Wednesday 21 February 2018

It's marmite for Mary Lou as Ming gets rolling for Europe

Aisling Nolan and Ann Broughan brought a blow-up doll to a hen party, but got caught up in the election in Kilkenny. Picture: PAT MOORE
Aisling Nolan and Ann Broughan brought a blow-up doll to a hen party, but got caught up in the election in Kilkenny. Picture: PAT MOORE
Ciaran Cuffe, former Green Party deputy
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

One can only imagine how boring this election count would have been if Bertie Ahern's notorious electronic voting machines had actually worked.

At the flick of a button at 11pm on the Friday of the poll every local result would have been known.

But with the Italians apparently delaying the announcement of Euro results until last night, and bleary-eyed officials and party people up until all hours shuffling bits of paper, this has seemed like the longest count since King Herod rounded up the kids in Israel.

Pat Rabbitte described a defeat of biblical proportions.

"I don't think if John the Baptist was leading the Labour party into this election it would have made any difference."

Floating Voter is not sure if this reference to the hapless New Testament figure will be any help to his leader.

It is surely only a matter of time before Mr Gilmore's backbenchers go looking for a head on a plate.


In the election battle of the radio stations, Newstalk fared well, learning from previous outings that you have to get on air early and often to win over listeners.

Presenter Shane Coleman seemed to take up a breakfast theme when he was gently grilling some of our politicians on Sunday as if they were choice pieces of bacon.

He told Ruairi Quinn: "Sinn Fein is eating your porridge."

And then it was the turn of Mary Lou McDonald, who might have hoped to bask in her party's electoral success.

Shane: "You are the political equivalent of Marmite."

Mary Lou: "I've been called many things, but Marmite is a first."


Good old Joan Burton has a way with words. She had everyone reaching for their dictionaries when she said: "The Labour Party has taken a shellacking."

The Twitterati seemed to be under the impression that it was something to do with finger nails. But Floating Voter's well-thumbed Merriam Webster dictionary defines the word as "a decisive defeat, a drubbing".

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Mark Moloney observed a lot of very worried Labour staff and councillors milling around the RDS.

"(They're) waiting for Joan Burton to burst in and start handing them out JobBridge forms."


Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, now bound for Europe, is renowned for his generosity.

Close followers of his career will know that he once sent 200 cannabis joints to members of the Oireachtas.

Will he repeat this generous gesture in Europe and send a reefer to each of the 766 MEPs?

As our stoner friends might say: "That would be a lot of blow!"

Meanwhile, Newstalk presenter Sarah Carey somehow referred to the TD as "Luke Minnegan", which led some in the count centre to talk of him growing whiskers on chin again, and going to Brussels, and having to begin again.


Floating Voter has a maverick spirit but is not sure what to make of the boom in the number of Independents elected

As @Cairotango puts it via Twitter: "Imagine 30 more shouty independents roaring about fluoride, bogs, potholes, vaccines, the 'gay agenda', baby Jesus, and oestrogen in the rivers."

That would indeed be a matter of grave concern.


There were organic dandelion wine corks flying across South Dublin (or was it elderflower?) as the Greens made a comeback. As well as a good show by leader Eamon Ryan in the Euros, Ciaran Cuffe was elected to Dublin City council, and there were other victories.

On the way to the count, Cuffe was pondering what the term for "tallymen" should be in this politically correct age. He suggested "tallyers".

RTE referred to these political obsessives who get their kicks looking over shoulders at used ballot papers as "tallypeople".

Another suggestion was "tally-hoes", but we are not sure that works. If they're on Twitter they are probably known as "tallytweeps".


Every election count has its longueurs. Floating Voter’s team of observers at the count in Kilkenny therefore welcomed the arrival of a naked inflated gentleman.

This was not some protest against inflation, but a hen party that wandered into the count with the blow-up doll.

The enthusiastic posse, including Ann Broughan and Aisling Nolan, from Tullow, Co Carlow, arrived into the midst of the politicians at the Springhill Court Hotel.

They were planning to dispatch their blow-up chap to the bed of bride-to-be Aidy Foley from Myshall.

One should be grateful that this particular hen party didn’t hire a male stripper.

Meanwhile, our man at another count centre overheard the comments of the wife of a local candidate and mother of a large family: “If you can't beat Fianna  Fail you outbreed them.”

Yes – we’re puzzled as well.


* @dotski Given his track record, thought Eamonn Coghlan would've come 4th #OneForTheOldies

* A tongue-in-cheek take on Sinn Fein’s surge in Dublin, as told by Damien O’Connor on Twitter: “BREAKING: Dublin City Council puts forward motion to remove all alarms and security measures from banks.”

Irish Independent Supplement

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