My Christmas crackers and festive turkeys
“This is not a case of coming out here blowing trumpets to say we’ve turned corners and that everything is rosy in the garden,” said Enda, before embarking on a round of good news press conferences.
Then both parties printed up separate leaflets outlining their individual achievements during the Coalition’s first year.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bertie Award
Enda Kenny takes the title for the growing similarities between himself and the former taoiseach.
Enda is deflecting questions in the Dáil these days with Bertiesque waffle. Like the former Fianna Fáil leader, he’s a martyr to the feelgood photo- call. And by the end of his term in government, Enda will probably have shaken hands or high-fived every man, woman and child in the country. Twice.
I Can’t Believe It’s Bertie Award
To Bertie Ahern, for turning up at the Fianna Fáil Ardfheis when Micheál Martin and his backroom team had gone to great pains to avoid reminding the public of its recent government past. The Bert breezed into the RDS on the Saturday afternoon, forcing Micheál and his new boys to scuttle around the place like headless chickens to avoid meeting him.
They Won’t Believe It’s Not Phil Hogan Award
This goes to the man described as “an elderly Fine Gael delegate” who was mistaken for Phil Hogan by an angry mob of anti-household tax protesters as he tried to make his way into the party’s annual conference. We hear Big Phil was outraged.
Not on behalf of the gentleman who had to be escorted to safety by gardaí, but because witnesses were describing his doppelganger as “elderly”.
Splinter in Bum Award for Fence-Sitting
Always a keenly contested category. This year, Finian McGrath, the Technical Group’s serial flip-flopper loses his crown to his colleague, Shane Ross.
As Europe waited to see what line Ross would take on the fiscal treaty referendum, the Winston Churchtown of Dublin South sat on the fence for weeks. He eventually announced, with no small amount of fanfare, that he would be voting No.
But his move didn’t prove to be the gamechanger he had hoped it to be. Dublin South approved the treaty by the largest margin of votes in the country.
Best Use of Technology Award
Another crowded category. The runners-up are Labour’s Derek Nolan, who is a big fan of the Twitter machine. He was so anxious to tweet the news that the President was visiting his Galway West constituency that he failed to see his iPhone’s auto-correction function had kicked in.
“President Michael D Virgins visiting my old primary school in Mervue right now. Strange mix of memories.” Also in the running was Shane Ross, an elected representative who refuses to give his mobile number to anybody on the grounds he doesn’t have one.
And well done to the Oireachtas authorities for deciding to spend €175 million on iPads for TDs and Senators when niggardly little cuts were being made in home-help packages.
Honourable mention must go to Enda Kenny for fiddling with his mobile phone when attending an audience with the pope in Rome.
But the soaraway winner has to be Sinn Féin’s Aengus “Dell Boy” Ó Snodaigh, for managing to go through €50,000 worth of Dell printer cartridges for his own “personal use” as opposed to the wider use of the Sinn Féin family.
Our inky-fingered Dell Boy blubbered that he was a victim of the system, innocently taking many multiples of the average number of expensive cartridges used by all other deputies, because nobody told him to stop – and because he is “a prolific leafleter”. He is “unrivalled” in the field of handing out pamphlets, marvelled his colleague, Mary Lou McDonald.
Dicey Reilly Award for Outstanding Clarity in Stroke Management
“I have laid it out three or four times to you: the criteria. They’re quite extensive criteria and, because all of them act in different ways, it’s a bit like a multiplier.
“One and one makes two and two and two make four but four by four makes 16 and not four and four makes eight and so it is with this. It’s a logistical logarithmic progression, so there is nothing, there is nothing simple about it.” And that’s why he bumped centres in his own constituency up the primary care centre list.