Cabinet stuck in antediluvian antics as floods wash over country

Perhaps things are about to get better for the waterlogged people of Cork city. Phil Hogan could be paying them a visit.

Phil Hogan: “No, lads. I’m interested in actual Flood defences – the things that stop the water from coming in. Not funny defence lines from the Flood 
T
tribunal. Cork is like the lost city of Atlantis today.”
/ The Irish Times

Phil Hogan: “No, lads. I’m interested in actual Flood defences – the things that stop the water from coming in. Not funny defence lines from the Flood T tribunal. Cork is like the lost city of Atlantis today.” / The Irish Times

Thu, Feb 6, 2014, 01:01

These are deeply confusing times for senior members of the Coalition. Take Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. We’ve had sight of the transcript.
Big Phil: Lads, lads. This is very important. Flood defences. I’m looking for the best ones. Young Brian Hayes has me persecuted with questions. Any ideas?
Enda: I’ll get the ball rollin’ so. What about: “I won de money on de horses!”

(Laughter.)
Pat Rabbitte: “Here’s one: ‘I was not present on the night because I did not eat the dinner.’”

(More laughter.)
Ruairí Quinn (putting on a Dublin accent): “All is I’m sayin’ is – de buildin’ was slidin’ into da Tolka.”
Big Phil (putting on a posh accent): “Mah public and mah private life were seamless.”
Joan Burton: “Wait now, wait now. I have one: ‘It was a political donation for private use.’”
Eamon Gilmore: “This is a classic, if I say so myself, and I do: ‘I only discussed football with Denis O’Brien when we met in Hartigan’s Pub after the All-Ireland.’”

There is a pained silence. Big Phil glowers.

Enda takes command. “For God’s sake, Eamon, how many times do I have to tell you. We do not talk about the Moriarty tribunal. We are talking about the Flood/Mahon tribunal here. Now you’ve gone and upset Big Phil.”

The Minister for the Environment sighs heavily.

“No, lads. I’m interested in actual Flood defences – the things that stop the water from coming in. Not funny defence lines from the Flood tribunal. Cork is like the lost city of Atlantis today.”

Oh.

You can’t blame them for getting confused, though.

As for the aforementioned Brian Hayes, Minister of State with Responsibility for Inundations, he looked absolutely wrecked yesterday.

He had a face like a burst sandbag.

The man has been inspecting floodwaters for a week now. He went to Limerick the other day to condole with Michael Noonan, and was savaged.

He’s going to bed in his Wellington boots now and has the children sleeping in canoes.

Brian sat silently behind the Taoiseach as another raft of questions on the floods sailed his way.

“It is not easy to deal with such a challenge of nature but we are doing the best we can,” said Enda. The Cabinet is to hear an update on the situation today.

That sinking feeling
Poor Brian sank deeper into his seat – that seat in Europe looking an ever more alluring prospect.

The Fianna Fáil leader demanded to know how the Government was going to deal with the major flooding problems plaguing coastal cities and towns in the south and southeast. In particular, Micheál’s beloved Cork is suffering hugely again.