Faithful gather for ‘night of the big wind’
Tánaiste happy to talk about water, but nothing fishy thank you
“A terrific stalwart . . . party leader, terrific member of the European parliament, great campaigner, great community activist, terrific politician, great judgment, superb activist for the party and great representative and ambassador for us all . . .” burbled Alex as Gilmore, thinking he’d missed his cue, sat in the Green Room and wept.
Costello seemed to misread the meaning of a wind-up speech, which is designed to crank up excitement levels in the hall.
Instead, she put the wind up everyone.
“Delegates! One hundred and seventy years ago, Ireland was ravaged by violent winds that swept through the country on a cold January night. That was the ‘night of the big wind’. Hundreds of people died. Ships were wrecked. Bodies were thrown onto beaches for weeks after. Houses and churches collapsed. Fires erupted in the streets of Castlebar . . .”
On she went, as the audience wondered if they were at a Labour Party conference or the agm of the local historical society.
Emer eventually reached her seamless link.
“Delegates! Over five years ago, Ireland was ravaged again. The bank guarantee was the critical moment.”
We were too exhausted to care.
One gusty lady
“And like our ancestors, who dealt with the aftermath of
the big wind, we need to learn the lessons of the past so that mistakes are not made in the future. We need to build resilience in our economy, so that it will never again fall off a cliff.”
This is why Emer and all the other candidates are “out on the doorsteps selling our message of stability, recovery and social democratic principles”. They should be out on the door steps selling sand bags and replacement roof tiles.
Finally, having completely blown the backside out of one big wind, Costello heralded another.
The crowd rose and music swelled to mark Eamon Gilmore’s big entrance.
In a nod to windy Labour’s Let’s Talk About the Weather theme, they chose a song by Snow Patrol: Just Say Yes!
With the red rose pulsating away on the backdrop, was this some sort of post-Valentine’s message to Enda Kenny to give Labour a break?
Was Eamon going to drop down onto one knee?
“Just Say Yes!”
Just say anything. Just stop with the weather stuff.
Naturally, he began with the floods, and they washed him neatly along to another disaster – our economic one – and the chance to say that Labour is vital to the rescue mission.
Ireland “has been to hell and back”, he quivered.
Lucky old Ireland.
Because judging by the Tánaiste’s discomfiture on The Week in Politics yesterday when questioned about the GSOC panic, he is still stuck in departures and desperately hoping to make that return journey some time soon.