I was delighted with the sudden news today that Enda Kenny and Michéal Martin put their Civil War differences aside and will form a national government next week, for the good of all Irish people, especially those in need, and the homeless.
Fair play to Enda Kenny, in particular to offer the first 6 months of the rotating office of Taoiseach to the Fianna Fáil leader. And also a lot of praise had to go to Michéal who offered the office of Táiniste to Gerry Adams and congratulated him for his role in the Peace Process.
The Independents rowed in behind the big parties too and, you know, it was big of Michael Healy Rea to nominate Michael Fitzmaurice as Minster for Rural Affairs.
I liked Enda’s speech: “I know that all members of Fine Gael and everyone who voted for us will support this move today, and that we can all now move forward as a nation, in the spirit of The Proclamation, and that Ireland can truly take her place among the nations of the world. Considering that 100 years ago men gave up their lives for Ireland, the least we can do is give up some of our power and privileges for the good of our country.”
Michéal was magnanimous too: “Whatever our differences in the past, it has to be said that Fine Gael have always put the country first and it is now our great privilege to continue to support them in that and to move Ireland forward.”
I must admit I was surprised that our new Táiniste, Gerry Adams, has accepted the Knighthood that Queen Elizabeth has bestowed on him and has vowed to ensure that every ‘disappeared’ person will be found and returned to their families by the end of April.
The main focus of the new government – ensuring that all our people have adequate and suitable homes is being backed up by a €1 billion building programme and fair dues to IBEC and The Construction Federation who have committed to building all these houses at cost as a goodwill gesture to the nation.
All the consultants and senior HSE staff have also rowed in behind the measures to ensure that all our sick have beds instead of trolleys and offering a voluntary 30% salary reduction to boost the hospital funds is another welcome measure.
The referendum to ensure that The Irish Water Agency, (the new slimmed-down government body set up to protect our water resources) will never be privatised, will happen within six weeks and the staff of the former Irish Water have done themselves proud by offering to do all the work of their consultants themselves and work for the minimum wage too.
With the dropping of the Local Property Tax it was no surprise that several Independents and the water protestors have accepted the new very generous water pricing scheme, with waivers for those on low income.
All in all, it’s been a good day for Ireland. Congratulations to everyone concerned.