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.
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