New Zealand are hot favourites but France, South Africa, Australia and Ireland are not without hope. An introduction to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, by Brent Pope.
Fine Gael demoralised, Labour becalmed, Sinn Féin discredited, Green defected, socialists defeated, the next five years are likely to be dreary. By Vincent Browne
Presumably, a Taoiseach's Senate nomination for Dan Boyle and Tom Parlon. Tom Parlon's continuance in the Oireachtas may save the PDs from extinction, for a while. Dan Boyle's continuance in active politics is important for the Greens, perhaps for the two Green ministers. Otherwise probably the same mixture of party hacks, wannabee TDs and retirees.
For Bertie Ahern the election was a triumph. It seemed at the beginning of the campaign he might lose and lose in disgrace because of the revelations about his finances. He seemed almost a forlorn figure at the Palace of Westminster nine days before the election as he was feted by British Parliamentarians while seeming rejected by his electorate.
The RTÉ exit poll showed over 80 per cent were not put off Fianna Fáil by ‘Bertiegate'. By Vincent Browne
Every promise broken, ‘core' beliefs abandoned in a naive conviction that the Greens in government can make a difference. And then a striking act of integrity: the resignation of Trevor Sargent as leader and his rejection of a senior cabinet position. By Vincent Browne
A small group of protesters gathered outside the Mansion House today to voice their opinions on the programme for government agreed with Fianna Fail following 10 days of negotiations. Hundreds of Green Party members entering the Mansion House to vote on the programme were met by shouts of "No Shannon, Save Tara!" from groups opposed to the programme and "Vote Yes!" from those in support of the proposed coalition.
Labour's pact with Fine Gael did not gain them any votes, and overall the left parties suffered in this election. By Eoin Ó Broin