independent

Sunday 4 December 2016

Floating Voter 1: Kelly's 'Premier Pen' has got the Tipp to kick-start the election

Compiled by Cormac McQuinn

Published 04/02/2016 | 02:30

Alan Kelly signing the election order with a Thomas Adlum pen
Alan Kelly signing the election order with a Thomas Adlum pen

Forget jobs for Nenagh and grants for soccer clubs, Minister Alan Kelly is so Tipperary he signed the polling day order for the election with a pen hewn from a yew tree which was felled in a churchyard in the tiny village of Castleiney.

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Wielding the 'Premier pen' Mr Kelly did his duty as Environment Minister and signed off on the February 26 election day, posting a snap on Facebook while wishing candidates "across the political spectrum" the "best of luck".

Local master woodturner Thomas Adlum - who made the pen - was chuffed at its small part in history. "It's a nice surprise," he told the Floating Voter, explaining that he has been commissioned to make a number of items for Mr Kelly who has given them as gifts to dignitaries on trips abroad.

"I've done a few pieces for him now. He brought some pieces out to China there . . . It's always a great honour to be asked," said the Templemore craftsman with more than 30 years experience in his profession.

Michael Lowry and Mattie McGrath will surely be his next patriotic customers.

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For anyone who's ever wondered what Willie O'Dea's moustache feels like, one intrepid reporter found out.

Newstalk's Henry McKean was out on the hustings with the hirsute Fianna Fáil stalwart - and the face it's attached to - and got up enough courage to ask for a feel.

"The moustache itself is quite big and bushy. Do you mind if I touch it?" he said, assuring Willie his hands were clean.

"It's quite bristly," was the insight he offered listeners.


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'Tis the season for election songs, and Donegal Independent Tim Jackson has provided the latest - admittedly quite funny - atrocity. Sung to the tune of country legend Johnny Cash's 'Jackson' it cleverly alters the words to "We're voting for Jackson". The music video posted online features a mish-mash of Jackson at work chopping logs, photos from the country's A&Es, a closed Garda station and pictures of cats. Everybody now: "We're voting for Jaaaaacksonn..."

They said what!?

Tánaiste Joan Burton:

“He’s an incredibly obedient employee.”

Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly:

“I agree absolutely that Joan is my boss

‘Frisky’ election poster warning

Dublin City Council has sent a warning letter over an election poster - to bookies Paddy Power - as no planning permission was sought. It posted an image of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin embracing on the side of a city building and is offering 13/8 odds on the unlikely coalition.

Paddy Power hasn't got the letter yet but is delighted with the poster of what it says "would be the most shocking hook-up . . .since Miley and Fidelma got frisky in the barn".

The Tweeting voter

Tie wars totally won by #michaeld... Eat your heart out #ElChapo #GE16

- Will Hanafin @willhanafin

Irish Independent

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