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Jim may be a threat but he 'ain't no Haughey'

John Downing


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Keeping his distance: Jim O’Callaghan could be hoping to remain aloof from any coalition failures. Pic Tom Burke

Keeping his distance: Jim O’Callaghan could be hoping to remain aloof from any coalition failures. Pic Tom Burke

Keeping his distance: Jim O’Callaghan could be hoping to remain aloof from any coalition failures. Pic Tom Burke

Let's play my new board game called "Spot the spurned backbencher". No, on second thoughts that's too tricky, given lockdown board-game traumas. It's too fraught to present such a crowded field for prospective players.

So straight to the point: Jim O'Callaghan TD, heavy-hitting lawyer and ambitious Fianna Fáil politician, has bluntly declined an offer to play with the junior team. It's senior or nothing for James, who notably did not make the first team of government announced last Saturday.

Well, no, that's not entirely the story. He actually says he is not playing junior because he wants to devote his energies to party matters.