Saturday 22 November 2014

Style expert Ming gives colleagues a dressing down

Published 03/05/2014 | 02:30

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Rat
Taoiseach Enda Kenny plants a kiss on bride Maria Ryan in Carlow town

Ming Flanagan might be running for a big job in Europe, but perhaps he should consider swapping politics for, say, editing a fashion magazine, such is the interest he takes in the sartorial style of his female colleagues.

The Roscommon deputy's penchant for commenting on such matters first came to light when he and Mick Wallace and Shane Ross were caught on a Dail chamber microphone sniggering over the attire of Fine Gael's Mary Mitchell O'Connor. During this dispiriting exchange, Ming opined, "They'd want to ban her from wearing pink".

And once again this week, Ming felt moved to express his suspicions about well-dressed women. On Wednesday evening, a debate among a clatter of Euro candidates running in Midlands-North-West was in full swing on RTE's 'Drivetime', during which the deputy decided to have a pop at Labour candidate Senator Lorraine Higgins.

"Sadly we have people like Lorraine Higgins who seem to be more concerned with looking good out in Europe than actually doing good," he declared. An irate Lorraine decried his attempt at a snide put-down as "outrageous".

Never mind, Ming. It's not as if Mna na hEireann will be waiting for you in the long grass over such ill-judged comments – being a fashion connoisseur, he must know that grass-stains are a bitch to get out of silk and cashmere and the like.

They were right to smell a rat in Leinster House

Now, while it's not unusual for members of the citizenry or the fourth estate to experience that rodential olfactory sensation known as smelling a rat, when it comes to listening to some of the more suspicious oratory of our elected representatives actually seeing one of the creepy critters is a whole other ballgame.

But that's exactly what transpired in Leinster House, or in the newer wing of the parliamentary edifice known as LH 2000, to be precise. Some startled denizens – including Dublin North West TD Roisin Shortall – were aghast to see a rat scurry across the polished floor of the building on Wednesday, but it vanished before the hue and cry broke out.

It didn't go far though, for on Friday a group including Labour TD Kevin Humphreys were walking up the LH2000 staircase when they were confronted by our furry friend scuttling down towards them.

But the Dublin Bay South deputy is made of stern stuff and with the help of some of the LH2000 staff, the rat (inset) was captured, photographed for posterity and transferred humanely out of the building.

While one rodent doth not an invasion make, it seems that the large-scale digging-up of the entirety of the adjacent Dawson Street as part of the Luas works has displaced hordes of rats that were perfectly happy where they were, and forced them elsewhere.

Whether more rodent refugees show up in Leinster House seeking asylum remains to be seen. Perhaps not, given that a large Rentokil van was seen in the vicinity a mere few hours after the offending animal had left it.

But as one gloomy observer of the recent messing among the coalition parties mused: "It must be the first time that a rat has joined a sinking ship."

Indeed . . .

Tis the season for silly photos

OH yes. The season of daft photo-opportunities is upon us with a vengeance. With three weeks to the local and Euro elections, no baby/construction worker/Moore Street trader is safe until polling day.

The Taoiseach, who never shirks from high-fiving a small child or holding aloft a horrified baba, or donning a hard hat to pretend-drive a digger, struck gold on the campaign trail in Carlow on Thursday when his path crossed that of a brand new bride, Maria Ryan, and her new hubby, Peter.

And then there was the memorable image of Minister Leo Varadkar and euro candidate Brian Hayes with their arms around the shoulders of the Molly Malone statue, hands perilously close to her formidable decolletage.

But even the newbies are getting the hang of the daft photo lark. David Hall, defender of beleaguered mortgage holders and now independent candidate in the Dublin West by-election, celebrated his campaign launch by donning a pair of giant red boxing gloves and posing for the snappers outside the gates of Leinster House.

The one party who don't indulge much in such 'zany' activities is Sinn Fein – or 'Spin Fein' as they've now become in the light of how they've tried to deal with this week's Gerry Adams-related difficulties for the party. And over 48 hours' news coverage featuring a black-and-white image of Jean McConville while their president was being quizzed in relation to her murder is a far cry from the positive photo opps that Spin Fein had in mind for the month of May.

Irish Independent

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