Canvass Trail

When it comes to parish pump politics, nobody in Laois-Offaly can lay a glove on Charlie Flanagan.


In Castlebar, Co Mayo, yesterday, Newstalk’s Henry McKean tackled the Fine Gael leader’s wife Fionnuala on the small matter of her husband’s underwear, inquiring, as Henry is wont to do, if Enda wears Calvin Klein pants.

“I think he has one pair, that’s all,” Mrs Kenny replied. Now we always like to give politicians the benefit of the doubt, so we assume Enda owns the odd pair of lesser pants as well. If not, the occasional campaign disappearance might be understandable.

The question remains, however, just what plans Mr Kenny has in store for his single pair of special underpants. Let’s hope he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the Swedish Democrat who was locked out of a council meeting in 2007 when he arrived in a tank top and “tricot underpants.”

Enda should heed, too, the fate of his Aussie counterpart Matt Brown, who was forced to resign as state minister in 2008 after stripping to his underpants and dancing at a parliamentary staff party.


Legendary independent Jim Tallon — veteran of 13 election campaigns — is back for more. The never-say-die farmer contested his first election in 1981 and has previously disinterested with his policies the people of Donegal, Tipperary, Wexford and Dublin as well as his native Wicklow.

This time round the Arklow man is on home turf again, where he produced his record performance in 1982, polling 163 votes.

Tallon is actually running from a base in a neighbouring jurisdiction, since he once declared his Arklow farm the “Independent Republic of Glasnost“, of which he naturally assumed the role of president.

Jim has no posters, leaflets or campaign machine, but there is no better man in Arklow to tune a badminton racquet.


Michael Fitzpatrick — Fianna Fáil TD for Kildare North — puts a brave face on things:

”Just after getting dog’s abuse in a house but overall not too bad ... we have to keep the faith and keep going.”


If Ghandi hadn’t been so concerned about theanimals, he’d have made it clear that you can judge the greatness of a nation by the standard of its electioneering songs. Listening to the early campaign hit parade, we’re in more trouble than we thought.

* 1. John Bracken: Independent, Laois-Offaly

Superb retro 80s Liverpool midfielder-style rather than country dirge gives John the nod at number one.

Listen here:

* 2. John Dillon: Independent, Co Limerick

Jaunty number from the Pallasgreen man, notable for the line: “He’s a country boy with loads of muscles. He’s gonna take the fight to Brussels.”

Listen here:

* 3. Mannix Flynn, Independent, Dublin South

Rap-based affair that occasional segues into talking.

What might have happened if Brush Shields had hooked up with Jay-Z early in his career.

Listen here:

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