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Alan has lead role in 'Fifty Shades of Sorry'

Alan was ready. It was hard. Hard to say sorry to the blond to whom he had caused such pain (and not in a good way).

How had he – master of the police, army, judiciary/ number one 'Star Trek' fan/ author of a novel full of romping – ended up the leading man in his own drama, 'Fifty Shades of Sorry?'

He was being attacked from all sides this week. Yesterday, his raunchy book 'Laura' had been referred to the Censorship office – a full 24 years after he had written it.

Why was he being punished so? All he had done was mention live on TV that deputy Mick Wallace had received a caution from gardai last May for using his mobile phone in his car.

An orgy of recrimination followed, and now Alan was in an impossible tangle with an angry blond deputy and his tempestuous red-headed friend. People were calling for his head.

Alan slowly entered the chamber to submit himself to a strict grilling from deputies determined to get to the truth.

Alan read out his statement. But sorry, it seemed, was the hardest word. There was an apology of sorts but, like the wily Justice Minister, it was hard to pin down. "If Deputy Wallace feels that I did him some personal wrong by mentioning it, then I have no problem in saying I am sorry," he declared.

The Opposition were unmoved, and showed him no mercy. "You set yourself up as judge, jury and executioner of a political opponent," lashed out Fianna Fail's Niall Collins.

And Sinn Fein's Padraig MacLochlainn reckoned that Alan had formed "an unhealthy relationship" with none other than the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callanan.

And then he was confronted by the indignant blond. "You say minister, that you released my name in the public interest. Are you serious? Do you think people believe you? I don't think so," said Mick. "Minister, it's not us undermining the Garda Siochana. It's you".

Alan was unwavering in his self-belief and confidence. Submission was for other people. Every muscle in his body ached for justice. He had done no wrong, the information he had received about Mick had been merely "an aside in a conversation".

There had been "nothing sinister" about it, he insisted. "The incident in relation to Deputy Wallace was mentioned by the Garda Commissioner," he added.

Now poor Martin Callanan had been dragged into Alan's Room of Pain. Then Clare Daly invoked the L-word. (Lying).

Across on the Fine Gael benches, the loyal Bernard Durkan rose to Alan's defence, demanding that the L-word be withdrawn. Clare changed the word to "untruth".

Alan wasn't taking his beating lying down. He was the minister, dominant over his domain. He went on the attack, reading aloud a letter from deputy Ming Flanagan who had become caught up in the penalty points imbroglio himself.

Alan talked down the clock, reading out the letter. In the far corner, Clare and Mick and Ming were outraged, but were powerless to force a straight reply. Michael Healy-Rae was outraged. "It's a sinister and dark time in Irish politics," he gasped.

Alan wouldn't rise to the jibe. Nobody beats him up.

Anyway, it was time for a new whipping-boy. Step forward, Garda Commissioner, it's your turn for a spot of punishment.

Irish Independent