Tuesday 12 December 2017

Jenda gives a little lift to sombre ceremony

Lise Hand

OMG -- it's Jedward's Da! Or it could be, given the gravity-defying vertical blonde locks and the bemused expression in the baby-blue eyes.

So has our Taoiseach decided to get down with the kids in manner of toe-curlingly embarrassing uncles everywhere by lashing in the hair-gel and learning off the lyrics to 'Lipstick'? Or did someone just tell him that TBFKAA (The Bank Formerly Known As Anglo) requires another 50 billion scoots to stay afloat?

Neither of the above, thank goodness. Enda was just having that unfortunate coiffure-related malfunction dreaded by women everywhere -- the Bad Hair Day.

He was at the 1916 commemoration ceremony at Arbour Hill in Dublin yesterday -- his first as Taoiseach -- and he simply fell victim to the blustery wind that gusted throughout the ceremony in the church grounds.

The annual event was also attended by President Mary McAleese and most of the Cabinet (the majority of whom arrived, economically, en masse by minibus) and a large gathering of TDs and relatives of those who fought and died in the Rising.

Also among the 300-strong guests were Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Chief Justice John Murray, Attorney General Maire Whelan and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen.

The ceremony was preceded by Mass, which was attended by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who delivered the homily, in which he paid tribute to those who had died in 1916.

"We remember the fears and the tears, and the dreams and the courage which filled the lives of many families as they courageously took their part in what was to be a decisive moment in the destiny of the Irish nation and its people," he said.

Dr Martin also sounded a note of warning. "Our celebration this year is one of hope, but also one of realism.

"The economic situation in which the nation finds itself and the dramatic social costs that this will entail should forewarn all of us against any haughtiness about who we are and where we stand."

After the mass, Mrs McAleese laid a wreath in the adjoining cemetery where the leaders of the Rising are buried.

Afterwards, the Taoiseach returned to Leinster House to take leaders' questions in the Dail before leaving for a two-day visit to New York, which kicks off with a gala dinner hosted by the American Ireland Fund.

Let's hope he threw a bit of hair-gel into the oul' suitcase.

Irish Independent

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