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Time to get down to the business of governing

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'Taoiseach Micheál Martin had shown his mettle when he went from backing to sacking his agriculture minister in the space of just seven hours on Tuesday.' Photo: PA

'Taoiseach Micheál Martin had shown his mettle when he went from backing to sacking his agriculture minister in the space of just seven hours on Tuesday.' Photo: PA

'Taoiseach Micheál Martin had shown his mettle when he went from backing to sacking his agriculture minister in the space of just seven hours on Tuesday.' Photo: PA

Last evening's Cabinet meeting had a lot on its collective mind. Ministers took the advice of the health experts by keeping pubs which are not serving food closed until August 10, they reviewed the European ruling in the Apple case, and they considered the fall-out from the sacking of Barry Cowen.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin had shown his mettle when he went from backing to sacking his agriculture minister in the space of just seven hours on Tuesday. The refusal by the Offaly TD to answer questions in the Dáil about the night he was stopped for drink-driving put all of his ministerial colleagues in an impossible situation.

They would have been constantly asked if they felt Mr Cowen had questions to answer. The row would have rumbled on during the investigations into how details of the drink-driving offence became public and the accuracy or otherwise of the Garda version of events that night. The results of both investigations would inevitably cause further controversy and more distraction from the real business of Government.