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Fully loaded Seanad party up the Áras
The Higgins’s - raking it in!
The Higgins’s - raking it in!

The Higgins’s – raking it in!

Over 3000 kegs, 10 brass bands, 400 cheerleaders and 84 DJs were shipped into Áras an Uachtaráin, following Alice Mary Higgins’ election to the Seanad.
The Higgins family rocked the party as they celebrated pulling down over €315,000 in salaries from the state plus expenses, plus drivers AND a massive mansion in Phoenix Park.
The president in his speech said, “Now Alice Mary has made it into the Shillings…I mean Seanad, we must all start thinking of cushty numbers for our other children John, Michael and Daniel. Perhaps a couple of ambassadorial roles, followed by some plum jobs in Europe which pay in Swiss Francs.Who knows what the future holds?”


Dublin footballers pay tribute to Prince

  • 19-99 – Average Dublin score in upcoming Leinster Championship
  • Sign Of The Times (Umpires raising another green flag)
  • Let’s Go Crazy (on the score board)
  • Kiss (Sam Maguire for the next 10 years)
  • U Got The Look (Of a team that’s about to take a beating)
  • When Kerrymen Cry (Looking at the Dubs coasting to Sam)



by Our Political Staff – Phil Page

NOW THAT the long wait is over and the new Fine Gael minority government is finally up and running, there is only one crucial question on every political correspondent’s lips. Just how long will today’s piece on the 32nd Dáil manage to last?

While there is always a chance that it might be over very much sooner than expected, it’s also possible that it could continue indefinitely. Early indications suggest that both the words and paragraphs are unlikely to give up their positions, unless the piece itself suddenly begins to run out of steam.

But it is impossible to know for sure whether or not this latest long-winded filler can be stretched out for another 500 words. Over recent months, our front pages have been successfully filled with countless all-purpose articles speculating about the possible make-up of the new government.
Consequently, there is no good reason why this piece cannot carry on forever – unless, of course, readers become so bored… They then begin to feel extremely drowsy, so their eyelids start closing and…


More Australian warnings about visiting Ireland

Widdevr ya do, don’t git sick in Piddyland or you woan git hoam before Chrimmas! Doan git stuck in the vicious civil woar bitwin thopposing fictions noon as Finny Gel and Finny Foul thet azbin ragin’ like a lunatic peck o’ dingos go fir over 90 yiers! Strewth!
Deylight robbery is a growin’ prollem in Iron so avoid high-risk aries such as pharmacists, pubs, resraunts an’ dockers’ surgeries. In the evint of driving inna Piddy pothole, do not attimpt ter climb ouddavit yourself cobber. Wittle dammlance arrives from the nay boring counny.
Post-pub burger joins err offen flesh points fir conflict. Ill ways lit the garda order before ya to reduce the risk o’ bing arristed whin the foight sterts.

Monstrous prop discovered below surface

By Our Loch Ness Staff

Investigators scouring the murky depths of Ireland’s Labour Party in search of a leader have discovered the prop used to make the scary Fine Gael creature look like it was for real. The prop was often seen nodding its head when the cameras were rolling at a time when the monstrous beast ruled the waves, leading many people to think that it genuinely was Fine Gael.
“It really was a perfect imitation of the monster, right down to its helluva thick neck,” says an expert who admits to having been fooled in the past. “In reality of course, it was no more than a cardboard cut-out of the original Labour Party that was shaped to look like a different creature altogether. Scary or what!”


UFC chiefs have promised to keep the memory of Joao Carvalho alive by staging the “biggest pay-per-view event the sport has ever seen”. The organisation has stated that UFC200 will be a commemorative tribute.
A spokesman said: “We’re going to have a minute of abuse being fired from the crowd at all the participants. A moment’s silence wouldn’t be appropriate. Have no doubt, the event will be tasteful and understated in the best UFC tradition.”


The various TDs involved in discussions on the formation of a new government today announced what the shape of that new government will be. “All of the parties to the discussions were totally committed,” insisted a spokesperson. “These were politicians, eager and resolved to reach a sustainable conclusion. The shape of the next government will be based on those values: Politicians; Eager And Resolved, or PEAR. The next government will therefore be PEAR shaped,” he said.

“I’m so ashamed” – admits escort

John Whittingdale Scandal

029px Humour.indd_Page_1_Image_0003by Con Dumb

THE sex worker at the centre of the latest Conservative Party scandal has admitted that she was “highly embarrassed” to discover that one of her regular clients was the Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale.

It emerged last night that Honey Trapp had been having a secret six-month relationship with the minister, though she claims not to have known he was a practising politician until confronted by reporters with knowledge of the story.
“I’ve been such a fool that I just feel so stupid for getting involved with the wrong sort of man,” a tearful Ms Trapp told reporters. “He loved role play and indulging his fantasies, particularly one about the Tories being a competent government.
“I really should have guessed that he was a sick politician – particularly since he was mainly into stuff like sado-masochism and inflicting pain on others.”
The Tory party are known for their fixation on kinky activities, including orgies of self-congratulation, mutual back-scratching and prolonged ass-kissing sessions.

Cameron salutes Ahern

by Our Political Staff

DAVID CAMERON has thanked former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern for his help in avoiding awkward questions about his financial affairs.
The British PM contacted Mr Ahern shortly after his late father’s name was mentioned in the leaked Panama Papers. Cameron said: “I had been on to Bertie before releasing that statement last week. He said to tell the truth. He told me that if that doesn’t work, I should send out an old secretary to say, I ‘never did nuthin’ wrong’. It can’t fail.”


LSD enthusiasts have moved to distance themselves from Vogue Williams after the presenter announced plans to take hallucinogenic drugs live on TV as part of a new RTÉ series.
“To be honest, I don’t want to be in anyway associated with Williams or RTÉ 2,” said one user. “I tried looking at one of her shows before and it was a total nightmare. It gave me a blinding headache and my brain was fried.”
RTÉ 2 is known for providing psychedelic experiences, with many viewers reporting psychological effects that include altered thinking, hallucinations and an altered sense of time, with some even saying that certain programmes “seem to last for weeks.” Medical experts recommend that the station is experienced only in a controlled environment under strict supervision.



The Wesht Wing

Scene 1: A room in Leinster House. Talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil resume.
Enda Kenny (entering, out of breath): Sorry I’m late, gentlemen. An acting Taoiseach’s work is never done.
Micheál Martin: Where was it you were, again?
Kenny: National Concert Hall. Official reopening of the Kevin Barry Rooms. Very historic venue – hosted the Treaty Debates, don’t you know?
Martin: Ah, yes. Where Collins and Griffith sold out the Republic?
Kenny: More like where Dev stabbed his country in the back.
Leo Varadkar: Alright chaps, let’s not fight the civil war again.  (He hands Kenny a sheet of paper) In your absence, Taoiseach, we’ve nailed down a few more details. But Meehole – sorry, Meehawl – has a new list of demands.
Martin: They’re not demands – they’re principles. I call it Document No 2.
Kenny: Document No 2, eh? I seem to recall De Valera produced one of those as well in 1921. It had to be discussed in secret session.
Varadkar: Don’t worry, Taoiseach – this one’s mostly about jobs for the boys and free parking spaces. There’s nothing in it we can’t live with.
Kenny (looking Martin in the eye): And if we say yes to this, you’ll take the, er, oath of allegiance?
Martin: We’re not going to kiss your ring, Enda – if that’s what you think. But we’ll abstain on the vote for Taoiseach and on certain agreed issues thereafter.
Kenny: Okay. Leave this with me. We may have a few new demands of our own before we shake hands on anything.

Scene 2: The bustling corridors of Government Buildings. En route to a Cabinet meeting, Varadkar and Simon Coveney walk and talk.

Coveney: So we need 58 votes to get the lame duck reelected?
Varadkar: Yes, and we already have Katherine Zappone, plus the disgraced former minister from Tipperary whose name we don’t mention.
Coveney: I’m also hearing rumours that Labour are wrestling with their consciences about a possible return to government. They usually win.
Varadkar: Yeah, but do we want them? I mean, we’ll have enough of a legitimacy issue as it is.
Coveney: Well there’s also the Greens. They’re gagging for it. Plus Denis Naughten, and Maureen O’Sullivan, although they’ll both want something ministerial. We’ve asked Shane Ross’s gang for a costed shopping list too, but they still haven’t reached check-out.
Varadkar: Ten billion and counting, I hear.
Coveney: Plus two seats at Cabinet, probably. At this rate, we’ll have a lot of disappointed Blusehirts.
Varadkar: Lesser of two evils. I mean: imagine if we had to fill all 15 ministries and another 15 juniors out of our 50 TDs. You’ve heard some of those people speak at the PP meetings, for God’s sake.
Coveney (Thinking about it): The horror!
Varadkar: No harm invigorating the Cabinet with new blood.
Coveney: Especially because they’ll get most of the blame for everything.
Varadkar: Ha, ha, yes – just like poor old Labour. (They pause outside the door of the Cabinet room and he lowers his voice). Anyway, it’ll just be a temporary little arrangement. We only need to get Enda back in long enough for him to go with dignity.
Coveney: Indeed. Two years would do us. One year to phase out Enda, and another for the, ahem, new leader – whoever that is – to win the party an overall majority.
Varadkar (entering room): Well I can’t guarantee a majority, Simon. But I’ll do my best.

Scene 3: The Taoiseach’s Office. Enda Kenny studies files as the portrait of Michael Collins looks on.

Collins: So I hear the Soldiers of Destiny are supporting you for Taoiseach?
Kenny: Well, they’re constructively abstaining, anyway. But yes, it seems to be a done deal. We’re just dotting ‘i’s and crossing ’t’s now.
Collins: Whatever you do, never trust the bastards.
Kenny: Don’t worry, I won’t. (The door opens and a personal assistant enters with an envelope).
PA: This was just delivered by courier, Taoiseach. It’s marked “extremely urgent”.
Kenny (opening it and reading aloud): “Document No 3…”
Collins: What does it say?
Kenny: It’s a quasi-legal contract, drawn up by Fianna Fáil. I think it means that their offer of support for the Government will cease forthwith upon any change of Fine Gael leader, in which event they will feel obliged to refer back to the electorate.
Collins: In other words, they want to keep you as Taoiseach until the next election, whenever it happens?
Kenny: That seems to be it, yes.
Collins: The cunning bastards!

Scene 4: Arbour Hill. At Fianna Fáil’s annual commemoration for the men of 1916, Eamon Ó Cuív reads the proclamation, while Micheál Martin and Bertie Ahern look on.

Ó Cuív: “…In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline, and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good…”
Ahern (to Martin): Speakin’ of which, eh, I hear youse are sacrificin’ yourselves for de common good?
Martin: Well, we’re facilitating the reelection of the current Taoiseach, if that’s what you mean.
Ahern: How long do ye tink dat’ll last?
Martin: I don’t know. But sure we’ll take it one vote at a time.
Bertie (to Ó Cuív, as he returns from podium): Well done, Eamon. Good speech – aldough I tink I heard it before somewhere.
Ó Cuív: Very drole, Bertie. Nice to see you again.
Bertie: So is dis de end of civil war politics, lads?
Ó Cuív: Well, let’s see, shall we? They don’t trust us as far as they’d throw us. And we have an even lower opinion of them. Bertie: I’ll give it six months so. I just hope tings doesn’t get too bitter and, ye know, turn brudder against brudder.
Martin: No danger of that. Neither of the Healy Raes would vote for a Blueshirt Taoiseach, unless maybe he promised an extension of the Luas to Killorglin, or something.
Ó Cuív: Ha, ha. I hear that was just one of their demands. They wanted an airport as well.

Michael O’Leary
Michael O’Leary

Michael O’Leary

With the Ryanair boss saying he has a “50/50 chance” of retiring in 2018, speculation is mounting about his possible successor

Roy Keane
Has plenty of experience of managing low-cost, no-frills outfit thanks to Euro 2016 campaign, and has been enthusiastic supporter of Ryanair style of customer relations.

The high-flying singer and world saviour would attract safety conscious customers with a programme of in-flight comedy guaranteed to deter terrorist attacks.

Enda Kenny
Has overseen the flights of tens of thousands of Irish people out of the country over the past five years.


Those Shutterbug stock clichés

  • Look how awfully clever I am
  • I don’t like him / her
  • Here’s another double entendre
  • Irish fashion models; dontcha hate em?
  • What about this for a very punny caption?
  • The pen is flightier than the sword.

Garda sergeants and inspectors say they are not at all happy with current deployment policies within the force.
“As first responders dealing with the constant threat of radical extremism and international terrorism, the lads need to be equipped with air-to-ground missiles fired by aerial drones and low-yield nuclear weapons,” said
a spokesman yesterday.
Following their annual conference, the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) also threatened to march on the Dáil on the first day of the new government in protest over pay and conditions.
“We intend to bring city centre traffic to a complete standstill,” added the spokesman. “So everything will be exactly as normal.”

AGGRO Demands (in full)

  • Some basic guidelines on solving crimes
  • End to “good cop” involvement in interrogations
  • The usual free passes into Copper Face Jacks
  • More John Grisham paperbacks for use during surveillance duties

(That’s enough Garda demands – Ed.)

New AGSI uproar

Hens across the country have reacted angrily to remarks by an unidentified senior garda that the force would be reduced to responding “like headless chickens” in the event of a terrorist attack. Visibly perturbed, a free range Rhode Island Red in Wexford says she is, “sick and tired of having my brood associated with the Gardaí.”
The angry hen said the comparison was “deeply insulting” and had already caused several of her comrades to cease laying, through stress.
“Fair enough both sides work for chicken feed, but I know for a fact that none of us scratching around here would ever be seen pecking at a burger in a patrol car,” she fumed. “Why is it always us that are dragged into comparisons with the Garda Chická… er, Síochána?! I am rearing six young chickens here. They don’t need to hear that stuff!”

Panama Papers – Cameron speaks out
David Cameron
David Cameron

David Cameron

“As you know, I have been widely applauded for releasing details of my tax returns and have now proven beyond doubt that I have nothing at all to worry about as regards my finances. Personally, I feel very lucky to have had a supportive family that taught me to appreciate the important things in life, such as always being polite to the servants and nanny.
“Yes, we were given little birthday presents and regular pocket money from my father, but his investments were all legally above board and British people respect that. I certainly do.
“Sadly, Jeremy Corbyn and other Marxist nerds simply don’t understand global economics. For instance, ordinary upper crust people like Dad inherit lots of cash and then prudently stash it in high-interest tax havens until it’s really needed. They then have much more to spend right here in Britain on quality bubbly and sending their sons to Eton – and that benefits everyone.”




AMY SCHUMER and Sacha Baron Cohen have volunteered Bono to go to Syria to fight Isis. Last week the U2 frontman suggested to a US Senate sub-committee that the best way to combat radical Islam is to laugh at them and suggested that the two comedians be sent over to split their sides.
However, Schumer was not as keen. “To hell with that,” she said. “I’m not getting involved. How about Bono gets his ass over there.” Cohen, famous for his Ali G, Borat and Bruno characters, added, “He’s always going on about music being a healer, let him go over there and play No Line On The Horizon and Songs of Innocence, they’d f**k right off. I could see an immediate ceasefire.”

Bono takes on Isis

More pleading letters from Irish children, shock!

In revelations that have surprised commentators on both sides of the Irish Sea, it has emerged that Queen Elizabeth II has replied to thousands of letters from Irish children asking her to take back the 26 counties.
Confirming the news, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace says, “Her Majesty receives hundreds of such letters every day from Irish children eager to right wrongs past and present.
“Of course she cannot intervene, but she always tries to reassure them that someday they will again have a home, with food every day, a functioning transport system and a good health service. Bless.”


Dear Brendan…

1st April 2016

Dear Brendan,

The Queen has asked me to thank you for your recent letter in which you wished to tell Her Majesty that you have been studying the rules of the Irish Labour Party and would like The Queen to arrange a coronation for you as leader.

While it was thoughtful of you to let the Queen know of your ambition I must explain that this is not a matter in which Her Majesty would intervene. As a
constitutional Sovereign, the Queen acts on the advice of her government and
remains strictly non-political at all times.

Her Majesty has asked me to thank you for the picture you drew especially for her, of yourself and your friends Joan and Alan. The Queen agreed with your observation that Joan did look rather sad because of her recent fall in popularity, and also that it might indeed be rather dangerous if Alan continues to carry the AK47 around with him at all times.

Finally I would like to send you and your party my good wishes at this time. (Her Majesty’s friend Mr Cameron, who is currently in Panama, tells me that you need all the support you can get at the moment – and he should know!)

Yours sincerely,

Ms Jenny Devine
Deputy Junk Mail Coordinator
Buckingham Palace
PS. Her Majesty has asked me to advise you that she is a stranger to the term “Haughey-esqe” – although one of her loyal noblemen was once a Squire of that name.


1. Head in clouds
2. Nose the game is up
3. Cheek (plenty of)
4. Brass neck
5. Ears open to overtures from Fine Gael
6. Watching back for leadership challenges
7. Keeping an eye on Brendan Howlin, Alan Kelly etc
8. Two fingers to media critics


In common with all other publications, we may have given the impression that Katie Taylor was an unbeatable athlete whose like had not previously been seen on Earth. Headlines such as “Champ Katie Smashes Opposition”, “Heroic Taylor Continues Winning Streak” and “Katie Taylor Is Unbeatable” may have reinforced this view. However, following Ms Taylor’s historic defeat in the semi finals of the European Olympic qualifiers, we now wish to acknowledge she is an ordinary boxer like any other. This is reflected in our more recent headlines, like “Katie’s Shock Euro Defeat”, “Taylor’s Olympic Dream In Peril” and “Is It All Over For Katie?” We would like to apologise for our error and promise not to repeat it until the next time Taylor wins a big match.

Kenny denies being in denial

Acting Taoiseach Endless Kenny has denied being in denial over the result of the recent general election. “We won,” he announced emphatically. “A woman I met in Castlebar the other day with a ballot box under one arm and Michael Ring in a headlock under the other arm, told me I should keep having general elections until we get the result we want. ‘Sure, isn’t that what they did in those EU referendumdidums?’ she said.”

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail join forces to agree on historic new term

By our political correspondent
Dick Shunairy

The country’s two largest political parties yesterday agreed on a historic new term. After three weeks of intensive talks, and following the demise of the term “fiscal space”, the Fianna Fail and Fine Gael negotiating teams have agreed that this new term – “fresh modalities” – should last another few weeks at least, thereby keeping them in the limelight and maintaining their high profiles before the inevitable next election is called.
“We are confident that ‘fresh modalities’ will be acceptable to Miriam O’Callaghan, Claire Byrne and all the mainstream broadcast and print media as the latest buzz words that will sustain our vacuous debate over the coming weeks,” each party announced in a giant statement, signed by Simon Coveney-Ó Cuív.
However not all media commentators were happy. Owen Harass of the Sunday Independent claimed that he had actually coined the term and wasn’t being given any credit for it. “It’s all about me,” he said, “or at least it should be. This is yet another example of the crypto-Workers Party members inside our national broadcaster conspiring with other so-called nationalist republican bedfellows to keep a brave, radical, political commentator like, er, me off the airwaves. And furthermore…” (Contd. pages 9,10,11,12)


“I have always been passionate about the upper chamber, ever since I lost my seat in the election. It makes a vital contribution to our democratic process and provides a handy gig for washed up politicians.
“I would implore you to give me your vote as I have plenty to offer in political debate, and I need somewhere to go before I try to become a TD again in the next election. The house has always been home to essential political voices and facilitates important discussion – as well paying an absolute fortune.
“Of course, it is not perfect by any means and we may well need to look at reform – but of course not before I’ve completed my stint as senator and we’ve rebuilt our party.”



Enda Micheál
1 The old Civil War politics to be ended
2 Guarantee of stable government for immediate future
3 Renewed and urgent focus on tackling country’s major problems
4 Partnership approach in the national interest
5 Fine Gael to emerge as biggest party next time
6 We’ll just have to put up with these devious bastards in the short term
1 An end to the old Civil War politics
2 Government will be stable over the years ahead
3 Major problems facing the country to be tackled as a matter of urgency
4 National interest to be served by new partnership approach
5 Next election to see Fianna Fáil as biggest party
6 Meantime, we put up with that shower of scheming Blueshirt bastards
Parties agree framework for further confusion

In a major breakthrough in the current political impasse, parties from all sides last night reached agreement on a programme that will prolong the confusion for several more weeks.
“This document offers a clear path out of the present logjam and into another one,” commented one Independent, who early yesterday offered his definitive support for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, before later switching to Micheál Martin. “The real problem lies with the two main parties who have failed to offer a detailed breakdown of how a minority government would work. Also, they haven’t been able to meet key demands of ours – for my own part, I want a new international airport, luxury resort and exclusive shopping development built in my constituency and I don’t think that’s too much to ask for.”
A Fine Gael spokesman yesterday gave the party’s full backing to more negotiations and general dithering. “That’s the one commitment we can fully guarantee,” he confirmed.

Trump supports O’Neill

American Presidential candidate Donald Trump says he “fully endorses” Ireland boss Martin O’Neill’s assertion that only “really attractive” WAGS will be allowed access to his squad’s hotel during Euro 2016 in France.
“It’s about time someone spoke out about women in an open, honest and enlightened way, and this guy O’Neill sounds like a wise and well-educated man,” says the Republican frontrunner. “There’s far too many gals out there with overextended waistlines and at last someone’s had the guts to point it out. I’d like to invite that gaffer to the White House someday but that other guy, Dumpty, has got to be banned from the US. He looks like Hilary Clinton without make-up.”


RTE have confirmed that 2FM boss Dan Healy is to undergo ear surgery “as soon as possible.” The station chief claimed that other radio stations were not playing Nicky Byrne’s Eurovision-bound song ‘Sunlight’ because the singer is a disc jockey with the national broadcaster.
A spokesman said: “Yeah, we don’t think it’s too serious but it’s best to get it checked out. We’re not sure if Dan has actually heard the song properly, to be fair. The claim that Byrne’s day-job is keeping the song off the airwaves? Eh, dubious, at best. It’s probably just an excessive build-up of wax.”

Unprecedented apocalypse if Irish Water abolished
The future for Irish society if Irish Water is abolished

The future for Irish society if Irish Water is abolished

By Cath O’Strophic

Heaven, Hell and the Celtic gods of yore will rain down tongues of fire, unleash giant rats onto the streets and convert the seas to acid if Irish Water is abolished, according to legal opinion supplied to the beleaguered water agency.
“And that’s just day one – expect plague, earthquakes and the dead rising from their graves within a week,” warns a source who has seen the document. The same source insists the gods consider non-payment as, “no minor matter… There could be children eaten alive by hordes of poisonous ants!”
The source angrily denies scaremongering. “Oh no, the gods are already extremely angry and vengeful. You’ll be aware of Fianna Fáil making a comeback…”




MEMBERS OF the UK football media are questioning their very existence after failing to break the spirits of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. The German took over at Anfield last October – a whopping six months ago – and is still in good form, even being seen laughing and joking at press conferences.
“It makes you wonder, what’s it all about,” said one Sun reporter. “He should be a nervous wreck by now, like Van Gaal at United. We’ve tried everything we know but he just won’t go down. Even the team are helping our cause by playing shit but it doesn’t seem to bother him. He won’t even lose the rag, it’s very disappointing. I’m thinking of changing careers if this is how it’s going to be.”


AER LINGUS have revealed the real reason that Arthur Lanigan-O’Keefe was thrown off a domestic flight. The Olympic hopeful, who competes in the modern pentathlon, was removed from a flight on his way to a competition.
The airline said: “We saw the doubled-barrelled name and one of the flight crew got suspicious. We checked out his story and it turns out he participates in fencing. Further checks revealed he wasn’t that good at it, so there was no real threat. But there was always the danger that he could bore some of the passengers to death if started talking to them about modern pentathlon. He had to go.”
Meanwhile, Irish Olympic chiefs are optimistic about our prospects this year. Enthused one official, “We can come 50th in indoor kabbadi.”

The Wesht Wing

Scene 1: The Easter Rising commemorations, Dublin. Heavily disguised, and using “back channels”, negotiators from Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael open talks about talks.
Man dressed as Countess Markievicz (actually Simon Harris): Psst! You there! Flag bearer in 1916 uniform.
Flag Bearer (actually Barry Cowen): Is that you Simon? Wow. You make a very convincing countess. But what’s wrong with your nose?
Harris: Nothing. I just have to hold it when I’m talking to you guys.
Cowen: The feeling’s mutual, Simon. That’s why I brought a pole. It’s extendible to 40 foot – in case I have to touch you.
Harris: OK. Enough of the insults. Are the soldiers of destiny ready to deal yet?
Cowen: Not quite yet, I’m afraid. The front bench accepts it’s inevitable, but the grassroots still haven’t forgiven ye for certain things.
Harris: Like what? Austerity?
Cowen: No – selling out the Republic in 1921. They’re still dealing with that.
Harris: Jesus! How long more do they need, realistically? Or are we wasting our time.
Cowen: Don’t worry. We’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse. But it’ll take another month or so.
Harris: A month? That’s a lot of time for us to be pretending to hold constructive talks with the Independents. Although we do need a back-up deal with them too. In case you bastards try to cut and run early on us.
Cowen: Yeah. Same for us with ye.
Harris: So I can report back to HQ that you’re making progress towards talks, however slowly. And we’ll meet again in, say, two weeks?
Cowen: Agreed. I’ll bring a shorter pole next time.

Scene 2: Grand National Day, Fairyhouse. After another big win for Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud, the Taoiseach presents the trophies and poses for photographs.

Enda Kenny (to the winning jockey): Well done young man. That was a bit close for comfort, I’d say.
Jockey: It was tight alright, (he slaps the horse’s neck, affectionately), but in fairness, this lad gave me a great ride.
Kenny (nodding towards Michael O’Leary): It was more comfortable than a ride with Ryanair, that’s for sure. You had no shortage of leg room at least.
O’Leary: Gee, thanks Enda. I’ll really miss your wit this time next year, when the new Taoiseach – Leo Varadkar or whoever – is giving me the trophy.
Kenny: Don’t write me off yet, Michael – you might be surprised. (He strokes the horse’s nose). But well done you too, big fella.
Horse: Neigh!
Kenny: Ha, ha – I hear that a lot in politics. Fair play to you: you may be only a dumb animal, but at least you always respond to the whip – unlike some of my backbenchers.
Horse: Who are you calling dumb? I’m not the one who had a booming economy and a hopelessly fragmented opposition and still managed to the lose the election.
O’Leary: There you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

Scene 3: The Aviva Stadium. During a break in the Leinster v Munster rugby match, Leo Varadkar discusses political developments with fellow Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy.

Murphy: So I’m hearing the Sindo have a poll tomorrow saying 39 per cent of the electorate want Meehole as Taoiseach, compared with only 17 for our man?
Varadkar: Yeah – like, ouch! But what can we do? If only the party had a younger, more dynamic leader.
Murphy: So when are making your move?
Varadkar: Oh, there’s no rush. I gather that Enda’s unpopularity with Fine Gael is more than offset by the secret affection Fianna Fáil have for him. They consider him a potential asset, understandably enough. So while publicly calling for his head, they’d quite like to keep him there in any FG-FF arrangement, as rotating Taoiseach or whatever.
Murphy: And what? You want to keep him there too?
Varadkar: Well, I think I’d like him to be the one who leads us into what’s sure to be a bad experience sharing power with the soldiers. Then maybe, when Meehole thinks he has us where he wants us, we could arrange for Enda’s departure. I’ll have positioned myself as the anti-FF wing of the Cabinet. So after reluctantly agreeing to become leader, I’ll be the one to rescue the party from the mess Enda led it into, just in time for the historic 2018 election.
Murphy: God, You have it all worked out.
Varadkar: Or alternatively, I might be persuaded to shaft Enda next week and have done with it. I’m pretty flexible, really. That’s what being Minister for Health teaches you, if nothing else. You make things up as you go along.

Scene 4: Glasnevin Cemetery. After the unveiling of the 1916 memorial wall, the acting Taoiseach meets a former one.

Bertie Ahern: Well, have you seen de writin’ on it yet?
Enda Kenny: On what?
Ahern: On de wall.
Kenny: You mean the 488 names of the 1916 dead?
Ahern: No, I mean the bit dat predicts your immigrant demise.
Kenny: “Imminent” demise, I think you mean.
Ahern: So you did see it. I was wondering was it just me – I have a sixt sense for dat sort of ting.
Kenny (lowering his voice and leaning in): Speaking of which, what does your sixth sense say about this so-called Panama Papers stuff? I’m hearing a lot about an office in Drumcondra?
Ahern: Dat’s a pure coincidence – nuttin to do wit me. But, eh, I hear your pal Frank Flannery is mentioned in dispatches.
Kenny: Really? Not that he is a pal of mine, anymore.
Ahern: Whatever you say.
Kenny: I mean, he used to be our election strategist, once upon a time. But as you know, we didn’t use him on this occasion, for better or worse.
Ahern: Might turn out to be for better.
Kenny: And we were never that close anyway.
Ahern: Fair enough. (He looks around, ostentatiously) But what was dat strange farmyard sound?
Kenny: What sound?
Ahern: I taut I heard a cock crow dere – de turd time ye said ye didn’t know Flannery. But maybe I imagined it.

Zuma shock

By Joe Hannesburg

Irish politicians on all sides have hailed South Africa’s embracement of democracy, following a ruling by the country’s highest court that President Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution, by refusing to pay back millions of dollars in public funds spent on improvements to his house.
The property included a luxurious house and gardens, cattle enclosure, amphitheatre, chicken coop, swimming pool, visitor centre and helipad.
Said one Fianna Fáil veteran last night, “For Zuma to be using taxpayers’ money to fund this sort of extravagance is mind-boggling. I thought I was doing well with All-Ireland tickets and the odd trip to Brussels, but this man’s achievement under democratic rule is incredible. Even Charlie would be jealous!”
Agreed an envious Fine Gael TD, “The South Africans are an inspiration to every politician who has ever craved their own chicken coop and helipad. It just goes to prove that democracy works if you believe in yourself.”

Teachers strike warning

by Our Education Staff – Will Phail

Young teachers who entered the profession since 2012 are being treated as “galley slaves”, according to a spokesperson for the National Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (NASTI).
“It now looks as though we will have no alternative but to take industrial action over the coming months,” warned 26-year-old Polly Technic, Head of Media Studies at St. Jude’s Comprehensive. “However, due to the huge number of staff shortages, substitute teachers will need to be brought in to go on strike.”
Ms Technic appealed to the Government to take immediate remedial action to solve the issues of unequal pay rates and low morale.
“We don’t have enough teachers to stand outside school gates and cover the official picket lines,” she continued. “It’s time something was done – because it’s an absolute disgrace that there are insufficient numbers of trained staff to not teach our young people.”