Miriam Lord’s Week: Fine Gael gets the timing out for Limerick conference
Bloomberg chief impresses at Chamber of Commerce dinner
(Having lost the whip for voting against the party, there was some amusement when the popular Penrose marked his return with a lengthy and very passionate speech to his colleagues about loyalty).
As Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher taunted the Tánaiste over his treatment of Keaveney, the Galway East TD was having a little set-to on the sidelines with Byrne.
“There’s a fight – Labour Party!” Sinn Féin’s Dessie Ellis told the leas ceann comhairle.
Their argument centred on Labour Party credentials, with Keaveney reminding the Dublin South Central Deputy of his Workers Party roots.
Byrne stressed he was a member of Labour, unlike Keaveney.
”You’re a stickie, you’re a stickie,” came the retort from his former party chairman, who pointed to his kneecaps and called Eric “the corporal of Meath Street”.
There was more in the same vein – clearly heard.
Strangely, the exchanges are not in the official Dáil record.
Eamon Gilmore, meanwhile, is doing his best to steady the Labour ship after recent unrest. The Tánaiste told his TDs and Senators that changes would be implemented on three fronts. Communications (working group looking into, etc); policy and political reform (another working group) and last, but not least, discipline (new code of practice to exterminate the leakers).
Transgressors face “a catalogue of sanctions” and “a suite of disciplines”. Precise details are not available.
Doctoroff has them in heaven with a dose of Irish
The impressive Dan Doctoroff, chief executive and president of Bloomberg, was the guest speaker at Thursday’s annual Dublin Chamber of Commerce dinner.
“Bear with me as I butcher your lovely language for a moment,” he began. Taking a deep breath, he consulted his script, upon which was written: “Tah-on awe-hiss orrim ah-veh on-shuhih-balah Awe-hah clee-uh a-nuct.”
Whereupon the assembled worthies accorded the Bloomberg boss the sort of reception not witnessed since Queen Elizabeth attempted the cupla focail in Dublin Castle.
And when the applause subsided, a relieved Doctoroff quipped “I haven’t had that much trouble getting through a sentence since I had to read Hebrew for my bar mitzvah”.
The audience went into paroxysms.
Doctoroff was on a roll.
”We all know that this has been a difficult week politically here in Ireland. You have a Government that’s been unable to shut down a branch of the legislature. But, it could be worse…”
And Enda smiled.
“In the US we have a branch of the legislature that has shut down our government. If it were up to me I’d happily trade our Congress for your Senate.”