But aren’t all junior ministers super?

This column appeared on Broadsheet.ie on July 27th. Here I look at the unforced error that was the super junior saga – the article appeared just before the government caught up with public opinion and decided to back down. 

ff tds

When this new government was cobbled together… sorry, let me start again… when this new administration was formed, Fianna Fáil’s primary political imperative was to show that this government would be very different.

The assumption was that Micheál Martin and his train of attendants would move quickly to banish the political tone deafness and indifference that characterised Leo Varadkar’s time in office and replace it with the attentive and determined approach of a Taoiseach with his finger on the public pulse.

Four weeks in and all the evidence so far points more to continuity than change. To be fair to Martin, it is not the full picture. As the new Taoiseach has repeatedly said in interviews, the Dáil has rarely been so productive in producing legislation.

The problem is that he has made this point in a series of incredibly low energy TV and radio interviews that have lacked any core message beyond proving that Martin knows his facts.

Continue reading “But aren’t all junior ministers super?”

Leo walked into the #emailscandal one step at a time

This column appeared on Broadsheet.ie on November 24th as the Frances Fitzgerald saga was coming to a peak:

emailscandalHow did we get to this situation? Well, as with any crisis, we got to it one step at a time.

Leo Varadkar did not start this week with a plan to trigger a snap election, no more than Micheál Martin did, but with a series of serious missteps Leo Varadkar walked this government to the brink and last night whipped things up to a point that the country is now on a course that means a general election either before Christmas or early in 2018.

Misstep number one came with the Taoiseach’s opening comments on Leader’s Question in the Dáil last Tuesday. when he attempted to address the issue

“The House will appreciate, once again, that I do not have first-hand knowledge of any of these matters.”

With those words it was clear that an Taoiseach was approaching the issue of Minister Fitzgerald’s level of knowledge on the campaign against Sgt McCabe satisfied that it had nothing personally to do with him and, so it was not something for him to be worried about.

Continue reading “Leo walked into the #emailscandal one step at a time”

Labour Leader Gilmore Ranked Second Worst in Poll of Ministers’ Performance

Over the past few days (Tues Apil 11 – 13) I ran a simple poll on my website www.derekmooney.ie . In it I asked people to select the three government ministers they believed were performing best in office.

 182 people voted in the online poll.

The results are as follows: You can download the results in pdf format Rate the Ministers

1

Finance Minister Michael Noonan

2

Welfare Minister Joan Burton

3

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney

4

Pub Exp Minister Brendan Howlin

5

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar

6

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn

7

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton

8

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald

9

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte

10

Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan

11

Justice Minister Alan Shatter

12

Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore

12

Health Minister James Reilly

13

Environment Minister Phil Hogan*