If Fianna Fáil is to face down its dreaded Sinn Féin threat, it will have to show real results on housing. So, enter Darragh O'Brien, the new Housing Minister who has a mega challenge ahead of him.
Put that another way, O'Brien is already in the Opposition crosshairs, far more so than the other big Fianna Fáil target, Stephen Donnelly, that other Greystones resident taking up the cross of Health Minister.
Don't get me wrong: Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats, the various Independents and the smaller leftist groups do look forward to putting Stephen Donnelly on the spot about the many problems you can always expect from the health system.
It will also take a little time for him to eat his past words as Opposition spokesman on the issue. Post-coronavirus pressures from problems which were piling up since mid-March will garnish things there.
But in the heel of the reel, housing is the one which "gets" middle Ireland, in large part because it is where parents are watching their accomplished children and grandchildren who are unable to get a home of their own in a suitable location at a half-affordable price. Housing is the one which will decide Fianna Fáil's fate.
Thus Darragh O'Brien carries many of his party colleagues' hopes and fears right now. If he can show tangible progress, then he can, to at least some extent, offset Sinn Féin's ability to cry the blues about most everything that is wrong with this country.
The Dublin Fingal TD, who celebrates his 46th birthday on Wednesday, has been quite some time at Leinster House where he landed as a "young Turk" in May 2007.
He has known the slings and arrows of politics, being one of Fianna Fáil's 51 TDs to lose in their near electoral wipeout of February 2011. But he hung in as a senator and won back his Dáil seat in 2016, retaining it on February 8.
He spent a chunk of the last Dáil term as housing spokesman and has few excuses about his knowledge of the manifold problems he faces, problems which big names like Labour's Alan Kelly and former Fine Gael Tánaiste Simon Coveney really struggled with.
Some believe that Fianna Fáil's Meath East TD, Tom Byrne, might have been a better bet given his temperament and work rate. But against that, O'Brien played a role in the Coalition negotiations, and also convinced his party leader, Micheál Martin, that he was a good bet to deliver in this most pivotal Government job available.
O'Brien can expect a lot of oversight from the Taoiseach as Martin knows how much is depending on this position in the minimal two-and-a-half-year stint ahead of him at Government Buildings. And housing is notorious for many delays and long lead-ins.
The danger persists that, even with success, the new Housing Minister could experience that most galling fate, of teeing up things for his successor to reap the glory. So, the focus will be on quick tangible results stripped of all the civil service jargon of "inputs, stakeholders and outputs".
Since today is only day nine of his tenure in the new job, it would not be reasonable to expect him to detail his plans. But he has pinned his hopes on delivering 50,000 new social homes over the coming five-year term.
On RTÉ he talked about "affordable houses" being delivered at prices between €160,000 and €260,000 each. Again he has spoken about publicly owned land being deployed to cut the prices but he has wisely fought shy of putting too many more specific figures on the number of houses which can be built.
Clearly, the coronavirus shutdown of building work, now only slowly re-opening up to full scale, is a further complication here. Intriguingly, he has spoken about initiatives in the private rented sector, an area fraught with all kinds of legal and political issues.
In an interview with the 'Sunday Independent' yesterday, he spoke passionately about his own bad experiences with negative equity having bought a home in his native Malahide, Co Dublin, at the upper end of the house-price spiral in 2006. He will know, given the high personal stakes for so many people in matters of housing, that he has used his one and only opportunity to run that anecdote.
The honeymoon, if there ever was one, is very definitely already over. It was notable that Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, in her front bench reshuffle last week, did not change portfolio for her Dublin Mid-West TD, Eoin Ó Broin.
He continues with housing and is a formidable performer on the issue.
However, as we have already noted, all the other Opposition TDs will be looking for O'Brien on this vital issue from the get-go.
Otherwise, all three party leaders will hope for better political weather as this Coalition enters week two.
It is hard to imagine how things could have been much worse than last week on that front, with the mishandling of appointments in the three parties and the rather unfortunate revelation about the new Agriculture Minister, Barry Cowen, and drink driving.
These issues which dominated last week are serious matters in their way for various reasons. But it will be a test of these politicians' mettle as to whether they can move on to the main agenda.
Irish people are much keener to know whether they, and those close to them, will have a job in the coming months rather than who got what in the senior and junior ministerial stakes. So, to the economic stimulus upon which many people will depend in that regard.
On top of that will come Taoiseach Martin's first EU leaders' summit a week later. This is a first face-to-face meeting since the lockdown, with a packed agenda of Irish interest ranging from coronavirus recovery aid to Brexit.
The nation cannot afford another wasted week like the last one.