REVENGE is a dish best served cold. Almost nine months after Eamon Gilmore forced his departure as Ceann Comhairle, John O’Donoghue has hit back at the Labour leader, labelling him a “gadfly”, a “tut-tutterer” and a man who “stands for nothing”.
Mr O’Donoghue lashed out at Mr Gilmore during the debate on the dog-breeding bill to regulate puppy farms, which was passed in the Dáil yesterday.
The framing of that bill has been extremely contentious because its provisions will also affect hunting dogs and be reflected in separate legislation governing the greyhound industry.
Mr O’Donoghue, who had concerns about the bill’s effect on rural life, cited the fact that the “father of Irish pluralism”, Daniel O’Connell, had been “in love with hunting”.
Mr O’Donoghue then proceeded to criticise RTE’s coverage of the dog-breeding bill.
“O’Connell’s pluralism is far different from the type of pluralism which sometimes emanates from Donnybrook. We should distinguish between pluralists and tut-tutterers, between pluralism and tut-tuttism.
“There is no greater illustration of tut-tutterers and tut-tuttism emanating from the establishment at Donnybrook than the pictures shown on our screens last week of the most unfortunate greyhound in the whole world. They must have searched the earth for it.”
He then proceeded to attack Mr Gilmore, saying the Labour leader was the finest “tut-tutterer” in the Dáil.
Mr O’Donoghue said it should have come as no surprise that Labour last week opposed separate legislation to ban stag-hunting even though the party had previously wanted such a ban.
Labour TDs have since admitted they opposed the legislation simply to make the Dáil vote on it more difficult for the Government.
“Deputy Gilmore, if I may be excused the analogy, reminds me of a gadfly around the tail of an old cow,” Mr O’Donoghue said. “He circles, you don’t hear him; sometimes he might land but you don’t see him land; but all the time you know he is there and you know that in the final analysis you will never quite know what he is up to, where he is going, or how he is going to get there.
“That appears to be a very popular stance to take in modern-day Irish politics. But let me say this: it amounts to tut-tuttism by the finest tut-tutterer in the House. And I’m sure of this: a man who stands for nothing will, in the final analysis, fall for anything.”
Mr Gilmore was not in the House at the time and the Labour press office chose not to respond last night.
The Labour leader told the Dáil last October that he no longer had confidence in Mr O’Donoghue because of controversy over his expenses. Mr Gilmore’s statement kick-started the process that led to Mr O’Donoghue’s resignation as Ceann Comhairle.
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