Saturday 16 December 2017

Brendan O'Connor: I'll run for Prez coz I'm worth it

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Well, Marian, in the absence of any other inspiring candidate emerging, I have reluctantly agreed to throw my hat in the ring.

Not, you understand, because I think I would be a great President, though I do, obviously, but because so many people have contacted me and told me I would be a great President.

I am obviously deeply humbled by all this, and when I say humbled, like most people who use the word, I mean the opposite. And I just feel I would be letting down all these people if I didn't run. They said I am great and I should be the President. And who am I to argue with them? I wouldn't argue with my mother, who has been urging me very strongly to run. It is also true that I drew the winning ticket in a raffle in RTE for who should run.

And of course I do think I am great and I should be the President. Otherwise I wouldn't be running. I think I am the best person in Ireland. But I don't think we should dwell on that because it could make me look big-headed. But, privately, I would have to admit that I am the greatest Irish person there is and that's why I think I should be the President.

There are a lot of things that I believe I can bring to the office. True, I am not very good at commentating on GAA matches, but while I have never trumpeted my work on the peace process, privately, I am regarded by many people as one of the key architects of the peace process. Most of the work I did was behind the scenes stuff, mediating between key players -- Tommie Gorman and Tim Pat Coogan and Niall O'Dowd. Obviously, I don't want to go on about it but let's just say without me there wouldn't have been a peace process.

I am also very in touch with the diaspora and I believe I could be a key person in building bridges with them -- the fifth province. I have a brother in America and one in England and family in neighbouring Cork. I have even recently downloaded Skype so my connections with the diaspora are now much more meaningful and our toddlers can run around in the background in their knickers when they should be in bed while we talk awkwardly into our computers.

I am obviously concerned that there will be a certain amount of scrutiny into my private life but I have nothing to hide apart from drink, women, drugs and financial irregularities. But a different view was taken of things like that back then. I am also expecting that Fintan O'Toole and the Irish Times will attack me for not being left-wing, which I believe will increase my vote among the vast majority of the population who don't read the Irish Times, and indeed among the small minority who do.

Ultimately my main message is that Ireland can be what it used to be like again, just less so. So vote for me Marian, your reluctant, humble servant.

Sunday Independent

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