Ironically, the previous occasion in which a Crystal Visitor Centre opened back in 1986, turmoil broke out within the ranks of Fine Gael, with then Waterford Minister Eddie Collins given his marching orders by Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.
Fast forward to 2010 and the party finds itself in trouble again after Richard Bruton declared his lack of faith in Enda Kenny’s leadership, catalysed by Mr Kenny’s low satisfaction rating in an Irish Times opinion poll.
Deputy Bruton’s move seems unnecessary, with its implications to be fully revealed after Thursday’s meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party.
The timing of the heave, with Fianna Fáil at an all-time low in the polls, and the Taoiseach clearly tarnished given the findings of two bank reports, is both extraordinary and ill-advised.
And it’s difficult not to think what former TD George Lee must make of it all, since the finance portfolio could well have been his for the taking if Bruton’s move succeeded and he remained a Dáil deputy.
The old saying about ‘living in interesting times’ certainly rings true, both economically and politically.
As for Richard Bruton, who hardly cut a more convincing figure than Mr Kenny when asked to talk specifically on television on Monday evening, will, if his move succeeds, prove a more effective leader than the current incumbent?
On what issue, apart from calling for the closure of Anglo Irish Bank, has he proven himself to be clear, concise and more importantly, competent on the pressing matters facing the country.
With Fianna Fáil insiders describing the latest FG split as “brilliant news”, surely the biggest winners emerging from this are Labour, with Eamon Gilmore’s soaring rhetoric scoring well with the public.