Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Tullamore address

New Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, made a triumphant return to the Faithful County over the weekend. The Master of Ceremonies, quoting Abraham Lincoln, introduced Cowen to his flock as a leader 'by the people, of the people, and for the people' . The faithful hollered their approval, and hurled their peaked caps in the air. The wideboys dragged on their ciggies. Things were looking promising ; there was a sniff of a good session in the air. Every barman within a 10 mile radius were busy shining up their counter-fronts, and dickying up their toilets by putting fresh soap in the dispensers for the first time in yonks.

Thankfully, Cowen didn't ham it up too much by wearing his Offaly jersey, or anything like that. He was paraded through the town square in an open-top car. The local Fianna Fail hacks from Tullamore Town Council had their shirts pressed, and the hair combed, and lined up to greet the boss. One got a little carried away, and nearly hugged him. But that's as far as it went. Cowen was then escorted to the podium, where a roost of Fianna Fail TDs were waiting for him. Clearly, this rent-a-mob had been hauled in to make up the numbers .

Still, it was a big day for the boy from Clara, who'd gone up to the big shmoke and make it big. There's something in the rural Irish psyche that rejoices in the lad from the shticks, who goes up to Dublin and shows the jackeens who is the daddy.

Cowen then got up to speak, and didn't disappoint. Whatever about the substance, Cowen does at least inject passion into his speeches. He's a bit like an All-Ireland winning captain, about to receive Sam Maguire. Thankfully, on this occasion, he didn't scratch his balls, or shout so loud as to blow a speaker in the PA system.

'It's time for Government to realise that it doesn't just represent the country, but that it also represents the people', he hollered. And quoting Sean Lemass, he added, 'All national progress can only be predicated on an upsurge of patriotism'. Cowen seems big on the patriotism thing ; unlike Bertie, he will bellow out the words to 'Amhran na bhFian' at Lansdowne Road and Croke Park. Whether or not he'll sing 'Ireland's Call' will be interesting to see.

Actually, it was more the singing that caught PaddyThePig's (and the audience's) attention on the night. Politics is all well and good. But there were pints to be drank, and punters were more interested in getting the shindig underway. Cowen obliged by leading the crowd in a sing-song, culminating in a rousing version of 'My Way'. This is something Bertie would never have done, even if he could sing.

Not since Offaly won Liam McCarthy back in 1998, had the county seen such celebrations. The last time Offaly people got this emotional was during that year's All Ireland Hurling Campaign. Things threatened to boil over at one stage, when Offaly supporters staged an impromptu sit-in on the Croke Park pitch, after referee Jimmy Cooney blew the whistle two minutes early in the All Ireland semi-final. The hang sanger brigade simply weren't having it. They refused to leave the ground, and demanded a replay. They got their way. It just goes to show ; you should never ever upset a Biffo.

Oink Oink!


Anonymous said...

Another numdinger Paddy !

The quote from his bunch of quotes that stood out for me was when he compared the current economic situation in Ireland to a GAA football match where a team had to play "against the wind" in the second half.

"You say, 'What'll we do now lads?' You go out and you go in harder, you hit harder, you get to the ball quicker, you keep the ball low and you stick it over the bar and you get 10 points in the second half, when you only got five points in the first half when you were asleep. That's what you do," he said, to cheers from the crowd in Ferbane.

Heavens help us all !!!

Anonymous said...

Of course that should have been humdinger - while numdinger might well describe Cowen's quote !!

PaddyThePig said...

Brilliant Mr Anonymous! Absolute classic, I'm holding me sides!