Relief, if not debt relief, on last night of the proms
Why? “We are tearing up the promissory note and we have wiped Anglo Irish Bank off the map,” said Eamon Gilmore.
At last, it’s goodbye to those promiscuous notes. If not our debt.
“There won’t be a cow milked in Merrion Street tonight!” whispered a delighted number cruncher, sounding like a man determined to celebrate The Last Night of the Proms.
Given that the final public act in the countdown to The Deal was played out in Leinster House, it was not without a large dollop of comedy.
Would we get a deal at all? Rumour ran rife around Leinster House yesterday morning.
Then the ECB boss, Mario Draghi, held his early afternoon press conference. He kept the spy thriller theme going by talking in code about the Irish situation.
But the ECB had “unanimously noted” what was going on in Ireland.
Those in the know translated. “Keep her going, Patsy, the job is OXO,” said Mario.
The announcement came at 10 minutes to three. Dáil business was interrupted when the Taoiseach entered the chamber, his Cabinet walking behind.
They walked down the middle set of steps to the front bench.
This is the route of choice on the big occasions.
There was a little flurry of activity in the ranks of the Technical Group. Richard Boyd Barret, at the railing skirting the chamber, was scrunching up little pieces of paper.
Then he nipped down the steps to Catherine Murphy and held out his hand, revealing the papers in the bowl of his palm.
She picked one out and Richard returned to the rails and unfolded it. He showed the scrap to Shane Ross, who laughed.
Below them, Mattie McGrath began furiously writing notes with a red biro. He had won the speaking lottery.
Peter Mathews padded to his seat. Very glum.
“I am therefore pleased to announce today that Ireland has reached a conclusion to its negotiations with the ECB,” said Enda.
Out through the gap and clear. You could feel the worry lifting from the Government side.
The Fianna Fáil leader gave a qualified welcome. “We always knew it was going to happen,” he sniffed. The Government side slid into hysterics.
“You are replacing a promissory note with a sovereign bond,” thundered Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty. His party has no truck with sovereigns.
Then Mattie stood and delivered a stream of consciousness which would have bamboozled James Joyce in his prime.
Enda nodded off for a few seconds, then he snapped forward and took a long drink of water.
As Mattie invoked the name of Michael Collins in his aimless gallop, Shane Ross looked like he was going to cry.