There and Back Again
Returned to County Down in the early hours after a quick jaunt down to Dublin for what turned out to be an abortive heave on Brian Cowen. For a few hours, the atmospherics felt similar to the days leading up to the fall of Albert Reynolds in the mid nineties.
However we didn't scale the heights of rumour counter, rumour and conspiracy theory reached then, when at every other moment we were hearing about potential developments which would shake both the state and the church to their cores (after one particularly imaginative intervention from Pat Rabbitte the then Guardian correspondent David Sharrock wrote memorably that the Dublin South West TD had become "the first Rabbitte to pull a red herring out of a top hat").
Instead it all petered out quickly, with the Fianna Fail party willing to give Mr Cowen more time, even though the Dubliners I chatted to on Grafton Street were almost unanimous in expressing the view that he should have resigned long ago.
Around 18 months ago I drove south to report on a rash of resignations from Sinn Fein's ranks. Now by contrast the party is going from strength to strength - winning the Donegal by-election, performing well in the opinion polls, their new TD Pearse Doherty impressing in his Dail interventions on the budget and now Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin scoring points on his interrogation of Mr Cowen over the Anglo Irish golf outing.
How low will Fianna Fail go when Irish voters finally get the chance to cast their verdicts on the financial mess the state is in? And how much of a gap will there be between the size of the Fianna Fail party in the next Dail and the strength of the Sinn Fein group?