THE hair standing up on the top of his head is not the only similarity Green TD Paul Gogarty shares with the most famous of his Dublin mid-west constituents, Jedward.
The hard-to-follow stream of consciousness, the rolling around the floor theatrics, the apparent lack of self-awareness and the ability to lower standards in the quest for publicity are all part of the act for the Lucan politician, Go-Go Gogarty.
Even before his unparliamentary outburst in the Dáil yesterday, his gaga antics led Labour’s Kathleen Lynch to comment: “Whatever planet Deputy Gogarty lives on, it is a place with which we are becoming more familiar. I am unsure whether it is drug-induced or whether he is naturally that way.”
The first insight into Planet Go-Go came last November when he jumped off his chair during a public meeting and started to roll around the floor before laying still for a number of seconds, acting dead.
Explaining that the bizarre incident was in response to criticism from Fine Gael Senator, Frances Fitzgerald, Gogarty said: “Hypocrisy and false indignation... has a damaging effect on my psyche.”
Months later, when he told Enda Kenny, in the Dáil: “You would be Taoiseach now if you had the balls,” Fine Gael’s Frank Feighan said: “Why don’t you roll around there”, while Labour’s Kathleen Lynch told him: “Do a roly-poly there on the floor.”
Gogarty was intent on showing them that he was capable of more eccentricity than they thought: “Does Deputy Kenny sleep soundly at night? Devil a bit of it. He dreams vivid dreams, and in those dreams he is already Taoiseach – ‘I’m Enda. I’m the Taoiseach. I’m the gaffer.’ He snores like a lion but when he wakes up, the lion fades and disappears. What pops out instead? A mouse – a mouse that is afraid to do the right thing.”
He continued: “The Greens are no Messiah or saviour and sometimes we are up our own backsides as well – that is true. I have often said and done things I should be ashamed of.”
In an interview with Hot Press magazine in February when he described the coalition arrangement as the Greens lying “bollix naked” next to Fianna Fáil.
“We have been screwed by them a few times but we are hoping we can roll them around to get what we want, over the longer terms,” he said.
During the same interview, the father-of-two who celebrates his 41st birthday next week, said Tánaiste Mary Coughlan “has a very flirty way about her”. He said: “I’d flirt with anyone! Even if I’m married I’ll flirt with people.”
Gogarty went on to reveal that he had bought pornographic magazines featuring men in various states of arousal to decide whether or not he was gay. After a flick through Play Girl he concluded that he wasn’t. But he mused that 25% of him might be gay.
Yesterday Planet Go-Go was taken to a scary new level with his “Fuck You!” outburst in the Dáil.
Gogarty, who started his political career campaigning for education issues and went on to become his party’s education spokesperson and chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Education, is setting a strange example.
Meanwhile, hundreds of bloggers got busy last night giving their opinion on the startling outburst.
Comments spanned from the bemused, “mental is the only word for it”, to the outraged, “he should have been expelled immediately”, to the more practical – “if he was looking for attention he definitely got it here. Maybe we should call a halt to this thread now”.
Clips of the rant could soon after be viewed on YouTube.
And a ringtone was last night circulating with the deputy’s “Fuck you” comments played repeatedly over a Lily Allen song of the same name.
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