There is a kinder Irish language aphorism about starts, less known than another one, which goes: "Bíonn gach tosach lag."
It is rendered in English as: "Every start is weak."
This ill-starred new Government's debut month has been not just weak but downright calamitous.
There are various explanations. But the old maxim "when you're explaining, you're losing" is not old for nothing. The central problem right now is that this new Government has projected as three parties in various stages of disarray - it is very far from a coalition which has gelled and shown signs of functioning as a unit.
Fine Gael is in the least disarray and has many back-up structures in place with advisers and communications people inherited from the previous coalition. The Green Party had to batter through a polite but robust leadership contest which also showed considerable internal strains, posing questions about the party's future unity.
Fianna Fáil was worst hit with disappointed heavy-hitters reflecting that they may have missed their last chance to make Cabinet and a bitter row about geographic gaps in the appointments made. That row folded into the abrupt exit of agriculture minister Barry Cowen after only 17 days in office over a past drink-driving case which dragged on much too long.
Since then, there has been undue focus on government pay and perks. There were reports of former Taoiseach and now Tánaiste Leo Varadkar keeping an aide-de-camp from the Defence Forces, former Tánaiste Simon Coveney retaining a garda-driven car instead of a civilian-driven one, and the unholy row about a third super junior minister's top-up payment of €16,000-plus a year.
We moved from that to a row over stopping €350-a-week Covid-19 welfare payments for people who ignore government advice - but do not break any law - by travelling abroad. This is one which raises very serious questions about discrimination against people forced through no fault of their own to depend on this Covid welfare payment.
It is compounded by an injunction that people must be seeking work. That does suggest pressure for those in this difficult position to accept inappropriate jobs at a lower rate. That is fundamentally unjust.
All of these calamities have given heaven-sent opportunities to the opposition, notably Sinn Féin, to be right about so much that is wrong. Thus far, the opposition has only had to show up to score against this Government.
Yet, amid all the political hullabaloo, it is too easy to overlook that this Government has been working on the case. The Taoiseach spent the guts of five days closed in Brussels at a bruising EU summit, fighting the good fight for Ireland. That battle is incomplete and ongoing.
This day last week the Government announced a €5bn spending plan to boost the economy, adding to a €2bn business loan guarantee fund.
On Monday it unveiled a plan to reopen the schools which faces huge snags and challenges - but at least it is a start and a positive move.
On those occasions the Government had a coherent look, which was welcome. We need far more of it given we have 20pc unemployment and a debt overhang of €200bn which will be added to by some €30bn this year. We cannot assume international record lows for borrowing will continue interminably.
So the Government's end-of-term report definitely reads: "Must try harder."
The summer Dáil recess will be welcomed as it takes down pressure.
This is a chance for planning and reflection.
This Coalition has to start pulling together and acting as a coherent unit. We have never so badly needed coherent government.