Having spent six weeks negotiating a programme for government, one would have expected a modicum of enthusiasm from chief negotiator Catherine Martin for the agreed deal. Instead, the statement released by the Green Party deputy leader to mark the auspicious occasion had a funereal quality.
Talks between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party have now entered their fourth week, but the parties are still no closer to reaching a deal. In fact, the talks have only progressed this far because none of the contentious issues that could derail discussions have even been broached.
In the 11 weeks since schools and crèches closed, the Government has broken every promise it made in relation to the provision of childcare for essential workers. Why should anyone believe its revised claims now?
Some good news at last. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have kissed and made up after both parties threw an almighty strop over the weekend, which threatened to plunge coalition talks into disarray.
Three weeks ago, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was horrified to hear that people in the UK were reporting their neighbours to the authorities for going on two runs a day or straying too far from their homes.
In 2007, then Green Party leader Trevor Sargent coined the phrase "Planet Bertie" to describe Fianna Fáil as a party that was "so strange and so alien to our sensibilities" that the two could never join forces in government.
As the lockdown drags on, the level of sanctimony in some quarters about people allegedly breaching social distancing guidelines is reaching epic proportions. Last week, those with holiday homes were public enemy number one. These selfish swine were apparently travelling from their palatial pads in Dublin to bijou cottages in some of Ireland's most scenic areas - carrying disease and pestilence with them in their vulgar Range Rovers.
It is now nearly two months since voters went to the polls in an election in which Covid-19 did not feature, even once. Since then, the world has changed and changed utterly. We don't know when, or if, it will return to normal.
For nearly 100 years, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have held a tight grip on political power. When one goes into government, the other goes out and bides its time on the opposition benches until its number comes up again.
The perceived wisdom is that the inclusion of Mary Lou McDonald in RTÉ's forthcoming leaders' debate would be a win for Sinn Féin. In reality, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil could be the biggest beneficiaries.
In its 2016 election manifesto, Fine Gael promised 93pc of patients would be dealt with in A&Es within six hours. Four years later, just 30pc of patients are being admitted to a ward from A&Es within this target time.
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