Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kenny is on a Losing Streak with journos!

Who knew that Taoiseach Enda Kenny was such a fan of Winning Streak presenter Kathryn Thomas - or maybe it is just his back room team that are fans?

Well in any case, the presence of the RTE presenter INSIDE the Taoiseach's office during a courtesy call by the Queen last week was certainly called into question at a Political Correspondents briefing this week.

To say noses were out of joint would be an understatement - and rightfully so.

All journalists had to fight to secure a place in the different pools to cover all aspects of the Queen's visit. When she visited Government Buildings last week, the hacks that cover the Taoiseach day in, day out, were left standing outside waiting for a glimpse of our new best friend.

However, inside the Taoiseach's office, was Thomas who told the nation she was walking her dog when she got a call from Government Press Secretary Feargal Purcell telling her to be in Government Buildings within an hour.

So why the special treatment for someone who isn't even a working news journalist?

Enda and his team may have had a Winning Streak with the back-to-back VIP visits, but that has turned into a Losing Streak as far as media relations go.

Amid all the celebrations in Moneygall, one man cut a sorry figure.

Behind the crowds of people who lined the main street to greet US President Obama skulked one man in an overcoat.

That man was none other than former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.

But let us not forget that it was Brian Cowen who was the first politician to invite president Obama to Ireland.

And he is also the man credited with coining the Irish phrase 'Is feidir linn'.

So in that respect, he has done the State some service!

'Rich Boy' Barrett's own goal.

Richard 'Rich Boy' Boyd Barrett really should have known better when he appeared on a Late Late Show panel discussion last Friday night on the Queen's visit to Ireland.

While the rest of the country was enjoying the glow of the historic and successful visit, Boyband Barrett was having none of it.

He wasn't gushing in his praise for the English Monarch's visit - he is entitled to his opinion - but he did say he wouldn't have a problem of she wanted to come to Ireland 'on a private fishing trip'!!

Did he learn anything at all with his expensive private education? Did he not realise that Prince Philip's uncle, Louis Mountbatten, was murdered by the IRA during a private fishing visit to Ireland?

It was an own-goal by Boyband Barrett and his comment, as Ryan Tubridy said, was 'very unfortunate'.

Looking Up to Obama?

It was a week of firsts for Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore - meeting the Queen and meeting US President Barack Obama.

On his first impressions of the the US President, Mr Gilmore said: " I actually thought he would be taller!"

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tá Gerry ag Speaking as Jaeilge again!!

A new language has been introduced in Leinster House. It is keeping a lot of people on their feet just trying to get to the bottom of it and we have Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams to thank for it.

The new language is being called Jaeilge and seems to be the first language of Gerry Adams.

The new language, which is learned in the Jailteacht, has its roots in Irish and English but even experts in both languages have difficulties figuring out exactly what Adams is saying.

Political prisoners, who had lots of time to learn, often became fluent in Irish behind bars in prison – or the Jailteacht, as it is referred to.

Adams has a habit of speaking in both Jaeilge and English while on the floor of the Dail. He can be very easy to understand but purists of the Irish language are cringing with embarrassment.

One expert pointed out that Adams constantly mixes up his tenses, past, present and conditional – when speaking.

“He was speaking in the Dail the other day about having debates in Irish and I honestly could not understand a word he was saying,” one fluent Irish speaker said.

Adams’ Irish may be remedial to the ears of experts but how is he on understanding what others are saying to him in the native tongue?

Quite good, in fact. And sure, if he runs into any translation problems, his colleague and fluent Irish speaker Aengus O Snodaigh is always sitting behind him ready to provide a quick translation!!

Quick off the Merc

So the Ministerial Mercs have disappeared from the car park of Leinster House and instead are being replaced with a variety of makes and models of Ministerial transport.

The switch over to civilian drivers hasn’t changed much – in fact, many of the original Gardai drivers have simply retired from the Force to take up full time jobs with the Ministers.

And just to prove the current batch of Ministers are keeping it real when it comes to austerity, many are being driven around in a range of 07 cars.

A Right Royal I-Do

Congratulations to Irish politics’ first Royal Couple – Fine Gael’s Lucinda Creighton and Senator Paul Bradford – who have tied the knot.

The couple (pictured far left) chose the day of the Royal Wedding to celebrate their nuptials and it marked the end of a very busy week for the pair of them.

As a nice wedding present, Paul Bradford was re-elected to the Seanad just before he said ‘I Do’.

Naoto Bad Idea At All!!

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan will not accept his wages as Premier until the crisis at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant is over.

He is doing this because he believes the government bears a great responsibility for the nuclear accident as it has pursued a nuclear energy policy.

Any chance of our politicians giving up their wages until the economic crisis is over? After all, they bear a responsibility for what has happened, along with many others.