Tuesday 24 October 2017

Shane Ross: The deal has been stitched up. The boys will have jobs and old politics will be restored

Both Labour and Fine Gael will happily forget their election promises to share the spoils of power, writes Shane Ross

WAGS in Leinster House were at their cynical worst on Friday. "The deal has been stitched up for days," volunteered one senator.

"Big Phil Hogan, Pat Rabbitte, Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin have been playing bridge for three nights in a row to relieve the boredom," responded an Independent TD.

Of course the negotiators felt compelled to paint a fraught atmosphere at the ultra-smooth Fine Gael/ Labour talks. Word kept leaking about the "difficulties". The tangible harmony inside the Sycamore Room in Government Buildings could cause unease among party foot soldiers. The faithful, watching from the sidelines, expected skin and hair to be flying by now as the two teams traded long treasured principles.

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