It was unquestionably a rough week for Barry Cowen. The Agriculture Minister found himself under an "intense spotlight ... and on the shame, more importantly the shame, of drink-driving". Still, it could have been worse for him politically. He's being driven around as a Cabinet minister this weekend. The allegations about his drink-driving ban, provisional licence and speeding were being pursued weeks earlier before the new Cabinet was appointed. The chilling effect of our defamation laws meant it was exceptionally difficult to verify the story.
The result was determined before the match. Barry Cowen had the pitch to himself as the new government had ensured he wouldn't face any questions about his drink-driving ban. The Fianna Fáil TD has changed from his past vow of silence on the matter.
The circus is back in town. Fianna Fáil has returned in style. Only a week into the party's first taste of power in almost a decade and already there is disgruntlement, disaffection and disillusion. Allied to the anger, outrage and upset are allegations of heaves, conspiracies and botched strokes.
The elephant in the room entered via social media. The negotiating teams from the three parties were set for a long round of talks three Saturdays ago. On the heavy agenda for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party were up to 10 policy papers to plough through, on areas ranging from transport and mental health to retrofitting and the Just Transition Fund for the midlands.
Whether it was climate change or a lack of air conditioning, the President’s Hall in the Law Society in north inner city Dublin was roasting. The high windows were open, but the hot July evening sun beat in.
A Taoiseach who led his party to its worst ever electoral performance, has got together with a pair of ministers from the government that led the country into a bailout, to form a new coalition. Hurrah!
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