Sunday 17 November 2019

Orange is the new green for Enda as Taoiseach has his day in the sun

Niall O'Connor

As the Taoiseach polished off a serving of caramel pie in the ballroom of Washington's Capitol Building, he caught a glance of a familiar face from home.

Gerry Adams, the man who Enda claims is "well aware" of the scale of the IRA sex abuse scandal, had decided to come to town.

It was the first time the bitter rivals had laid eyes on each other since Enda launched a ferocious attack on a party now under siege from sex abuse allegations.

But if the St Patrick's Day presence of the Sinn Féin president unsettled Enda, he made damn sure he didn't show it.

For this was his day.

The Taoiseach was the star of the show. He knew it, and so did Gerry.

As Enda rose to his feet to address the who's who of US politics, he may have been blinded by the colour of the tie being sported by a middle-aged gentleman sitting directly under one of the room's extravagant chandeliers.

The garment was, at best, bright orange and, at worst, a peculiar shade of tangerine.

And orange certainly became the new green during the St Patrick's Day festivities - thanks to none other than the vice-president of the United States.

Joe Biden had a foot-in-mouth moment outside his Washington residence as he greeted his would-be golf buddy Enda and his wife Fionnuala.

"If you're wearing orange, you're not welcome in here," Biden said, before the crucial interjection of "Only joking".

Joe's orange gaffe turned Enda's face bright red.

Fionnuala smiled politely as Joe quickly realised his unfortunate joke was going to create a different colour altogether among unionists back home.

Inside Number One Observatory Circle, the question of whether Enda even has a surname became the topic of discussion.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick quipped that during a recent visit to Ireland, people would say "Enda did this, Enda did that".

The effusive praise followed the Fine Gael leader through the gates of the White House, as President Barack Obama said the only area of difficulty with Enda is "finding things we disagree on".

If only Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin could say the same.

Irish Independent

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