The Taoiseach also appointed Donie Cassidy (FF) as leader of the Seanad.
Most of the FF appointments are politically astute and are aimed at securing extra seats for FF at the next election.
However a number of questions arise?
- Why is there no representative from the six counties? It was traditional to appoint one Senator from the North.
- Why did the Taoiseach fail to appoint Ollie Wilkinson to the Senate? FF in the Waterford constituency has no Oireachtas representation in the county. Both FF TDs are city based. This is music to the ears of FG. This strengthens the prospects of Senator Paudi Coffey (FG) at the next Dail election.
- Why did Bertie disappoint young hopefuls like Siobhan Ambrose and yet appoint Eoghan Harris?
The appointment of Eoghan Harris is surprising and controversial. In his column in the Sunday Independent he has staunchly defended Bertie Aherne. However it is his appearance on the Late Late Show on the Friday prior to the election which probably cost the opposition the election. Harris and John Waters supported Aherne and FF. Harris actually raved and ranted. However he managed to sow doubts in the minds of floating voters. Bertie Aherne is now showing his gratitude to Harris.
Harris started out as a Marxist and was a supporter of Official Sinn Fein. He has now swung full circle and is extremely right wing in political terms. Next stop?????????????
There are indications that large segments of Green Party support are uneasy with the decision to join FF in coalition. Consequently the appointment of two Green Senators may not ensure extra seats in the next election.
It is doubtful if the PDs will survive as a meaningful force in Irish politics. Their two Senators may eventually join FF.