Updated: 11/02/17 : 07:00:22
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Three powerful women in weekend firestorm

By Eugene McGloin

THREE WOMEN in powerful posts find themselves in the front-most heat of a firestorm this weekend.

Two of them share the same worktable: Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Childrens Minister Katherine Zappone. 

What they shared -- and didn't share -- may prove to be the undoing of one, or both.

Distinguished Things

The third powerful woman in the firestorm is Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan. 

She has already 'lost' some public sympathy, yet she may survive the longest.

All three women have, in various ways, done the State some service, done distinguished things which will stand the test of Time.

It is doubtful any of the three will fully survive the (now) unfolding narrative unscathed in the medium to longer term.

Moral Strength

A fourth woman has the first three facing that firestorm this Saturday morning.

She is RTE's Katie Hannon of Prime Time, who has done so much to unfold a narrative which shocks people.

What a sickening -- in every sense of that word -- what a sickening narrative it is.

The entire family of Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe have revealed immense fortitude and moral strength -- as a family unit and as individuals.

Only now do we know some of their private grief and agony these past few years.

It is beyond belief that a State agency such as Tusla could be so, so careless in its core mission.

That organisation doesn't yet seem to know how much it doesn't know. 

Labour leader Brendan Howlin did the State some service this week in blowing open on all the

Katie Hannon of RTÉ's Prime Time

Unseen, Unknown

That silence had shrouded winks and nods hidden from public view in what was nothing more and nothing less than the lynching, by unseen and unknown sources, of one man's reputation.

And already -- already -- we see another form of silence being used as fig leaves by politicians who fell far short, too, in short-circuiting this shambles. 

The newest form of silence is 'the (obvious) question not asked?' 

It is NOT alright for politicians to say that they didn't ask questions.

No Confidence

But before the questions can begin we now need -- in the next few days -- to have ANSWERS, we need to get some political statements.

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald must convince Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil and the raft of independents in her statement or she could be facing a 'No Confidence' vote.

In other words, Frances Fitzgerald is fighting for her job as Minister for Justice this Saturday morning. Do the maths. 

Katherine Zappone could end up being pushed into the same political pond, too, one where she may have significantly lesser survival skills than her Cabinet colleague.

Simple Humanity 

Some of Irish journalism, too, may need to offer some serious answers to the public over the next 18 months.

Some so-called sacrosanct precepts of press and media -- RTÉ included -- will be viewed sceptically by Jo Public in the current shambles.

Should 'sources' be protected, remain un-named, if it is ever shown there is not a scintilla of truth in what those sources said?

Of the three women above, the survivor(s) will be those who show simple humanity most often rather than those who display deftness at disseminating PR nous.