Who Dares Whinge?


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Keelin Shanley, Terry Prone and Stephen Collins on RTÉ One’s Campaign Daily yesterday

Asked yesterday if he regretted making a comment about ‘whingers’ in his Mayo constituency, Taoiseach Enda Kenny fulminated:

“No I don’t. Some of them wouldn’t know sunshine if they saw it.”

Chairman of The Communications Clinic Terry Prone and Stephen Collins, political editor of The Irish Times, shared their impartial thoughts on this with RTÉ’s Keelin Shanley on RTÉ One’s Campaign Daily yesterday.

Readers may wish to note that the close links between Ms Prone’s Communications Clinic and Fine Gael were never mentioned during the item. G’wan the RTÉ.

Keelin Shanley: “Is that a good idea? To go to your own constituency and say that you’re champion whingers? Not all of ye, but some of ye?”

Terry Prone: “Well, I think that there’s a certain truth in what he says in a general, geographic sense…”

Shanley: “But do you need that truth at this point?”

Prone: “Joe Duffy could not survive on a daily basis, were it not for the fact that the Irish public are the most magnificent whingers. I think that it indicates something that is profound in this campaign that I think it was believed, at a strategic level, in Government, from both parties, that yes, the recovery had happened and any places that it hadn’t happened, it was purely geographic. There’s a lot of individual people who have not been reached by it, who are complaining very loudly and they need to be sensitively addressed in the coming week.”

Shanley: “And do you think that was sensitively addressing them, Stephen?”

Stephen Collins: “Well, the whingers, I think we are a nation of whingers, it’s been, going back to James Joyce, we’ve always, I think even recognised in ourselves that we like to whinge. Some people, of course, have legitimate reasons to whinge, some people don’t. But they whinge nonetheless. As Terry says, where would Joe Duffy’s programme be without the whingers of Ireland. But it’s probably not a great idea to say it but I’m not sure…”

Shanley: “If you were teetering and you got called a whinged, I don’t know that it would work for me.”

Collins: “I think that people who are, the real hardcore whingers are not going to vote Fine Gael anyway. I think that’s the bottom line. I think a lot of people who would be supporting Fine Gael would be the kind of people who would identify with what Enda Kenny is saying there. So I think his own constituency, I mean not talking about Mayo, but his national constituency wouldn’t be that worried about that…”

Watch back in full here

Previously: Another Fine Mess

52 thoughts on “Who Dares Whinge?

    1. Truth in the News

      Used to be, watch out, who will be appointed to take the place of Noel Curran
      when he leaves in April, maybe one of the Coveney Clan.

      1. martina

        Or maybe the right hand woman of redacted who goes back years with current Chair of board Moya Doherty.

    2. TheDude

      Was Chairman of RTE (supposedly the national public service broadcaster) during which time FG were his clients in Comms Clinic. Great little country.

  1. Zuppy International

    Whining about whingers, whinging about whiners: It’s game over for the blueshirts.

    What will they say when Mayo refuse to return Bellenda?

      1. Nice Jung Man


        I’m pretty happy about this actually, it reminds me of the Romney 45% speech

        And it’s nice for once to see what the head honchos really think, as they crack under the strain

        Still going to be next Taoiseach though, sorry lads

    1. rory

      First time I heard that about Shanley. If you have the time, could you post some links to verify this claim?

  2. kellma

    joke. In fact, the Irish are very bad at complaining and don’t, in my opinion, complain enough. If you look at the Germans, for example ( I work for Germans), they have no problem telling you what you are doing wrong. I think Irish people are actually very bad in this respect…. we let far too much go.

    1. Sam

      That’s because they’re afraid of being called whingers. We let ourselves be dismissed to easily as is, but this set up with RTE is a sham.

      The ‘recovery’ is mainly down to external factors – low oil prices, weak euro and recovery in our key export markets – not something that FG did, and not factors they can ‘continue’.

      Dismissing people who question the emperor’s new clothes is propaganda.

    2. classter

      The problem is not that we let too much go but that we are always whinging in a loose, unfocused, ‘woe-is’me’ sort of manner. We let too much ill-thought out negativity go.

      So long as we are going along with national stereotypes, my experience is that Germans will complain quickly and directly about specific, solvable problems.

      There is a huge difference between criticism & wailing.

  3. Declan Flynn

    Very impartial and in-depth analysis by two supporters of #FG. Must say #RTEBias has excelled in there choice of commentator today.

  4. george

    “So I think his own constituency, I mean not talking about Mayo, but his national constituency wouldn’t be that worried about that…”

    Talking nonsense. Not his constituency. If you mean the people who support him nationally then maybe find a different word.

  5. dav

    Blushirts are looking a bit frayed towards the end of this election, I wonder how soon after the results before the 1st heave against kenny begins??

    1. J

      I am surprised the heave ho didn’t begin before the election. (Leo to top the polls in Dublin West .FG strategists ignore and roll out Thunderbird Enda )

  6. Steve

    Undefendable from Kenny, woeful stuff, and I’m an FGer. And the “oh I meant FF” smacks of “cr&pn better think of something”. New party leader needed after 12 months of next dail.

    But I reckon Collins might be on to something, people who weren’t going to vote FG anyway will just see it as further evidence to not vote FG. It might sway some swing voters to be “yeah kinda agree with him”.

    Btw i don’t agree with him. The country has gone through too much pain in the last 8 years for that comment to be evenly remotely defendable.

      1. Steve

        Ha good man Fergus.

        It all makes for a very interesting last week of the election. I wonder will all this talk of hung dail “in the media” make people vote for what they know, like in UK…or could equally go other way.

        Very interesting!!

    1. ahjayzis

      Not to mention the gurning cabbage-stinking yokels in that benighted part of the world have been electing his family to their hereditary seat for about 60 years.

      1. The Old Boy

        Our indigenous turnip-snagging hypoanthrope, Shaun O’Shaughraun, as Myles na gCopaleen would have said.

          1. Steve

            Sanctimonious much??

            Their vote is their own.

            Not everyone can be an Orts UCD Wash-up who spends their weekends cycling their bet-up 1980s racer from Leinster road to Bunsen, the workmans, pmacs and back again complaining about the s@%t americano they just had from the fumbally.

            Where’s my rollie like?

  7. Chris Clark

    Why in the name of [insert chosen deity / don’t] are we name-calling and arguing over what is best for us as a nation ?

    1. Fergus the magic postman

      Because we don’t all agree on what is best for us as a nation.
      Some people are doing ok for themselves with things as they are, & they’re happy to continue this way regardless of the badly off, and the homeless, and the hospitals etc.
      Others see beyond the end of their noses & realise things cannot continue the way they are going.

    1. 8den

      Terry Prone always reminds me of those old Sci Fi movies. Y’know when the Alien has taken our form, and is trying to master human emotions…..

  8. ahjayzis

    That poisonous old trout is a master of deception – how she constantly gets onto panel shows as some kind of objective wise crone when she’s up to her balls in political work…

  9. SB

    Well, she DOES run a PR company, and you’re bound to have worked with FG at SOME point. She has also worked with FF, specifically coaching Charlie Haughey before debates. It’d be like ruling someone out of jury service for an Anglo trial if they have ever used a bank.

    1. Charley

      She come across as a very nasty piece of work, why any party would want to be associated with her is beyond me.

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