Wednesday 22 November 2017

Floating Voter 1: Kelly's 'Premier Pen' has got the Tipp to kick-start the election

Alan Kelly signing the election order with a Thomas Adlum pen
Alan Kelly signing the election order with a Thomas Adlum pen

Compiled by Cormac McQuinn

Forget jobs for Nenagh and grants for soccer clubs, Minister Alan Kelly is so Tipperary he signed the polling day order for the election with a pen hewn from a yew tree which was felled in a churchyard in the tiny village of Castleiney.

Wielding the 'Premier pen' Mr Kelly did his duty as Environment Minister and signed off on the February 26 election day, posting a snap on Facebook while wishing candidates "across the political spectrum" the "best of luck".

Local master woodturner Thomas Adlum - who made the pen - was chuffed at its small part in history. "It's a nice surprise," he told the Floating Voter, explaining that he has been commissioned to make a number of items for Mr Kelly who has given them as gifts to dignitaries on trips abroad.

"I've done a few pieces for him now. He brought some pieces out to China there . . . It's always a great honour to be asked," said the Templemore craftsman with more than 30 years experience in his profession.

Michael Lowry and Mattie McGrath will surely be his next patriotic customers.


For anyone who's ever wondered what Willie O'Dea's moustache feels like, one intrepid reporter found out.

Newstalk's Henry McKean was out on the hustings with the hirsute Fianna Fáil stalwart - and the face it's attached to - and got up enough courage to ask for a feel.

"The moustache itself is quite big and bushy. Do you mind if I touch it?" he said, assuring Willie his hands were clean.

"It's quite bristly," was the insight he offered listeners.


'Tis the season for election songs, and Donegal Independent Tim Jackson has provided the latest - admittedly quite funny - atrocity. Sung to the tune of country legend Johnny Cash's 'Jackson' it cleverly alters the words to "We're voting for Jackson". The music video posted online features a mish-mash of Jackson at work chopping logs, photos from the country's A&Es, a closed Garda station and pictures of cats. Everybody now: "We're voting for Jaaaaacksonn..."

They said what!?

Tánaiste Joan Burton:

“He’s an incredibly obedient employee.”

Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly:

“I agree absolutely that Joan is my boss

‘Frisky’ election poster warning

Dublin City Council has sent a warning letter over an election poster - to bookies Paddy Power - as no planning permission was sought. It posted an image of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin embracing on the side of a city building and is offering 13/8 odds on the unlikely coalition.

Paddy Power hasn't got the letter yet but is delighted with the poster of what it says "would be the most shocking hook-up . . .since Miley and Fidelma got frisky in the barn".

The Tweeting voter

Tie wars totally won by #michaeld... Eat your heart out #ElChapo #GE16

- Will Hanafin @willhanafin

Irish Independent

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