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Putin and Varadkar go to war

by Opinion by Jimmy Rhatigan

WHAT HAVE Fine Gael chief Varadkar and Russia’s Putin got in common?

Many things perhaps but one seems to stand out more than any other possibilities.

Varadkar has done to arch enemy Sinn Féin what Putin has piled on The Ukraine.

He word-bombed the Shinners, aiming at one of its commanders, Pearse Doherty in particular.

He did all but put out his Fine Gael tongue and in nursery rhyme jargon taunt Doherty: Shinner the Sinner, Nanananana.

Sparks flew and party supporters piled in with their not so complimentary tuppence worth as Doherty reminded Varadkar he was under investigation for an alleged leak.

Varadkar, obviously angry, retorted by referring back to an incident in the ago when Doherty was alleged to have obstructed a Garda in the line of duty.

It later emerged that Fine Gael has compiled a secret dossier detailing what it terms damaging information about Sinn Féin TDs and comparing the party to Donald Trump.

It seems an 18-page document called  ‘Sinn Féin Hypocrisy’ outlines what Fine Gael see as the party’s inconsistent stances North and South, and criticisms of its ‘disingenuous’ economic policies.

The tittle tattle was blasted to thunder and lightning proportions when Varadkar retaliated after Doherty had fired a scud casting aspersions on the FG party celebrating 10 years as our people suffer.


TDs with a brain and common sense, and boy are they scarce, had to be dumbfounded as they listened to the schoolyard-type scrap while our country buckles at the knees.

Our hospitals are under pressure and could get considerably worse as Covid appears to be warming up for another attack.

Our housing problem is at a critical stage while homelessness is one of the great blots on our copybook of shame.

Throw in a soaring cost of living on which rip off Ireland is thriving, fuel cost hikes and the fear of a vicious winter in which families may have to choose between eating and heating and you should see the sheer absurdity and ignorance of a spat between political enemies.

 The exchange may have started with sporadic shots over parapets but could so easily end in all-out war in which there could be many victims.

What we had was a raging bull-headed row between two political parties vying for power as our country is already dealing with the fallout from a plethora of attacks on its ability to live anything near a normal life.

The message has to be that our politicians don’t give a tuppenny fcuk about anyone, certainly not our people when it comes to keeping their own sows’ heads in an ever giving public trough.


Varadkar, like Putin, may have bitten off more than he can chew.

He may have lashed out on the spur of the moment but now has to deal with the consequences of what one would see as irresponsible action.

He could be pitting brother against brother; family against family; community against community.

The pages of history could be turned right back to our War of Independence. He may have opened a can of worms before taking stock of his own political benches.

Sinn Féin just may order its own investigation into the behaviours and past lives of FG public representatives and their allies.

We could have the makings of a brutal battle, not merely a war of words but savage fights in which lives could be lost.

It will all be in the name of power-mad politicians protecting their parties and their money trees.

Like Nero of Rome, they will fiddle as our country burns, elderly people dying from hypothermia in their unheated homes; under nourished children suffering with hunger pangs and homeless lying dead on our streets.

Varadkar lit a match but he may have primed a time bomb.

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