Thank God we've Healy-Rae to put us right on climate change
Published 06/05/2016 | 02:30
'Grand day, thank God' - how many times have we used or heard the expression, believing it was just another throwaway remark and not the literal truth.
But Danny Healy-Rae has put us right on that one, in one of his first contributions as the newly elected second Independent Dáil member for Kerry.
"God above is in charge of the weather and we here can't do anything about it," he told assembled TDs during a Dáil debate on climate change.
Well, when you think about it, he has a point - at least the "We here can't do anything about it" bit.
Although climatologists and climate change sceptics are fairly evenly divided on that one.
Up to now we believed erroneously that if anyone was 'in charge' of the weather it was Met Éireann, even if they do like to confuse us with funny accents and expressions like 'localised showers' without specifying where the localised showers will actually fall.
But back to the world of Ireland's climate change sceptics.
Danny then went back to the 11th and 12th centuries to illustrate his point, saying that the country (and for once not just Kerry, he's a national politician now) was "roasted out of it" during that period, whereas in the 15th and 16th centuries we were "drowned out of it".
We don't doubt his word, but where does this interesting information come from - the 'Annals of Kilgarvan' or some such tome, laboriously inscribed by the monks of Skellig Healy-Rae?
There may be a mountain of scientific evidence about climate change - how human activity is leading to the melting of the polar ice caps and the denuding of the rain forest is destroying the ozone layer - but Danny is having none of that. Unlike his brother, Michael - The Official Healy-Rae - Danny won't be voting for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, and one of the reasons it now seems clear is that in his headlong rush for power, Inda is preparing to put 'Climate Change' at the end of a government department as a sop to Eamon Ryan and the other Green.
Who do we believe in the great Irish climate change debate?
Well, as the last Census told us, 85pc of the population is Roman Catholic, so Danny Healy-Rae must be right about God being in charge of the weather. And, of course, we all believe in Transubstantiation and Papal Infallibility as well.
Indeed, Danny wasn't the only climate change sceptic this week.
That other well-known expert on all things - Michael O'Leary - had a few words to say on the subject.
With as much irony as he could muster, the Ryanair head honcho said during a rant against cyclists: "That's all we need in Dublin going forward is more bloomin' bicycles. In a country where it rains about 250 days a year, the way forward in Dublin is: more bicycles."
Once again, Mr O'Leary was a little confused. While it may rain 250 days of the year in the micro-climate around Mullingar where Micko keeps his flatulent herds of prize cattle, the average number of rainy days in Dublin is 150 - and that includes many hours of rain when cyclists are safely tucked up in bed. But, of course, the Ryanair millionaire has always been ahead of the Healy-Raes in his scepticism about global warming.
"Nobody can argue that there isn't climate change, the climate has been changing since time immemorial," he said in an interview in the 'Independent' in 2010. "Do I believe there is global warming? No, I believe it's all a load of bulls***."
So there you have it. God is in charge of the weather and Taximan O'Leary is in charge of transport. And it would be advisable for cyclists and believers in climate change to stay indoors until further notice.