Updated: 05/04/17 : 04:44:39
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Fianna Fáil plays man, woman..... not the ball

By Eugene McGloin
Political Editor

THE GOOCH was the last man to offer us a good and lasting Mission Statement.

But he has left it all behind now and will head to join the other heroes in football's equivalent of the Fields of Elysium.

Back when he was a gossoon at school, a camera crew from Dublin visited his classroom.

Grew Up

The youngsters were all asked the simplest of questions: What did they want to be when they grew up.

The Gooch was definite, even then, about what he would do: ''Play football for Kerry, sir.''

It was a Mission Statement delivered with 1,000% application but hey, there was there, too, a dream and an innocence about it all.

Oh, and there was the purest of good manners - that ''sir.'' All of its dead and gone now, for sure and maybe forever.

The reverence we held for our police service was the last surviving bastion of 'all that was best' in The Ireland That Was, Once Upon A Time.

It's resting now with Romantic Ireland and with O'Leary in the grave but was not nourished in its lifetime by the crassness of Irish public life.

Most of our TDs have decided they will accept €2,707 in restored pay this year.

For their encore next year, TDs will accept ANOTHER ''pay restoration'' of €2,707.

The recession is over, Ireland Boys Hurrah....or at least it appears to be over within that rarified kingdom inside Leinster House.

There are no published criteria or transparencies which explain how TDs came to be so near the top of of the pile for this pay pile-on in 2017 and 2018.

Sinn Féin has decided to forego that entire €5,414 package so maybe they might tell the rest of us how it happened.

Fianna Fáil, for its part, plans to prove they're worth it, every penny every time.

They plan next week to express 'No Confidence' in the Dáil in Garda management, says this morning's edition of The Irish Times.

Idiotic is one word to describe it. And it calls to mind journalist John Healy's famous description of these type of times in which we now live.

Healy coined the phrase: ''There goes the mob, I am its leader, therefore I must follow.''

Fianna Fáil appears ready to follow the 'mob' of public opinion and bay for blood among the brass 'n' buttons of senior Garda management.

Unbroken Rule

This will be rich coming from a party which has held power for three separate periods of double-digits unbroken rule in this State.

How much REAL Garda reform did FF ever propose or deliver in those decades. Huh?

We have proposals from INDEPENDENT bodies and mechanisms to deal with issues of management, ethos, oversight etc. 

The Dail has NO powers to remove a Garda Commissioner or its lines of management.

All we are getting this week in the Dail and next week is, in football terms, 'horse tactics,' playing the man (or woman) and not the ball.

Good Place

They could all learn a thing or two from the (classroom) Gooch - you START with a simple Mission Statement, even to express big dreams.

The (constructive) dismissal(s) of senior management bears no relationship to the type of harder decisions which are needed.

Mobs seldom make good policy. They are not a good place to start a 'transition' either.

Fianna Fáil is maybe afraid to use that word 'transition' to describe the decade ahead for the police service.

Not just afraid, but ashamed to even hear the word after the mess FF made (makes) of the Health Service Executive 'transition.'

The jury is still out on the efficacy of the HSE and the job of its 'transition' has over-run by over a decade.