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A PR disaster for Fine Gael

Brian Cowen shouldn't worry too much about being called a "drunken moron" on American television. As embarrassing as that was, it's nothing compared to what some people in Fine Gael are currently saying about their own leader.

Enda Kenny declared a couple of weeks ago that he was about to take the gloves off -- but after the embarrassing controversy over Mary Coughlan's US jobs mission, it's the FG man who's been left with a bloody nose.

Now that Labour have bailed out Coughlan by allowing her to travel after all, Kenny's decision to withdraw the traditional 'pairing' arrangement has been exposed as a full-blown PR disaster.


Before making such a radical move, FG should have researched the Tanaiste's travel arrangements thoroughly to find out whether it was legitimate Government business or just another junket.

It is clear now that they did nothing of the kind -- and even worse, having made his mistake, Enda appears to be completely incapable of admitting it.

The whisperings about another heave against him are starting to gather pace.

Kenny has spent the last eight years trying to look like a Taoiseach in waiting.

As the Dail resumes tomorrow, it's clear that he is as far away from that objective as ever.