Back in 1987 Minister for Transport Martin Cullen’s predecessor, Padraig Flynn, sold a small – but pivotal – piece of land to National Toll Roads for €14m (in today’s terms). Last Tuesday, Martin bought it back for €600m which we will pay in annual instalments of €50m. The final figure will be nearer to a billion, when the cost-of-living clause is invoked by NTR.
So how did the Cabinet’s Clown Prince spin this humiliation into victory? Martin Cullen turned down RTE’s invitation to debate the deal with me on Morning Ireland last Wednesday (listen here). I appeared first and the Minister, in accordance with his demands, responded alone in studio.