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He’s the most unpopular member of the cabinet after the comprehensive mess he made of introducing the Household Charge and the Rural Tax. So politically toxic is he that FG had to hide him away in Gump’s bunker in Mayo for the duration of the referendum campaign. But fear not, Big Phil has escaped his captors and he’s back in the land of the living.

In his first media appearance for weeks he was on RTE radio tonight promising to close down the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) over the next 18 months.

Would it be terribly cynical to think there’s anything more than coincidence in his returning to the airways during the referendum broadcast moratorium when he can’t be asked about the treaty and so can’t drive throngs of voters over to the No side?

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