Ferghal Blaney – Down the Dail

Class of 2022 report card It’s that time of year, our ministers are getting their report cards for their performances in office this year. Who are the A students and who are the dumb dunces? It’s safe to say we have a ministerial class of mixed academic abilities, so read on to see who is Best in Class. Taoiseach Micheál Martin B+ The former teacher would love to be an A student, but he just misses out on getting top marks. However, the veteran politician grew into his role as the year wore on. He’s great at his homework, truancy is never going to be an issue and he’s always on time – you can bet he was never late for school as a kid. He handled the winddown of Covid, a war in Ukraine with associated energy crisis and unprecedented cost of living woes with cool efficiency in the end. And now he’s the most popular party leader in the country according to opinion polls. Top of the class Micheál. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar C- A teacher’s nightmare. He’s obviously got the brains, but he keeps getting in trouble and doesn’t always apply himself at times. The early part of the year was overshadowed by the investigation into his leaking of a confidential government document, but he was completely exonerated over the summer and should have thrived after that. He hasn’t, appearing in the news for the wrong reasons again and again. Varadkar has had a relatively good run in the jobs brief up until the recent tech-wreck brought progress there to a shuddering halt. The jobs brief is good fun in the good times, but tougher when the going gets tough. The Taoiseach’s office is finally his again on Saturday. Room for improvement. Greens leader Eamon Ryan C+ Eamon is not the most popular student among his classmates, but his heart is most definitely in the right place. However, I have to knock him down a couple of grades because he has that serious condition, ‘foot in mouth’ disease. There’s no doubt that the environmental brief he holds is one of the most important there is, but his ability to piss off the rural communities of Ireland knows no bounds. Whether it’s turf wars or common sense calls to boil less water in the kettle and ease off on the accelerator when driving, he just hits the wrong note again and again. Needs to stop daydreaming. Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe B+ Mr ‘hello everybody’ had a good year this year and so he gets a joint top of class mark along with Micheál Martin. The Phibsborough local gave out a lot of goodies with the tax takings bulging and the EU top dogs love him. Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath B- Another solid pupil, gets in, gets his work done and doesn’t blot his copybook, much. The working relationship with Paschal was a good one and helped the Coalition gel overall. He’s got the big gig now, Finance, let’s see what 2023 brings. Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney C+ It was a good year for this student after some pretty disastrous performances in the last couple. When you’ve got ‘gate’ controversies on your watch, it’s not good, so with Zapponegate and Champagnegate out of the way by the end of January, he got on well. Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien C+ I’m willing to give this student a chance. He’s getting some disastrous scores on some of his tests, with rents soaring, homelessness going up and up, and where are the bloody houses we need? However, it’s a tanker, not a speedboat in Housing and the ship may be turning. Justice Minister Helen McEntee B- Another solid, if unspectacular performer in class. She’s definitely not the joker of the class but she impresses the teacher with her middle-of-the-road results. She’s gone on maternity leave now, but she managed to get her desk cleared nicely before she left. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly B- Arts Minister Catherine Martin C- Education Minister Norma Foley D+ Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman B- Higher Education Minister Simon Harris B- Agriculture Minister Charlie McConologue D+ Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys B+ Unfunny funnyman in Leinster House Navan’s most famous funnyman, sorry Hector and Dylan Moran, was a guest of Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail at his annual Christmas bash last Wednesday night. Tommy Tiernan was in the House to tickle the funny bones of the 100 or so guests that filled the Members’ restaurant at the invitation of the Ceann. This troublesome hack didn’t get a ticket to the exclusive do, but some of my spies came back with reports. And both said the same about the hired entertainment for the night, he wasn’t funny enough for some. Instead, out came the grumpy side that can often be the affliction of great comics. Some of the most hilarious men that ever lived, think Spike Milligan or Peter Sellers, were not the cirpiest of chaps a lot of the time. The format of the evening saw Dáil favourite and regular, broadcaster Marty Morrissey, interview Tiernan. And not alone was the comic engine misfiring, but he went on for what was described by one dinner guest as “a painful 25 minutes. Marty apparently saved the day. Dáil Tampax flying out the door There were some childish giggles in the Leinster House community a couple of weeks ago when a sanitary towels vending machine appeared in the mens’ toilets of the Dáil. And the authorities of the Oireachtas went one better, because the Tampax were being given away for free. Usually you’d expect to have to put in a few bob, a €2 coin or something, but no, they are free for the lads of Leinster House. Anyhow, it seems like it wasn’t such a silly idea after all because they’ve ‘sold out’ so to speak. The machine in the male toilets nearest the Dáil bar is completely empty. Who’s laughing now? Instead it’s fair play to the facilities managers at Leinster House for this foresight. A spokeswoman told the Irish Mirror that “inclusivity” was the reason the vending machines have made their way into the lads’ jacks. Let’s hope the Dáil has set a good example and other workplaces follow suit. Quote of the Week “I think it’s very much a personal matter and as you say it does relate entirely to my private life and for those reasons I don’t want to comment on it.” Leo Varadkar’s response to the Irish Mirror questioning him about THAT video of the Tánaiste socialising in a nightclub. ENDS

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Published on : 2022-12-12 07:00:00

Source :irishmirror

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