that the Irish Sea border is deeply damaging their sense of security as part of the United Kingdom.
Second, far too many southern commentators have breezily tried to play down that psychic shock.
They dismissively blame all unionists for "bringing it on themselves" when in fact it was just the DUP that supported Brexit and trusted Boris Johnson.
Finally, let me challenge those in the Irish Cabinet who claim unionists are exaggerating the impact of the protocol on Northern Ireland, as if the impact were purely economic.
Far from the UUP and DUP whipping up tension, it's actually the other way round. These parties are driven by a growing grassroots anxiety about being cut off from the United Kingdom and left - with no representation - at the mercy of the EU.
The hawks in the Dublin political and media establishment who claim that unionists are exaggerating their fears are merely updating the old nationalist "false consciousness" theory.
Even Garret FitzGerald suffered from the patronising delusion that we know better than unionists what they want. Thus FitzGerald could foolishly claim that "deep down" unionists really wanted a united Ireland.
For us to tell northern Protestants that the trauma of a border between them and the United Kingdom is nothing to worry about is like telling someone in deep depression to pull themselves together.
Coveney has never had enough empathy to stand in a unionist's shoes. He seemed taken aback during Brexit talks when Steve Aiken reminded him that voting Remain didn't mean he ceased to be a unionist.
Coveney had some neck in going north recently to tell unionists that Brexit was to blame for the sea border and to "own it".
This enrages even moderate unionists since it was our campaign for the backstop that forced the protocol - which unionists experience as a psychic eviction notice.
Furthermore, the hypocrisy of our position - that an open land border was vital to the GFA - makes unionists feel we speak with a forked tongue.
In September 2019, Pat Leahy in The Irish Times reported that in the event of a no-deal the Government would protect our position in the single market - that is, put checks on the Border.
Last week, my readers were told that everything the EU did was good and everything the Brits did was bad. But, as you see, there are two sides to every story.