Wednesday 21 February 2018

Why Olivia, rachael and pat get my number one vote

It's finally all over. After months of anticipation, edgily waiting for news of form, progress, ground made, the end has come and we have an undisputed winner.

Yep, that Tipperary victory over Cork in the Munster championship sure was something, wasn't it? And a welcome diversion from the all-encompassing presence of the election. Sorry, elections -- European, local and two Dublin by-elections were decided this week.

At the time of writing, the results weren't known, which is a bit of a pity because, despite an almost pathological aversion to politics -- and especially politicians -- I am something of a results junkie.

It's undeniably exciting radio, listening to the tsunami of stats, basking in the wisdom of collected analysts as they explain where the biggest swings occurred and how the hell they got their predictions so completely wrong.

Anyway, this weekend and on into next week will doubtless provide plenty of that. In the meantime, allow me to raise my hat/glass/whatever to the bulk of radio stations, both local and national, that devoted a goodly amount of airtime to the big event over the last month or so.

Obviously RTE Radio 1 was head and shoulders above the rest -- not a slight on the rest, I may say, merely the inevitable expression of the greater resources available to RTE.

I especially enjoyed Rachael English's round-table discussion on Late Debate with some independent candidates, a very interesting insight into the challenges of running without the support of a party machine.

I also liked Olivia O'Leary's evocative essay on Shay Brennan's battle to capture his late father's seat in Dublin South (Drivetime) against George Lee and, mentioned here last week, Pat Kenny's superlative series of debates with candidates. Two very different approaches, both enlightening in their own way.

But oh, how tired you eventually get of listening to the same voices blabbering on about the same thing. God, if I had to hear one more discussion of Mary Lou McDonald's attendance record in Brussels, I wouldn't be responsible for what I'd do.

But thankfully it's finished now. Well, until Lisbon II and a seemingly inexorable general election, that is ...

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