"I would respectfully suggest that Mattie McGrath would not be an impartial observer" - Sunday Paper Review

Dan O'Brien, Mary Hanafin and Minister Paschal Donohoe joined Shane Coleman in studio

"I would respectfully suggest that Mattie McGrath would not be an impartial observer" - Sunday Paper Review

sunday, paper, review, paschal, donohoe, minister, news, mary, hanafin, shane coleman, dan obrien

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe, Fianna Fáil general election candidate Mary Hanafin, and economist and newspaper columnist Dan O’Brien joined Shane for a look at Sunday’s papers.

This week’s Paper Review kicked off with a discussion of the latest opinion polls, which show support for Fine Gael at around a 30% support level.

“At this point now I break into clichés that you will have heard many times before,” Minister Donohoe observed.

“The reason why all of those are clichés is because it’s true… Insofar as opinion polls are of any use whatsoever, we look at the long term trend in them, which shows Fine Gael has been rebuilding support,” he added.

Mary Hanafin argued, “as a politician, you really don’t like it when you’re down in the polls, and you take a kind of smug satisfaction when you’re going up a little bit in the polls.

“I think for Fianna Fáil the important thing is that we’ve started to go up in the polls at exactly the right time - at the time when people are starting to think who they’re going to vote for,” she added.

The ‘neutral observer’ in studio Dan O’Brien commented on the prospect of a Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil coalition. He pointed out that politically “it would leave the Opposition open to Sinn Féin, and that could lead to a major realignment in politics. It could end up with a smaller party - either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael - withering away as so many other smaller parties have done in the past.

“It seems more political than policy, the arguments against a grand coalition of Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael,” he suggested.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times reports that FAI Chief Executive John Delaney has been canvassing with Labour minister Alan Kelly.

“I read the article,” Minister Donohoe said, “and I noticed that Mattie McGrath comments on the story. I would respectfully suggest that Mattie McGrath would not be an impartial observer in all of this here.

“My own view is that what people do in their own personal time is their business… I would be certain that John or anybody else who is involved in a public body would not be out using their office to advance any candidate,” he added, although he stressed he's going to look further into the story.

“I have some really successful soccer clubs in my constituency,” Mary suggested. “If [John Delaney would] like to redress any imbalance, he can come canvassing with me out there”.

You can listen back to the full Paper Review below: