Securing Stephen Donnelly’s signature is a considerable coup for Micheál Martin.
Mr Donnelly has long been one of our parliament’s more impressive performers.
His decision, just like the top jockey at a top racing stable picking which of the stable’s classic contenders to ride at the weekend, will certainly influence punters.
That Mr Donnelly was immediately deployed as Fianna Fáil’s frontbench spokesman on Brexit must add to the discomfort Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fine Gael should feel.
It neatly outflanks Mr Kenny’s incomprehensible decision not to appoint a Brexit minister and lays an unavoidable trap.
Should he ignore the jibe he will stand accused of hubris. Should he belatedly respond he will be accused of feeblemindedness and being off the pace.
That Mr Donnelly had considered joining Fine Gael rubs salt into a deepening wound.
This is not a game-changer but it is a delicious piece of one- upmanship for the Soldiers of Destiny resurgent in the polls.
Another sleepless night for the Fine Gael Brahmins and party’s aspiring but oh-so-shy leaders so.
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