Dry your eyes mate
Enda Kenny put on a stellar show at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting which secured his leadership, Cork North-Central TD Bernard Allen told Charlie Bird (welcome home Charlie!).
“Enda Kenny I believe gave the performance of his life…I wish we could bottle it and get it out there to the public,” Mr Allen said.
Senator Ciaran Cannon agreed. “He needed to give the speech of his life and he gave it. He got a standing ovation from all, including his detractors. The whole room, everybody,” he said.
Pity no-one taped this speech. It would have been great to hear it. Same goes for the powerful performances Taoiseach Brian Cowen reportedly puts in behind closed doors. ‘Bottling’ the essence of both men has proven difficult.
MEP Jim Higgins claimed some of the best speeches he’d ever heard were delivered from Kenny supporters. He was scornful of the “more in sorrow than in anger” tone struck by the Bruton camp.
“There were so many heavy hearts we should’ve been sending for a cardiologist,” he snorted. (A clear dig at Brian Hayes and others there).
So moving was Kenny’s speech that a number of men in the room were crying. My colleague Deaglan notes today, in his detailed report on the meeting, there were “tears in the eyes” of some of Mr Kenny’s critics. No doubt! Among them was Senator Paschal Donohoe, who later shredded the ballot papers (including the one with which he had voted against Mr Kenny).
“And I’m just standin’ there, I can’t say a word/‘Cause everythin’s just gone/I’ve got nothin’/Absolutely nothin’” [The Streets – 'Dry Your Eyes']
A number of Fine Gael ‘rebels’ did not return calls yesterday. I don’t blame them. I probably wouldn’t feel like talking either.
I believe some of Kenny’s male supporters wept as well. Most if not all of the women – dare I call them the blue blouses? – remained dry-eyed, it seems.