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Show of mercy for Cowen may help to improve the pool of talent in politics

Sarah Carey


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Under pressure: There have been calls for Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen to go after his appointment by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Under pressure: There have been calls for Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen to go after his appointment by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Under pressure: There have been calls for Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen to go after his appointment by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

What matters more to you? Mercy or justice? It's a famous question, the answer to which reveals a lot about who you are. I always answer mercy.

The mere mention of it causes me to declaim Portia's speech from 'The Merchant of Venice'. "The quality of mercy is not strained; it droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed; it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes."

Which is why I'm in the outlandish position of writing a column, for the second week in a row, defending misbehaving Fianna Fáilers. What's the world coming to?