Revelations last week about more new monies coming to light from a Fianna Fail constituency fund and being spent on a relative’s housing needs was the latest firework to hit the Government.
The Taoiseach’s ex partner had use of the funds for a long period of time before repaying them with interest in recent months after 13 years.
This is almost a reminder of the time when Ruairi Quinn and Brendan Howlin decided with Labour Party leader Dick Spring to leave Government following a vote of no confidence and go in with Fine Gael and Democratic Left.
Albert Reynolds resigned as Taoiseach and Bertie Ahern became Leader of the Fianna Fail party in opposition.
Could the same happen again with a new Green, Progressive Democrat, Fine Gael, Labour Coalition plus some Independents like Finian McGrath? Would Sinn Fein be tempted, or some of the current Independents?
It might mean that an election could be avoided and there might be an easy change in administration. Such thoughts could focus the minds of Fianna Fail TDs, because there are seats there to be lost now.
The current Labour Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore, suggests a resignation date could be set, following the Taoiseach’s forthcoming US Congress address in Washington.
The Cabinet are adamant that Bertie Ahern will stay on, but there is now almost an inevitability about change. The Greens may be the first to show some nervousness and if they could keep their Cabinet seats in an Enda Kenny led Administration then it could happen if the arithmetic works.
There will be much hard thinking over the next few weeks within Fianna Fail as to what can be done. Conor Lenihan says there is no change in public opinion and that this is a media thing mainly. He may be a little wrong this time, as it shows a lack of standards in minding party funds and would upset other party branches around the country who may find it hard to raise money.
The Taoiseach is out of the country again this week putting him out of reach of his critics. This is a very trying time for him and his party after so many past successes, it is a shame to see such matters rear up. The tax issues have to be resolved and Judge Mahon must be allowed do his work.
Last week’s attack on him seemed too much from the Opposition. A more up front approach to put the issue out in the open seems the best course of action.
AS to whether the Coalition partners can stomach much more will be a key question. Time will tell.
The public would like to see a resolution one way or the other, political uncertainty at a time of a weakening economy does not help boost confidence.
The Greens have picked a tough time to be in Government, their stance to date is that they will await the Tribunal report, which will require patience on their part.