TÚS maith leath na hoibre. A good start is half the work.
It's not a seanfhocail Michéal Martin will be using as a mantra for his new Government.
It's been a dire eight days since the Taoiseach took office and vowed to knuckle down to important work.
The first week in office was dominated by Fianna Fáil TDs expressing their anger about not being picked as ministers.
The second week will be about Fianna Fáil figures misbehaving. It's only Monday morning and there's been two apologies over the weekend from the ranks of the party. There's a book started on who's next.
The caretaker government thrived by taking decisive action in a time of crisis. The message in the early phases of the coronavirus lockdown was crisp and confident. The public responded positively to this leadership.
The new Government looks like a bunch of incompetents.
The lack of judgment by experienced politicians in the senior government party is astonishing.
Micheál Martin is clean-living. He notoriously replaced the bites with fruit at the Cabinet table. He hasn't touched a biscuit in about 20 years. He'd be spotted on the rare occasion having the odd pint in O'Brien's over Baggot Street Bridge. He'd never drink and drive. Yet he picked a Cabinet minister who did and didn't tell him.
Martin specifically kept his family away from the Convention Centre last weekend as he became Taoiseach, to abide by Covid-19 distancing rules. Yet an MEP with almost 30 years' experience came back into the country to attend the event without going into quarantine.
Fianna Fáil Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher has apologised for not following HSE advice and self-isolating at home when he flew back from Brussels to attend the election of Martin as Taoiseach.
"This was an error of judgment on my part and I apologise unreservedly," he said.
Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen has described his disqualification for drink-driving as a "terribly stupid mistake" and something he regretted.
Speaking on RTÉ's 'The Week in Politics', Mr Cowen said he had to accept responsibility for his actions and described the incident as a "serious lapse of judgment".
The Fianna Fáil TD said he was humiliated and embarrassed by what had happened and had to accept the ridicule his actions had caused.
It's not enough for Micheál Martin to lead by example. He has to start demanding higher standards from those in high office or the higher echelons of his party.
Fianna Fáil is back playing senior hurling but won't pull up the socks.
The Taoiseach says he "first became aware of this issue on Friday afternoon" when he was asked specifically by the Irish Independent about Barry Cowen's drink-driving ban and provided with the detail.
Seriously? Martin wants us to believe he hadn't heard any rumours about Cowen being caught drink-driving.
Due to our draconian libel laws, the media have to get hard evidence before putting an allegation into the public domain.
Now, you'd find more gossip in Leinster House than a bingo hall of a Thursday night - some of it is true, some half-true, some harmful, some malicious, some slanderous.
Senior figures within both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have told this newspaper they had heard the rumours about Barry Cowen and a drink-driving incident. It was on the grapevine and in the realm of the fine Irish tradition: 'Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi.'
It's certainly been doing the rounds in Tullamore for years.
As a party leader, Micheál Martin has the advantage that he can privately ask a member of his party if he hears of anything untoward. He didn't or he chose not to.
The Green Party lambs have decided not to go near the Fianna Fáil wolves now they are in government together. The Minister for Transport has little enough to say about a Cabinet colleague being banned for drink driving. One wonders would Shane Ross have been as quiet as his successor Eamon Ryan when he was in the role.
Fine Gael is also giving Cowen a pass, rolling out junior ministers to talk in platitudes about the law being applied in full.
Meanwhile, Leo Varadkar brought in a 'Maria Bailey-type test' after the swing-gate affair. TDs have to sign a document declaring any skeletons in the closet. Martin could do with one in Fianna Fáil.
Before the general election, candidates were asked to sign a party pledge confirming there was nothing in their "past life" they have not revealed which could bring the party into disrepute.
Candidates signed an amended pledge confirming they had revealed any matter, including views they may have held, which could be a breach of Fine Gael's ethos and principles.
The pledge follows a number of controversies involving previous candidates, including Bailey and Verona Murphy.
The candidates were asked to confirm they had no pending prosecutions or prior convictions other than minor road traffic offences which resulted in fines of less than €500.
They pledged they had revealed any Revenue Commissioner, Work Place Relations, Labour Court or Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement judgments made against them.
Any civil litigation taken against them or their companies was also to be revealed to the party general secretary.
In the aftermath of the Bailey controversy, Varadkar said he would be instructing all election candidates to reveal any involvement in legal proceedings. He said he would also introduce a new party pledge which all candidates would be required to sign before the election.
Fine Gael learned the lesson of the damage done by the Bailey affair, where the party's failure to act on the former TD when her compensation case for falling off a swing caused enormous reputational damage to the party.
Martin would have caught the Cowen issue if he had introduced a similar process within his own party.
Moreover, the Taoiseach showed poor judgment in not properly vetting his candidates for Cabinet before making his selection.
The country deserves better from its leaders.