Pat Rabbitte: August wobble betrays coalition’s weak foundations

The weary government was just beginning to gain some equilibrium when the Zappone controversy knocked it for six. Can such a mismatched alliance survive the rough-and-tumble that inevitably lies ahead?

Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan, the three leaders of a coalition cobbled together to keep the wolf from the door. Picture: Sam Boal/

August is a wicked month. As Albert Reynolds remarked: “It’s the little things that trip you up.” Seldom must the government have been so pleased to see the summer recess within reach. Bruised and weary though it was, at the end of the parliamentary year, there was some satisfaction that the vaccination programme had gone so well. At last, there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel.

After such a rickety start, ...