| 16.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium


Shane Coleman

A day of reckoning approaches

Shane Coleman


Few new governments will have faced such adversity from day one - and parties could suffer consequences

Close

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: Gerry Mooney

How long before the sense of national solidarity, so admirably present since the Covid crisis began, breaks down? Not long in Leinster House at least, one fears. Politics has the potential to get really ugly really quickly, resulting in lasting damage to the country.

Let's assume Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens manage to put together a government, despite the latter's bizarre public implosion in recent days. No incoming administration in the history of the State, bar perhaps the one formed in the shadow of the Civil War, will have faced such instant adversity.

The Taoiseach said last week the current economic crisis was not worse than the crash of 2008-2009. While he could say little else, there are strong grounds for believing otherwise. Huge chunks of the economy are in cold storage and will be for a long time to come. The hole in the budget will be about €30bn this year, one in four is unemployed and more than a million workers are getting some form of emergency welfare or subsidy.