Residents of ‘Council Estate’ gather at Áras for a grand day out and a long chat with Michael D
A group takes a nice little jaunt to the park for talks with the President
The aforementioned Bertie, looking like he’d caught a terrific bang of the sun, drove to the Áras car park and walked the final stretch of the way. Former president Mary McAleese looked happy to return to the place she called home for 14 years.
Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness tootled up to the courtyard in her red car and Nicholas Kearns, president of the High Court, removed a large box of legal documents from the boot of his vehicle and carried it inside.
That didn’t look good for those hoping to get out before teatime.
The Chief Justice Susan Denham and Attorney General Máire Whelan made their way inside to join a number of former chief justices.
Perish the thought
All the aforementioned walked unaided into the Áras. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore had to be accompanied by a political adviser, who escorted him inside and left after about 10 minutes. Perish the thought that the leader of the Labour party might venture into the council estate all on his own.
Similarly, the Taoiseach also doesn’t like to go anywhere alone. He had a security car in tow. Maybe he feared the vicious dogs known to roam the place.
Michael D has two hounds – big soft slobbery lumps of fluff. We didn’t see them, although they had left their calling cards on the lawn.
Oh, but they would have eaten Enda. Bernese Mountain Dogs adore cheese.
The Taoiseach sprang from his car, beaming. He sliced one hand upwards for the cameras, karate-style, then clenched it and fist-bumped the air.
It was either that or high-five the President’s aide-de-camp and that wouldn’t have been wise.
There were high hopes among the media that the meeting of the Council of State might turn into a council of war, but with the non-appearance of John Bruton – trenchantly opposed to the abortion Bill – that idea proved a non-runner.
As time moved on, one man from the council estate was missing. Anybody see Brian Cowen?
A navy Transit passenger van in the livery of the Office of Public Works came around the bend, a change to the procession of sleek black Audis and Mercs that had gone before it. Some unkind people said it looked like a prison van.
And Cowen was decanted on to the forecourt. He gave a courteous smile and vanished inside.
Finally, the big photo. Enda, sat up straight and swivelled his head like he had just escaped from the meerkat enclosure next door in the zoo. Michael D was the happiest looking President in the history of happy looking presidents.
They held their deliberations, talking for hours.
Then the people from the council estate went back to the ghetto.
It was a grand day out.