Brian Cowen, Mary Coghlan and Brian Lenihan: Out of their depth

Quite suddenly, the optimism of the Celtic Tiger era has given way to despair and the new government of Brian Cowen has been seen to mirror that despair. The performance of the leading trio — Brian Cowen, Mary Coghlan and Brian Lenihan — has been unsure and floundering. They have failed to communicate the underlying strengths of the economy and, in the wake of the Lisbon Treaty rejection, the secure place Ireland continues to enjoy within the EU.

Sli Eile triumphs over prejudice and Ministerial opposition

The mental health organisation, Sli Eile, that was prevented from opening its first transition residence in an estate in Charleville, Co Cork, by locals supported by a government minister, has been invited to open a second residence in Ennis, Co Clare. Sli Eile opened its first house at an alternative address in Charleville.

Batt O'Keefe and Sli Eile

We posed the following questions to Batt O'Keeffe, the new Minister for Education and Science:
What assistance and/or information did you give the protestors at Pike Farm, Charleville in their blockade of a residential home being opened for people recently discharged from mental hospitals;


Brian Cowen: The heat is on

On Wednesday 21 May, Brian Cowen was challenged in the Dáil to answer questions about palliative care services for older people and funding for mental health services. In the course of his reply to these questions, Brian Cowen was interrupted six times in his first response and then three times in his second response to the same questions, before he issued this threat: “For Deputy Reilly's attention, I can organise it so that every time his man [Enda Kenny] completes a sentence, I can have people roaring and shouting on this side if he wants.”

Accountability the priority of new party

Ireland's newest national party, while too small to be a major player in the next elections, could add a new dimension to Irish political debate. The Priorities Party, launched on 21 April by defectors from opposite ends of Ireland's narrow political spectrum, is running on a ticket of political standards, accountability and transparency.

Bertie's triumphs

Bertie Ahern indeed has done some service to his country and done some service to Fianna Fail. His departure now was not the least of that service.

By Vincent Browne 

Bertie Ahern announces resignation as Taoiseach

Following increasing pressure to explain revelations of sterling lodgements to his bank accounts uncovered by the Mahon Tribunal, Bertie Ahern announced that he will step down as Taoiseach on 6 May, 2008. Below is the full statement he gave at Government buildings on the morning of 2 April 2008.


Click on the Bertiegate tag at the end of the article for more on Bertie's Money.