Issue 3-2023-200dpi

31 January 2002 Edition

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Dúirt siad

If anyone had any doubts about the new forces in Irish politics, last week's opinion poll in the Irish Times should have erased them. While the three largest parties saw their share of the vote slip, Sinn Féin's jumped by more than 50 per cent and support for the gaggle of independent candidates rose by more than 20 per cent... No longer just an irritant, Sinn Féin has become a potent threat.
Alan Ruddock, the Sunday Independent, 27 January


You'd have thought that in any normal society Baldy Noonan's little Eircom stunt would have taken last week's prize for Most Cynical Act in the face of Political Failure. Then along came the Euro 2008 goons and sweep the prize from under Baldy's feet. Poor Baldy. If he swept into a women's prison with a fistful of pardons he'd just be in time to see the last of the lags disappearing over the wall.

Tom Humphries' LockerRoom column, The Irish Times, Monday 28 January


The real problem with what Fine Gael proposes is that it is a fairly naked vote-grabbing exercise which is inappropriate in the current economic climate.

John McManus, The Irish Times, Monday 28 January


Just because the Eircom idea wasn't met with universal approval doesn't mean that we should stop putting ideas forward.

Fine Gael TD and party chief whip Paul Bradford, The Irish Times, Monday 28 January


It's like selling cornflakes, you have to change the face of the package occasionally.

Fine Gael TD Dinny McGinley, also trying to put a brave face on things, the Sunday Independent, 27 January


I think so close to an election to make up for dramatic purposes events which never happened which portray me in a bad light is not only unfair but legally very risky for RTÉ.

Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan threatens RTE over its No Tears drama, which deals with his role as Minister for Health in the Hepatitis C scandal, The Week in Politics, RTÉ, Sunday 27 January


All Michael Noonan can say is: Fianna Fáil bad, we good. And all Ruairi Quinn has to say is: we're different from the others, no kidding. But not too different; in fact, we're just the same, only not quite... The FF-PD Dream Team stand in front of an open goal. But never underestimate the ability of the Irish political classes to make a pig's mickey of a straightforward job.

Gene Kerrigan, the Sunday Independent, 27 January


Last weekend's opinion poll showed good news for Sinn Féin. Combine this with a targeted election campaign featuring big hitters such as Adams and McGuinness, and you could have a few upsets on your hands. Adams, in the meantime, is exuding a quiet confidence. The Big Project of building an All-Ireland party, which would take over much of the Left, is underway.

Carl O'Brien, the Irish Examiner, Monday 28 January


If ever there was a week when the British media needed cause to revisit every IRA atrocity on record, this was it. Sandwiched between two savage and faithful depictions of the events of Bloody Sunday... this was never going to be a comfortable week for certain sections of the English press.

Brenda Power on the British media's response to the Bloody Sunday movie, The Sunday Tribune, 27 January


What an excellent week, then, for the four Sinn Féin MPs to step forward and claim their Westminster office facilities while still refusing to take part in the business of the House of Commons or swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth. And what a perfect week to forget that the same Good Queen Bess was the very lady who personally decorated the military masterminds of Bloody Sunday for their valour.

Brenda Power again


That this was a freelance operation by the force is unquestionable. To effectively offer moral support to the chief constable of the RUC in his battle with the North's Ombudsman, who is strongly supported by the government, was a reckless piece of politicking, which would not have happened even five years ago.

Diarmuid Doyle argues that the Garda presence in Omagh last week was further evidence of the force's unaccountability, The Sunday Tribune, 27 January

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