Thursday 29 September 2016

From a bottle of wine a night, to becoming a Senator - the latest Floating Voter podcast

Published 05/05/2016 | 17:54

From a bottle of wine a night, to gay teddy bears, ducks and climate change denial, it was a surreal and slightly insane week in Irish politics on the Floating Voter podcast.

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The team of Kevin Doyle, Niall O’Connor and Philip Ryan were joined by the singer and musician, Frances Black, who has also now been elected to the Seanad.

Black’s work with families affected by addiction through her Rise Foundation was part of the reason for her to stand for the Seanad election and she was candid and honest about her own struggles with alcohol.

“My pattern of drinking was a bottle of wine a night,” she admitted. 

Frances Black
Frances Black

“But I didn’t like the feeling of needing to have alcohol and not being able to give it up.  For me it was causing a problem in my life because I didn’t like the way it was making me feel, heightening my low self-esteem and sense of inadequacy.  I didn’t like the feeling of powerlessness it brought and so I decided to seek help.

“You could have floored me when I was then told, ‘Yes Frances, you’re an alcoholic’.  I wasn’t what we typically considered someone to be an alcoholic, falling around the place or waking up with the shakes.   My family were shocked but they were also worried abut my drinking and my partner at the time wasn’t happy about it either.  It was hard, but that’s when I gave it up.”

Despite running as an Independent, Black does have close links to Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein party.  Describing herself as a nationalist who would like to see a united Ireland, she says she’s not a member of Sinn Fein but since being invited to set up a stand at their Ard Fheis for the last two years, her ‘no link to Sinn Fein’ remains questionable. 

Elsewhere in the Irish political scene, Gerry Adams’ n-word tweet generated all the headlines but his social media ramblings about gay teddy bears and ducks also became a matter for debate with the Floating Voter team asking how much better Sinn Fein would be doing if Gerry Adams wasn’t their leader anymore.

And finally, climate change denial has come all the way from Sarah Palin’s Alaska to the wild shores of Kerry, with local TD, Danny Healy-Rae, claiming in the Dail that only God was responsible for the weather and sure, weren’t there floods and famines down through the centuries anyway, and this proves that climate change was around well before any combustible engine was ever invented.

The mind boggles, but if Donald Trump can lead the Republican Party in America, has climate change denial now arrived in Kerry being led by the Healy-Raes?  And will the people of Kerry just agree and keep electing them to the Dail each time anyway?  Irish politics at its finest.

Catch up every week with the Floating Voter’s take on Irish politics on Independent.ie. 

Subscribe on  iTunes and follow the show on SoundCloud.

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