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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Shiny Shinner hailed a worthy winner

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

BRIAN Cowen, Eamon Gilmore, Enda Kenny -- your boys took a hell of a beating.

A shiny Shinner walloped them all yesterday as Donegal South-West rewarded the man who fought all the way to the High Court for the by-election.

Pearse Doherty -- almost as shiny as Jurry Adams' pearly whites, which were hardly back in his hairy gob yesterday since he was smiling that much -- wiped the floor with Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour and left a cranky bunch in his wake.

A sombre Eamon O Cuiv admitted his party had been "demolished" in its heartland, and Tanaiste Mary Coughlan watched as the Fianna Fail vote tumbled from the 51pc of first preferences it reached in her home constituency in 2007 to just 21pc.

A ratty Barry O'Neill of Fine Gael, who works as an RTE sports journalist, came third on first preferences behind Fianna Fail but insisted he came second, which he did by about 100 votes after transfers.

When it was pointed out to him -- by one of his RTE colleagues -- he had actually come third on first preferences, he got snotty.

"Well, I don't know where your schooling has come from young man," he said sniffily. Oooooooohhhhhh, somebody's blueshirt must have been chafing him.

Maybe he could take a leaf out of his leader's book and, when the pressure is on, just disappear for a few days, as Enda Kenny did amidst the political uproar earlier this week.


There was talk that Enda might pop up to Donegal yesterday, but he was busy with the ladies who lunch -- at the Fine Gael annual ladies' lunch, as it happens.

In a hugely disappointing performance, Labour's Frank McBrearty came last when Anne Sweeney, who pulled out of the race this week (but curiously still picked up 133 votes), was excluded. Ms Sweeney had given her passes to the count centre to Sinn Fein, which meant the Finn Valley Athletic Centre was wall to wall with Shinners.

The boisterous Frank didn't turn up to the count centre until late afternoon because he was apparently so devastated.

When he did, the victors prodded him like a matador finishing off a wounded bull and one car crash performance on television during the campaign, when Frank thought a bond cost €8, was ungraciously thrown back in his face.

"Them bonds are up to nine euro," one gloating Shinner taunted a bruised Frank, which led one of the Labour candidates' supporters to warn the heckler to watch himself.

And, despite such nasty incidents, the consensus was that Doherty was a worthy winner. Jurry, Martin McGuinness and Mary-Lou too -- they were all there, championing their man Pearse. He was eventually declared winner yesterday evening, and Jurry's pearly whites flashed like a lighthouse once again.

Jurry himself is running for election in Louth. Better tell the other TDs to invest in some sunglasses, in case they are blinded by Jurry in the Dail.

Irish Independent

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