Coalition partners hammer out deal on Ireland's future

Fine Gael and Labour will form a coalition government in Ireland following the ratification of a draft programme for government by a special Labour Party delegate conference in Dublin yesterday. Separately, the Fine Gael parliamentary party unanimously endorsed the proposed programme. After six days of talks, including lengthy meetings between Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny […]

By Peter Geoghegan in Dublin Ireland’s new leader-in-waiting, Enda Kenny, last night launched a fierce attack on the outgoing government for being removed from the people. As his party emerged the clear winner in the country’s general election, Kenny called on politicians to learn a lesson from the annihilation meted out to his rivals at […]

Change may come too late to halt a new Irish diaspora

By PETER GEOGHEGAN in CAVAN TURNOUT at Ireland’s polling stations was reported as high yesterday, despite widespread scepticism that the incoming government will be able to drag the country out of recession. Fine Gael, the right-of-centre opposition in the last parliament, is still heavily tipped to form a government under leader Enda Kenny, ending decades […]

Sign of hard times as Irish vote to rescue 'ghost' estates

By Peter Geoghegan in Longford On the road from Dublin airport to the city centre stands an eye-catching piece of street art. Painted in 4ft-high red and white letters, located on a concrete wall just a stone’s throw from the half-finished headquarters of the bankrupt Anglo-Irish bank near the banks of the River Liffey, the […]

Brian Cowen ducks out as Ireland prepares for crisis election

The English writer JB Priestley once compared opinion polls to “children in a garden, digging things up all the time to see how they’re growing.” While the latest polls in Scotland have unearthed surprisingly good news for the incumbent Alex Salmond, across the Irish Sea it was opposition leader Enda Kenny who woke yesterday morning […]

Brian Cowen ducks out as Ireland prepares for crisis election

IRELAND’s prime minister Brian Cowen yesterday announced the dissolution of the Irish parliament, in what was probably the last act of his political career. The move brought to a close one of the most controversial governments in Ireland’s history and paved the way for the first general election since last year’s bailout of the economy […]

Drawn-out last gasp of political life of Brian

Brian Cowen’s reputation as a hard-nosed political operator was in tatters well before yesterday afternoon’s session of the Irish parliament, but his latest public performance will have done little to instil confidence in Ireland’s limp premier. In what was possibly his valedictory speech to the Dáil, Mr Cowen brazenly declared “this government is functioning as […]

Analysis: Never mind a week – a day is long time in politics

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday evening, Brian Cowen celebrated after defeating a motion of no confidence in his leadership tabled by foreign minister and party colleague Micheál Martin. “The party is united behind Brian Cowen as leader,” declared Fianna Fail chief whip John Curran. But barely 24 hours later, the Irish premier’s […]

Having caused then denied problem, Fianna Fail is in firing line

AS ANY counsellor knows, acknowledging the existence of a problem is the first step to solving it. Unfortunately when it came to Ireland’s banking crisis, the ruling Fianna Fail-led coalition chose to remain firmly in denial until the contagion had spread out of control. As recently as Wednesday, finance minister Brian Lenihan told the nation […]

£30m spent, but questions remain unanswered

Even in the fractious world of Troubles Northern Ireland, Billy Wright was a singularly divisive character. As the leader of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force in Portadown, he was responsible for the killings of more than 20 Catholics in the 1980s. In 1996, he rejected the UVF ceasefire, creating the Loyalist Volunteer Force and orchestrating […]

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