EIRE: Foul & Unfair

Angry Irish voices filled the lecture theater of Dublin's handsome, wide-flung Leinster House. Honorable red-faced members of the Dail Eireann threw "reckless," "irresponsible," "pique and petulance" at the bowed head of astute, unbowed Prime Minister Eamon de Valera, crouched on his shiny, mahogany front-row seat. De Valera had just tripped an unwary Dail into an unwanted general election, the second within a year.

The night before, a bill to merge Eire's transport system had come up for its second reading. The opposition parties (which altogether—but they are seldom all together—have 71 seats...