President is right

Even if Government ministers' frustration at President Michael D Higgins' remarks about the pressing need to improve Defence Forces pay were couched in the most diplomatic terms it is obvious that the intervention was unwelcome.

President is right

Even if Government ministers' frustration at President Michael D Higgins' remarks about the pressing need to improve Defence Forces pay were couched in the most diplomatic terms it is obvious that the intervention was unwelcome.

That discomfort may have been exacerbated by the fact that Mr Higgins is right and that our Defence Forces have been treated poorly for far too long.

One minister who voiced public concern was Agriculture Minister Michael Creed who said he found the President’s decision to comment “quite unusual”.

This is the same minister who in recent weeks found €100m for beef farmers so a charge of hypocrisy seems apt.

The Taoiseach, who said he had no problem with the President's remarks, pointed to the domino effect a pay rise in the public sector can have.

That argument only holds water if you believe Government can't find the gumption to say 'no' to well-paid workers who demand an increase just because poorer paid workers get a rise.

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