I have long thought that Mary Coughlan has made positive use of her gender to get her way. Her macho comments as Minister for Agriculture, for example, attracted notice only because they came from a woman.
Her reaction to Charlie Flanagan's remarks in the Dáil the other day left her Freudian slip showing bright:
The Tánaiste: The company law (consolidation and reform) Bill, if anybody is interested, is huge legislation. There is ongoing work.A female opposition Deputy instantly took issue with the Tánaiste;
Deputy Charles Flanagan: It is too big for the Minister.
The Tánaiste: If the Deputy wishes to throw a condescending, sexist [my highlighting] remark across the House, that is fine. It is very much the calibre of Deputy Flanagan but I would expect more from him after all these years in the House.
Deputy Olivia Mitchell: Where was it sexist?A man criticising the professional performance of a woman is now sexist?
Game, set and match.