Tuesday 13 November 2018

Brendan O'Connor: 'Minister Zappone, what if now is a dark chapter?'

It would make for fewer easy wins and it would take courage for the minister to do more about the current dark chapters, writes Brendan O'Connor

Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

It's probably unfair, but don't you find yourself innately suspicious of people who are always picking up awards and making keynote speeches? Most of us feel, rightly or wrongly, there are two types of people in the world. There are workhorses and show ponies. The workhorses are the serious people who keep the show on the road in organisations and have no time for going around making speeches and hustling to get awards, while the show ponies put their primary focus on public perception.

Which do you think Katherine Zappone is? She seems on one hand like a very serious, passionate, committed woman, who came into politics with a very clear agenda to campaign on and change certain things, and sometimes it seems as if she is ticking those things off. And on the other hand, sometimes you wonder if there's an element of show pony to it all.

Last week Zappone was out in the States at her alma mater, Boston College, giving a keynote address to open a two-day conference, Towards Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland.

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