“Well, keep it to yourself,” Hennessy goes.
The old man’s like, “Message received and understood, old chap.” I hit the ball, except I end up totally focking shanking the thing and it ends up in a small wood off to the right of the actual fairway.
“Unlike you to slice it like that,” the old man goes. “It’s all this talk of politics, I expect. I know you have your views, Ross.”
I have literally no views. I often think if you cracked my head open, you’d find two giraffes in there playing badminton. We set off after our balls.
“You’re going to have to get used to hearing these kinds of debates between your godfather and I, Ross. Especially if New Republic comes to hold the balance of power after the next election. We both have our views and we’re both equally headstrong – I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. We’re the Haughey and O’Malley of our times.”
Hennessy is on it like vomit. “I’m Haughey,” he goes.
The old man chuckles to himself. “I think on balance, I’m probably more like our dear departed friend than you are, old chap.”
“Hey, I’ve cultivated the walk, the voice, everything.”
“I’m named Charles, for heaven’s sakes! Plus I’m bona fide corrupt. Spent two bloody years of my life languishing in Joshua Jebb’s folly, or don’t you remember?”
“Hey, I’m crooked and I never spent a day in jail. By my reckoning, that makes me more Haughey than you.”
I veer off right to try to find my ball and just leave them to it. As I’m doing so, my phone suddenly rings? It ends up being Sorcha. She’s like, “How’s the golf going?” The old man has asked her to stand for New Republic in the next election. He thinks she could take Lucinda Creighton’s seat. I’m like, “Not good. I’m playing actual pants here.” She goes – and this is hilarious – “How’s your dad getting on with the drafting of the porty constitution? Has he mentioned?” It’s hilarious, roysh, because I was actually there when they gave Hennessy’s secretary, Margaret, a stack of Fintan O’Toole, David McWilliams and Shane Ross books and told her to copy down any good ideas she came across and any lines that might sound good in a speech.
I go, “It’s still being – like you said – drafted.”
“Because I wanted to ask your dad if we were going to have, like, an environmental policy? Ross, what’s all that shouting?” I just laugh. I’m there, “The leader and the deputy leader of your party are arguing about which of them is going to be Charles Haughey. Welcome to my old man’s world, Sorcha.”
ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE