Is Brian Lenihan off his game?

I suppose someone at some point has to ask the awful question but this incident whereby the government forgot to oppose a Labour party amendment to the Finance bill and following on from the manner of his defence of Willie O’Dea which struck many people as not being typical of Brian Lenihan and the fact that Martin Cullen has raised the issue publicly of the impact of certain types of medication on a person’s ability to perform their normal duties in the same way as before, is Brian Lenihan now showing signs of his performance being affected by his treatment?

We, the public are not privy to the form or the duration of his treatment, if it is the case that the worst of it is over and a minor slip here and there is going to be the extent of the impact then fair enough let him continue in office but if it has got some more months to run (in particular into the summer months when preparation of the budget will be underway) then we have to ask is the upcoming reshuffle the right opportunity to make a change. At the very least someone senior in the cabinet has to be designated as his 2nd.

I know people will say that’s I’m merely trying to score political points but I honestly can’t think of anyone more capable in FF than Brian Lenihan to be in the position of MoF at the moment. And while I don’t agree with much of the detail and some of the substance of what he is doing, he is, when playing at the top of his game, incredibly able. The question remains is he playing at the top of his game?

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4 Responses to Is Brian Lenihan off his game?

  1. steve says:

    i watched it a couple of times too make vid clips of it for suzyb, even though the controversy passed,cc was brendan howlin he didn’t really give lenihan much time, was in the chair if kirk was in the chair would he not have coughed loudly and given lenihan the chance to say nay. was it not just about who was in the chair at the time, certainly is v.important normally.

  2. steve says:

    link to dail vid clip
    howlin rushes it?

  3. Harry McGeea says:

    Dan, the line we were getting from the FF side was that the mistake wasn’t Lenihans but that the person who was deputising for Seamus Kirk in the Ceann Comhairle’s chair didn’t actually call the amendment. It’s hard to know from the transcript.
    Lenihan’s continuing capacity to serve can’t really be judged by that. He’s certainly cut down on his public engagement but there have been no signs of him strugling with the brief.

  4. dsullivan says:

    Harry, I suppose my real point is that we, the public, aren’t going to know exactly how well he is doing day to day and we end up looking for signs whether positive or negative. And it’s something of grey area in terms of the degree of public prurience and the reasonable need for privacy when recovering or battling illness as he is.

    After all, if someone was driving a bus we’d want to believe that the company employing him was taking steps to ensure that he was completely fit and able and taking the best of care of himself. In other words, we’re being asked to take all this on trust and I’m not sure the public is currently up for that over the long term.

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