Enda spends Valentine's night in dead centre of city

Sat, Feb 16, 2013, 00:00

While others were heading off to enjoy candlelit dinners in restaurants, the Taoiseach chose an unusual location for Valentine’s night.

Enda turned up in the romantic surrounds of Glasnevin Cemetery to launch a lavish volume about the other love of his life, Michael Collins. The publisher, Éamonn de Búrca, is a classmate of Kenny’s from St Gerald’s secondary school in Castlebar. The two boys reminisced about their days studying Shakespeare and parsing Latin sentences.

Michael Collins’ Own Story is based on extended conversations between the lost leader and an American journalist, Hayden Talbot (1882-1962). The cemetery also produced the original burial certificate for Collins from August 1922.

Enda was in fine form and waxed at length on the subject of his hero and “inspiration”, telling the crowd: “The challenge is to live up to his democratic ideals.”

Guest speaker, historian and archaeologist Peter Harbison welcomed him on his first official visit to the dead centre of Dublin since becoming Taoiseach. The launch, which was preceded by a short tour of the graveyard led by Shane Mac Thomáis, took place in the fascinating Glasnevin Museum, only a few metres away from the final resting-place of Collins.

Back in unromantic Leinster House, business continued until 9pm. It was suggested in some quarters that the authorities might turn down the lights in the chamber after the 7pm vote and bring in a few candles to cheer the lovelorn few who had to stay around until the bitter end.

Instead, they had to make do with heart-shaped cookies and roses on canteen tables.