They forgot to use the stake through the heart

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The Irish are a forgiving people; they’re also a credulous people. Five years ago, you could never have foreseen the situation we have today. And yes, I am talking about you, Fianna Fail.

In the final days of the Fianna Fail /Greens coalition, the very words ‘Fianna Fail’ stirred up feelings so strong among the Irish electorate, it’s surprising a mob didn’t seek out the Fianna Fail headquarters and torch it. Cabinet ministers retired and headed home, clutching their fat pension portfolios. The Fianna Fail candidates in the General Election must have wished they could call themselves the Republican Party or something equally unlikely – anything but the toxic name they were stuck with. The results of the 2011 General Election showed Fianna Fail dropping like a stone from 57 seats to 20 – the biggest loss of its kind in the history of Western Europe. There was considerable talk of this being the end of Fianna Fail.

But lo! Today, if we’re to believe Ivan Yates, the former Fine Gael TD, bookie and bankrupt, Fianna Fail should take 39 seats. He prophesies 51 seats for Fine Gael and 29 for Sinn Féin. The great majority of commentators (I disagree with them) declared Micheál Martin the outstanding debater in the various Leaders’ Debates. The man who epitomized everything shady and dubious about Fianna Fail, Bertie Ahern – the man who was Taoiseach but had no bank account, the man who received “a dig-out” from friends without requesting it or responding to it with political favours – he has been moving gently into the public limelight again and no one has started throwing stones. Astonishing. None of the many commentators was or is able to explain this phoenix-like rise of Fianna Fail. Either the people of the south have soft hearts or thick heads.

So would you buy a used car from Bertie? No? Well, how about a prophecy? Bertie  is in the Indo today, declaring that Sinn Féin will register 10 fewer seats in Dail Eireann because they were led by Gerry Adams and not Pearse Doherty or Mary Lou McDonald.

I’m not asking you if you agree or disagree. I’m asking you to remember, when the final tally for Sinn Féin comes in, you should add 10 seats. Then ask yourself if Bertie’s claim about Gerry seems credible.

And my own prediction? Forget it. I have no idea, other than that Fianna Fail will do better than they deserve to, and the same goes for Fine Gael. The Labour Party I’ll simply avert my eyes from and murmur a quiet prayer for. Sinn Féin? The chances that they’ll increase their number of seats is very high. But do remember to add on that extra 10 to their total – after all, it was Bertie who told us. And while you mightn’t buy a used car from him, you wouldn’t accuse him of trying to influence the outcome of an election, would you? But whatever you do, if you’re living in the south, pull on your boots and get down there and VOTE. If you don’t, you’ll have helped create a Dail stuffed with people  you may well detest.

14 Responses to They forgot to use the stake through the heart

  1. Sammy McNally February 26, 2016 at 9:46 am #


    Would agree. FF represents corruption on an industrial scale – with about half their cabinet with fingers in – on the way to – or on the way back from the till.

    Gerry, really should have been pedalling the line

    yes I was involved in an insurgency and insurgency that had many faults but not I was not part of an organisation that sought to enrich its own members at the expense of the people of Ireland.

    SF may do well but will not be (correctly) able to break into government – that is proper government without the remaining issues tidied up on the North i.e. that when someone is shot there is a firm belief in the canines on the falls road that the Provos (in some shape or form ) have done it.

    Perhaps it was a cunning plan by the British to let the Provos keep some guns – a ‘keep their guns to keep them out’ policy – because as long as that ambivalence (understandable in the circumstances of Northern post conflict life) to maintain their own security they will (correctly) not be getting into government in the South.

    Gerry’s remaining years as leader should be dedicated to removing the remaining obstacles to proper government – a job which he may not be able to achieve especially if Britain opts out of Europe given the likely deterioration in the Security situation..

  2. Iolar February 26, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Ivy League universities will drop the term ‘master’, a label with roots evoking the legacy of slavery. Perhaps we should ponder the meaning of some other terms.

    Independent – subservient, dig out – charvet shirt, Taxpayer – Chateau Rauzan – Segla Margaux, diplomatic bag – French francs

    Fianna Fáil or Laochra Fáil?

  3. Jim.hunter February 26, 2016 at 10:51 am #


    • Jude Collins February 26, 2016 at 11:35 am #


  4. docr February 26, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    FF decline in 2011 was even more dramatic than you portray. They won 77 seats in 2007 and had 71 going into the 2011 election if I remember right.

    Keep writing.

  5. billy February 26, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    paddy power has it turnout more than 64.5percent 5/6..lower than 64.5percent 5/6 ive went with the latter so hoping for plenty of rain.

  6. Ryan February 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    If Bertie was running for office in the USA he wouldn’t stand a chance with that pimple on his chin. That would be more of a hindrance with the American electorate than his bankrupting the entire Irish state and sending at least 200,000 Irish people abroad to earn a living. His reward for this? A nice, chunky pension. Way to go Bertie!

    Would Sinn Fein do better without Gerry Adams? I don’t know but I’d say there are positives and negatives to replacing Gerry with a new leader. Gerry, without a doubt, is the most recognized Irish politician on the planet. While Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin, etc will be remembered for a time (but eventually forgotten), Gerry Adams will be remembered maybe for centuries after he’s dead when anyone looks into the recent era of Irish History. Anywhere he goes he is sure to pack out a hall, a meeting, etc I’ve seen many videos on this campaign where he has been very warmly welcomed by people in Dublin and in Cork and elsewhere. Such a high profile and respected character is a massive asset. He is also a very likable character.

    (I met Gerry Adams twice myself. The first time mustve been in 1997 because Gerry was walking with reporters with cameras up the street I lived while me and my friends were playing. He was out meeting people and campaigning for election for MP of West Belfast. Curious, me & my friends run up to him and the reporters and I offered my hand and he shook it politely. He ended up buying all the kids ice creams from the “poke van” that came round. He also spoke very long with my mother’s friend, who sadly passed away in 2013, on policies. I never seen the footage taken that day from the camera, if it was even broadcast, but I’m sure the 6-7 year old me will be in it.

    I met Gerry a second time in 2002 while me and my mother was walking home from the “Kennedy Centre” in West Belfast. Again, he was flocked by reporters and must’ve been on the campaign trail).

    The positives to getting rid of Gerry as leader of Sinn Fein is removing the reminder of The Troubles. Some people cant help but think of the Troubles when they see Gerry Adams. Now I’m not saying they blame Gerry for the troubles (as the media wrongly try to pin on him) but the troubles is hardly a nice thing to think about, even if your a devout PIRA supporter.

    As I mentioned yesterday Gerry isn’t as sharp as he once was. That’s what happens with age, its not being “Ageist”, it just a fact of life. He especially struggles with figures but in saying that he is very good in other topics. Would Mary Lou McDonald or Pearse Doherty make a better leader than Gerry? in some ways yes and in some ways no. Both Mary Lou and Pearse are very impressive, they know their figures but they don’t have the same presence as Gerry Adams, that presence that has the Irish Americans packing out massive halls to hear him speak and attending fundraisers for Sinn Fein, which very high profile US businessmen and politicians such as Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, etc and numerous Congressmen/women have attended. As I mentioned before, Gerry is greeted very warmly by crowds in the South numerous times despite his past. Enda Kenny on the other hand has had to be escorted out of Cork due to mobs trying to lynch him.

    Inevitably Gerry Adams will have to step down from leader of Sinn Fein sooner or later but that’s the question, should it be sooner or later? I would say later. Gerry still has around a decade of politics left in him and I hope he stays on.

    • jessica February 27, 2016 at 7:34 am #

      “Would Mary Lou McDonald or Pearse Doherty make a better leader than Gerry?”

      Ryan, I don’t think any person on the island would make a better leader than Gerry and I loved hearing your memories of meeting him. I never have but he is a hero of mine.

      But Mary Lou as leader would give the biggest electoral result Sinn Fein could achieve with Pearse a minister for finance in waiting.

      The downside is, could they handle the negative media and blatant attacks that will be levied the way Gerry can deal with them?

      As Sammy says, there are still unjust obstacles for Sinn Fein from a corrupt state and biased media and Gerry has been breaking them down.

      If Sinn Fein end up the largest party in opposition then they will have achieved what they set out to. I think a spell as leader of the opposition is essential to replacing Fianna Fail as the republican party of Ireland.

      I am sure Gerry will know the best time to give Mary Lou the opportunity to do what she does best. Would love to see her as the first female Taoiseach though

  7. Boomage February 26, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I’ve a gut feeling SInn Fein won’t do that well at all, given the massive amount of negative publicity they received from INM, RTE and other outlets and the historic double whammy of low turnout amongst the working class and the young.
    People here still see the violence when they think of Adams. It doesn’t matter that next month, the entire country will celebrate a violent revolt, or that the election itself is a result of violent struggle, or that the generous salaries, expenses, perks and lush pensions in Irish political office only exist because of acts of violence.

    I’d say Bertie mightn’t be too far wrong, he had a skill for judging elections and electoral moods, and had a cabal of politicos behind him for years winning seats in North Dublin and beyond.
    Don’t be fooled by his “accountancy job”, (counting cars in the Mater Car park) or his LSE “degree” (non existent), or the fact he won lots of his money on a horse that he couldn’t remember the name of. He wasn’t the second longest serving Taoiseach for nothing.

    • Ryan February 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

      “He wasn’t the second longest serving Taoiseach for nothing”

      Boomage, do you think Bertie would’ve been even half as successful if Fianna Fail were subjected to the same extreme negativity by the media as Sinn Fein? I seriously doubt it.

      James Carville said: “Its the economy, stupid”

      I say “its the media, stupid”.

      Enda Kenny broke nearly every promise he made at the 2011 election, he implemented a brutal campaign of austerity for 5 years, he put the welfare of EU bankers before the Irish people, etc but yet he’s still the most highly rated political leader and Fine Gael is still riding high in the polls, higher than anyone.

      That’s the power of the media.

      Kenny has them on his side.

      So did Bertie.

      • Jude Collins February 27, 2016 at 8:31 am #

        According to Bertie’s arithmetic and present (8.30 am Saturday) indications, SF would have got between 34 and 37 seats without Gerry…I think not.

        • jessica February 27, 2016 at 9:53 am #

          “According to Bertie’s arithmetic and present (8.30 am Saturday) indications, SF would have got between 34 and 37 seats without Gerry…I think not.”

          Why do you think that Jude?

          I have every respect for him for his past, but politically his remark about not taking his salary made me cringe. Far too communist and will never be accepted in Ireland.

          If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Or more importantly, the best people will go to England and elsewhere who are prepared to pay a decent wage for the best people.

          Sinn Fein need to keep moving away from far left politics. Left to centre left is far enough.

  8. Perkin Warbeck February 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    As there is a moratorium on political commentary down here in the detached south of the Black Sow’s Dyke at the moment, Esteemed Blogmeister, one’s inner LA-abiding citizen is compelled to look elsewhere for a topic today. With your indulgence, and saving your presence, ar ndoigh.

    Something totally A-political at random, like say, for instance:

    – The legal system.

    And shrill though the snakin’ regarders of the mortal Shinners may trill, even as they will get their cavalry twill in a twist at the devious timing (alleged) of such disinterested legal procedures as the sentencing of a tax-defaulter called Thomas in Dublin today, Polling Day, and the arrest the day before yesterday in ( Ay dios mio!) Madrid of ‘an unnamed veteran IRA leader’ aka an OTR from the Free Southern Stateen, these spoonbill shrillies who give all right-minded democrats the whippoorwill willies are, at best ignored and at worst, given the deaf-ear treatment.

    Better by far to concentrate on two familiar cases involving air-travel with extremely dissimilar outcomes which were tried in the ordinary, common or garden courts about which there is nothing in the slightest bit, erm, Special.

    Consider briefly these two cases, exemplars as they are of all that is evenhanded, just and disinterested about the legal system of the FSS.

    Taking the second case first, this involved a lady who modestly describes herself as an icon, the soi-disant Queen of Limerick, the delightful, the dewonderful Dolores the Delirious. One understands she is a celebrity chef, who specialises in (gulp) cranberry sauce.

    According to informed sources, while on an Aer Lingus Transatlantic fight in 2014 from New Yawk to Shannon (formerly Rineanna, so good they named it t.) she behaved not at all unlike a Boy named Sue whose modus operandi that one- hell-of- a songwriter Shel Silverstein captured so prophetically many years ago:

    -She kicked like a mule and she bit like a crocodile.

    The fun was only beginning as soon as the plane landed and taxied to a halt. Round two involved the combined forces of local Gardai and the airport security personnel somehow and with no little difficulty managing to handcuff Dolores the Delirious. You’d imagine that once she had been gently eased into the back of a squad car it was time to call halt. And allow Operation Whisk Away to take over.

    Not a bit of it. If another female (yawn) icon last year disliked being imprisoned in the back of an official vehicle is was nothing to the dislike of D. the D. , which d. virtually morphed into detestation.

    While the other female (yawn) icon (no names, no political pack drill) was prepared to sit and silently fume for two hours, till all the available paparazzi had photographed her unlawful incarceration bordering on (gasp) internment itself , it took precisely two minutes of the Rolex of O’Riordan, aka D. the D., to slip her slender, porcelain-like hands through the cuffs, smash a back window, artistically head-butt a shocked Garda in the face , before making a break for the sanctuary of the same, identical jetplane in which she had just caused such mayhem.

    -And then she crashed through the wall of stunned security men standing near
    Kicking and gouging in the mud and the blood and atmosphere of sheer persevere.

    At one time it was even thought possible that the statue of King Paulie of Toulon which proudly stands in the airport might even be brought to its granite knees by a choke tackle from the careering careerist, the out of control and iconic Queen of Limerick.

    Even the greatest five line L. from the masterly pen of Edward Lear would come nowhere near describing the one-person turmoil.

    In the past decade it has been estimated that something between 1 and 2 million G.I’S (one is precluded from saying mill-un in local Noonan-speak, as that would constitute a breach of the moratorium) have transited through Shannon Airport on their way to sun and fun spots such as Iraq, Afghanistan and a variety of other Oliverstans.

    But it seems now that the Pentagon is considering bypassing the County Clare Airport altogether, on the grounds of needing as many undamaged boots on the ground as possible at their ultimate destinations of mass instruction.

    Fast forward to the trial this week when a compassionate judge, though fining the defendant Dolores the Delirious a whopping 6 thou, announced it would be ‘unfair and would not be just to criminalise the defendant in this case’.

    The defence was made that the iconic Queen of Limerick was suffering from emotional (it rhymes with Transatlanticoceanal) stress.

    Stress is offshore.

    Back now to the first case involving an offence in mid-air, which happened in October 2014 on another Aer Lingus flight (from Milan to Dublin) just a week or so before the ground and air rage incident at Shannon.

    An offence of a far profounder order, entirely. And one which the stern judge the following day justifiably threw the book at the defendant. Who was a middle-aged business man travelling with his wife and daughter to a conference in Dublin.

    During the flight he (gulp) ‘playfully’ leaned over and wrote in pencil (!) on the styrofoam cup of coffee which his daughter was sipping from:

    -Attenzione Ebola !

    Afterwards, the business man gave the empty cup to an Aer Lingus hostess , asking her to dispose it in the bin designed for that purpose. Luckily, for that Aer Lingus flight and all who travelled on it, not to mention, the future of civilization as we know it, another eagle-eyed / iolar-shuileach attendant spotted the incriminating cup and (phew) the rest is hysteria.

    On landing in Dublin, the plane was put on immediate lockdown (don’t ask) the offending Italian businessman plus wife and daughter were arrested, as Operation Whisk Away was put into immediate effect. The distaff side of the family were subsequently released.
    The next morning, after a night in chokey, the Eyetie appeared in court. The Judge was not at all best pleased and expressed his displeasure at ‘the sick joke’ in no uncertain terms :

    -The only comparable example I can think of is of someone writing on a napkin: ‘There is a bomb on board’.

    Though this defendant was only fined a paltry (for shame !) 2,500 squids (after all he could have been from the Mafia or the Costa Nostra or – God forbid – a member of the RC church itself !!!!!) no member of the Dworkin Class cohort in the media south of the Black Sow’s Dyke expressed even a syllable of cage-rattling outrage at the lamentable disparity in fines in the two cases.

    While the last glimpse that was caught of the Italian businessman was of his scurrying from the Dublin court with a soiled newspaper in his hand to hide his shameless face as he hightailed it back to Milano molto rapidamente, with the paparazzi in justifiably hot and vengeful pursuit, there was no such scene to be observed on Shannonside.

    There, brave Dolores, with all delirium spent, was thoughtfully and sensitively allowed space by the supportive Dworkin Class cohort of the ms media , who are always there for her?

    (The question mark, incidentally, does not indicate a rhetorical question, but is rather a indispensable part of upspeak?)

    Happily, the harrowing day in court, ended on an upnote? When it was announced on the steps of the courthouse that Dolores the Defendant was turning over a new leaf altogether and embarking on a new career, the one which tradition ordains, soothes the s. breast:

    Well, as everybody else is doing it, why shouldn’t she , like?

    The taste which lingered in the ms. media mouth in the aftermath of this brace of mid-air cases was good. For it highlighted the unmatched detachment which the same media brings to both the legal and the political spheres.

    Exactly what’s not to love about the stateen which lies south of the Black Sow’s Dyke ??

  9. Tenerife1 February 29, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    Jude. have you ever read the book “Drumcondra Mafia” by Mick Gifford.
    If half of what Gifford says and infers in that book is true, ( and one must assume that he is not far off the mark as to my knowledge Gifford has never been sued), then Ahern should have at least faced criminal charges of fraud and corruption.
    Ah well we all know where the source of all evil in the 26 comes from and it speaks with a northern accent and has a beard.