Ladies with luggage whip lads into line for car valet duties
THE women of Fine Gael finally found a use for the whip system at their parliamentary party drink-in.
Dragging their suitcases, Heather Humphreys, Mary Mitchell-O'Connor and Imelda Henry exited the Heritage in Co Laois at the close of the two-day get-together on Tuesday to find the rain milling down in hair-ruining hammers.
Facing a soggy trudge to her car, Heather spotted Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe with an umbrella. "Here, Paul, walk me over to the car. Go on," she said.
Sharp as a whip, he went one better, taking her keys and skipping off to get it.
Loitering unwisely in the background, Paul's sidekick, Limerick TD Patrick O'Donovan, was then buttonholed by Mary to act as her car valet.
There followed an array of excuses.
"But I've no umbrella."
"I won't be able to find it."
"Ah, I've a bad knee."
Eventually, he was coaxed into heading off and disappeared for almost five minutes, leaving Mary wondering what had become of her convertible.
Her faith in Patrick's reliability was shaken as naughty bystanders ventured that he was "gone for a joyride" and "wasn't able to drive an automatic". She was even asked: "Is that your car coming there with the bumper hanging off?"
Finally, he arrived back, querying loudly as the rain continued to lash from the heavens: "How do you put the roof down?"
Mary took control of her car rapidly. Luckily, there was no plinth to impede her quick getaway.