Behold the birth of Ireland’s new future force, the PDs — the Politically Desperate.
With all the swagger of a South American soap opera star, Colm Keaveney pulled off yet another unlikely plot twist and let rip with his fiery Latin passion via the teasing tweet: “Forsitan et nostrum nomen miscebitur istis — Audentis Fortuna iuvat!”, which translates as “Perhaps my name will be linked with theirs — fortune favours the brave.”
Strangely though, on joining Bertie’s ex-buddies in the soldiers of destiny, there was no ready Latin translation for Mr Keaveney’s damning verdict on the party from last year.
“The rampant corruption of many of Fianna Fáil’s members and public representatives is part of the philosophy of tolerance that existed within the party.”
And how tolerant they have now shown themselves to be. But, hey, what’s a little “corruption” between new political besties, eh?
We were assured it was all wonderfully amicable, which must have come as something of a surprise to Fianna Fáil TD Michael Kitt who found out he was now sharing his Galway East seat with a new frenemy via local radio, and admitted half the party was in revolt over the decision.
But it was all smiles on the plinth of Leinster House as Micheál Martin introduced his new signing.
Those coming late to the ever-entertaining Colm Keaveney Show will have missed previous drama- laden episodes in which our hero was elected chairman of Labour, and, despite being something of a lefty by the party’s irredeemably bourgeoisie Chardonnay- socialist standards, was always going to be less Chairman Mao — and more Chairman Row.
And so it proved when he stormed out of the parliamentary party over budget cuts last Christmas with another Latin lunge: “Acta non verba” — “deeds, not words”.
His insistence on remaining chairman of a Government party despite being an opposition TD then made for some wonderfully dysfunctional meetings of Labour’s ruling executive board before Mr Keaveney alienated his remaining grassroots following by opposing the X case legislation.
And after flirting with fellow refuseniks fleeing Eamon Gilmore’s grip, he has now fallen for Fianna Fáil. Given his love of Latin, one erudite reporter quoted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and asked if rather than favouring the brave he could end up “fortune’s fool”. Given the tragic ending to that short-lived love affair, Mr Keaveney and the Fianna Fáil leader were keen to downplay the comparisons — but their sudden marriage of political convenience has certainly delivered many hostages to fortune.
Mr Keaveney is a charismatic character who can command attention at will, but after such a turbulent time in the Dáil, his new friends in the, apparently, now reformed “Corruption Tolerance Society”, sorry, Fianna Fáil, must be wishing he learns another Latin maxim: “Favour me with your tongues [be silent]” — or “Favete linguis,” as they say in East Galway.
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