'Jibber-jabber' Shatter left unscathed by Adams's malapropism
DÁIL SKETCH:WHEN PUSH came to shove, a nudge was enough to nobble Cathal Magee. As Enda took Leaders’ Questions, an old joke came to mind . . .
Taoiseach: “The chief executive of the HSE is packing his bags and heading into the sunset.”
Micheál Martin: “Jamaica?”
Enda: “No. He went of his own accord . . .”
Honest. He did. Mr Magee was neither pushed nor shoved, insisted the Taoiseach.
“Having considered the new structure that is to be set in place, Mr Magee has indicated it is his intention to depart when the transition to the new structure takes place.”
The Fianna Fáil leader didn’t believe him. He could see the Minister for Health on the grassy knoll, handing the HSE boss his hat before heaving him out the door.
He wouldn’t put anything past that James Reilly.
“We have a volatile Minister here!” spluttered Micheál, sounding like a bomb-disposal expert. In his eyes, Dicey Reilly is nothing short of dynamite. Imagine the conflagration if all that facial hair went up!
The Minister for Defence, who has responsibility for explosive devices, stepped in to calm the situation. He dismissed Micheál’s assertion, deploying a technical term he must have learned from the military.
“Deputy Martin is suffering from end-of-term jibber-jabber,” shouted Alan Shatter. “Jibber-jabber!”
That left the Fianna Fáil leader flummoxed.
Then it was Gerry Adams’s turn. He decided against explaining to the House how James Reilly might or might not explode, not to mention short fuses and a dodgy timing device, which meant junior health minister Róisín Shortall didn’t find out about Mr Magee’s departure until she read it in The Irish Times yesterday.
Had he wanted to, the Sinn Féin leader could have blown Shatter’s lack of in-depth knowledge out of the water. Instead, Gerry decided to flummox the entire chamber by talking about the controversial Gaeltacht Bill, while making baffling remarks about a referendum on abortion.
At least that’s what it sounded like.
“This Bill has been pushed through to avoid a uterus election,” declared Gerry, as Pat Rabbitte and Richard Bruton dissolved into fits of the giggles.
“So why doesn’t the Government bring in just a one- line Bill to postpone the uterus elections for six months,” Adams continued. “That’s why there’s this rush, because the uterus elections are due in September.”
At this point, instructions were relayed to the ushers to prepare stretchers for Ministers Rabbitte and Bruton as they quivered, red- faced, on the verge of collapse.
Gerry needs to work on his pronunciation of Udarás na Gaeltachta, if only to stop Pat and Richard from splitting their sides again.