John Downing: After the pasting they have taken Labour now deserve some kudos
I sat in the front row of the conference room in Liberty Hall, but a bit off to the side, so I could eyeball most of the speakers.
It was early January 2009, almost midway through the Green Party's ill-starred 42-month stint in coalition with Fianna Fail, and the party had put on the meeting ostensibly to discuss the economy but, in reality, to allow the activists voice their views on how things were going so far.
Much of the early contributions from the floor were somewhat negative about the party's role in government. Then one well-dressed elderly gent appeared to buck the trend as he listed off a range of compliments couched in superlatives.