THERE have been many imitations of Lazarus in Irish politics. However none has matched the achievement of Bertie Ahern's running mate Cyprian Brady.
In the last election, with 2,735, votes the PDs' Noel Grealish set the bar for Dail success fairly low.
However, in 2007 Cyprian became the first ever candidate to win a Dail seat with less than a thousand votes.
At the end of the first count Brady (939 votes) wasn't just behind the other successful candidates Tony Gregory (4,649) or Joe Costello (4,353): Bertie's diligent public servant was actually in ninth place. In spite of Bertie's best efforts, FF running mate Mary Fitzpatrick (1,725) had polled twice as many votes; defeated FG candidate Paschal Donoghue had almost 2,500 more , Mary Lou (3,182) over 2,000 more and Patricia McKenna 1,000 more. Even unknown independent Cieran Perry was 13 votes ahead of poor Cyp.
It was then, however, that the Drumcondra mafia struck: in one fell swoop Bertie gifted Cyprian, a senator who runs Ahern's constituency organisation, with 2,403 votes.
Bertie didn't just put Cyprian back into the race. A far lower transfer of 1,362 to Mary Fitzpatrick put Cyprian into a lead over his running mate.
In the third, fourth and fifth counts the electorate continued to resolutely ignore Bertie's little pet.
However when the sixth count arrived Cyprian was a critical 169 votes ahead of Mary Fitzpatrick. It was enough for the man who started from nowhere to just about creep into the final seat.
As defeated candidates throughout the land with 8,000 votes and more scratched their heads and wondered how Cyp did it, it was clear that in Irish politics anything is possible - with a little help from your friends.