Scene 1: The West Wing of the White House. After the St Patrick’s Day speeches, Barack Obama chats with Enda Kenny.
Obama: So – last time we do this together, eh buddy? Although I guess you might still be back next year?
Kenny: Visiting President Trump?
Obama: Jeez, what a thought! But between ourselves. America’s not quite that dumb yet. The Donald is a gift to Hillary. He’ll make her look good if nothing else can.
Kenny: I suppose you’ll miss all this?
Obama: Maybe. I won’t miss having to negotiate with goddamn Republicans over every line of legislation. What about you? You any nearer sorting out some sort of coalition back home?
Kenny: Not really. We’re still pretending to talk to the smaller parties. It’ll take another couple of weeks of that before our grassroots will be able to stomach the real deal, with our old civil war enemies.
Obama: Hey – speaking of civl war, where’s our beardy friend, Gerry Adams? He was supposed to be here, right?
Kenny (looking around): Yes – I saw him earlier, in fact, leaving the hotel. Oh dear!
Kenny: Well, I made a little joke to your security guys outside. I showed them a picture of Gerry on my phone and said he was a suspected jihadist and they should approach him with caution. You don’t suppose they took me seriously?
Obama: Jeez, Enda – of course they took you seriously. Those guys have even less sense of humour than Sinn Féin. To quote yourself, what the bejaysus were you thinking?
Kenny: Sorry. I couldn’t resist. Do me a favour, will you? Don’t let on I told you about this.
Obama: I won’t – don’t worry. We’ll just blame it on over-zealous security, or something.
Scene 2: Gold Cup day, Cheltenham. With the big race under way, the Minister for Agriculture bumps into former Ceann Comhairle and racing enthusiast Sean Barrett.
Barrett: Well, young man. Are you a declared runner in the Post-Enda leadership handicap hurdle yet?
Coveney: As you know, Sean, there’s no such vacancy.
Barrett: No, but Frank Flannery says there should be.
Coveney (feigning ignorance): Really? I must have missed that.
Barrett: Yeah, he says the older generation, including Kenny and Noonan, have been rejected, and it’s time for the next one to take over.
Coveney: Interesting. Well, we’ll wait and see. What’s your money on here?
Barrett: Leo. Er – I mean Cue Card. I can’t see him beaten. Here he comes now, in fact, with a perfectly timed run. Oh no! (Cue Card crashes out at the third last). Feck.
Coveney: Not so perfectly timed after all, eh? Hard luck.
Barrett (tearing up docket): What are you on yourself?
Coveney (winking): It’s too early to say, Sean.
Scene 3: A hotel in Dublin. At an angry meeting to review Fine Gael’s election performance, campaign director Brian Hayes and party secretary Tom Curran attempt to calm constituency delegates.
Hayes: Alright, alright, we accept mistakes were made. The slogan didn’t work – we get that.
Delegate 1: Neither did the front bench, the lazy bastards.
Delegate 2: Yeah. All we heard on the airwaves was Enda, who we were told would be locked up somewhere safe for three weeks.
Curran: Well, he was surprisingly popular with the focus groups. And in fairness, we did have Leo and others out a lot during the last week. But the electorate had their minds made up by then.
Hayes: A big part of our strategy was based on the expectation of a last-minute surge towards the government, as happened with the Conservatives. For whatever reason, it didn’t happen here.
Delegate 3: Speaking of the feckin’ conservatives, whose idea was it to boast about David Cameron’s endorsement of Enda? Jesus – that was the last straw.
Delegate 4: Yeah, the FFers in our constituency were lighting bonfires when that happened.
Hayes: Yes, well, as I say, mistakes were made. But we are where we are now.
Delegate 5: Which is where, by the way? I mean, we’re not seriously going to put a government together with the support of the likes of the Healy-Raes, are we?
Delegate 6: Even their own cows can’t work with them. (Laughter).
Curran: Look, we all know there’ll have to be a deal with the Soldiers, eventually. Just not yet. But you might start introducing the idea to your grassroots over the next week or two, get them used to it.
Delegate 7: If you feckers in Dublin had been more interested in the grassroots before the election, we wouldn’t be in this position now. Up shit creek with Meehole Martin for a paddle.
(The recriminations continue).
Scene 4: The Taoiseach’s office. Enda Kenny reads the newspapers as the portrait of Michael Collins looks on.
Collins: So Moore Street is officially a national monument?
Kenny: Yep… Where you lads made your last stand in 1916.
Collins: It was the last stand for some, alright. The rest of us lived to fight another day.
Collins: How’re the talks on a new government going? Or are you still organising the retreat from the burning GPO that was your election campaign?
Kenny: The latter. I think we’ve just crossed Henry Street at this stage. And Frank Flannery is calling for the leaders to be executed, starting with me and Baldy Noonan.
Collins: Oh well. From the graves of dead patriots, etc. (He spots a column headline) Did you really commit to having a cabinet with 50 per cent women?
Kenny: Oh yeah – I might have promised that, during a weak moment of the campaign. But it’s not going to happen now, obviously.
Collins: Like Pearse’s cherishing all the children of the national equally?
Kenny: Exactly. The idea of a 50: 50 cabinet will remain a work in progress for another century or so, like the proclamation. What was it Kevin O’Higgins called the programme of the first Dáil?
Collins: “Mostly poetry”.
Kenny: Well, some things don’t change, obviously. That’s politics, still. You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.