Q&A was hard labour for McBeal fan Eamon

THE trial and tribulations of the country were never a match for the loves and life of Ally McBeal, according to Labour leader Eamon Gilmore.

Q&A was hard labour for McBeal fan Eamon

Mr Gilmore has revealed he could never watch the current affairs show Questions & Answers on a Monday night, preferring instead to unwind to the antics of Ally McBeal.

The curtain was drawn on Questions & Answers last June after a 23-year run in which the show, hosted by John Bowman, expanded the nature of political debate and famously changed the course of the 1990 presidential race.

But for Mr Gilmore, the US comedy-drama about a fictional young lawyer charting her way through love and life was a better bet after a hard day’s work. The Labour leader revealed his TV preferences during one of a series of talk-show-style interviews he is doing around the country to boost his profile.

Labelled In Conversation with Eamon Gilmore, the party hopes these public events can offer a better glimpse of Mr Gilmore than a standard political meeting.

“Funnily enough, I actually try to avoid current affairs programmes (as they’re) like a busman’s holiday,” he said.

“I remember I could never watch Questions & Answers. I used to do clinics on a Monday, and I’d get in worn out from listening to the complaints of constituents about 9.30pm or 10pm on a Monday evening, and the last thing I wanted to do at that hour of the night after a long day was sit down and watch Questions and Answers.

“I was usually tired and I’d watch Ally McBeal or I’d watch something a lot more interesting and a lot more watchable than what you’d see on Questions & Answers.”

Mr Gilmore said on the whole, he didn’t get a lot of time to watch TV, but liked getting DVD box sets of shows like The Wire or the Sopranos.

“My family tells me there’s a very good new series which is based in New Orleans after the flood – I can see that coming as a birthday present,” he quipped.

Labour regards the soft-focus interviews as a more lively way of getting Mr Gilmore’s message and character across than a standard political speech.

Carefully arranged topics in the Limerick interview, which took place in Thomond Park, covered everything from his entry into politics to the Dell redundancies, the future of Shannon Airport and Labour election strategy.

On the subject of gangland crime in Limerick, Mr Gilmore said the major problem was not a lack of legislation but a lack of enforcement because the gardaí had been under-resourced.

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