Far away from snakes, St Enda has his day

If you wanted to start a Make Enda Great Again campaign, then you could think of worse times to do it than a day after befriending Donald Trump and in the middle of a celebration for an old man who banished the snakes of Ireland.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Taoiseach Enda Kenny march in the St Patrick's Day parade on 5th Avenue. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Taoiseach Enda Kenny march in the St Patrick's Day parade on 5th Avenue. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty

The thought must surely have crossed Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s mind yesterday as he strode past the waving crowds at the New York City St Patrick’s Day parade, stopping sporadically for high fives and hugs from an adoring public, some of whom think he’s called Edna.

In a city cloaked in green for the annual St Patrick’s Day festivities, the Taoiseach stepped away from a group of swooning Mayo sash-wearing Irish-American paraders, took a deep breath, and addressed the media.

Clearly emboldened by a week of one hundred thousand Irish-American welcomes, he proclaimed that, despite the widespread belief that he would fly back to Ireland today to set in place a timeline for his departure as Taoiseach, he is not planning on leaving anytime soon.

It is unquestionably a controversial stance, but given the intoxicating scenes in New York, who could blame him?

A pipe band marches in the St Patrick’s Day parade on 5th Avenue in New York City yesterday. Picture: Andrew Kelly/ Reuters

Everywhere the Taoiseach looked yesterday, crowds draped in green, and out to celebrate St Enda and the Irish recovery, were happy to cheer him on.

As the parade snaked past skyscrapers, including Trump Tower, from 44th to 79th Street, more than 150,000 revellers yelped their support for Conor McGregor, St Patty’s Day, and an idealised vision of the Emerald Isle.

At a special Ireland Day business event at the imposing Bloomberg headquarters, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg hailed Mr Kenny’s achievements and his decision to raise the issue of illegal Irish — although not anyone else — with Mr Trump, saying “that’s really what celebrating St Patrick’s Day is all about”.

Members of An Garda Síochána march during the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York. Picture: Niall Carson/PA

During a late-night Tourism Ireland event that saw the One World Trade Center bathed in green light, along with other iconic global sites such as the Pyramids, the London Eye, and Niagara Falls, Mr Kenny was further feted by officials and locals alike.

And when he told them the official account of how the recovery was achieved, they believed him unquestionably, encouraged that the new patron saint of Ireland is still in charge.

He is tremendous, they muttered. Amazing. Even bigly.

But while the Let’s Make Enda Great Again campaign may work a treat in the intoxicating environs of St Patrick’s Day in New York, it remains to be seen whether the still surviving snakes back home will be so easily vanquished this time around.

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