Politics and personalities on both sides of the pond

Well I am filled with sadness and I am sure many reading this will feel the same.

What a match last Saturday! How near Mayo came to making it another draw. How near they came to winning it. It is all so heart-breaking and if I feel like this, and if Mayo people feel like this, can you imagine how the manager and the Mayo team feel? They must be just gutted.

Mayo gave as good as they got last Saturday and of course well done to Dublin, but I cannot find it in my heart to be congratulatory towards the winners because I feel so down at Mayo’s defeat again.

No doubt all over Mayo, the game will be played and replayed as GAA members go over all the kicks, the missed kicks, the near goal, and all of the drama which made up last Saturday - and it was real drama.

Of course Mayo and their valiant manager, Stephen Rochford, will live to fight another day but it is understandably difficult for them to feel like this now.

On now to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We didn’t get a good chance to really talk together about it last week. I feel Hillary won the first debate and I feel that Donald Trump let himself down by engaging in the usual shouting and rhetoric, although for the first half of the debate he seemed to keep himself controlled. We learned this week that he has paid no federal taxes for 18 years and that is the reason why he failed to produce his returns when Hillary Clinton kept asking him about it. I expect more will emerge about that revelation over the next few days – certainly prior to the next public debate.

You know the way people say politics runs in families? Well my son, Feargal, in Dublin, has a daughter Jennifer aged 14 and she is just so interested in politics; it is unbelievable to find that interest in so young a person. She watched the debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and then rang me the next afternoon to talk about it and she pointed out things to me which I had already noted. A real political analyst if ever I heard one!

So, we will have another chat together after the next debate. I am sure the girls in her class in school in Dublin think she’s a nerd, but I love to see that political interest in her and I am sure it will continue.

I learned with great sadness of the death of Bobby Molloy – may he rest in peace. I served at Cabinet with Bobby during the period of the Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat government. He was a good comrade at that time. I can remember in particular in the old days when he was Minister for Defence, under Jack Lynch as Taoiseach. In all of the commentary there has been on the late Bobby, I have not heard one particular action which he took mentioned, and to me it was a really exemplary one. He was the Minister for Defence who brought in the enabling legislation to allow women to enrol in the Defence Forces of the country. I will always remember him for that. It was a real feminist move, way ahead of its time.

I well remember again, when I was Shadow Minister for Education in Charlie Haughey’s government in 1986, when the Progressive Democrats were set up by Des O’Malley and Mary Harney and then, after a couple of weeks, Bobby Molloy joined them. We were more upset as a party by his leaving Fianna Fáil than by the others. As you all know, the Progressive Democrats went on to form a very strong party and then eventually, after several strong parliamentary performances, faded away.

Bobby Molloy was a tough fighter and a good man and in his day worked so hard in the public service. My deepest sympathy to his wife, Phyllis, and to his family.

The Budget and talk about it is looming large throughout the media. It seems so much has to be done with such a small amount of money that I don’t know how Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe will manage to get the value out of every last euro.

Long gone are the days when the Budget was a total surprise and the Minister of the Day paraded with his black square briefcase and everyone waited for it to be opened in deadly silence in the Dáil to hear the contents. Then, of course, debate would get rowdy as various things were announced, some good and some not so good, and the raucous shouts would come from all sides of the Dáil. Now we seem to know what is in almost every line of the Budget before we ever get to the date.

If the Advertiser column will allow, I will say a little about myself in the last paragraph. By the time you read this, I will have launched my book Letters of My Life in the National Library in Dublin on Wednesday, October 5. I am a bit apprehensive and worried about it but I will have my family and friends with me and I know that will make it for me, to have them by my side.

Now that I have the book finished I won’t know what to do with myself, but no doubt I will find plenty to occupy my time!

In the meantime let me say I love doing this column every week. I feel somehow as if I am talking with everyone and sharing things that have happened to me. I only wish I could share in all the things that have happened to everyone who reads the column. Thank you for all the good feedback, which I have enjoyed as well.

That’s all for now.

Talk with you all next week.

In the meantime, go safely.

Slán go fóill

Mary O’Rourke



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