News Irish News

Saturday 1 October 2016

Joan the Builder in 'Yes, we can' mode

Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30

Tanaiste Joan Burton, Construction Industry Federation director Tom Parlon and CIF President Michael Stone (left) launch a campaign at the National Gallery to help unemployed construction workers
Tanaiste Joan Burton, Construction Industry Federation director Tom Parlon and CIF President Michael Stone (left) launch a campaign at the National Gallery to help unemployed construction workers

Joan the Builder, sporting a hard hat, a canary-yellow hi-viz jacket and an aura of positive vibrations, was industriously constructing a case for the Coalition's defence.

  • Go To

Can we fix it? Yes, we can, she all but chirped.

The Tánaiste was perched on a makeshift wooden platform in the forecourt of the National Gallery against a backdrop of all the props of the boom-time: busy builders, cranes, scaffolding, skips and the happy din of banging and drilling, launching a new scheme to aid construction workers to get off the dole and back to work.

The deja-vu was either cheering or chilling, depending on how badly one was mauled by the Celtic Tiger.

Joan had all sorts of good news to dole out - in fact, it was the dole, or the decreasing numbers in receipt of it, that was the first item on the agenda. The Government had been quietly crossing fingers that the jobless figures would dip back into single digits this week, but instead they hovered at precisely 10pc.

But the Tánaiste professed herself delighted, nonetheless. "We want to get effectively to full employment at the end of two further years and I believe we can do it."

Then Joan promptly picked up a lump hammer and took an unmerciful swing at RTÉ. She reckoned that the opponents of water charges had "dominated" the media.

"I think certainly, at a certain point, RTÉ's sense of excitement perhaps about the water charges seemed to mean that their focus was almost exclusively on the people who are making a case about not paying," she sniffed, before lobbing another brick at Montrose, adding that the Labour Party would like to see "balanced, impartial and fair coverage from RTÉ".

RTÉ of course begged to differ in a statement released later in the day.

But an unconcerned Joan the Builder was on a roll (not a breakfast roll, you understand) - so much so, that she almost forgot to mention her presence in the middle of the massive refurbishment of the National Gallery, until gently reminded by Tom Parlon, the chief of the Construction Industry Federation.

"This is one of the flagship projects of the seven capital projects in memory of the seven signatories of the Proclamation, and it's going to be ready to open in January 2016," she announced cheerfully.

It was all good news - but still Joan has one massive refurbishment project to tackle - how on earth will she rebuild her own party to avoid electoral demolition? Can she do it?

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News