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Noonan would love to meet super Mario impersonator


Sarah Hardiman, of the UL Debating Union, with Mr Noonan last night

Sarah Hardiman, of the UL Debating Union, with Mr Noonan last night

Sarah Hardiman, of the UL Debating Union, with Mr Noonan last night

THE master of the one-liner and the politician beloved by impersonators has admitted he would like to meet the comic best known for taking him off.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan was last night honoured by the University of Limerick (UL) Debating Union with honorary life membership.

But after a busy week, which included intense negotiations with ECB President Mario Draghi and EU Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn, it was the name of Mario Rosenstock which drew a smile from Mr Noonan last night at UL.

Ever since the heady days of 'Scrap Saturday' when Dermot Morgan colourfully mimicked the Limerick TD, Mr Noonan has found himself at the centre of various sketches.

He even contacted the 'Late Late Show' one night to speak live on air with Morgan -- who at the time was in full flow impersonating the Finance Minister.

During a questions-and-answers session last night, journalism student Brian O'Connor asked was it true Mr Noonan had asked Mr Rosenstock to include him on his 'Gift Grub' sketches.

"I'm not denying, I'm not confirming anything," Mr Noonan laughed.

"I hear him occasionally alright, I enjoy him. I'd like to meet him some time. I hear his grandfather is from Kilfinane a long time ago -- so he has Limerick connections," he added.

A week after finding himself at the centre of a controversy following remarks about emigration, Mr Noonan told the UL students they were fortunate to be in third-level education.

"You are lucky to be in college. You are kind of sheltered from the storm -- the economic storm," Mr Noonan said.

He admitted that the country was in a "precarious position" because of the economic crisis and said the students were living in a very difficult world. However, Mr Noonan said he is confident for their future and the welfare of the country.

"Stick at what you are doing. Develop your education and by the time you graduate, the country will be lifting again," he said.

The UL debating union awards life membership to those whom they consider have contributed to public life and discourse.

Previous recipients include former Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald and economist Max Keiser.

Irish Independent