It’s been a strange day on the politics front. This morning out sitting TD and Minister for Enterprise Batt O’Keeffe was being praised in the Irish Independent as being top dog in Munster, and quoted in today’s Examiner that he was going to contest the coming election. By lunch time news broke that he was quitting politics altogether after yesterday denying that he was considering quitting. (Locals knew there was something up when the Fianna Fáil convention in Millstreet last Monday to select candidates was cancelled at short notice).
Maybe he realised like the rest of the cabinet that since the chance of him getting into office the next time around was getting slimmer as the days went by and decided to take his retirement lump sums before they are drastically reduced. (Tax-free lump sum of €159,000 pension lump sum of €160,000. Pensions totaling €121,000).
Also, the General Election has finally been announced for March 11th, and Cork North West has suddenly become a very interesting Electoral division.
Updated Friday 21st: The Examiner today carries an article on Batt O’Keeffe, on his time in politics, about his character, and why it was unlikely that he would not regain his seat this time around. The Irish Times also carries an article on him.