||[May. 15th, 2008|02:32 pm]
Madam, - Am I alone in finding something distasteful in the triumphalist and parochial tone of the recent "celebrations" of Mary Coughlan's appointment as Tánaiste and Brian Cowen's accession as Taoiseach? Ms Coughlan was paraded across the Donegal border (Home News, May 10th) in a manner suggesting she had just won the Lotto, or perhaps sold a prize pig at the fair for a record price.|
But Ms Coughlan has not won any sort of prize. Rather, she has been appointed to a high-level public office which, like any public office, entails a high level of responsibility. Unlike just any public office, however, Ms Coughlan holds her position as a Minister in the national Government, and is thus responsible at the national level.
This renders her statements that she will be "doing [her] best for the people of the north-west, particularly [her] own county" both baffling and objectionable. The people of Donegal have not been given their own private Ministry, nor should their interests be privileged over the interests of other Irish citizens. Nor indeed have the people of Offaly been given their own private Taoiseach. What is this depressing tribalism, and what place does it have in national politics? Indeed, what place at the Cabinet table for a Minister who cannot see the national picture?
Recent reports in your newspaper have said it would be a priority for the new Taoiseach to ensure Ministerial representation of the regions (The Irish Times, May 6th). But why is this the case? Surely competence, ability and talent should be the key criteria in any decision on Ministerial appointments, and not something as arbitrary as the accident of one's birthplace.
Singing The Offaly Rover and whooping "Up Donegal" outside Dáil Éireann can of course be seen as harmless fun. But they epitomise a crude self-interest and a narrowness of viewpoint that have beset Irish politics for too long. The parish pump is unfortunately still working in Ireland today, and both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste would appear to have a firm grip on the handle. - Yours, etc,
OWEN CORRIGAN, Jesus College, Oxford.
2008-05-15 04:07 pm (UTC)
She's a tit
I met her once outside a Morrissey concert. She was all dressed up in her latest threads from Sasha boutique (probably). I've heard loads of people saying how great it is to have a female Tánaiste. They are aware that Harney had that job, right?
I actually read that letter and didn't even realise you were the author.
And shur will ya go away outta that, Mary's a fine woman and she's lost a lot of weight recently.
All politics is local.
She's an effrontery to good taste.
Let them eat swill!