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Dysfunctional? February 23, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

There’s a former Independent, who wound up in government some time back, of whom one would hear it said they never saw a microphone they didn’t like the look of. That thought came to mind reading the following reports:

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has moved to clarify remarks he made that suggested talks were ongoing between the Minister for Education and teaching unions on schools reopening.

In a comment posted on Twitter, Minister Donnelly explained that the talks “had concluded” and the Government “intends on making an announcement” on school reopenings after Cabinet this afternoon. 


His suggestion on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live last night that talks were ongoing, less than 24 hours before the Cabinet was due to make a major announcement on the topic, prompted the Labour education spokesman Aodhán Ó Ríordáin to characterise the Government as “dysfunctional”.

This line about dysfunction is being bandied about a lot in relation to the government this last while. And understandably so, as it happens. Messaging, even simply keeping its story straight, appears to be a challenge too far for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael in particular. Why would a Minister for Health appear on a television programme and have to clarify remarks on something so fundamental? Why is there a seeming lack of communication between An Taoiseach and the Tánaiste? One has to wonder is this a function of the very nature of the government itself? And that raises the question as to whether all the often expressed sentiments that ‘four years are a long time’ and matters will improve for FF in polls or FG will be there or thereabouts to lead the next one are somewhat overly positive…


1. Eoin O'Mahony - February 23, 2021

I have heard from someone who works close to electeds that with limited or no face to face interaction, communication is really poor. This is not to excuse general incompetence of course.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2021

Heard a bit of that too. That said I know directly people are in contact and one would think syncing v specific messages wouldn’t be impossible. I think there is a tendency on some politicians parts to say too much 🙂


2. NFB - February 23, 2021

Donnelly just has issues with this generally. Like that text message thing with Holohan. He doesn’t think before he acts, at least not enough.


WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2021

It seems that way. I was talking to some people active politically in his constituency recently who seemed sceptical about his re-election chances but I don’t know how accurate their assessments are.


NFB - February 23, 2021

I thought he was gone last year, but the transfers worked out late in a very long count. Presumably he’d struggle a bit if there was an election soon, but a positive COVID (ha!) outcome before that happens would presumably be a help.


WorldbyStorm - February 23, 2021

Yeah, that makes sense. Though I guess that holds true for the parties and government as a whole.


3. Fergal - February 23, 2021

In the 2011 general election Donnelly benefited from absolutely massive MSM exposure…. I’d wondered at the time how this happened… a first time non-party election candidate getting so much publicity… who does he know? Or what does he know about them?

Liked by 1 person

4. CL - February 24, 2021

-‘The end is now truly in sight’: Taoiseach –

– Ireland could face similar Covid struggles next winter, Government warns-


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