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Editorial: Coughlan's put her foot in it again

Another slip of the tongue has again landed Tanaiste Mary Coughlan in hot water. We hadn't forgotten last week's gaffe when she credited Albert Einstein with working on evolution rather than Charles Darwin.

But while that one may have raised a smile, her latest pronouncement is a much more serious matter.

She said that many parts of the McCarthy report -- which is a central plank of the Government's budgetary plans -- "don't make sense".

Her claims put her senior cabinet colleague, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, in the awkward position of having to explain to the public that the Bord Snip report is a key part of the Budget preparations.

The Tanaiste has opened up a can of worms by stating her own opinion. This is a time when the public wants clear action on the part of the Government. It doesn't inspire confidence when senior ministers appear at odds on policy.