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IN the wake of former minister Willie O’Dea’s ignominious exit from the the Cabinet, Taoiseach Brian Cowen now has a good opportunity to appoint a qualified person who is not just a party hack from a convenient constituency.
Mr Cowen, for example, could appoint a person from Seanad Éireann who would not necessarily have to take the brief of Defence. A cabinet reshuffle would allow the Taoiseach to give the senator any cabinet brief desirable.
As a concerned citizen, I would recommend that the Taoiseach select independent Senator Rónán Mullen, a young man of great intellect, probity and vision.
This might help Mr Cowen recover from the astonishing lack of judgment that was his motion of confidence in O’Dea.
Another option open to Mr Cowen is to fill Deirdre de Búrca’s vacant Senate seat with a highly competent person of real vision from outside politics. In this case I would recommend Dr Ed Walsh, the no-nonsense founder of the University of Limerick.
From there, Mr Cowen could appoint Dr Walsh to the cabinet.
If Mr Cowen were (for the first time in his premiership) to show the requisite vision to take this approach, he would have made a start on the road to reform of politics.
John B Reid
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