| 14.2°C Dublin

Kenny glosses over 'plagiarism' row during visit to paint factory

IT was the perfect opportunity to gloss over 'borrowing' part of President Barack Obama's famous speech.

During a visit to a paint factory yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to an audience of workers who were primed for a speech with a dash of historical colour and an upbeat finish.

And what he delivered -- like the paint he was launching -- was 100pc Irish.

Even his biggest doubter could hardly claim Enda copied references to painting the house for the 'stations' from one of Mr Obama's Chicago speeches.

The Taoiseach entertained the workers in the Colortrend premises in Celbridge, Co Kildare, with his own account of the perils of being "asked" to paint a wall or a door.

He didn't say who had asked him -- but we can only presume it must have been Fionnuala.

"First of all, the brush is hard as a rock, and secondly, you got to the can of paint and there's a skin on it that's half an inch thick," he said.

It's been a great week for paint companies, with another well-known firm 'cleaning up' in free publicity after its donation of paint to local householders in Moneygall.

Enda was more than happy to agree to the request by Colortrend to perform a test on how easy it was to clean off stains from its new "toughest paint in Ireland".

There was a hush as the Taoiseach started trying to rub off pink marker stains from a white-painted board marked "competitor".

Even local Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan was silent. But there were signs of relief when Enda managed to clean the stain off Colortrend's ceramic matt paint much quicker.

And Bernard found his voice again. "That worked all right," he boomed.

Then it was time for Enda to throw in some political and historical colour into his speech. He spoke about how the company was located in a former Famine workhouse, dating back to 1841.

"When you think of their history and the hardship and the penury and the grief-stricken people who came into this old building in its original state -- and you think that in 2011 it's now a thriving, fully owned Irish company employing 65 people," he said.

The Taoiseach then applied a few finishing touches to his Kildare paint job.

He got applause from the workers when he told them that the company's paint had been used to decorate his office. And then he got Mary Kate Costello, the five-year-old daughter of the company's HR manager, to help him cut the red tape placed in front of buckets of paint.

The ease with which Enda has overcome the Obama 'plagarism' controversy is reminiscent of our 'Teflon Taoiseach', Bertie.

But the 'Ceramic Matt Taoiseach' doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Irish Independent