Dear Santa, bring me a Tánaiste who won’t blindside me


Leo Varadkar got out of the leaba very early last week, and, as he filled the dishwasher he enjoyed a Barista-style double espresso ‘cos, let’s face it, he needed that extra boost pumping through his veins in order to help him keep his logical and grown-up head on when asking Santy to bring him a new Tánaiste, which, as we know came in the guise of Simon Coveney.

  #shrewd move Leo especially as Simon was the people’s favourite during your leadership battle.  And, as you’ve fielded a lot of poo in the past weeks, you’ve clearly recognised that Fine Gael needs the stability he appears to bring to the party and made a decisive and grown up appointment.

  Added to Leo’s request were a couple of surprise  #stocking fillers with new Ministers Josepha Madigan (who?…exactly!) being bestowed the  Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht portfolio and Heather Humphreys netting the Minister for Business prize!

  Well whatever you feel about the two ladies’ appointments readers, (much deserving or filling gender quotas, etc.,) we’re all familiar with newly-elevated Minister Madigan’s view on life in rural Roscommon in relation to us ‘not facing the same sort of pressures’ as her constituency of Dublin-Rathdown. Aw bless her, is the poor little, sharp-dressing princess slash racy novel writer protesting she (and her minted constituents) are being forced to pay too much for their ivory towers? Never mind, the fact Josepha’s leapt straight from the backbench directly into a comfy chair at the Cabinet table will ensure, given her minister’s salary, she’ll be well able to segue with great ease through her financial woes while she rebuilds and rebrands herself as a serious politician. And while I wish her well, I would advise her, as a newbie, not to make the same errors as Frances Fitzgerald.

  You see, despite her not having done anything incorrect, (apart from blindsiding her Taoiseach), Frances Fitzgerald’s mistake was to do nothing at all. I mean, if I were in her shoes I’d have looked at the advice I was given, taken it on board, pulled up my big girl panties and made an executive decision as the boss lady and left no stone unturned, and, using my powers as Minister for Justice, ascertained why a man, a member of An Garda Síochána, was being continuously discredited; mercilessly having his good reputation annihilated. Frances Fitzgerald had a function. She did not perform it. She had to go…end of! Okay, yes, she’s “a good woman,” as Leo says, but equally Maurice McCabe is a good man who tried to act in the public good…this is more than Frances Fitzgerald has done in relation to the whole ‘emailgate’ controversy.

  And before I climb down off my soapbox, as the Department of Justice is the most sensitive Department in the State, I worry nothing will change following the last few weeks’ bruising revelations. I mean, there’s clearly a culture of secrecy involving a handful of senior civil servants (not all, there are good people working in this department), who generally don’t necessarily have to answer any direct questions being put to them, and who, for some strange reason, appear to be exempt from being held to accountability. Yes folks, I have a query…are so-called ‘career civil servants’ running our sensitive State department and country and can they retire comfortably on a fat pension, never to be heard from again? Is this the case? If so, is Leo the chief or not? It’s a head-scratcher alright, but remember readers, ministers come and ministers go…the career civil servant will be around forever!


‘Tis the season of giving, not swindling


Just thought I’d throw it out there readers and ask if any of you are planning to morph into Scrooge this Christmas and charge the rellies for their festive feast? Anyone? I only enquire because British lady, mother-of-four Gemma Andrews, charges guests £30 (€34) to chow down on her festive fare – and I think that’s contemptible! Christmas is a time of giving, a time for families, and, as our house is always full of visitors coming and going, I wouldn’t dream of missing the magic of the season (or at any time) and ask visitors (let alone family) to contribute to their meal or drinks; even when my lot sometimes shop in my fridge! “Dat’s interesting Mam, where’d ya get it? Oooh, I’ll just throw a sliver into a container and bring it home to taste it.” A sliver means the entire item, but who cares, they’re my family. I adore them. I’m d’mammy!

  Besides, spreading joy and happiness is what Christmas is all about and maybe I “simply missed” the email…sorry Charlie Flanagan, but when did it become normal to start making the season of giving the season of making a profit on friends, families and neighbours? How can anyone justify turning what should be a family occasion into a commercial enterprise when hosting Christmas Dinner? ‘Tis the season of giving, ‘tis not the season of swindling!