The fall-out from its disastrous election performance was reflected in a stormy six-hour meeting this week, but the Labour party faces an enormous task to revive its fortunes and regain the trust and support of the electorate, writes Political Correspondent
The first anti-austerity TD to be elected outside Dublin — winning the seat at the expense of Labour junior minister Kathleen Lynch — has vowed to bring his constituents’ desire for radical change to Dáil Éireann.
Ireland went over the fiscal cliff in 2005 as a direct result of poor political policies and reckless bank lending, but did not realise the situation until 2008 — when it was no longer a case of whether there would be a crash but how bad it would be.
Socialist TD Joe Higgins will publish an alternative bank inquiry report calling for “fundamental legislative change” to prevent a repeat of what happened during the property bubble when the official document is released next month.
Senior Labour TD Ciarán Lynch has taken another apparent swipe at his party colleague Alan Kelly, saying the Department of Environment, over which Mr Kelly is minister, has done more to reduce the power of local government “than the British administration ever did in 800 years”.
A senior European Commission official has denied the commission, as member of the Troika, tried to “manoeuvre, push or threaten” Ireland to accept the November 2010 bailout, despite arguing the controversial move was “inevitable”.
The European Central Bank has pulled out of any involvement in the bank inquiry after public claims its comments could be used as evidence instead of an “informal exchange of views” — and private fears any participation could see it dragged before Greek politicians at a later date.
Former Irish Nationwide chief executive Michael Fingleton has insisted he “paid a personal price” for the impact of the economic crash, despite receiving a €1m bonus in 2007 and walking away in 2009 with a massive €27.6m pension pot.
The banking inquiry was redolent with film references as two fallen stars from the Celtic Tiger’s silver screen era, Mary Harney and John Gormley, took a stroll down the political equivalent of Sunset Boulevard one last time.
It will be a “close call” whether the banking probe can consider former Anglo chief David Drumm’s written evidence after the idea of allowing him to given video-link testimony was torpedoed by the Director of Public Prosecutions, a senior source has warned.