Cheeky birds dominated the last day of the Oireachtas — no, not just Enda Kenny’s view of the uppity women audacious enough to think at least one of them was worthy of a junior ministerial job — but, seagulls too.
Concern about the winged creatures took off in the upper house just as the Seanad and Dáil wound-down for their well deserved two-month long summer holiday.
“I have nothing against pigeons — I can take or leave pigeons — but I am very much against seagulls,” Senator Ned O’Sullivan was keen to point out lest anyone suspect he was orniphobic — a bird hater in general, rather than just anti-seagull in particular.
At this point the Kerry Senator helpfully verbalised what his bewildered colleagues must have been thinking when he broke off to say: “Where is this leading?”
Observers who thought it was leading to yet another reason for people to regret reprieving the Seanad in last year’s referendum were, of course, mistaken, because Mr O’Sullivan wanted the Environment Minister to take action.
“I think something needs to be done to address the seagull problem in this city. It seems that the seagulls have lost the run of themselves completely,” he continued, ever more animated.
This was getting too much for An Cathaoirleach who sought to restore some reality to the situation by declaring: “The Senator is losing the run of himself.”
But Mr O’Sullivan was not to be silenced on such an important matter, and implored: “It is the last day. Give me wings,” before returning to his obsession.
“They are very raucous and are keeping people awake. They are getting so cheeky now that they attack young children and dispossess them of their lollipops and stuff like that.
“It might be funny to many people but it is a serious issue in the city. They really are vermin. They are scavenger gulls and dump gulls.
“They do not look for fish anymore; they want to eat human waste,” Mr O’Sullivan thundered before finally relinquishing the floor of the upper house.
And Mr Kenny was in a similar flap down the street as he tried to explain his failure to a) appoint any women to the nine Fine Gael junior minister ranks, or b) appoint anyone who could speak Irish to the department charged with protecting and promoting the Irish language — all while being heckled by a homeless man.
Like the cursed seagulls, Mr Kenny had been accused of attacking the hopes of women and dispossessing them of not lollipops, but dreams of promotion.
The Taoiseach tried to get out of all this by saying he would love to appoint more ministers — more male ministers, presumably?
And on the second issue he mused: “It’s not about individuals because ministerial titles are not a conduit to success personally or politically.” Really Taoiseach? If that is the case why were FG handlers putting it about that capable TD Regina Doherty did not get the nod because her constituency colleague Damien English did, and having two Ministers in one seat would stop the electoral goodies being spread around the country?
As Senator O’Sullivan might say, the tone of the Taoiseach’s remarks and his remarkably sexist junior reshuffle, could be summed-up as: “Birds, eh? More trouble than they’re worth.”
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