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Brady hopes to raise party from the dead with God on side

You'd think that having chosen a life of silence and contemplative prayer behind the walls of an enclosed order, you might be safe from this sort of thing.

But no -- in these days of the faltering Fianna Fail dynasty, every last vote is being chased by desperate politicians who rightly suspect that they may soon be out on their ear.

And so the poor Redemptorist sisters at the Monastery of St Alphonsus on St Alphonsus Road in Dublin's Drumcondra had the pleasure of a visit from an unlikely pair of wet and windswept buckos -- Bertie Ahern, back in the crumpled old anorak that he managed to snatch from the black plastic bags of Celia Larkin's makeover -- and his hapless protege Cyprian Brady.

Trying to live peacefully amid the ruins of the fiefdom of St Luke's? Just what do the nuns expect?

It seems that the dynamic duo were hoping for a bit of divine intervention to raise Lazarus from the political tomb just one more time.

After all, despite netting himself just 939 first preference votes last time, Cyprian managed to desperately clutch on to Bertie's anorak-tails and ride all the way home to a comfy seat in Leinster House.

Left to his own devices, it would take a little more than a first-class miracle for him to be so lucky this time around.

And so Bertie has come out of his cupboard to give Cyprian a "bit of a dig-out".

A spokesperson for Cyprian's campaign insisted that the visit wasn't a set up and that Cyprian had simply "banged on the door", told the nuns he was canvassing and was welcomed in with "open arms".

The two awkwardly grinning lads spent half an hour with the nuns , an empty table planted between them as is always the case when visitors drop in on nuns from an enclosed order.

The nuns had "a couple of questions" for Bertie and Cyprian but the pair didn't stay for tea.

"Cyprian and the team were anxious to get on," explained the spokesperson who claimed that the campaign was "going well".

Word on the street, however, is that things are going far from well on the hustings for Cyprian -- despite the noble charity of the good sisters.

Irish Independent