I still remember listening to a playback of Dick Roches Iodine tablets debacle of an interview with Marian Finucane and my mother laughing thinking it must be some sort of parody of the Minister only for her to be flummoxed that this was actually an elected member of our government who against all the odds was moved to being a Minister of State with responsibility for European Affairs after that verbal meltdown.
Two large cardboard cut-outs of these missing Ministers stood beside the platform at the Fine Gael news briefing, where Director of Organisation Phil Hogan said they hoped by highligting the issue, Dick Roche and Martin Cullen would come out of hiding.
He added they would be disappearing from public view again very quickly after the election in any case.
Enterprise Minister Michéal Martin responded by saying it would be a good idea to provide cardboard cutouts of the Fine Gael front bench would be helpful, as he found it hard to recognise them. Martin shouldn’t be so hasty to jump to their defence. Martin hasn’t exactly been front and centre of this campaign, in my mind his wimpering denial of any knowledge of the Nursing Homes charges will be his legacy and indeed though his seat is far from being under threat his ratings are distinctly down.
Martin added that while senior Fianna Fáil figures attended their news briefings, Fine Gael often put up a press officer and Director of Elections Frank Flannery, who he said would not be elected to anything.
Martin has been pretty conspicuous I thought. I've seen him along side Brian Cowen at a number of FF shin-digs and he also squared up to Richard Bruton and Howlin on Q&As last Monday night, indeed I dare say he was on very good form.
And I agree that its hypocritical of FG to be crticising FF in this regard. Michael Martin is right about FG front bench and its a criticism that could be leveled at Labour as well.
Enda Kenny is rarely let out on his own and when he was he managed to get involved in Bertiegate II.
And Michael Martins legacy, as my smoking friends keep telling me, will surely include the fact that Ireland became the first nation to ban smoking in places of work, an initiative that has been copied aorund the world.
I must say I've just been feeling a distinct lack of edge on Martins part and he only seems to have reappeared as part of the roll up our sleeves, stand by Berie brigade.
As for his legacy I still remember him floundering at the committee table during the hearings on the nursing home charges, with the Cork high pitched tones squealing out, portraying a man under pressure.
He lead the intiative to ban smoking without doubt but not without the backing of cabinet. Surely a proper test of a man is one where he is under pressure.
Enda has done little but churn out soundbites and God knows its been working, tomorrow night will be a big test and hopefullly not as anti-climactic as the Michael Noonan/ Berie debate from 5 years ago.
The debate from 5 years ago mattered little as Bertie was miles ahead. This one counts for something...hopefully.
Surely you mean Joe Jacob and the iodine tablets laughathon? A Wicklow FF representative just like Roche but still the original Mr. Iodine.
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