“We weren’t asked,” he growled, when questioned about the army’s lack of involvement in the emergency response to the worsening weather conditions.
Listeners could practically hear Newstalk radio presenter, Eamon Keane, explode with exasperation.
“The dogs in the streets knew about it. If you have to wait to be asked…” he thundered.
“It’s not a question of waiting to be asked,” said Minister Willie, defensively.
“You just said it was,” retorted the presenter.
“Basically, is it a question of us going off and volunteering our services? People know we’re there. The army did very sterling work with the recent flooding crisis as requested by people and if we’re requested to help, we will help.”
And now we know it, our minister doesn’t find it incumbent upon himself to exercise his mandate, by, er, ordering the army to mobilise convoys on to the streets and more so, the country’s secondary roads where elderly people have been hostages for weeks?
Such was the shock at his attitude that some callers apparently contacted Newstalk to ask if this was an unsignalled comedy sketch.
But the minister just saw the line of questioning as another unfair “meeja” attack on the Government.
“Eamon look, you tend to blame the Government for a lot of things but you can’t blame us for the weather. If you want to let me reply to the question, I’ve been looking at the BBC News and the situation if anything is much worse in the UK.”
That makes us feel a whole lot better, Willie.
Meanwhile, there wasn’t as much as a whimper from Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, who is still soaking up the sun in some undisclosed destination as the buses, trains and cars are abandoned across the capital and emergency departments are inundated. Oh, and we’re running out of salt.
One can’t help but think of Marie Antoinette. “Let them ski.”