Reality, Tommy? Would you know it if it dug its teeth into your eurovision loving arse?The reality is simple:
Fianna Fáil has chosen to use its government numbers to deny the people their right to vote in three by-elections, despite precedent saying the people have a right to decide who their TDs are, and the Government should not deny them their rights.
Fianna Fáil cynically abused the pairing system with TDs and ministers seeking pairs for self-serving reasons.
Fine Gael decided, rightly, to insist that pairings only be granted for genuine reasons (illness, necessary government commitments, etc). FF is fuming, so spreading smears about this to try to get the opposition to back down.
That ain't happening.
To put it simply: FF decided it was again going to use its majority to deny the people their vote. FF decided in its own self-interest, not the country's, to use the government jet to get ensure they could block the people having a vote. Not only that, but whatever about the issue to getting the minister to Brussels, there was no justification whatsoever for its use to get him home again when commercial flights were available, and it was an absolute cheek on the part of the minister and the government to use the plane not just to fly him home but give him a handy jaunt to Knock.
Don't forget that if the minister was being flown to Knock, it meant that his car and driver had to travel from Dublin to Knock to pick him up.
Frankly, the minister and his party should be required to pay the bill for the flight home from Brussels and he personally should be required to pay the cost of flying to Knock.