tomkins What will be the legacy of the PD’s Gal­way girl?

Bray People - - Out And About Around Bray -

THE in­side of a politi­cian’s mind must be an un­set­tling place to dwell. Seem­ingly ever ea­ger to sub­ject them­selves to pub­lic de­ri­sion, you may ques­tion why any­body would vol­un­tar­ily un­dergo a John Bow­man maul­ing on a Mon­day night, or worse, to be mer­ci­lessly de­voured by Miriam O’Cal­laghan (not as ap­peal­ing as it might read!) on one of RTE’s po­lit­i­cal af­fairs pro­grammes.

In­con­ceiv­able as it might be for the ma­jor­ity of us to ever con­sider plop­ping our­selves into the scald­ing caul­dron of po­lit­i­cal war­fare, there are many am­bi­tion­ists out there who dream of one day be­ing the next Min­is­ter for Health or such likes. Have a word with Mary Har­ney and they might soon think twice. But then, Min­is­ter Har­ney is quite a re­mark­able lady. Through all the flak that has been hurled her way, you have to ad­mire the man­ner in which she has stuck to task.

When she stepped down from her role as Tanaiste to con­cen­trate on her min­is­te­rial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, there were calls for her to clear out her desk once and for all. But she de­clined. Yet as time ticks on, it has be­come more ob­vi­ous that the Health sit­u­a­tion in Ire­land is far more com­pli­cated and ir­re­pairable than the un­der­fire Gal­way girl can ever hope to fix.

So she should take a leaf from Micheal Martin’s book. When the for­mer Min­is­ter for Health in­tro­duced the smok­ing ban in 2004, his place in the an­nals of his­tory was ce­mented for­ever. For­get his sub­se­quent bungling act that was the Lis­bon Treaty; men­tion the name Micheal Martin to the Main Street masses and most all will pat their healthy ch­ests, hoover up a large breath of fresh air and tell you what they think of the sher­iff who shot down those nasty sticks of ash.

With the fu­ture of the Pro­gres­sive Democrats to go un­der the ham­mer next month, Mary Har­ney can only but skim the hori­zon and re­sign it to tur­bu­lent wa­ters ahead. Now is the time for her to make that decisive move, akin to her suc­ces­ful war on smog when she was Min­is­ter for the En­vi­ron­ment and leg­is­lated for the ban­ning of bi­tu­mi­nous coal in Dublin.

For any Ir­ish politi­cian it must be all worth

THE re­cent furore over a bunch of beech trees felled on Cromwell’s Lane in Drogheda is some­what baf­fling.

Res­i­dents in the town are up in arms that a huge chunk of his­tory has been de­stroyed on the land of Eu­gene O’Con­nell and that the 18 trees the leader of the New Model Army once rode past should have been pro­tected by the Town Coun­cil. Now if only Mr Cromwell had shown such kind re­gard for the res­i­dents of Drogheda back in the 1640s in­stead of butcher­ing thou­sands of men, women and chil­dren, we might have a lit­tle more in­ter­est in pre­serv­ing mem­o­ries of the old devil.


A PLEA­SURE to see film leg­ends Al Pa­cino and Robert de Niro back shar­ing the lime­light to­gether. Two of the best ac­tors the world has pro­duced are long over­due their on-screen re­union since they briefly worked to­gether on Heat back in 1995. Now hope­fully they’ll get to ful­fill their am­bi­tion that they’ll col­lab­o­rate on more projects in the fu­ture. An­other

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