Mugshot puts Kenny’s name on everyone’s lips

Fine Gael ardfheis sketch: we’re not saying Enda has lost the run of himself but there were signs

Taoiseach Enda Kenny acknowledges applause following his address at the Fine Gael ardfheis at the RDS. “Enda looked well, exuding sincerity as he confidently delivered the speech he and his Ministers have been delivering since before Christmas.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Taoiseach Enda Kenny acknowledges applause following his address at the Fine Gael ardfheis at the RDS. “Enda looked well, exuding sincerity as he confidently delivered the speech he and his Ministers have been delivering since before Christmas.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 01:00

Woke up.

Down the stairs for the restorative drop of tea.

And there – the shock of it – was Enda Kenny, in his good suit, leering at us from across the extendable table.

Just sitting there. In the back kitchen.

Of a Sunday.

The morning after the Fine Gael ardfheis.

Head tilted, eyes narrowed, half-smile, First Communion hair.

We’re not the better of it.

The dog is in therapy.

Then details came flooding back.

People were egging us on.

It was only a bit of fun.

We were careful to wrap everything in newspaper so nobody would see.

So we bought an Enda Kenny mug (€5) and bore it home from the RDS in the early hours of the morning. Along with an Enda Kenny souvenir plate (€10).

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

It’s difficult to say which looks more horrendous, the mug or the plate, but yesterday was like waking up to a nightmare vision of the Antiques Roadshow .


Crockery
On the other hand, the “limited edition souvenir” crockery proved a winner with the grassroots – along with Enda’s porcelain face, these instant heirlooms feature the overall result of the 2011 general election.

But while me old china Enda wants to be everybody’s mate, the delegates wanted to be Alan Shatter’s china plate on Saturday.

Poor Alan’s had a terrible time, you see, at the hands of those awful independents with their trousers and hair.

They gave him a standing ovation when he opened the session on justice and security, after Jerry Buttimer kick- started it by leaping to his feet.

Minister Shatter was most gratified.

But it got better.

Minutes before the ardfheis was beamed live to viewers who couldn’t find the remote control, Enda’s Bestest Boy, Simon Harris, was at the lectern waiting to introduce his boss. He couldn’t say anything until he got the green light to begin.

Silence descended. It was a bit awkward, until a man in the audience roared: “Three cheers for Alan Shatter! ”

And they did.

Most gratified, was Alan.

Silence again.

“Three cheers for Michael Noonan! ”

Most gratified, was Noonan.
At this rate it was only a matter of time before somebody shouted “Three cheers for Frank Flannery! ”

He was sitting in the good seats up near the front, as befits a member of the Fine Gael aristocracy and somebody the Dáil public accounts committee would really like to interview.

So it was a relief when serious young Simon of the permanently knitted brow finally got to remind everyone of Enda’s “courage, honesty, integrity” and “burning desire to rebuild our economy”.


Burning desire
As opposed to the many souvenir crockery owners in the hall, now possessed of a burning desire for a cup of tea every time they see the Taoiseach.

There was a great sense of excitement in the crowd, delegates having already savoured a few minutes of their beloved Noonan laughing at his own jokes and a slightly off- colour comedy segment from party chairman, Charlie Flanagan.

He started the traditional knockabout by benignly comparing Micheál Martin to Macavity the Mystery Cat, and followed up with an amusing swipe at Mary Lou McDonald’s average industrial wage credentials: “Most at home browsing the aisles of her local supermarket for prawns and prosecco.”

Then he declared Gerry Adams to be “more Mugabe than Mandela”, before launching at length into independent TD’s Clare Daly, Mick Wallace and Ming Flanagan.