Saturday, 25th March 2017
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

They’re off and running... oh wait... maybe not!

Enda Kenny has announced that he will give clarity to his abdication, once he returns from his “Day of Destiny”, with President “The” Donald Trump. He will hand over a

Waterford Crystal bowl, filled with Irish Shamrock, after the customary St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

I am pretty sure that White House protocol dictates that any plant or food presented as a gift is “Taken care of”, or destroyed by the Secret Service. What a sad sorry end to a not insignificant symbol signifying an actual long lasting friendship! I hope that at the very least the Waterford Crystal bowl remains intact, in the Oval Office next to Sir Winston, filled with M & M’s or Skittles!

Apparently, Enda managed to make his 11 minute announcement, at the weekly Parliamentary Party meeting, without having to resort to shouting down his protagonists, in the leadership contest. Whether or not we will actually get an “Enda best before date”, time will tell. As in recent weeks his word has certainly not been his bond. The odd “White lie or confused facts or simply whoppers”, now appear to have been part of this Taoiseach’s colourful CV. So, whether or not the 17th March will give transparency to a leaving date, I wouldn’t hold your breath. We may well get a prolonged lengthy departure tour. Watch this space, perhaps we’ll see more flip-flopping to come.

As the two main front runners start jostling, to positioning themselves for a titanic contest, to lead Fine Gael and ultimately our Government, we are left wondering - wondering if ALL future distractions will actually remove that one wobbly wheel still steadfastly turning, on this chariot of governance.

Whilst Simon “The Cork” Coveney is being distracted by his media bashing colleague, Leo “The Lion Heart” Varadkar, will he be willing to implement the recent Boundary Review recommendations? Or, will he simply leave this important piece of infrastructural change for Waterford, on the long finger? Waterford cannot wait for a long drawn out leadership campaign and the very real possibility of changes to Ministerial Portfolios. We are in danger of seeing yet another report for Waterford, being left in a corner, on a bookshelf to gather dust, in a locked room of Leinster House.

In addition to Coveney not willing to play his cards, we now know that Minister Harris wishes to leave the poisoned chalice that is Health. He too will become embroiled in the leadership battle, to get the hell out of Health. This in turn will create further anguish for UHW’s missing catheterisation laboratory. A lab that now appears to have no idea where Waterford sits geographically, on the Irish OS map. It is conspicuous by its absence.

To compound our woes, the future “North Waterford” parties see the area, to the North of our North Quay, as a powerhouse for prospective future votes. That means FF, FG and SF will not upset the applecart to the apparent detriment of their sitting and potential future TDs. They can all see this area as a means of strengthening Kilkenny Regional Politics, to the disadvantage of Waterford. Lots of eager rubbing of hands and “Fizzy tinkles”, in the nether regions, of those involved at the sharp end!

Alas, it seems that we in Waterford, may well be left behind once again, due to the strength of others. In this region, our neighbours always beat us in a political game of “Top Trumps” (nothing to do with Donald’s Towers in this instance). We are forever teetering on the cliff edge and unless we start to find true champions for our causes, we will always be second best.

As Enda “Still in the game” Kenny, Simon and Leo, begin planning their political coalitions, will we ever forge a better relationship with the incumbents?

Coveney will be looking for allies in Cork and Varadkar will be seeking allegiances in Dublin. What seems guaranteed is that neither will be looking towards Waterford for help, assistance or a lifelong partner.

Our political vacuum is ever worrying and perhaps we need to find a reinvigorated Mr Robert Boyle, to write us a contemporary Law?

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