Saturday 22 October 2016

My Week: Danny Healy-Rae

Eilis O'Hanlon

Published 10/07/2016 | 02:30

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae Photo: Tom Burke
Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae Photo: Tom Burke

Monday: Fianna Fail is still trying to say that my daughter Maura tried to use the media in her campaign to become mayor of Killarney after taking over my old seat on Kerry County Council.

  • Go To

Like, the way I see it is, if God wants her to become mayor of Killarney, then Mayor of Killarney she shall be, and if the Almighty wants her to use the media the way the Healy-Raes have always done, that's fine by me, too.

I'm not one to go picking a fight with Himself up there in the clouds. He's as welcome to join me for a pint down here in Kilgarvan after a hard day's work as anyone, and we'll make sure he gets back home safely no bother.

I said to Maura anyways, I said: "Maura, just promise to build more roads and you'll not go far wrong. Trust me, more roads through Kerry is what we need until the whole county is criss-crossed with the fellas and every voter has his own motorway and they'll vote you back in forever."

Not to mention the fortune we'll make from Kerry Council hiring all the gear and equipment and what have you that they need to dig up the county.

I'm telling you, that girl and her brother Johnny will be up in Dail Eireann faster than you can say "ring me later and we'll get that sorted for you in no time, boy".

Tuesday: The only thing wrong with being a TD is that you have to leave Kerry to do it. Though if you must leave Kerry, at least we've got the roads to get back quicker. I'm up and down to Dublin faster than those smart alecs in Government can wriggle out of a promise, and that's saying something.

It'd be even quicker if we had more bypasses, but we can't get 'em because of some snail the treehuggers want to protect. They call it the "Kerry snail" but I've seen no proof they're from the local area. They could be blow- ins for all I know, coming over here, stealing our habitats.

I tell 'em in the chamber, I tell it straight, the country's bursting at the seams, we can't take more foreigners until we've sorted out all the problems for our own people. If we don't get it in hand, we'll become like Britain where they voted themselves right out of Europe altogether and now their farmers aren't going to get all those lovely CAP payments like they do down in Kerry, allowing them to buy more porter in my bar.

The wife, Eileen, rings with news. She tells me the snails are at my lettuces again. That's proof enough for me. No true Kerry snail would eat another Kerryman's lettuces.

I grab hold of a minister in the corridor. I don't know who he is, I don't care, all I know is that he's one of them airy-fairy Dublin types who claim they can get things done. Though I've never seen much evidence of that myself.

"Hedgehogs," I tell him.

"What?" he frowns.

"Hedgehogs," sez I. "Think about it. Snails… slugs… millipedes, you name it, the hedgehogs will eat 'em. Let's do a deal, that's all I'm saying. You give me the contract for getting the hedgehogs Kerry needs, they'll eat the snails, the treehuggers won't have a leg to stand on, we can build more roads and everybody wins. What do you say, boy? I spit on my hand. You spit on yours. Then we shake on it."

"I'll see what I can do, Michael," sez he, backing away slowly.

"I'm not Michael, I'm Danny."

"What's the difference?"

"What's the difference?" sez I. "Sure, aren't I the one who doesn't wear a cap? I'm just the one whose head looks like it's on upside down."

Wednesday: Three more lettuces are gone, and I've still not heard back from yer man. This is what's wrong with the system. Nothing gets done. Raise it at Leaders' Questions tomorrow, some fancy Dublin TD suggests.

"I will," sez I, "I will, you see if I don't."

He sez it'll be like that time I told 'em God was in charge of the weather and there was nothing we could do about climate change except order in more sand bags to stop the pub getting flooded and having to close early. He's smirking like it's a big joke, but I'll get those snails if it's the last thing I do. In the meantime, I take the chance to raise the issue of poor broadband coverage in rural Ireland. Some of my constituents can't even get YouTube to work without buffering so they can watch that video again of us dancing and singing outside the Dail. There's no decent mobile phone coverage either, which is a pain in the hole when one of the family's trying to get through to ask if we can get them on the bandwagon, too. Hard to believe it's the 21st Century and there are still some Healy-Raes back home who don't have their own Dail or council seat. It's a shcandal. We need the infrastructure to get more investment and jobs, and if that means more roads then I'm yer only man, call me and we'll get you fixed up with all the diggers and dumpers you need. You know my number.

Thursday: Finally, I get to ask the minister about the snails. They're spreading everywhere, up the highways and byways, lanes and boreens. Maybe it's the global warming, pipes up a wag.

They wouldn't find it so funny if they had 45 minutes added to every journey when trying to get to work, trying to get to hospital, and they couldn't so much as step foot outside the front door without another snail popping up where it wasn't wanted, like the Black and Tans back in the day.

You wouldn't believe how long it takes to get to Cork these days. Granted, I don't know why you'd want to, but I'm the Michael O'Leary of roads. If you want to get to Benidorm for a tenner, Ryanair'll do it for you, no questions asked. Need a road and I'm on your side, too.

No one's interested. Instead they're all going on about something called "aborshun" that the long-haired buck in the pink shirt from Wexford wants them to pass a bill on. I vote against it anyway, because it sounds like one of them Dublin things. We don't need it in Kerry. All we need are more roads. And fewer snails.

Friday: At last the week's done. Time to head home. "What are your plans for the weekend, old bean?" says Michael as we set off.

"I thought I'd open a bottle of Pimms, rustle up a little something from Nigella's cookbook, catch up on Wimbledon. The usual. What about you, old chap?"

"Same, dear heart, same."

Well, you didn't think this gombeen act was genuine, did you? We only do it for the tourists.

As imagined by Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice