Ten things we learned from Enda's appearance on TV3
Kevin Doyle took note of 10 things we learned about our leader today
Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a rare television appearance on the Ireland AM couch today to talk about the marriage referendum, Irish Water and his breakfast.
Here is what we learned:
Enda Kenny is not allergic to Vincent Browne
Their feud goes back over three decades and has turned particularly bitter in recent years but the Taoiseach doesn’t have a ‘vampire versus garlic’ relationship with Vincent Browne.
Kenny was stung by a savaging from TV presenter in the early 1980s, when the journalist said the future Fine Gael leader "purports to be" a TD.
In more recent times there was the ‘dark room, bottle of whiskey and gun incident’ but the Taoiseach says he hold no grudge.
“I’m not allergic to Vincent Browne. I see him in the Dáil all the time,” he told us.
The election is still scheduled for next spring
Speculation has mounted in recent weeks that an autumn election could be sprung on us - but the Taoiseach still thinks otherwise.
Enda reckons that he will spend the next year being accused of election stunts though.
He says that “no matter what” he does now people will assume it’s an election ploy. Speaking of which he resurrected that old nugget from the last campaign about Ireland being “the best small country to do business”.
He also reckons the Brits had a great election altogether.
Phil Hogan was never in charge of Irish Water
In case you hadn’t figured this one out for yourself.
The Taoiseach was reasonably unflappable this morning - except when asked about Irish Water. Maybe he didn’t see that coming?
Mark Cagney wondered if Enda could do it all again was Phil Hogan the right man to put in charge of setting up the controversy ridden utility.
“Um, eh, eh...(long pause)….” was the reply. Eventually the Taoiseach told us that Phil Hogan was never really in charge of Irish Water (honest speak or political rhetoric - you decide). He put ‘Big Phil’ in charge of the Department of Environment but Irish Water was a “separately owned public body”. Glad that’s cleared up so. Worth remembering that Phil is in charge of agriculture for all of Europe now.
The marriage vote will be a lot closer than opinion polls suggest
The Irish Independent ran a story on Monday about the growing ‘silent No’ and it seems the Taoiseach agrees that the marriage referendum is far from won. “I can’t call it,” he said, while pleading with people not to turn against their own ‘kit and kin’.
“I think it will be closer than original polls indicated,” Mr Kenny said, before musing: “No referendum can be passed unless people vote for it.” Wise words.
A woman approached Enda the other day...
It took until 8.21am for the Taoiseach to tell us a story about a man/child/dog/beast/ghost he met.
In the interests of equality this time it was a woman who approached him. She has four children and is happily married. When one of her sons came out as gay she cried for six months. Everything is ok now though and she is voting ‘Yes’.
Mr Kenny said that it was the “stories of ordinary people” that have brought him on a personal journey from being against same-sex marriage to leading the campaign in its favour.
People ring Enda from abroad asking if it’s OK to come home
Remember that time Enda said that people could ring him on his personal mobile any time. Well the ‘agony uncle’ business is flying. Sons and daughters who were exiled during the recession aren’t so much phoning home, as phoning Enda to find out if it’s OK to come home.
“I get calls myself from abroad asking ‘is it time to come back now’,” the Taoiseach revealed.
Everybody likes a good football metaphor
Enda was asked about his legacy. He doesn’t care about it. There’s no ‘I’ in team and all that.
He said the country “cannot run backwards” - which to be fair can be dangerous. “We powering on here,” the Mayo enthused in a way that only a GAA coach who is three points up at half-time can.
Modestly he wouldn’t take any credit for the attacking style of the economic recovery though.
“You can have all the managers you like if the team doesn’t want to play - Government and the people - together then it doesn’t work,” he said.
We wonder if he is giving tips to Martin O’Neill on that Jack Grealish situation.
The Taoiseach is “as fit as a butcher’s dog”
That was the opinion of Mark Cagney. Since we didn’t actually see Enda do anything except sit on a couch for most of the morning we’ll have to take Mark’s word for it.
The Taoiseach is 64 but said he’ll keep going as long as the voters let him.
“If my stands up and I’ve an opportunity to serve in the next Government I will,” he said.
The guards won’t ask you that...but the answer is porridge and fruit at 6.30am.
Enda’s breakfast routine is very defined. He has porridge with raisins and an apple or banana every morning. It sets him up for the day.
The Taoiseach looked more comfortable answering questions about public sector pay talks than he did fully suited in the kitchen. “I could destroy any kitchen,” he told us, adding that his wife Fionnuala runs things at home.
“Of course I can boil an egg and cinderise [sic] the sausages as the lads tell me,” he laughed.
You have to starve the Cabinet sometimes
The Taoiseach was told he could bring the scones he helped bake back to Leinster House to impress Joan, Leo and Michael. They are meeting to discuss a new plan to deal with the mortgage crisis today.
However, as he sliced into a “light and airy” one with butter and raspberry jam for himself, the Taoiseach declined to share.
“You have to starve the Cabinet every so often. You wouldn’t want them going around over feed,” he said.
So at least we know that Mr Kenny is leading by example when it comes to dealing with the obesity crisis