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John Boland: Enda's swinging hard at a dream shot for victory

Asked if Enda Kenny would make a good Taoiseach, Micheal lamely conceded 'he could'

GOLF, of all things, leapt to Enda Kenny's mind yesterday morning when Newstalk's Chris Donoghue asked him about the probable outcome for Fine Gael in Friday's election.

All Enda could think of was a 280-yard shot that Seve Ballesteros had once landed onto the 17th green at Mount Juliet -- a feat so extraordinary, according to Enda, that a sign saying 'Dream on!' now marked the spot.

No, I've no idea what he was getting at either. But obviously the image -- or the venue, at least -- lingered with Chris's co-host, Irish Independent columnist Ivan Yates, who used it a few minutes later when interviewing Micheal Martin, asking him if the party faithful were not "sick to the stomach" of leaders "more interested in playing golf at Mount Juliet" than in doing the right thing for Fianna Fail and country.

Micheal insisted, as is his wont these days, that his mission was "to renew Fianna Fail", only for Ivan to argue that the outgoing government's hurried appointment of pals to state boards showed that "the cronyism continues".

"Fair point," Micheal conceded, but that didn't appease Ivan.

"Do you think Enda Kenny would make a good Taoiseach?" Ivan cruelly asked, Micheal lamely conceding that "he could".

A few hours later, Labour leader Eamon Gilmore was finally admitting that Enda actually would be the next Taoiseach. So much for the man born to be king.

Regular Pat Kenny show contributor Marie Louise O'Donnell, who always sounds as if she's on a cocktail of speed and laughing gas, had been on the south Kerry campaign trail.

There was no stopping Marie Louise as she rhapsodised about "driving through valleys of tweed" and wondered: "Why would anyone want to leave it?"

Well, maybe to escape the electoral overtures of John O'Donoghue and Michael Healy-Rae, though Marie Louise, who sees only the good in everyone, thought that John was "fighting for his life with great dignity".

Not to mention great wit, John apparently being a killer at the side-splitting jokes, of which Marie Louise offered two examples: "Ever since the Greens took over we've had snow in Kerry" and "Ireland needs the Greens like a slug needs lettuce".

Maybe it's the way he tells them. . .

As for the bould Michael -- "all that energy in the wind and the rain", Marie Louise marvelled. She's not short of it herself.

On RTE1's 'Campaign Trail', Eamon Gilmore was insisting that "if people want balanced government, they need to vote for Labour".

What he meant was that people should vote for Labour to save it from humiliation.

On the same programme, Labour elder statesman Fergus Finlay and PR guru Terry Prone were telling Bryan Dobson that politicians needed to be careful when trying to get on front pages.

"Avoid people lurking suspiciously with eggs and red paint," Fergus rather redundantly advised.

"Don't allow your candidates to be photographed eating or having anything put on their heads," Terry counselled.

Or obviously, given the general level of debate, even in their heads, though Terry didn't say that.

Irish Independent