Friday, May 25, 2007

McDowell out of Public Life

Michael McDowell, Tánaiste, Minister for Justice and leader of the Progressive Democrats has lost his seat in the general election. McDowell is a man who is disliked by many for his hardline policies but personally I think he will be a loss to the political system. What ever you think about his policies he was probably one of the more capable politicians in the Dail and he was not afraid to be controversial. I believe he always did what he believed to be best for the State.

When friends of mine used to argue and complain about McDowell I could always shut them up by asking "Who would you rather have in office, McDowell or Martin Cullen". Even the most rabid Fine Gael supporter would always express a clear preference for McDowell. Today McDowell lost his seat and Cullen topped his poll, there is no justice in the world of politics.

Personally I was disappointed with his handling of the Justice Department. He focus on high level issues may have been important but I think more urgent issues on the streets have been overlooked and organised crime, gun crime and anti-social behavior have all worsened under his term as Minister.

Still in my opinion his retirement from public life will be a loss to the state. I would love to have seen McDowell speaking from the opposition benches in full flow and without the restraint of a department.

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