Shane Ross

Leinster House

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    Archive for the ‘Leinster House’ Category

    Prize was there on a plate but Martin has lost his appetite

    It was Fianna Fail’s turn to host lunch for the Independent Alliance.

    It’s JAABs for the boys – canvassing is ‘mandatory’

    Imagine you are a tired solicitor. You are struggling in a rural practice, barely making ends meet. You are facing the prospect of closure as your local town sinks into decline. Your future is bleak.

    A beginner’s guide to losing votes out on the canvass

    We are about to suffer from a rare outbreak of democracy. Time to buy walking boots in the New Year sales. In about a month, it will be back to pounding the pavements. TDs are rumoured to have bought thick protective clothing, not to protect them from the weather, but to shield them from the mob.

    Little people brace for yet another hit as banks off hook

    Remember the Banking Inquiry? The big game changer that was set to sort out Irish bankers once and for all. It was destined to uproot the diseased banking culture. Ireland’s little people would never again be bullied. A general election was even postponed to accommodate it.

    Ragtag fantasy politburo still has every right to dream

    I have a confession to make. I have spent decades in politics. I got a bad degree in history and politics. I specialised in the Russian Revolution. I have read the works of Karl Marx. And yet I haven’t a clue about the difference between a Marxist, a Stalinist or a Trot.

    Noonan’s tour de force pulled the Banking Inquiry’s teeth

    The worst wine was kept till last. The Banking Inquiry hit rock bottom. On Thursday afternoon it was Finance Minister Michael Noonan’s turn for a grilling. In reality, his appearance as a witness was teed up as a lap of honour for the Fine Gael elder statesman . And so it proved. A political triumph for the minister made a mockery of the entire exercise.

     

    Fingers’ legal shield shows why inquiry is a silent farce

    Michael Fingleton was in top form when he entered the Banking Inquiry at 9.30am on Wednesday. Positively pukka. He paused, smiled to the cameras and strode confidently into Leinster House. He did not quite dance a jig, but he looked like a man arriving for a board meeting of compliant Irish Nationwide directors rather than a banker about to meet his Waterloo.

     

    Enda’s budget may very well be Shanghaied by China crisis

    Last Tuesday, I eavesdropped on a group of TDs sipping coffee in Leinster House. As usual, the date of the election loomed large. But the talk was not the usual gossip about local politics. No mention was made of the man from Mayo. Even Micheal Martin and Gerry Adams were ignored. The latest opinion polls never featured. Instead, they spoke of Shanghai, not Shankill, of China, not Churchtown. The TDs had been spooked by the overnight stock markets. Seeing, as they do, everything in terms of their electoral fortunes, they spotted the danger. Monday’s global stock market collapses had a direct bearing on the Irish economy, the election and, most importantly, the timing of their date with destiny.

     

    How Bertie hammered a nail into the Inquiry’s coffin

    It was box office day at the Banking Inquiry. The biggest fish of all was on the menu. Members of the Inquiry were visibly excited. A few of the TDs had crossed swords with the star witness a few years ago. A good “performance” against Bertie was essential if they were to earn their party stripes. Yet as the Inquiry does not allow bias, they were, strictly speaking, neutral participants in pursuit of the truth. So on Thursday they all left their political baggage at the door of the dungeon. And if you believe that, you believe anything.

    Set up for a fall, but slugger Cowen came out fighting

    Charlie McCreevy was billed as the appetiser, Brian Cowen the hors d’oeuvres and Bertie Ahern the main course. At long last, the Banking Inquiry was set to gorge itself on the Fianna Fail carcases. Earlier witnesses, like the economists, the media, the regulators and the bankers themselves, were the warm-ups. The Banking Inquiry was never about the bankers. It was always about Fianna Fail.