Country may be on the rocks but Garth can help us to keep on rockin’

A real crisis has finally hit: how to get a country star on to centre stage

Joan Burton takes her first Opposition Leaders’ Questions as Tánaiste

Joan Burton takes her first Opposition Leaders’ Questions as Tánaiste

Fri, Jul 11, 2014, 01:00

Meanwhile, the ship of State drifts along on the tides, lights ablaze and with loud country music blaring from somewhere inside.

Is there anyone at the helm?

Who will keep us away from the rocks?

Never mind that.

There’s a reshuffle going on and Government jobs to be handed out and a cowboy in Nashville pronouncing on the state of Irish planning laws.

Any thoughts Garth on the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill?

This piece of very important money legislation has been nearly three years in the making. It’s to do with providing funding for small to medium-sized enterprises. God knows, businesses struggling to keep afloat need it.

Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley accused the Taoiseach yesterday of “sitting on his hands”.

It’s nothing short of a “crisis” wailed Timmy.

He wasn’t referring to the Banking Corporation Bill. No. The bould Timmy was taking his time at Joan Burton’s first session of Tánaiste’s questions to thunder about the cancellation of the Garth Brooks concerts.

Swift action

We have to move quickly, he urged the Tánaiste. Swift action is required.

It’s comforting to know that Fianna Fáil has finally learned how to recognise a crisis. So many of them on our national radar, but none so pressing as the Garth Brooks gigs fiasco.

The whole world, apparently, is laughing at us.

No, it isn’t.

We can’t blame Timmy, though, for making a meal out of this light entertainment debacle. You see, while the Government may be more concerned about keeping the Irish economy from running on to the rocks again, Timmy and his colleagues just want to make sure that Ireland rocks.

It’s at times like this that thoughts turn to Bono.

He’d probably have something to say on the Banking Corporation Bill.

Three years in the making – if we want to talk about politicians sitting on their hands – and rammed through an uninterested Dáil in three hours yesterday.

But then, this is a complicated piece of legislative kit.

Richard Boyd Barrett was furious about its treatment, and he said as much in the Dáil. But he might as well have been talking to the wall, because when he was on his feet, Garth Brooks was putting on a show of his own in Tennessee and most of Leinster House was watching him online. We owe Bono an apology, by the way. When it comes to having a great welcome for yourself, Garth Brooks gave Bono, and the rest of us, an online masterclass in how to do it.

One can’t argue with the Stetsoned One about the need to revisit and “fix” our planning laws pertaining to concerts, but maybe Enda Kenny has better things to do than override the existing regulations so Brooks can do his five performances.

Unblemished record

Maybe he could revisit yesterday’s banking Bill, for example. Except he won’t. This new loans scheme has been underwritten by a €4 billion Government guarantee. Our main banks, with their unblemished records, will be handling the dosh.

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