Trigger-happy FG have President in the firing line - Miriam Lord
What has President McAleese done to annoy Fine Gael? Michael Ring got all hot and bothered recently over Her Excellency’s use of an Air Corps helicopter to get her to the Connacht football final last year.
It was an official engagement, and Mrs McAleese was flown to the stadium in Castlebar having earlier attended the National Day of Commemoration in Dublin. Now Michael’s colleague John Deasy is in on the act.
He tabled a list of questions for written answer this week to Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea, asking how many members of the Defence Forces are required for ceremonial duties involving the President and how much it costs to provide this support.
He mentioned escorts of honour, guards of honour, occasions when ambassadors’ go to the Aras to present their credentials; when heads of State roll into town on official visits and when Herself departs and arrives back in the country after State visits abroad.
Deputy Deasy forgot to mention the Army bands and aides de camp, but Willie threw them in for good measure in his reply. As to the matter of cost, there is no additional outlay as its part of the overall job for members of the Defence Forces.
Why this sudden interest the presidency? Perhaps Fine Gael has its eye on the Aras.
Watch your back, Enda.