Miriam Lord’s Week: Controversial ‘Sam’ Bill just the ticket for Taoiseach
Enda Kenny dreams of being a Mayo Taoiseach in Croke Park on All-Ireland final day when his county collects the Sam Maguire after a wait of over 60 years.
He has spoken about this many times, even vowing to introduce legislation to make it happen. He might yet achieve his wish. The legislation is ready and waiting.
Brian Hunt, former legal adviser to Fine Gael and now with the Zurich Insurance Group, drafted a Private Members’ Bill to legislate for a Mayo triumph this year, should the Taoiseach so desire.
Hunt, who has been on secondment to the Department of the Taoiseach for the duration of Ireland’s European presidency, prepared the Sam Maguire Cup (Seisin Reassignment) Bill 2013 as a parting gift for Enda.
It provides “for the reassignment of the Sam Maguire Cup to Mayo senior football team in the event that such reassignment proves necessary, to provide for the rectification and correction of official match records to reflect the reassignment effected pursuant to this Bill, to provide for inter-county transfer of bonfire materials and to provide for appropriate arrangements for the recuperation and nourishment of the Mayo senior football team and to provide for related matters”.
Under the Act, “victorious” means “a victory which has been secured through play or has been secured on foot of an order under section 3 of this Act”.
Under subsection 1, and depending on the half-time score, the Taoiseach shall “convene an incorporeal Cabinet meeting by telephone for the purpose of discussing the proposal to make an order”.
Said order may be made by the Taoiseach after the final whistle.Once the order has been handed to the president of the GAA, the Croke Park scoreboard shall be adjusted to record that Mayo beat their opponents by a generous margin.
A period of recuperation and hospitality shall be funded “by the boundless generosity of the Kerry County Board”.
The act provides for the establishment of “The Intercounty Collection of Combustible Materials Authority” which will have responsibility for bonfires and homecoming celebrations.
We understand the Taoiseach is preparing to rush the Bill through the Dáil.
Lucinda Creighton, from Claremorris, will not oppose the measure while Pat Rabbitte, also from Claremorris, has promised to deliver Labour support.
However, as Enda is not allowing a free vote, there are fears that Fine Gael may lose a number of high profile names. Minister Jimmy Deenihan – a much decorated Kerry footballer – is almost certain to walk, as is the former Louth manager, Peter Fitzpatrick.
“This will lead to the floodgates opening” said deputy Joe McHugh on behalf of the reigning champions, Donegal. “It’ll be London next. And then Leitrim.”
Special branch for Somme man
A fine sycamore towers in the front garden of a small house in the Donegal village of Gortahork.
People can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there.
Before he travelled to France last weekend for the Battle of the Somme commemorations, Minister for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley heard the poignant story of this stately tree. Dinny was visiting his old friend Paddy McGowan (right), who told him about his uncle who left Gortahork in 1914 to join the British army. On the morning before he departed, 18-year-old John McGowan planted a sycamore sapling as a reminder to his family to keep him in their thoughts.