Taoiseach offends with a slip of the thumb
SOME competition news. Here is your chance to win a free annual subscription to the Irish Catholic newspaper.
It will go to the person who submits the wittiest caption to a photograph of Enda Kenny messing with his mobile phone during last weekend’s audience with the pope.
Entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Enda Kenny Caption Competition, the Irish Catholic, St Mary’s, Bloomfield Avenue, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
Still on religious affairs, the Cork branch of the Great and the Good was out in force for the National University of Ireland’s second Garret FitzGerald memorial lecture in the UCC Aula Maxima.
Peter Barry and John A Murphy were among those who heard Seán Donlon, one of the Department of Foreign Affairs’ greatest mandarins, reveal for the first time the money laundering activities of papal nuncio Archbishop Alibrandi, which led to his hasty departure in 1987.
Donlon’s survey of church-State relations in Garret’s time was something of a tour de force and will certainly interest historians.
Dick Spring spoke with warmth of his time with Garret but made it clear he wasn’t always the easiest to work with, what with his 24/7 approach to the job, his love of long, over frequent and often meandering meetings and his total lack of interest in sport.
However, on one occasion Garret discovered the chairman of his constituency executive had called a meeting for 3.30 on a Saturday afternoon – right slap in the middle of a home rugby international in nearby Lansdowne Road.
Even Garret knew there was a match that day. And the dozy/eager chairman who called the meeting? Why, young Michael McDowell . . .
Who, by the way, gave a rip-roaring speech to about 60 former senators treated to lunch in the Dáil yesterday by Senator Fergal Quinn.
The fight to save the Seanad has begun in earnest, with McDowell, Joe O’Toole and the chattering classes’ political anorak of choice, Noel Whelan, spearheading the campaign.
Tomorrow night, Fine Gael holds its annual presidential dinner. At the last one, when anything was possible, Enda Kenny used the event to announce his plan to scrap the Seanad.
A year on, it might not be as easy as he thinks.