Ploughing: Mega-watt Marty steals Micheal's limelight
THERE was gridlock on the roads, motorways and boreens leading to Ratheniska yesterday. The traffic was banjaxed, bumper-to-bumper, up in a heap, in a state of chassis.
And that was just the posse of politicians heading to Co Laois.
Maybe it was the benign weather. Or perhaps it was the benign vibes which had emanated from the massive 81,000-strong multitude wandering contentedly the previous day around the pop-up metropolis that is the Ploughing Championship, but a veritable convoy of cabinet ministers stampeded on to the site yesterday like a herd of eager wildebeest, wellies in one hand and rural family-tree in the other.
However, the leader of the pack was former junior minister Lucinda Creighton who dwells in that well-known rural constituency, Dublin Bay South.
Lucinda had dropped by the RTE outside broadcast studio to announce to Sean O'Rourke that the new Reform Alliance (RA) gang would be opposing the abolition of the Seanad in next week's referendum, saying she was unimpressed that ex-boss Enda was balking at participating in a Seanad debate. "I think the Taoiseach is very motivated by this, I think that he has genuine conviction on it. My view is that if you have a passionate view about something you get out and debate it," she reckoned.
Shortly afterwards Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, who dwells in that well-known rural constituency Dublin West, materialised. And what brought Joan to the farming festival? "The department plays a huge role in the life of rural and urban communities," she announced.
Aha, that explained it.
Then Joan went for a walkabout, stopping every few yards to have her photo taken with passers-by. And who did she bump into outside the Enterprise Ireland marquee, except her colleagues, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, who were about to embark on a canvass for the Seanad.