Des O’Malley - principled, pragmatic, and to the point

The former minister, TD and former leader of the Progressive Democrats, who died last week, was a no-nonsense politician with a reputation for bravery and integrity

Des O’Malley: the politician’s blunt, no-nonsense style was one of the characteristics for which many of his fellow politicians remembered him. Picture: Derek Speirs

When Des O’Malley was minister for industry and commerce, he had an early morning visit from a delegation of councillors about the issue of unemployment.

The meeting in his office in what is now the Department of Business on Kildare Street was scheduled for 8am.

O’Malley lit a cigarette as the councillors from Laois asked him for more government aid and assistance for their county due to the high unemployment rate there.

However, the councillors, ...