Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Rainbow coalition legacy now utterly demolished

In what was to be its last Budget, in 1997, the Rainbow Coalition argued that its performance -- with Ruairi Quinn as Finance Minister, and John Bruton as Taoiseach -- had been convincing across all departments.

It was true and acceptable, an honourable delivery of public duty. It was not enough. The Irish people let them depart and ushered in the 13-year rule of Ahern and Cowen.

Looking at a fuller analysis of this Rainbow performance is like seeing the whole of the Ahern-Cowen era as a ghastly mistake. What the pre-Ahern State stood for has been demolished. The price we pay for this is poverty, unemployment, the end of physical development and growth, and placing the administration of the country in unsafe, foreign hands. Read More...