Gene Kerrigan, writing in the Irish Independent:
“[Theo] Dorgan reckoned that when Fine Gael proves itself — as it absolutely will, I’m completely certain of this — a busted flush, then the new politics will happen. So it seems to me this is an interim moment in a long, unfolding process of change.
Let’s pause here to consider that Dorgan may be wrong. Is it possible that, unknown to us all, Fine Gael has transmogrified into something capable of dealing with the greatest economic disaster in the history of the State?
Okay, Enda Kenny arrived in the Dail in 1975 and has since risen without trace. But, isn’t he surrounded by young tigers, bulging with brains? People like — oh, you know, Leo Varadkar and Dr James Reilly.
During the election, Reilly appeared on Vincent Browne’s TV3 show. Browne asked if FG was serious, saying in its manifesto that it would “unilaterally” force bondholders to bear some of the cost of the banking disaster? The toughness of the approach to the problem hinges on whether or not the government acts unilaterally.
Reilly replied: “You used the word unilaterally. Show me in the manifesto where it says unilaterally.” Oh, says I to myself, Browne got it wrong. There’s no “unilaterally” in the manifesto.
So, Browne read from page 16, a promise to “unilaterally” force bondholders to pay. “Don’t say it’s not in the manifesto.”
My impression of this was that Reilly was less than familiar with that passage — even though it dealt with a central aspect of the economic disaster that threatens to totally swamp us. “You denied it said unilaterally,” Browne said.
Guess what Reilly said? “I didn’t deny it. I asked you to show it to me in the manifesto.”
The Irish Times said, in the days leading up to the election, “The [Fine Gael manifesto] is worth reading.” Apparently not.