Defeated and gutted: how Kenny shaped the future on a bleak day in Castlebar
It was May 2007, the weather was balmy, the economic climate was in a state of blissful stillness before the approaching storms, and the general election campaign was in full swing.
Up and down the streets, boreens and housing estates of the 26 counties, voters suddenly found their hands being shaken energetically, their babies kissed, their small children high-fived by a smiling, sandy-haired fella eager to chat.
Some of them recognised Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael and wannabe Taoiseach, but many did not. Despite the fact that he had been around Dáil Éireann for over two decades and had been leader of the party for five years since its catastrophic result in the previous election in 2002, the Mayoman hadn't intruded much upon the public consciousness.