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Monday 20 November 2017

I think we're lost Ted: Taoiseach leads way to lingerie aisles

Gay Mitchell
with wife
Norma and
Enda Kenny
in the
section of
in Cork.
Gay Mitchell with wife Norma and Enda Kenny in the lingerie section of Debenham’s in Cork.
Ted and Dougal take a wrong turn.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

FOR the second time in 24 hours, Taoiseach Enda Kenny got his knickers in a twist.

On Thursday, Mr Kenny and Fine Gael's presidential hopeful, Gay Mitchell, raised eyebrows amongst their entourage by deciding to canvass a sex shop in Limerick.

Yesterday, Mr Kenny led Mr Mitchell and a 40-strong FG canvassing team into the relatively conservative environs of Debenham's flagship store on Patrick Street in Cork -- and then missed a left turn and unwittingly marched his party faithful straight into the lingerie department.


The sight of basques, suspenders and frilly knickers brought the entire FG entourage to an embarrassed halt -- before a quick U-turn saw Mr Kenny, one MEP, two TDs, assembled councillors and bemused Young FG members back to the safety of the perfume department.

"Flying by the seat of your panties," one wit giggled.

But a FG councillor replied rapier-like: "Let's just hope he (Gay Mitchell) will be Dolce & Gabbana" as he pointed to an advert overhead for a D&G perfume entitled 'The One'.

It was just like a famous scene in a 'Fr Ted' episode when the priests inadvertently stumble into a department store lingerie department and can't find a way out.

Just 100 metres away in the English market there was the traditional photo at Kay O'Connell's fish mongers where Pat O'Connell -- who shot to fame thanks to his iconic snap last May with Queen Elizabeth -- duly delivered PR fodder for FG.

He handed both Mr Mitchell and Mr Kenny white fish mongers' hats and coats before shoving a giant salmon towards them while proclaiming: "A safe pair of hands."

Mr Mitchell smiled though -- perhaps to the relief of his presidential rivals -- he appeared somewhat hesitant when he was then handed a fish-gutting knife.

The FG canvassers lapped it all up -- but the smiles faded just seconds later.

As Mr Kenny exited the market to walk onto Oliver Plunkett Street, he stopped to greet pedestrian Finbarr Coffey only to be challenged on the Coalition's job-creation policies.

Handlers exchanged anxious glances as the media -- microphones in hand -- quickly gathered as Mr Kenny politely tried to answer Mr Coffey's queries before trying to direct him towards Cork TD Dara Murphy (FG).

"Will you see to it that we follow through," Mr Kenny instructed his TD as he edged towards the street.

"All it needs, Mr Kenny, is for somebody to sit down and look at the figures -- the problem is that the small employers cannot get money off the banks. If they can get 75pc of the dole into their hands it is creating a job and saving 25pc for you," a dogged Mr Coffey declared, determined not to let Mr Kenny away lightly.

"We are going to bring in micro-finance for very small operators," Mr Kenny assured him, his handlers now desperate to get their boss back onto the street.

"You are talking about spending €1bn creating jobs -- look at my proposal. It's going to save you money instead of spending money.

"It's going to save you 25pc on every job created -- employment is a big problem," Mr Coffey insisted as the FG scrum finally rolled away.

Having clearly had enough lingerie for one day, Mr Kenny returned to the more traditional stopover with a quick visit to the Marymount Hospice charity shop.

Irish Independent

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