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FG have to regain trust of electorate

ENDA Kenny will no doubt this weekend attempt to close the door on the highly damaging cronyism row that has dominated politics for the past three weeks.

John McNulty's narrow defeat in the Seanad by-election yesterday has of course spared the Taoiseach a major political and personal embarrassment.

But rest assured, the implications of this debacle are huge for Mr Kenny, the Coalition and the political system as a whole.

The McNulty affair has led to the rapid return of the deep-rooted mistrust between the public and politicians.

The debacle has left self-inflicted wounds on Fine Gael and has created serious unrest among backbenchers.

More importantly, we have been shown that the so-called democratic revolution is a long way off.

The general election is less than 18 months away.

That's how long the Taoiseach and his party have to regain the trust of the electorate.