Friday 9 December 2016

Kirsty at large: Speeches lost in the loo and childish antics

Published 12/10/2016 | 02:30

Smoker Finian McGrath has taken a hit in the Budget
Smoker Finian McGrath has taken a hit in the Budget

It all felt a bit secondary school in Dail Eireann yesterday. There were misplaced notes, back of the class bravado, discussing what pocket money could get you and sneaky smoking breaks. The day got off to a shaky enough start.

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Finian McGrath - aka the unofficial patron saint of Irish smokers - nearly missed Michael Noonan's opening remarks as he was enjoying a last-minute fag on the plinth.

He must have known something was brewing as it was just before Noonan confirmed the price would be jacked up by 50pc.

At a press conference afterwards, he winked when the topic was raised. "It's one of those issues I'll take a big hit on," he said.

Richard Boyd Barrett had a close shave when he misplaced his post-budget speech in the loos of the Dail. Thankfully, the speech was returned to its owner before Boyd Barrett was left well and truly up the creek.

When Paschal Donohoe began talking about the country's "vitally important sheep sector"", Robert Troy began baa-ing and bleeting at Sean Canney. You guys - stop that!

Michael Noonan plodded through his speech, until winding things up a mere 33 minutes later.

Noonan might have expected a round of applause after all his efforts, but sadly no one could muster up any enthusiasm. Shame.

Afterwards, everyone rifled through pages trying to make sense of percentages and cuts while department heads gave good spin.

Leo Varadkar seemed particularly prickly - when asked if he hoped the across the €5 board hike would improve his hopes of becoming leader he replied stiffly: "Is that a joke?

"I've no answer for you - it's budget day." Oh lighten up, Leo. You're not Taoiseach yet.

Boxer hits the deck after 'mistaking railing'

Kevin "Boxer" Moran will be feeling the repercussions of the Budget this morning after a nasty fall. The Independent Alliance TD hit the deck while darting out of the Dail Chamber yesterday.

Not one to stay down, Boxer was back on his feet in a flash and was fighting fit when addressing journalists outside government buildings later in the day.

A spokesperson later explained what had caused the tumble. It seems that a distracted Boxer mistook Minister of State Paul Kehoe's head for a railing as he rushed out the door.

"Paul had stooped down to retrieve something, Boxer went to steady himself on Paul's crown and fell face first."

Hmmm - I hope this is a joke.

Otherwise I give you the Laurel and Hardy - or, maybe, the Captain and Joxer - of Dail Eireann.

Knot a word of  a lie -  Noonan's tie the hottest topic in Leinster House

Believe it or not, there was a lot of excitement regarding the choice of tie Michael Noonan would opt for while addressing his peers.

In the days beforehand Paddy Power were taking bets.

Some thought a green would reflect Ireland's sovereignty in the wake of Brexit while a bold blue would be in keeping with the party colours.

At the end of the day Noonan opted for a deep shade of red.

What do you reckon the chances are Noonan placed a few quid before making his way to Leinster House?

Winner - Halloween

With the budget delivered, back benchers got into the festive swing of things by tucking into generous helpings of pumpkin and beetroot pie. I know - it sounds horrific. Are they trying to tell us something?

Losers - Adam and Cillian

The happy and fictitious same sex couple who featured in the Budget explainer. Sadly, it looks like they are about to have their first-time-buyers’ dream dashed.

“And now I’ll hand things over to the most predictable member of the party.”

Say what

“And now I’ll hand things over to the most predictable member of the party.”

Minister for Sport Shane Ross pulls no punches when introducing Junior Minister John Halligan at Government Buildings.

Irish Independent

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