Tag Archives: Mary Lou McDonald


Tanaiste Leo Varadkar

This morning.

Via Irish Times Letters:

As seen in the Monday edition of The Irish Times.

Page 1: Leo Varadkar pronounces his wise counsel on the purchase of the new National Maternity Hospital site.

Page 1: In the blurb for page 3, we see that Leo Varadkar urges the DUP to honour agreements.

Page 2: Views on travel abroad: “Varadkar says Government has decided to diverge from Holohan’s travel advice.”

Page 3: “Varadkar urges DUP to ‘honour its commitments’ on Irish language’’.

Page 4: Varadkar’s concerns and “intimations” over site for new National Maternity Hospital.

Page 4: “Pandemic must leave positive legacy, says Tánaiste.”

Page 4: Varadkar’s Ard Fheis speech: “Varadkar dances a leftward shimmy to pair Fine Gael’s old favourites.”

I did check out the Sport section for Mr Varadkar’s tips for the Southwell and Ballinrobe races but, sadly, nothing doing.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan also get a fleeting mention in some of these articles.

But no mention at all of the leader of the Opposition, who happens to be the leader of what the polls consider to be the most popular party in the country – north and south.

How come?

Is mise,

Caomhin O Seanain


Irish Times Letters


This afternoon.

The Dáil at the Convention Centre.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said that the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will “bring in legislation quickly” to close a loophole allowing an 8% rent hike for tenants.

However, he said that the Government is limited by the Constitution on introducing a blanket ban on rent increases.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said that “an entire generation is locked out of home ownership” because of high rents.

Not only do they face the prospect of the Government “cutting their income support”, she added, but they also face a “double whammy” of an 8% rent hike.

Loophole allowing 8% rent hike to be closed – Taoiseach (RTE)


This afternoon.

Leinster House, Dublin 2.

As loyalist paramilitary groups denied involvement in another night of rioting in west Belfast, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald…

…said loyalist violence has been deliberately planned to stoke up maximum tensions and called on unionist politicians to show “enlightened leadership” and to call off protests planned for this weekend.

Speaking outside to journalists Leinster House Ms McDonald said it is “unacceptable” that unionist leaders in the North have not yet called for further protests planned for this weekend to be cancelled.

“That message needs to come from all of us, but it particularly needs to be heard loud and clear from the leadership of the DUP, from all the unionist political parties and from all of the loyalist organisations,” she said.

“Now is your moment to step forward and in a very unequivocal and very clear and firm way, to say to those who have orchestrated this violence to stop and to call off all of the protests.”

Loyalist paramilitaries deny involvement in protests (RTÉ)






Sinn Féin frenzy rooted in fear of a return to any kind of normality Eoghan Harris, Sunday Independent)

Mary Lou McDonald responds to ‘cartoon’ depicting her as a witch (Buzz.ie)

Former Attorney General Marie Whelan is given her warrant of appointment as a judge by President Higgins in July 2017 watched by Seámus Woulfe (standing second right)

This morning/afternoon.

The Dáil at the Convention Centre.

During Leaders’ Questions, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald raised the Justice Seamus Woulfe controversy and  Minister for Justice Helen McEntee’s refusal to answer questions about the appointment.

They had this exchange:

Micheal Martin: “I have taken questions on this issue as Taoiseach. I took them yesterday and I’m taking it right now. You’re asking questions about this and I’m going to take the questions. And I thought your question was very interesting and I want to say one thing at the outset. Your assertion that there is horse trading involved, in the context of the appointment of Paul Gallagher, as Attorney General, and some connection to the appointment of Justice Woulfe to the Supreme Court is an untruth and a false assertion, and you should withdraw it because it impugns the integrity and the ability of the present Attorney General who has had nothing to do with that.

“It is historic precedent that an Attorney General is appointed by the Taoiseach of the day and it’s always been the position. And there’s always an important relationship between the Taoiseach and Attorney General in any Cabinet.”


“I don’t believe politicians should be involved in terms of negotiations about who should be a judge or who should not be a judge. I don’t actually think that’s the function of a politician. And when I learn that the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, chaired by the chief justice Frank Clarke and the presidents of the other four courts, in addition to representatives of the Law Society and the Bar Council, when I learn that they deemed Justice Woulfe suitable to be a Supreme Court judge, that was good enough for me.

“I have no interest in embroiling myself any further. The minister of the day, the notifications may be sent in, representations may be made by judges to the effect that they would like to be considered for particular positions. The Minister for Justice of the day brings one name to Cabinet. As far as I was concerned, the fact that the JAAB, or the Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, was satisfied that Justice Woulfe was a suitable candidate for the Supreme Court, as far as I was concerned that satisfied me and I wasn’t going to second guess it.”

Later, in response…

Mary Lou McDonald: “The Taoiseach’s response is incoherent gibberish and he knows it. TheTaoiseach has changed his tune from whence he sat on the Opposition benches and correctly challenged the Government of the day to give an account if itself and the Justice Minister to give an account of the process by which a selection for judicial appointment was made. And the standards then, Ceann Comhairle, are the standards now.

“And the responsibility of the Oireachtas, to hold the Government to account, remains. And remains paramount. You reach for the JAAB process, even though you know that that was one of two channels to which names came forth. So please, don’t rehearse that nonsense again.

That there was horse trading around the position of Attorney General, is not only truthful, it’s a verifiable truth. It played out in the media, Taoiseach, between yourselves, Fine Gael and, let it be said, the Green Party.

“But I hear that you don’t wish to be further embroiled in these questions so the straightfoward and correct and proper thing Ceann Comhairle, to happen, is that the Minister for Justice presents herself and gives an account of those three weeks, between the 27th of June and the 16th of July and sets out, for the satisfaction of this Oireachtas, the process by which four names became one, four applicants became Seamus Woulfe. That is what this Oireachtas demands and deserves.”

Martin: “Sinn Féin has a habit of keep on repeating the above and then asserting that it’s the truth. It’s an untruth, deputy, what you’ve just said. It’s not verifiably true that there was horse trading involving the position of the Attorney General, not verifiably true and stop misleading the House in that regard and deliberately, in my view, creating a story that has no foundation in fact.

“And I do think you should withdraw it. Because I know. Ok? I know that there’s absolutely no relationship between the appointment of the Attorney General Paul Gallagher and the appointment of Justice Woulfe. None.”


Earlier: Unprecedented






During the lengthy political foreplay preceding government formation, Martin let it be known to Leo Varadkar that he was not demanding the choice of justice minister. This was a dual message, indicating firstly that [Jim] O’Callaghan was not going to be in cabinet – justice minister was the logical post for the barrister if he was going to be in cabinet at all.

Secondly, it meant that, if Martin was not going to select a party member as justice minister, he would have the choice of attorney general and he had already determined that [Paul] Gallagher was his man.

The AG’s role is supposed to be legal rather than political, but this simplistic dividing line can become moveable or blurred, with legalistic arguments and interpretations becoming very political and divisive. Martin knows that Gallagher is daunting when faced with difficult arguments from stroppy ministers and their officials and he also knows that Gallagher is his AG – not Varadkar’s.

Paul Gallagher – Profile (The Phoenix, August 13)

This afternoon.

The Dáil at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald arrives ahead of a no-confidence motion against Tanaiste Leo Varadkar for leaking confidential GP contract documents.

Watch live here.

Earlier: All Behind Him


Earlier: Leo’s High Standards 


In fairness.


Ah here.


Tioc or treat?


Stop that.

This morning/afternoon.

Henry Street, Dublin 1.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald (above centre) with Debenhams workers ahead of a High Court hearing tomorrow where the store’s liquidators KPMG is seeking an injuction to stop picketing at the stores. The workers, who were made redundant in April, have still not received their promised redundancy payments.

Previously: Behind You


Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald

This afternoon.


…Catherine Murphy, co-leader of the Social Democrats, said:

“The resignation of Minister Calleary is symptomatic of the contradictory messaging and widespread confusion that has followed Tuesday’s announcement of new restrictions.

The days following the announcement have been characterised by a bizarre television appearance by the Minister for Health and clarification after clarification from various Government departments.

“Since the Dáil went into recess at the end of July, the Government has lurched from one crisis to the next. We have had three counties in lockdown for the past fortnight and it now looks likely that the Cabinet will act on NPHET’s recommendation to extend localised restrictions in Kildare for another two weeks.

“The events of the past 24 hours highlight the need for all relevant Government ministers to come into the Dáil and clearly explain what the strategy is for dealing with this crisis.”

Earlier: Par For The Course

 Resigned [Updated]

“An Unintended But Serious Lapse Of Judgment”

Put Your Dukes Up


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald

This morning.