Monday, August 13, 2001
By Seán McCárthaigh
TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern is set to play a central role in what could prove the literary phenomenon of the year.
A new book out this autumn promises to unravel all the Taoiseach's cringe-inducing quotes, deft doublespeak and downright confusing statements.
De Little Book of Bertie is the first literary work to pay tribute to the Taoiseach's unique command of English, known as Bertiespeak.
It also marvels at the way he can use words to comfort rival factions within the same sentence.
The book follows on the major publishing success of the Little Book of Calm which sold hundreds of thousand of copies in Britain and the US.
De Little Book of Bertie is the brainchild of Will Hanafin, a Late Late Show researcher and former Irish Examiner columnist.
The author spent hundreds of hours watching TV clips and reading newspaper clippings about the Taoiseach.
"The great thing about Bertie is that what he actually says is 10 times better than any of the caricatures which we see of him on TV and radio," says Hanafin.
His own favourite Bertie quote is: "People should stop throwing white elephants and red herrings at each other".
The book contains hundreds of "Bertie-isms", as well as beauty tips by his partner, Celia Larkin. For example: "If you meet people outdoors, spend money on your overcoat".
Other literary gems by the Bard of Drumcondra include his warning that people should not "upset the apple tart".
A section entitled "What the Hell is He on About" gives readers a multi-choice questionnaire to guess what exactly the Taoiseach means.
De Little Book of Bertie will be published by Merlin Publishing in October.