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Candidate makes ultimate election sacrifice at altar of Enda

THE things people do for God. The unshakeable belief in a higher being -- the being the righteous believe will give them salvation -- can lead men and women to take risks and lay it all on the line.

To me and you, he's Enda, Inda, the next Taoiseach. To some Fine Gaelers in Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo -- he's "God".

"Are you up there to see God?" asked one senior blueshirt when told of Enda's trip to Sligo yesterday.

Not that many were flocking to pray at God's feet yesterday in Sligo. Nobody was rushing through the crowds to see the future Taoiseach.

It was half five before we saw Enda grab a baby.

But there was one disciple who was making serious sacrifices for God.

Fine Gael Sligo-North Leitrim TD John Perry had been given the onerous task of bringing in a running mate by Enda and Big Phil Hogan, FG's director of elections.

So John is breaking up the three-seat constituency and allowing councillor Tony McLoughlin to have a free run in certain areas.

It's a cross he'll bear -- but not lightly, mind you. He's a martyr for the blueshirt cause and won't let people forget it.

"I will not canvass in Sligo, even though I have had an office here in Sligo for 14 years," said John at the first station of the cross, a rally in Sligo town.

"I have an agreement with the leader."

Sombre nods all around. Such sacrifice.

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"I'm happy to allocate two-thirds of the constituency to Tony," he told another crowd of blueshirts at the second station, party offices in Manorhamilton. "I will honour the deal I signed with the leader."

All were emotional after witnessing this triumph of the human character.

"I want to thank you, John Perry, for what you have just said," said God, sorry Enda, before thanking everyone for being so mature.

Tears were nearly shed.

And then in his hometown of Ballymote, John whinged for the third and final time.

"I have given two-thirds of the constituency -- TWO-THIRDS," he said. "I have taken that risk."

The emotion flooded over the crowd, which was the most sizeable one of the day.

But not all in Ballymote were impressed with God.

"He's much smaller, it's like when I went to Lourdes to see Mother Teresa," said one woman.

God, Mother Teresa. . . he's a lot to live up to.