First day back from a two-month holiday and, as ever, the Dáil was dominated by confidence tricksters.
The Government expressed confidence in itself, which is just as wel,l as the vast majority of the rest of the country has none, in order to pull off a procedural sleight of hand to thwart the opposition’s attempts to brand Enda Kenny a liar.
They say he fired Garda commissioner Martin Callinan. Kenny insists that, after ordering the secretary general of the Department of Justice to go to the top cop’s house under cover of darkness to express the Taoiseach’s displeasure and inability to declare confidence in him, he was shocked by a resignation within hours.
The Fennelly probe into the affair decided the visit was the “immediate catalyst” for Callinan’s abrupt departure. Kenny prefers to dwell on the report’s finding that the “resignation” was Callinan’s decision.
But then, people with guns to their heads often make interesting decisions.
And what of the lack of written evidence kept of the various meetings the Taoiseach had regarding the Callinan situation?
This is most curious as when Kenny falsely accused the last government of shredding documents relating to the bank guarantee, he assured us he was a most meticulous chronicler of events.
“If the taoiseach of the day meets a group from a constituency, you can be sure that whatever it is about notes will be taken and be there for posterity,” he said.
So Kenny keeps notes from random constituency groups forever, but meetings with the attorney general, senior civil servants, and ministers about key national events — not so much.
All a far cry from Kenny’s comments on taking office.
“Today I enter into a covenant with the Irish people,” he said then. “Honesty is not alone our best policy, but our only policy. The new government will tell the people the truth regardless of how unwelcome or difficult that might be. We will tell it constantly and unreservedly.”
Funny that honesty does not run to even telling us how many times he gave evidence to the Fennelly probe.
Kenny appeared to rule out a November election as he took aim at the opposition over their claims he would hold the Fennelly report back until after the general election. The response from the Fianna Fáil benches: “You held it back until after the 6 o’clock news though.”
In the Dáil, everyone positioned themselves for the election, outdoing each other in the self-righteousness stakes. Meanwhile, in the Real World, 1,500 homeless children are trapped in grotty B&Bs and cramped hotel rooms. Charities say it is only a matter of time before children die due to the circumstances in which they have been forced to live.
It is unlikely those children or their parents would express much confidence in this Government.
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