Clockwise from top left: Presidential hopeful Gavin Duffy campaigning at the Tullamore Show; Hosepipe bans remain in place across the country following the Summer heatwave; Pope Francis during the Papal Mass at Phoenix Park last month
Summer 2018 may be forever remembered for the heatwave, its partnering drought, its hurling championship, and as much as I love the lad, that effin’ song
But for me, I’ll be chalking it down as the daftest, clumsiest, and I’ll even throw on asinine, silly season ever. And ye all ate inta it like a rosy cheeked one-year old batin’ inta a dummy. It was choc-a-bloc with bullshit, patronage, self-interest and delusion.
We had a Head of State come over that had the City of Dublin on lock down for longer than his stopover. And this Argentinian lad isn’t even a footballer. His job title is Pope, or for the younger ‘wans @pontifex.
The biggest public park in Western Europe was corralled to mimic the Ploughing with Army, Gardai, Firemen, M*A*S*H i and eff’ knows who else dragooned into organising a religious ceremony for half a million pilgrims.
Five hundred thousand people, seriously now, did anyone really believe that was going to happen? Would even a 1/10000th of that come and wave at Merkkel or Macron.
I’m told (and my source is a well-established Crowd Control Consultant btw) that between 83-85,000 were there
He says if it was anything near the numbers quoted approximately one third of the corrals would be packed; shur’ ye can see for yourselves – less than a 6th of the capacity provided was in anyway meaningfully occupied.
As least I got a laugh from poor oul’ Mary Kennedy, I’d say the dear lovvie was disgusted that she was mistaken for Eileen Dunne, or that someone thought they let on Eileen Dunne was Mary Kennedy. C’mon. It even shook this gaff. Were RTÉ so engulfed with prayers and genuflection that they couldn’t see the funny side of that?
I have to allow for the possibility that the environment for hogwash to thrive was already sewn out there with its interest in the World Families Croke Park gig. Did anyone check how may of the performers are clients of Tyrone Productions?
Maybe that explains why RTÉ’s blanket coverage was so falsely reverential and awed, like, it was positively Forest Gump’ian at times.
But I saved the best till last. Presidential stuff.
Well I suppose tis great we have an election, and ye know I love elections. And thanks to Sinn Féin we are getting one.
Amid the usual commotion, assumptions, assertions and colourful commentary about who, how and why they do anything, no one can deny the Shinners were right to force an election. If you’re tempted; here, suck on this: Ireland shouldn’t have to pretend it’s a democracy anymore.
We have all watched Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil share, control, splice and slice all the public and political gigs between them for decades.
Each taking it in turns with such comfort and ease they don’t have to look over their shoulders anymore; and that’s because we have become so groomed by them we have accepted that structure as a behavioural norm, like its genetic in all of us.
Since I don’t doubt for a second, that Micheal D will have a grand easy run this time out, an election will at least give him a mandate.
That is important because I don’t think he should run, I think he is too old. And don’t call me ageist. I am perfectly entitled to comment on his age seeing as the Constitution firmly dictates what is too young.
The 35th Amendment was put it in front of everyone to change it and it was returned with an emphatic 73% Níl.
So much for equality when it comes to age it is then. If anyone of ye feel you still want to have a go and call me ageist, then answer this first; What would your reaction be if Mary O’Rourke sought the Presidency?
But rather than get ye all wet and bothered with that fight, let me bring ye back to the wacky races for nominations.
Three pinstripes from the telly, and yet none of them seem to be even remotely aware of the laughing stock they have launched.
Sum’ting else, it just shows how full of themselves these middling clones are by introducing themselves as TV Dragons, like none of ‘em are Billionaires, or Inventors or Creators.
One of ‘em owns and employment agency, anudder a PR firm. Ah stop. Like Gammon Duffy loves the telly so much he’s even going around the Country from Council Chamber to Council Chamber with his own camera crew.
And now the Journalist who has apparently solved the Mary Boyle Murder, the Fr Molloy Murder and the Veronica Guerin Murder is in it alongside Iona Institute Maria Steen’s Anti Joan.
This is a farce what we should be rightly ashamed of; and Micheal D made it one. He got elected on a single term platform and fabricated a bitta humming n’ hawing about running again when he faced the public, while craftily signing up supporters from the other side of his face.
Micheal D Higgins is a politician; he might deliver the speeches that the Left lick up off the ground, he might be more devout in his communist hero adulation than just the wearing of a t-shirt, and awwh de doggie bow-wows.
But believe me that man is a career long political operator and no different to any other former Labour Minister.
Has anyone stopped and actually asked why this Presidential race has produced a soap opera of slap-stick lines (looking at you Gammon) with Pro-Lifers still in a snot, and a Journalist who thinks the Áras is her Crucible?
It’s because Michael D made it one. He knew exactly how the Councils would conduct themselves with the other potential candidates which is why he cornered up supporters in the Houses of the Oireachtas long before he even gave us the courtesy of a decision.
He made sure they all had to go the Council route from a long way off.
So, it’s up to us now, the voter to decide.
Who ever makes the ballot ticket, I’ll tell ye this; no business man or woman is getting my vote. No one over the Statutory Retirement Age is getting my vote. No former Pro-Life activist is getting my vote.
And for the moment anyway; its Rock The Áras Jimmy Smyth for me. He’s the only one making any feickin sense in this place.
Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane