Gilmore has no regrets as Quinn gives lesson in leaving

Pleas about ‘Garret’ resound as Cabinet meeting gets emotional

Ruairí Quinn: following Leaders’ Questions, he was seen in the chamber receiving hugs and kisses from his Labour colleagues. Photograph: Frank Miller

Ruairí Quinn: following Leaders’ Questions, he was seen in the chamber receiving hugs and kisses from his Labour colleagues. Photograph: Frank Miller

Wed, Jul 9, 2014, 01:00

It was an emotional Cabinet meeting yesterday morning.

Very fraught.

Enda Kenny and Joan Burton were sick of the sight of each other, having spent six hours together on Monday arguing over ways to revamp the programme for government.

By the afternoon, word emerged from Merrion Street that they had yet to get around to the topic which has paralysed Leinster House for the past month.

Meanwhile, in other news, the nation was having a nervous breakdown. Some chap called “Garret” had flounced off in a huff.

Not unlike Ruairí Quinn, although his flounce was far more understandable and stylish.

He will not be involved in the reshuffle.

“I feel unwelcome here now,” said Ruairí to his erstwhile Cabinet colleagues, with a heavy heart. “Yis can do what yis like. I’m off.”

He seemed happy with his decision.

Later on, following Leaders’ Questions, he was seen in the chamber receiving hugs and kisses from his Labour colleagues on this, his final day as a Minister.

The horse-trading continued back in Government Buildings.

“It’s five or nothing, Enda,” insisted Joan. “Five or nothing.”

The Taoiseach, sobbing openly, shouted: “How many times do I have to tell you? Labour already has five seats in Cabinet. High five, Joan, high five. That’s not going to change.”

In reality, none of the Ministers could concentrate properly on the reshuffle.

Not when Ireland’s reputation had just been tarnished in the eyes of the whole wide world.

Eamon Gilmore, departing Minister for Foreign Affairs, addressed his colleagues for the last time.

“I have no regrets,” he reportedly told them. “But you have a job of work to do now to restore the nation’s battered image. We must be able to hold our heads up internationally again.”

Pall of gloom

A pall of gloom hung over Government Buildings as Joan and Enda and their Ministers tried to get to grips with Ireland’s global shame.

Then the door to the Sycamore Room was flung open to reveal a grey-haired man in a dark suit, wearing a large gold chain of office.

“Will nobody think of the chilturdin?” he wailed.

For it was the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke, and him making a late intervention in the race for a Cabinet place.

Christy faced the Government and, with the words he would use later in an impassioned performance on the six o’clock news, he forced his way into the reckoning for a place in Government.

Enda, if he is to turn his administration around, has to think outside the box. And the Lord Mayor was doing exactly the same.

“This to me is like a funurdel without a corpse. Dere’s a sadness throughout the nation.”

Pat Rabbitte took umbrage. “I beg you pardon, Christy Burke, but I am not politically dead yet. Although I appreciate what you are saying about a great sadness sweeping through the nation and the Labour Party at the prospect of me losing my portfolio.”

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