And They’re Off

The Irish presidential campaign officially opened today although it seems like it has been going on for yonks. It is hard to remember when the controversy about David Norris started. When the steam ran out of that, largely as a result of his withdrawal from the race, Martin McGuinness stepped into the breach to give the public a reason to reignite its almost extinguished interest in what was rapidly descending into electoral ennui. 

As the hopefuls and the hopeless together lined up to project their pleading faces upon us followed by an assault on our eardrums with their wheedling voices, it was most definitely not the Magnificent Seven that were under starters orders but something more like the Seven Dwarfs. Their standing is unable to escape the long shadow cast over it by Snow White still in the Aras but ready to vacate the minute one of the seven makes it across the finishing line on the 5th count or whatever.

What is novel about these particular seven dwarfs is that Dopey failed to make it past the auditions. Fianna Fail simply was never in the race. Gay Byrne was not prepared to be a tethered goat on the Party’s behalf, more or less telling Micheal Martin if he wanted a transfusion of ridicule then offer his own arm for the needle. Byrne had a very successful career behind him and was not going to end his public life in the public eye for all the wrong reasons. Still he left it too Late Late for Fianna Fail to undo the damage.

Dopey’s place has now been filled by Davy, the last of the candidates to get his hat in the ring. He might be a suitable replacement given that most people think it dopey of him to have been writing the letters that he did on behalf of a former lover jailed for having sex with a minor. This led to him retiring for an early bath only to see him make a successful comeback. He might have been tempted to sing a few lines of ‘Hello Hello, it’s good to be back, it’s good to be back.’ But with Gary Glitter having made it to No 2 in the UK charts with that particular bit of glam rock in the 1970s, Davy wisely thought better of it. Not so dopey after all.

It will certainly make for an interesting four weeks. The entry of Martin McGuinness, like the fox in the chicken coop, has most certainly guaranteed that. The downside is of course that we will have to listen to all the boring waffle about the peace process we thought we had left behind on crossing the border. Hearing all that again induces only a sigh, not of relief.

And there was a moment of contrast as I watched the former chief of staff of the Provisional IRA make his bid for the Aras while the former chief of staff of the UVF, Gusty Spence, was making his last journey for burial in Bangor. Spence being of the orange wasn’t lucky enough to get McGuinness’s rub of the green.

Mirror mirror on the wall
Is there any of them worth a vote at all?


  1. Can you imagine a truthfull mirrors reply,? as for the bunch of them I cant make my mind up rather the lying toerag Mc Guinness would be worse than that eejit Dana,ffs she,d be pushing for the angelus bells to be rung every half an hour,inbetween self flagellation for the "common people " for our own good and the sins of our fathers, amen.while the rest form a circle with David.

  2. AM-

    Magnificent seven- seven Dwarfs-
    break your mirror mirror on the wall- it would bring you seven years bad luck-

    But if Martin was president it would be seven years of good luck for the Irish-

  3. Would be so funny to see the bakes on the lot of them, if ole Marty Mc makes it over the line.

    Actually imagine he waited untill after he was elected, and then started spilling all sorts of beans, see who'd want to know then.

    Come mon Mc ya bhay ye!!!

  4. Michaelhenry,

    as they say I'd have no luck if it weren't for bad luck.


    three I could give no preference to are Mitchel, McGuinness and Dana. The vote would have to go leftward which rules them out. Dana is a Catholic bigot too boot.

  5. Speaking as a citizen and an IRSP member,

    This is an interesting poll, it highlights the extreme bias and limitations of our democracy.

    There are seven candidates, all are right wing to some extent or the other, all part of the bourgois establishment.

    I would have to say that McGuinness is by far the most left-wing and the most republican of a poor selection of candidates.

    I would have to either vote for him or abstain altogether, my mind is not made up.


  6. Rory the country is bankrupt what the fuck do need a president for other than an extremly highly paid ass licker,and hand shaker?

  7. F*** me Martry,

    We are talking about the Irish head of state. Have yopu no aspirations left???


  8. Becoming more interesting now the DUP want marty to put his reputation where his mouth is and tout on volunteers out of personal shame for IRA actions.

    Tempted to vote him in out of mischief for a country rotten with filthy greed and to see if marty publicly does what many of us believe he has been doing for ages, grasses up volunteers. SF may have to have a noose in one hand and a ballot box in the other.

  9. Larry,

    I felt it was bound to open up this type of tension

  10. Interesting discussion on Dunphy today between McGuinness and Mitchell. I thought Mitchell was a wooden one up until then. He came across strong and McGuinness allowed himself to get rattled. The lies are making it a rocky road for him. Mitchell was a bit too sensitive and accused Dunphy of biased handling. Dunphy seemed fair to me and nothing like Kiberd two weeks ago when he chaired Dunphy/O'Toole

  11. Dunphy may be a more honest and professional 'hack'
    he admitted to his intention to vote mcguinness but also conducted a fair interview.