Enda sends in seasoned professionals to take the hard tackles on field of dreams
POLITICAL FOOTBALLS and political footballers do not make for a beautiful game.
But as a punishing referendum campaign enters the final quarter, it’s all about pushing the lads forward for the win.
(Despite the best efforts of sideline-sitter Shane Ross, there will be no extra time. So it’s all to play for until the referendum blows up on Thursday.)
Enda Kenny has been covering the hard yards with remarkable energy in his midfield general role, but continues to skip shy of the hard tackles.
His opponents have identified this as his weak point. Yesterday, Sinn Féin intensified their efforts to draw him into the physical man-to-man marking of a televised debate.
Enda responded by sidestepping their brawny impact sub and sending in the fresh legs of some very seasoned professionals.
At a photocall in Merrion Square Park, Monaghan United manager and An Phoblacht columnist Roddy Collins togged out for Sinn Féin and the No squad.
The party also took the opportunity to launch its latest poster, which is a blatant attempt to piggy-back on the Republic of Ireland’s European Championship campaign.
It features an image of what appears to be the national team (no faces) lining up for the national anthem.
Underneath, in big letters, it says “Euro2012”. And beneath that: “Support Ireland”. You’d nearly be fooled into thinking the FAI had lined up the Boys in Green to support the anti-treaty side, for the rest of the poster is taken up by a very large exhortation to “Vote No”. Look closely though, and you see a very small “Sinn Féin” signature in the bottom left-hand corner.
All credit to the lad Collins – he gave 110 per cent for the team, calling for a rejection of the treaty because he fears the prospect of further austerity.
He said the Taoiseach should go on the Vincent Browne show and debate with Gerry Adams.
“You have to be a man. Man up I say! Man up, face people, be honest, be transparent and look into your own soul!” He believes Ireland should face down Europe and demand a better deal.
The pundits asked if he isn’t worried about what might happen if there is a No vote and Ireland doesn’t have access to emergency money.
“Well, I’m worried both ways, I’m worried both ways . . . I see a terrible decline. And I’m in fear now, I’m in fear now before we even go to vote. I’m in fear because the austerity has already kicked in. All I’m saying is be transparent with the people and I say to Enda Kenny and all the leaders: just man up, you know. We’re ordinary people walking the street. We just want to hear what’s going on . . . ” And how would passing the referendum make the hardship he speaks of worse?