Wednesday 24 January 2018

Drumcondra Mafia pitch in after Cowen's tent cull at Galway

Barry Egan

Barry Egan

OH, you are Offaly, but I like you. Or do I? The Drumcondra Mafia -- they haven't gone away you know -- are not one bit pleased that the ungrateful f***er has cancelled their tent at the upcoming Galway Races.

"Bertie knew the importance of the Fianna Fail tent at Ballybrit," one wag told me, before adding a litle over-earnestly, "Cowen seems to be saying to the old guard of FF he doesn't give a flying fig about the the great tradition of the past."

FF's gurus in the west are, my spy continued, very concerned that the hoteliers and businessmen will blame them if there is any downturn at the Galway races this year. The Dublin branches of Fianna Fail feel that it's a further indication that the culchies have taken over.

Another interpretation of the Galway Races cull, said one St Lukes insider, is that Cowen is sending out a message that he is cutting public spending "and public drinking", he added, inexplicably.

But then again, he obviously wasn't at any of the Offaly homecomings.

"Cowen will have to sell an awful lot of raffle tickets in pub quizzes in Tullamore and beyond because the FF tent in Galway raised well over €200,000 for the party. And it is not like Biffo wasn't one of the biggest revellers in the FF tent," smiled another Drumcondra Mafiosa.

Or, as Cowen himself told Hot Press magazine in an interview last year, "I was reared in a pub -- as a young fellow, serving in the pub I learnt far more there about human nature than I learnt in any university or school. I think it gave me a great insight into people."

Meanwhile, Bertie Ahern's BF, Jerry Beades, tells me that if his claim of €30m in the courts against ACC/Rabobank is successful next month -- and with Michael McDowell as his senior counsel this would hardly be that unexpected -- he will put on a Bertie Tent at Ballybrit.

"He was the greatest Taoiseach that this country had so why not a tent at the Galway Races to honour him?" said Jerry, smiling in the Shelbourne on Thursday night. Meanwhile, The Drumcondra Mafia were out in force putting up posters of Bertie last weekend around Croke Park before the Ireland soccer game against Serbia.

There is something quite touching about these northside Bravehearts' commitment to the "real Taoiseach" in exile.

On Thursday night, they were still referring to Bertie in this way when he was in Smithfield, in the heart of his constituency, canvassing to encourage the constituents to vote "yes" to Lisbon.

My favourite Irish politican, Minister of State Conor Lenihan also gave me a yes answer when I asked him was it true that he is related by marriage to his new boss. "That's way off ... but true, yes," he told me, before saying "Let's have lunch next week.". Brian Cowen's wife, Mary Molloy is related to Conor -- and Minister of Finance Brian's mother, Ann Lenihan. "Brian Cowen has the influential Lenihan brothers as practically family," a Drumcondra joker laughed.

"They are like the spare wheel on the car. Let's not forget that Brian Lenihan was going nowhere under Bertie.

"They were the opposite ends of the planet. Brian pushed Bertie to bring Brian Lenihan into the cabinet." No, not the drinks cabinet, sillies.

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