Mooney goes wild for Paddywackery
Derek Mooney is a one-man Paddywackery industry. Last week, Mooney's radio show organised the breaking of the world record for the largest gathering of people dressed as leprechauns, when 250 individuals in full fairy-folk regalia convened at Dublin's Grand Canal Square.
The venture beat the record established by American chatshow host Jay Leno, who assembled 224 people in leprechaun attire at the NBC studios in California on Patrick's Day last. "It's great to bring the record home to Ireland; the spiritual home of leprechauns," declared Mooney.
The RTÉ broadcaster's weakness for tourist-trapping blarney and codology is no passing fancy. In the run-up to the US president's visit, Mooney could be seen buckleppin' around Moneygall, playing up to all the worst stereotypes with an Oirish ditty of cringe-inducing hokiness ("Tooraloo, tooraloo, tooralama, welcome home President Barack Obama!").
Mooney may believe that such shameless gombeenism will lead him to the pot o' gold at the end of the populism rainbow but, as far as most people are concerned, it's much more likely to earn him a bucket o' scorn.