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Even a lame duck can open important doors

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Mr Kenny displayed irritation that London was still vague about what exactly it has in mind, particularly around the EU customs union. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Mr Kenny displayed irritation that London was still vague about what exactly it has in mind, particularly around the EU customs union. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Mr Kenny displayed irritation that London was still vague about what exactly it has in mind, particularly around the EU customs union. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

He's a lame duck - but he's our lame duck. Enda Kenny remains our Taoiseach for around another six weeks. That's assuming he intends to stick to his promise and announce a departure date after his return from the United States.

In that time there are important tasks for him to undertake as the leader of the country.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach was in Brussels for an EU summit where he expressed this nation's frustration at the British government's lack of clarity on its future relationship with the EU after Brexit.

Mr Kenny displayed irritation that London was still vague about what exactly it has in mind, particularly around the EU customs union.

"We didn't cause this. We have to put up with the consequences of it," he said, reflecting the impatience and concern at this side of the Irish Sea.

In a message to Fine Gael members last night, the Taoiseach referred to "the as yet unknown nature and scale of the implications of Britain's decision to leave the European Union has the potential to impact us in particular here in Ireland due to our position as Britain's closest neighbour".

Therefore, Mr Kenny says, the message he will take to the US this coming week will be "one of reassurance" on Ireland's commitment to maintain our position as the gateway to Europe for US investors. On his final trip to the US as Taoiseach, Mr Kenny will visit Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and New York.

The presence of the Taoiseach will open doors for the IDA in making contacts with investors new and old.

A lame duck, but he can still do business.

This Dáil is an insult to the voters - and victims

It's been nicknamed the "do-nothing Dáil" - by its own members.

But the stereotype went to a whole new dimension this week when the 'do-nothing Dáil' turned into the 'can't-even-be-bothered-to-turn-up Dáil'.

A debate in the Dáil at 10am on Thursday had to be delayed because there was an inadequate number of TDs present.

The topic of the debate on the schedule was 'Commission of Investigation Announcement on Tuam Mother and Baby Home: Statements'.

Oireachtas rules state that 20 TDs must be present for a debate to begin.

Despite the massive public focus on the Tuam scandal over the past week, there was not an adequate attendance.

Parties scrambled to get sufficient numbers into the Dáil Chamber.

The excuse offered that there were committees on at the time doesn't hold water.

When the debate did get under way, a number of those who had come in drifted away again.

Children's Minister Katherine Zappone made a personal apology to the victims of the homes.

That there were so few TDs present to hear it shows the real respect this parliament has for anything other than grandstanding and point-scoring.

The turnout was not only an insult to the electorate, but also to the memories of those who are buried in Tuam.

Irish Independent