Metaphorical McSharry sends in the clowns
Sligo-based Senator did himself no favours by following up Seanad antics with car-crash radio interview
Colleagues watched with growing mortification as MacSharry spontaneously combusted in “the charged scenario of political debate”, repeatedly calling the Taoiseach a clown and accusing the Government and Seanad Cathaorleach of “urinating” all over the second chamber. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
We wonder if the Fianna Fáil leader used “evocative” and “highly metaphorical” language during his chat with Marc MacSharry after his overwrought performance in the Seanad this week?
Metaphorical Marc has been taken to task by party superiors after his unedifying rant against the Taoiseach, which saw mortified colleagues squirming in their seats. He has since had meetings with Micheál Martin, Darragh O’Brien, the party’s leader in the Seanad, and straight-talking communications director Pat McPartlan.
“It isn’t Micheál’s style to bawl somebody out of it, but put it like this: Marc wont’t be throwing the toys out of the pram again for a while,” says one party member.
The Sligo-based Senator did himself no favours by following up his Seanad antics with a car-crash radio interview the next morning.
On Tuesday, colleagues watched with growing mortification as MacSharry spontaneously combusted in “the charged scenario of political debate”, repeatedly calling the Taoiseach a clown and accusing the Government and Seanad Cathaorleach of “urinating” all over the second chamber.
He has since blamed the fuss over his performance on colour writers “kicking in to try and exacerbate what is a natural public apathy to politics generally, and the Seanad is obviously in the firing line.”
Yes. We made him do it.
On Wednesday morning, MacSharry was unrepentant, explaining to broadcaster Pat Kenny that “in the heat of debate there is always evocative and highly metaphorical language used.”
This can happen “in the charged scenario of political debate and heckling.”
In his particular case though, there wasn’t a peep out of anybody when he rose to make his point.
The scenario was as charged as a soggy battery.
The rumpus only started because MacSharry suddenly started bellowing about the Taoiseach looking, talking and performing like a clown.
In other words, he started it.
But wait. Marc is the real victim here. He says he hasn’t had any media coverage since entering Seanad Éireann 11 years ago.
This is not true.
Only last year, this column reported on another stunt where he ripped up a ministerial speech and branded the person who wrote it “a clown”.
The tantrum happened after the Government rejected the Access to Cancer Treatment Bill, which he had co-sponsored with John Crown.
Marc was incensed by the Government’s response as outlined in the house by the Minister of State for Health.
“What clown wrote this script?” he demanded.
He refused the Cathaorleach’s request to withdraw the word “clown,” adding: “The person who wrote this script would be better juggling in a circus ring than writing speeches for a Minister to reply.”
Whereupon he held up the offending speech, branded it “an insult in the extreme” and tore it in two. “This is what I think of it,” he declared, in a highly evocative and metaphorical fashion.