Miriam Lord: Ballot Capers as Flynn feels love from Creighton

A sideways look at the election campaign


A touchingly rare display of cross-candidate praise in Dublin Bay South.

Renua leader Lucinda Creighton was so taken by Mannix Flynn’s offering for the lampposts that she took to the Twitter. “I do love @mannixflynn’s posters – the best that I’ve seen. Simple & expressive.”

And Mannix (pictured) loves Lucinda’s.

“Thanks @LCreighton your own poster hasn’t gone unnoticed. I love the energy in it. The very best. Met your team this am at church.”

There’s no shortage of energy either where the former minister for justice Alan Shatter is concerned, although he could be accused of making a balls of his campaign. He is handing out personalised bouncy balls to bemused residents in Dublin Rathdown. They may not influence the outcome, but if dogs could vote he’d top the poll.

Micheál Martin takes off

The handiwork of Fianna Fáil’s focus group gurus can been seen in astonishing quantity around the country.

Micheál Martin posters are everywhere. In some places you’d be hard pressed to find another candidate among the photos of the party leader.

A Cork reader has been in touch about his conversation at the weekend with a traumatised taximan.

“I’m never voting Fianna Fáil again,” announced the cab driver. “Not after what happened the other day.”

The other day? Not the boom years?

It seems he was driving along when a poster flew off a nearby pole and went splat on the windscreen of the car in front.

A flying Micheál Martin.

“Anything can happen when you can’t see where you’re driving,” shuddered the cabbie.

“There could be a terrible accident, and can you imagine if the very last thing you saw in this life was that fecker’s face smirking at you sideways?”

Kelly reassures Kelly

Roscommon-Galway can breathe a sigh of relief with the news that Labour Senator John Kelly has decided to grace the general election with his presence.

John is now happy to join the race having been reassured by the outgoing Minister for the Environment that the status of county Roscommon will not change as a result of the Athlone boundary review, which recommended moving part of the county into Westmeath.

He told Shannonside FM last Thursday that Alan Kelly has given him “a guarantee” on the issue.

A great display of confidence there from Labour’s Kelly and Kelly.


in the thick of it

Hot on the heels of Newstalk’s Bust-up on the Battle Bus between broadcaster Chris Donoghue and Alan Kelly, the station was the scene of another political set-to yesterday morning.

This time, presenter Shane Coleman had to referee rancorous exchanges between Fine Gael director of elections Brian Hayes and Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

They got dug into each other over Sinn Féin’s stated intention to abolish the non-jury Special Criminal Court, a policy thrown into sharp focus following last week’s gangland killing in a Dublin hotel when gunmen with automatic weapons burst into a crowded room at a sporting event and began shooting.

The Newstalk argy-bargy continued when Hayes pressed McDonald over her assertion that convicted tax evader Thomas Slab Murphy, whom a Dublin libel jury found to be a prominent IRA member, is “a good republican.” Coleman attempted to go to an ad break, McDonald said she wouldn’t be stopped from talking, Coleman said she would and cut to the ads.

When round two resumed, Hayes claimed he had been verbally insulted during the break and that McDonald had called him a gurrier. She was more than happy to repeat the charge on air.

Hayes repeatedly asked his Slab Murphy question. McDonald, claiming she was being harassed, eventually said he was “a good republican” because he “had been extremely supportive of the peace process in South Armagh.”

We hear that when the discussion finished, the atmosphere in the studio was, er, tense.

A mad election, Ted

Here’s your handy Fr Ted election 2016 guide to the parties, as spotted on the entertaining “Irish Political Memes” Facebook page.

Our favourite is Eoin McLove. It kinda makes Noel Whelan redundant.