Friday 24 February 2017

Don Gormleone lost in personal battles

While Gormley spends all his time trying to prove he is right, the country drowns in rubbish, writes Cathal MacCarthy

Last June I introduced you all to Don Gormleone. A character based loosely on our own Environment Minister, but one who seemed to leap fully formed from the pages of Mario Puzo with a brief diversion to the volumes of James Herriot to kit himself out in a sturdy tweed jacket and a nice pair of cords. Don Gormleone is a man of boundless self-belief whose schoolmaster air struggles unsuccessfully to conceal a temper of volcanic proportions and a penchant for vendettas and grudges that makes your average Sicilian goombah look like the disappointed runner-up in the Greystones ICA rhubarb tart competition.

When we last met him, Don Gormleone had just taken time out from the crash-and-burn annihilation of the Irish economy to put manners on the archaeologists through a code of conduct. You must remember the code of conduct for archaeologists that the whole country was calling for last year? You don't? Well that's the difference between you and Don Gormleone: even in the midst of an economic catastrophe he keeps an eye on the things that really matter. He takes care of business.

When he was finished putting the frighteners on the archaeologists, the Don turned his attention back to an industry in which his famiglia had always had extensive business interests; rubbish and waste disposal. A rival syndicate called Dublin City Council were intent on setting up a waste operation in Ringsend that would challenge Don Gormleone on his own patch. The Don sent them a message. It would be 'unwise' to proceed. That's 'unwise', pronounced 'fatal'. If the city council boys didn't want to end up at the bottom of the political pond wearing concrete loafers, they'd better back off and start paying attention to what the capo di tutti crapi had to say.

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