It's all Greek to Enda as Trinity speech fails to wow academics
Published 31/10/2015 | 02:30
Enda Kenny's 'hail-fellow-well-met' persona didn't go down too well when he met with the academic Fellows of Trinity College Dublin.
The Taoiseach's speech-making style has come under scrutiny in the wake of his now infamous 'Army at the ATMs' comments in Madrid last week.
Mr Kenny again went walkabout at a book launch on Wednesday night in the Great Hall of TCD for 'Democracy's Beginning: The Athenian Story' by Professor Tom Mitchell, the former provost of Trinity College Dublin.
A guest at the function described the Taoiseach's performance as "cringeworthy".
Prof Mitchell hails from the Taoiseach's home town of Castlebar, Co Mayo.
Mr Kenny saw the opportunity to play up the fellow local boy come good, as he reeled through Prof Mitchell's impressive CV.
"He has been elected as a Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford and of St John's College, Cambridge, so clearly he is a jolly good Fellow.
"I didn't know that you could be a Fellow of Colleges in both Oxford and Cambridge, but it just shows what a classical education can do for you.
"I'm beginning to feel sorry that I didn't keep up my Latin!" he opined.
The gags kept rolling and didn't quite hit the right note, according to a guest in attendance.
"An audience full of academics and he gives his usual spiel, with no grasp of who he is speaking to. It was embarrassing.
"Nobody knew where to look. He was fine for a while when he was reading from a speech, but then went off script and was burbling nonsense," the appalled attendee said.
Once the Taoiseach returned to the topic of the book, he was back on rather more solid ground, saying: "As everyone in this audience will know, Thucydides, an Athenian, was the father of analytical history and indeed Tom's book draws significantly on his famous history of the Peloponnesian War.
"Its author said of that history that he feared that the absence of romance in it would detract somewhat from its interest, but that he would be content if it was judged worthy by people who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the understanding of the future."