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Another Big Day Today… June 27, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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And so it begins. Meet the new Taoiseach, kind of same as the old Taoiseach, who according to plans will be the next Taoiseach again, again.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has been elected Taoiseach by 93 votes to 63 with three abstentions in a historic Dáil vote which has taken place in Dublin’s Convention Centre.

He had the support of nine Independent TDs as well as his own party, Fine Gael and the Green Party.

Independent Galway TD Sean Canney was a surprise vote against Mr Martin’s election.

That was all of the Green Party.

And those Independents voting for Taoiseach?

…Marian Harkin, Michael McNamara, Noel Grealish and Michael Lowry, Peter Fitzpatrick, Matt Shanahan, Richard O’Donoghue and Verona Murphy.

That’s a nice comfort zone should some of the GP walk. Isn’t it?

But who voted against?

Sinn Féin, Labour, the Social Democrats, People Before Profit, Solidarity and Rise TDs, along with Independents Joan Collins, Michael Fitzmaurice, Catherine Connolly, Michael and Danny Healy-Rae and Thomas Pringle, opposed the election of Mr Martin as Taoiseach.

So. A Fianna Fáil government back in power nine years after they were ejected from office. But a Fine Gael government also back in office! Though I think Varadkar was slightly over-egging the pudding in the following:

He pointed to Fine Gael’s unprecedented third term in office and an opportunity to protect what had been delivered and improve on mistakes.

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1. Ian - June 27, 2020

Irish Times left Cathal Berry off the initial list of voting for MM

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Pangurbán - June 27, 2020

There’s certainly an insurance policy there against some greens getting itchy feet:

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2. EWI - June 27, 2020

He pointed to Fine Gael’s unprecedented third term in office and an opportunity to protect what had been delivered and improve on mistakes.

This compulsion to gaslight the public, in service of a juvenile need to ‘own the libs’, is maybe Varadkar’s least attractive personality trait.

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sonofstan - June 27, 2020

It’s a peculiar notion of success isn’t it?
First tearm: senior partner in a coalition with an unprecendented majority.
Second term: minority government held in place by the grace and favour of a weak opposition.
Third term: junior partner in a coalition.

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3. sonofstan - June 27, 2020

The Last Fianna fail taoiseach?
Like Lloyd George leading a coalition of which his own party form a minority.

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EWI - June 27, 2020

And one most to the liking of the IT and RTÉ:

https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/heritage/micheál-martin-s-family-history-from-old-ira-to-the-british-army-1.2079135

The adulation of D4 is not a positive sign for a leader of FF.

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4. An Sionnach Fionn - June 27, 2020

A Green Party-enabled Troika again… 😠

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Starkadder - June 27, 2020

They should change their name to the “Browns”. Or the “Greenwash Party”.

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5. roastedsnow1 - June 27, 2020

I see RTE have labelled the new govt Centre Left. Interesting. That must mean that the opposition parties are Far Left. And then who is Right? Its all too much!

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Colm B - June 27, 2020

Two right wing parties and twelve weak kneed soft environmentalist liberals, some centre left eh?

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6. irishelectionliterature - June 27, 2020

I see Stephen Donnelly is the Minister for Health and Darragh O’Brien Minister for Housing. They’ll be eaten alive by Eoin Ó’Broin and Louise O’Reilly.

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7. Pangurbán - June 27, 2020

I wonder how long will Sinn Fein keep up their “mutilated victory “ narrative?

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8. sonofstan - June 27, 2020

Dreadful gender balance in this new government – 3 out 15 full cabinet posts going to women. The govt. parties between them have 14 female TDs, one more than SF alone, with 81 in total compared to 37. As I’ve noted before, the further left you go politically, and the nearer to Dublin geographically, the better the gender balance gets. The three parties have never had a female leader, along with the UUP the only such hold outs in Ireland. West of the Shannon, it still looks as if a male donkey with a white shirt and tie and gelled hair will always get elected before any woman.

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9. Liberius - June 27, 2020

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has already been elected Taoiseach while Mr Varadkar is the presumptive Tánaiste and Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Stephen Donnelly (FF) is the new Minister for Health.

Darragh O’Brien (FF) has been given the Housing, Local Government and Heritage portfolio.

Barry Cowen (FF) is the new Minister for Agriculture and the Marine.

Norma Foley (FF) is the new Education Minister.

Michael McGrath (FF) is the new Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Paschal Donohoe (FG) remains as Minister for Finance.

Helen McEntee (FG) is the new Justice Minister.

Simon Coveney (FG) remains Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence.

Eamon Ryan (Greens) will be the Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport.

Catherine Martin (Greens) will be Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht.

Roderic O’Gorman (Greens) will become Minister for Children, Disability Equality and Integration.

Heather Humphreys (FG) is the new Minister for Social Protection, Community & Rural Development and the Islands.

Simon Harris (FG) will be Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Research.

Hildegarde Naughton (FG) will be a Minister of State attending Cabinet.

Pippa Hackett (Greens) will be a Minister of State attending Cabinet.

Dara Calleary (FF) is Government Chief Whip and Minister of State attending Cabinet.

Paul Gallagher is Attorney General.

Some of those Ministries have got properly torturous titles; also ” Minister for Social Protection, Community & Rural Development and the Islands” is fairly incongruous.

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sonofstan - June 27, 2020

Once upon a time Gaeltacht was a full ministry – now it’s the tail end of a list of five.

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sonofstan - June 27, 2020

Higher Ed getting a minister of its own is interesting though: minister for monetising higher education maybe?

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EWI - June 28, 2020

The ‘innovation’ and ‘research’ bit suggests so. The CEO presidents of UCD, UCC etc. will be pleased.

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EWI - June 28, 2020

Hildegarde Naughton (FG) will be a Minister of State attending Cabinet.

Pippa Hackett (Greens) will be a Minister of State attending Cabinet.

Dara Calleary (FF) is Government Chief Whip and Minister of State attending Cabinet.

I admit, I don’t understand how ‘cabinet confidentiality’ and all the rest of it operates in a world where there’s a growing crowd of supposedly Junior Ministers in the room.

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10. sonofstan - June 27, 2020

Pippa Hackett is the first minister/ senator for a while isn’t she?

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Pasionario - June 27, 2020

The Greens have gotten little more than when they went in with FF in 2007.

No economic ministry, and not even agriculture, which is a huge contributor to our carbon emissions.

Instead they get the tourism brief — when tourism has all but disappeared! Best of luck with that. And what does the minister for children do exactly?

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WorldbyStorm - June 27, 2020

I thought that very interesting, the point you draw attention to, the Ministries they’ve gone for seem a bit to one side. I’d agree completely, wihtout an economic ministry one has to wonder.

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CL - June 27, 2020

“Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has shocked many around Leinster House and within his own party by choosing Senator Pippa Hackett as his party’s super junior Minister.

Ms Hackett will be Minister of State for Agriculture with responsibility for land use and biodiversity.”
https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/eamon-ryan-stuns-leinster-house-with-senator-pippa-hackett-appointment-1007868.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippa_Hackett

https://www.greenparty.ie/people/pippa-hackett/

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Tomboktu - June 28, 2020

Hackett is the first senator appointed to a ministerial post since James Dooge in 1981.

(Senators D’Arcy and Kyne were junior ministers until yesterday because they continued in office from when they had been appointed ministers as TDs and had been elected to the Seanad after they were not re-elected to the Dáil.)

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11. CL - June 27, 2020

“One striking criticism of Fianna Fail by Irish voters is that it is too similar to Fine Gael. I expect Mr Martin to hit back with more policy spiel but instead he drills down to the party’s essence. The difference, he says, is a matter of class.
“Many people in Fianna Fail, and my own background, come from a different milieu. I came from a working-class background. My father was a bus driver. My parents never had an education. But the one passion they had in life was for us to have a second-level education.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/election-2020/fianna-fail-is-the-party-of-the-working-classes-micheal-martin-38918150.html

Looks like Martin is the second Taoiseach from a working class background, the first being Jack Lynch?

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Fergal - June 27, 2020

Did the Independent TDs just vote for MM… for no particular reason… no back room deals?

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12. roddy - June 27, 2020

Surely Bertie was from a working class background.His father worked on a convent farm or something.

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CL - June 27, 2020

Yes, but he advanced to be manager of the farm.

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Pasionario - June 28, 2020

And surely both Lemass and Haughey were from working-class or at most lower-middle-class stock. Haughey’s upbringing sounds like it was definitely less comfortable than Martin’s.

Albert Reynolds’s father was, according to various sources, a coach-builder, carpenter, and hackney driver.

Our taoisigh are actually more likely to come from modest backgrounds than presidents and PMs in other countries.

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CL - June 28, 2020

Lemass ” was born in July 1899 in Ballybrack, Co. Dublin, at a summer cottage the Lemass family rented regularly.”
https://www.irishgenealogy.ie/en/2016-family-history/case-studies/sean-lemass

At that time in Ireland it was not usual for working class families to rent summer cottages.

Haughey’s childhood home, “Built in the 1930s, original features such as high ceilings and open fireplaces have been kept despite renovations.
The ground floor comprises of an entrance porch, hall, sitting room, living room, extended kitchen and a guest bathroom.
Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside, a front garden with driveway for off street parking and garage leads to a pedestrian entrance.”
https://www.irishpost.com/news/childhood-home-former-taoiseach-charles-haughey-sale-ireland-130135

Again, not quite working class accommodation.

Albert Reynold “His father John P Reynolds was a farmer, carpenter, auctioneer, and hackney driver who also ran a dancehall.”

More lower middle than working class.

“In Dublin, Ahern’s father worked as a farm manager at All Hallows College, Drumcondra”-wiki.

Micheál Martin’s father was a bus driver.

Not that it matters much; class background doesn’t necessarily determine one’s political outlook.

Liked by 1 person

Winston O Boogie - June 28, 2020

Haughey’s father was an army officer in the civil war and they were among the ex officers given farm land in co. Meath – later moved to Dublin due to father’s disability.

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EWI - June 28, 2020

Our taoisigh are actually more likely to come from modest backgrounds than presidents and PMs in other countries.

De Valera was effectively an orphan (his entrance to Blackrock was on a scholarship). WT Cosgrave, despite how wealthy and genteel the family later presented themselves as, was the son of a grocer.

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Pasionario - June 28, 2020

Who was it who described the history of independent Ireland as one of Christian Brothers’ boys triumphing over their Jesuit-educated peers?

Having said that, I concede the point that Lemass and Haughey were not quite working-class. The hegemony of the lower middle classes within 20th-century Irish political history is the take home here.

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sonofstan - June 28, 2020

Who was it who described the history of independent Ireland as one of Christian Brothers’ boys triumphing over their Jesuit-educated peers?

I’d say that pendulum has swung back a bit.
I do remember noticing though, after the 2011 government took over that three of the four ‘big’ jobs were taken by graduates of St. Pat’s Drumcondra – for a while, our version of PPE in Oxford.

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Pasionario - June 28, 2020

I just thought of a nice little irony.

If Mary Lou manages to the become Taoiseach, she will be the first person with a BA from Trinity College Dublin to hold that office.

What do you think of that Roddy?

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EWI - June 28, 2020

If Mary Lou manages to the become Taoiseach, she will be the first person with a BA from Trinity College Dublin to hold that office.

I am no fan of MLM, but I think this is misleading. There are at least two previous Taoisigh with degrees from Trinity College? (a university incidentally saved by the republicans of FF in the Thirties)

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EWI - June 28, 2020

I do remember noticing though, after the 2011 government took over that three of the four ‘big’ jobs were taken by graduates of St. Pat’s Drumcondra – for a while, our version of PPE in Oxford.

Note that this is now an integral part of DCU.

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Pasionario - June 28, 2020

It was partly a joke!

But, by my reckoning, Varadkar is the only Taoiseach to have completed an undergraduate degree at TCD (in medicine, so not a BA). Dev left before finishing.

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EWI - June 28, 2020

Dev left before finishing.

Very unfair of them not to give him his honorary degree, given his saving the place after he came to power (not to mention the calumnies heaped on him by their ‘history’ department).

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EWI - June 28, 2020

And surely both Lemass and Haughey were from working-class or at most lower-middle-class stock.

The Lemasses were less humble than the mythology suggests (the grandfather was a Dublin City councillor for the Irish Party).

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13. CL - June 27, 2020

9 of the 11 new senators are women including Traveller activist, Eileen Flynn.

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Colm B - June 27, 2020

That’s great, will definitely mean traveller women won’t be affected by the neoliberal policies imposed by new gov.
There’s a word for it; tokenism.

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14. roddy - June 27, 2020

Bertie claimed his father was “ploughing with horses” in his 70s

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15. Tomboktu - June 27, 2020

Emer Currie nominated to the Seanad.

Is Varadkar setting up his successor?

Has he plans to move on shortly?

Is the transfer of the trade brief from foreign affairs a hint?

Is there the possibility of a trade job at EU level becoming available shortly?

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NFB - June 28, 2020

Currie was a total non-entity in my constituency in the GE. Felt like a gender quota candidate. Don’t think she’ll get any further in politics in the Seanad than, say, Maria Byrne did as Noonan’s designated heir.

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tomasoflatharta - June 28, 2020

A new start for Catherine Noone – who once ran for a Dáil seat with Leo Varadkar in Dublin West? After she criticized the party leader, promotion was excluded. She chaired the Oireachtas committee which prepared the ground for the referendum removing the ban on abortion.

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16. Tomboktu - June 28, 2020

Eoghan Murphy dropped from the first team. He ran Varadkar”s leadeship electipn campaign.

Both Coveney and Donohoe keep their cabinet posts. Finance and Foreign Affairs are also the most senior in the pecking order after Taoiseach (with the minister who is Tánaiste slotted in at no. 2 for the office holder’s duration). Interesting that FF left both of them there and didn’t insist on having one of them.

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EWI - June 28, 2020

Eoghan Murphy dropped from the first team. He ran Varadkar”s leadeship electipn campaign.

Nomination to Europe?

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Tomboktu - June 28, 2020

I think Varadkar more likely to take the next opportunity in the EU, especially if it arises because Phil Hogan gets the WTO post.

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EWI - June 28, 2020

I think Varadkar more likely to take the next opportunity in the EU, especially if it arises because Phil Hogan gets the WTO post.

Off and give his slot to Coveney?

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Pasionario - June 28, 2020

Murphy is the face of the housing crisis so he’s no loss to FG politically, whereas Coveney is popular for having worn the green jersey with some style throughout the Brexit debacle.

FF theoretically got half of Donohue’s brief — “Public Expenditure and Reform”, but he must be the real power. Given that Finance is the most important job after Taoiseach, it’s not surprising FG held on to it.

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17. roddy - June 28, 2020

Much being made of someone from the travelling community made a senator.SF’s Padraig MacLochlainn is the son of a traveller mother and fair play to Donegal was ELECTED years ago despite it being slyly used against him by elements not too far away from the new govt.

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18. roddy - June 28, 2020

Someone mentioned Mary Lou and Trinity .All I can say is a pupil at my school gained an honours degree from Cambridge and worked for decades in our local plumbers merchants.

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Joe - June 28, 2020

There’s a very good plumbers merchants in Cabra actually. I can put a word in for Mary Lou if you like.

Liked by 1 person


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