“People who are tired of the sight of thirtysomething-year-old mittel Europeans with designer glasses and leather shoulder bags cutting an arrogant swathe from the Merrion Hotel to the Department of Finance to tell our democratically elected leaders how to run the country. People who are generally fed up of feeling Europe’s hands in their pockets. Property tax. Water tax. This tax. That tax.
“To those people, I say, ‘There is hope.’ Fine Gael have let you down. So-called Labour broke every promise they made to you. Fianna Fáil – well, we know what they’re about. Crooks, secondary school teachers, and the idiot child of the family keeping the family seat warm – that’s what Irish politics has always been about. But New Republic is here to show you that there is a better way!”
After a few seconds of silence, he goes, “Well, what do you think?”
I’m there, “Is this the bit where I’m supposed to, like, clap?”
He’s like, “Well, clap if you’re moved to, Ross. You’re going to be hearing a lot more pretty speeches like that from me over the coming months – especially if this so-called coalition falls. We’re going to be ready, Ross. A candidate in every constituency – that’s our intention.”
It’s at that exact moment that there’s, like, a light knock on the back door of the old Shred Focking Everything van, then who steps in only Sorcha.
“I was driving past,” she goes, “and I saw the van!” I’m porked on the Milltown Road, by the way. She’s all, “Hi, Charles! Oh my God, I actually loved what you were saying just there.”
“That’s reinforced metal,” I go, “two-and-a-half inches thick – and she could still focking hear you from outside,” except the old man just ignores me. A lot of my insults just bounce off him, which is one of the things I’ve always hated about him.
Sorcha goes, “Speaking as someone with first-hand experience of losing a business because of the – oh my God – gross mishandling of the whole economic thing, I can tell you for a fact that you already have, like, my vote?”
This look suddenly crosses the old man’s face. It’s the same look as when he sticks his knife into one of John Shanahan’s Certified Anguses and the plate suddenly looks like a murder scene. Big focking crocodile smile on him.
“Why the hell don’t you stand?” he goes. “I could see you giving Lucinda Creighton a bloody good run for her money in Dublin South East!”
She’s like, “Do you really think so?” and in that moment I realise there will be no talking her out of this.
ILLUSTRATION: ALAN CLARKE