Analysis: A clash between two big political dynasties - with a whiff of revenge
Last time this pair played "political chicken", Simon Coveney won and gave Fine Gael a much-needed morale boost. This time, Barry Cowen and Fianna Fáil feel they need to level the score.
Yes, there is a silly boys' game aspect to all of this. We are talking about a serious impasse on the future of water funding which has led us to open talk of a general election few people want. But there is also a pronounced political dynastic element to this face-off between two characters who each have a considerable pedigree within their parties.
Simon Coveney came to politics unexpectedly in October 1998 after the untimely death of his father, Hugh, who accidentally drowned in tragic circumstances.