Saturday 17 March 2018

'Hello and good night now,' lied the martyrs of fantasy

Only among the remnants of his tribe in 'election mode' could Cowen feel happy, writes Declan Lynch

A Hollywood producer wrote a book called Hello, He Lied. For anyone trying to describe the doings of the Irish Government these days, Hello, He Lied would strike just the right note. Because it evokes a land of unreality, a land of fantasy, a land devoted utterly and irredeemably to the forces of bullshit.

There was a moment last week when he stepped out of his car in Donegal to be greeted by his supporters working on the by-election, when the Taoiseach looked vaguely happy. Yet, looking at those pictures of Brian Cowen visiting his friends in Fianna Fail, you felt that if he had visited the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, he'd be more connected with reality.

It does not appeal much to him these days, the old reality. There's been nothing for him in that place called reality for a long, long time. So he doesn't go there any more. And even the physical remoteness of Donegal seemed to make it the right destination for him last week.

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