Irish Water latest
Fine Gael supporters are to be allowed pay water charges for as long as they like under a new arrangement between FG and Fianna Fáil. The deal was hammered out over hours of intense negotiations and follows on from Simon Coveney’s Prime Time gaffe.
“Things were tipping along fine up to the election, so we’re going to more or less leave things as they were,” said one FF participant. “The Blueshirts can carry on paying, our crowd won’t join them for five years, and the lefty Commies are off the hook as long as they contribute to the economy by organising mass protests across the country every two months. ”
Asked whether Labour party supporters were part of the agreement, the spokesman looked puzzled. “What supporters?” he asked.
Is there too much endless speculation about the government?
by All Hacks
ARE THERE too many filler articles about the possible make-up of the next government in the newspapers? That is the crucial issue I have been asked to write about today by the Editor.
Whether or not I can come up with a new angle, of course, is the real question. This latest post-election period is truly unprecedented and leaves the country’s political future completely adrift in unchartered territory. So what will be the final act in this never-ending drama?
Over the past week, I have repeatedly written about the smaller groupings and Independents who may or may not agree to support one of the two big parties. In-depth profiles of all the main players have been carefully copied from Wikipedia and reprinted verbatim.
In yesterday’s lengthy article, I considered the history of previous Coalitions and addressed the subject of gene-pool clichés – something that is certain to be a vital cog in this political jigsaw.
Yet another intriguing possibility is that I have no idea whatsoever about the make-up of the new Coalition any more than the next hack. However, this is highly unlikely to stop me from… (You’re fired. Ed.)
McGREGOR WON’T SEEK TAOISEACH NOMINATION
UFC fighter Conor McGregor has dismissed rumours that he will seek a nomination for Taoiseach following his loss to Nate Diaz in Las Vegas. Speculation had grown that Fine Gael would approach McGregor to replace Enda Kenny as leader and head of a new government, but the controversial star has said there is no substance to the reports.
“Despite this loss, I am still in better shape than Fine Gael,” said a defiant McGregor in a lengthy Instagram post. “Taking over a weakened party and leading a ramshackle coalition is beneath me. Thank you all to the true support and f**k the hate that came out of the woodwork. I love it all. It’s still steak for breakfast.”
An FG spokesman conceded that McGregor’s abrasive style would make EU negotiations “difficult”, but insisted they were still hopeful of luring the fighter into the world of Irish politics. “He has signalled his intentioned to go back down to featherweight,” said the spokesman, “so he’d be right at home in the new Dáil.”
SEXTON LOOKING FORWARD TO ENGLAND ENCOUNTER
JONNY SEXTON has released a statement to alleviate fears that he is continuing to play despite a series of concussion-related injuries. The Ireland flyhalf has been withdrawn during both of Ireland’s Six Nations games so far.
He said, “I want to assure fans that I’m 110% fine. My memory is perfect. The knocks I took recently against Mozambique and the Newbridge BaaBaas were minor.
“I have passed all the return-to-play protocols and look forward to the match against Bohemians in Dalymount on Saturday. I have the full backing of our coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, and I am up for the battle with Ronan O’Gara for the number 10 shirt.”
THOSE ELECTION OSCARS
Best Make-up Artist
Enda Kenny in Star Bores for regurgitating any old guff about keeping the recovery going
Best Female Supporting Role
Joan Burton for constantly denying the dismal poll findings in The Hateful 8%
The Revenant Award
Michael Ring for his performance in the wilds of Mayo after being mauled by a small dog
Best Male Actor
Micheál Martin for his TV debate performance in Mad Mike: Fury Road after being repeatedly mauled by Grizzly Adams
Michael Healy Rae
Special Foreign Language Performance
Co-winners Michael and Danny Healy-Rae in Rant-Man
The Claire Byrne Award
Claire Byrne in Phwoaar and Peace for her contribution to looking good on television
What a week. I am saddened to the very ventricles of my papal soul that the flock on the street should be shocked that a full-blooded pumped-up pontiff like the late great John Paul II has been writing love letters to a mature woman of the opposite sex. So much for the myth that our top clerics are only interested in altar boys, eh!
I ask modern Catholics to rejoice that JP used to grant his friend an audience in the comfort of the Vatican cellars with a bottle of Vat 69 to discuss the finer points of theology. What is so wrong with that?
Popes may be supreme and infallible, but there is even more to us. Are we not men? As I travel the world, I make sure to spread the word of peace and speak out against violence and crime – unlike that hairbrained pagan, Donald Trump. In South America, I see that some newspapers promote drug bosses and their glamorous lifestyle. Such a lie. It is my job to hit out at the media – and indeed, at any young thugs who gets too close for comfort when I am doing a peace-loving meet-and-greet down Mexico way.
Sometimes excommunications aren’t enough, so when push comes to shove, I grab the nearest glass bottle and smash it against the humble Fiat bonnet. Then I invite those selfish little punks to come to have a go – if they think they’re hard enough. In today’s world, my friend, go too far, and I put you in the ground. Beatific smiles all round.
In common with all other publications, we may recently have given the impression that we believed the Irish rugby team was on the cusp of becoming the greatest squad ever assembled in the history of sport. This view may have been reinforced by headlines such as, “Schmidt’s Titans to Triumph” and “Super Schmidtonians to Rewrite Rugby History”.
However, in the wake of the two dismal failures against Wales and France, the nation can now see that this is the most clueless bunch of misfits Irish rugby has ever had the misfortune to field. It’s become clear that these over-hyped brats are chronically devoid of backbone and lack the mettle to close out a game.
We apologise for our error and promise not to repeat it until the next time Ireland win a big Six Nations clash.
This week Dr Will Squander of Transfusion Positive de-livers his professional opinion
People often call me urgently and say, ‘Doctor, I am feeling unwell, what’s the latest news on treatment for hepatitis?’ I always recommend we meet by the pool to discuss the matter over a nice chardonnay. Say about noon just after I have had my manicure and with an hour to spare before the waiter brings the dinner menu. Shall we say one of the Greek islands? You choose – after all, it’s your liver! Of course it’s crucially important when dealing with such matters that one is made to feel secure and relaxed. I have retained the same travel advisor for three years now and I must say once the arrangements are confirmed, I feel
a huge weight off my shoulders!
Croker to host GAA match shock
There was widespread anger in the GAA last night after it emerged that a rock concert is being rescheduled to accommodate a match in Croke Park. It had been assumed that the GAA HQ would exclusively host rock gigs and American football games throughout the summer, but a spokesman for the association insisted that the unprecedented move was warranted.
“The hosting of concerts by artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce is central to the ethos of the association,” he said. “The GAA is known and revered throughout the world for its fostering of stadium rock acts, money-spinning exhibition events and lucrative TV rights deals. However, it makes commercial sense to host the occasional Gaelic football and hurling match, hence this one-off decision to play a game in Croke Park.”
D’ARCY IN EUROVISION UPROAR
MEMBERS OF the audience during a recent Ray D’Arcy show were said to be disgusted when Nicky Byrne was introduced by the host – only for the real Nicky Byrne to come on.
D’Arcy had previously announced that Jack Nicholson was a guest on his show, but a Nicholson impersonator appeared instead. So when Byrne was slated to perform Ireland’s Eurovision entry, some people were expecting an impersonator – maybe someone who could hold a tune, for instance. But the audience collectively winced when they realised it was the real Byrne, who came out to ‘sing’ one of the worst pieces of shit ever put forward for the song contest.
“I feel ripped off,” said one viewer. “When I’m looking at an RTÉ chat show and hear that someone is coming on, I don’t expect a real-life member of Westlife. Give me a break.”
Gardaí to throw ‘full force of the alphabet’ at criminals, vows Commissioner
Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan has warned Dublin’s criminal fraternity that her office will “hold as many news conferences at it takes” to rid the capital of gangland crime. “The situation remains top priority and even as we speak I am heading for the make-up room before appearing on a major news bulletin!” assured the top cop. “We will leave no metaphor unturned and will use every vowel available to us until these people, who are a cancer in society, are behind bars.”
And in a further ratcheting up of pressure, justice minister Frances Fitzgerald has warned criminals that they may be billed for security at future funerals if Fine Gael is returned to power. “We fully intend to hit them in the pocket if they continue killing each other,” she asserts. “And they will be hunted down if they ignore even one invoice. Our party has a very proud record in pursuing that kind of criminal activity.”
GANGLAND WHO’S WHO
Suave mafia godfather whose crime empire is believed to comprise Russia, Mexico and the entire continent of Africa. Though based on the Continent, Scumbag regularly flies home to Dublin to attend funerals. Going under the nickname The Llama, his hobbies include relaxing with Colombian drug lords and blowing away gangland rivals.
MIKE SCUMBAG JR
Having survived 14 different assassination attempts in Dublin, Scumbag Jr relocated to Spain several years ago, where he likes to unwind by dishing out punishment beatings to rival gangland bosses. Other crimes include being the subject of eight separate TV3 shows, and providing Paul Williams with acres of material to fill his columns with.
TONY ‘FAT TONY’ SCUMBAG
A first cousin of Mike Scumbag, Fat Tony served 20 years in prison for multiple offences, including drug dealing, violent assault and failing to have motor insurance. He currently lives the high life in a E10m mansion on the Costa Del Sleaze, where he indulges his twin passions of gardening and breaking people’s legs.
JOHN ‘PSYCHO’ SCUMBAG
Notorious henchman who fled to the Continent after being targeted by a rival gang, who suspected him of masterminding the killing of drug kingpin The Moose. A celebrated character, his party pieces include shooting up the room with his beloved Uzi.
SEAN DUNNE HOUSE SALE
Thieves shaken after brush with Vlad
THIEVES WHO almost ran into Leo Varadkar as he canvassed for votes in Castleknock say they are “relieved no-one was hurt” in the incident. The robbers were exiting a local shop when they had their lucky escape. One member of the gang explained: “We had just finished our business and were making good our escape. Then, out of nowhere, we saw some guys carrying placards.
“We ran like f*ck and luckily for us, they couldn’t catch up. I heard them screaming ‘Vote Fine Gael’. I think one of our lads rang the Gardaí shortly afterwards to warn the public of the danger. Unfortunately, this is an issue up and down the country. I hope people don’t just associate this kind of thing with north Dublin.”
Such incidents have become routine in recent weeks, as hordes of canvassing politicians openly roam the streets in search of votes. An Garda Síochána have advised members of the public to stay in their homes during the election period and not to answer the door to strangers.
They warn that all candidates are armed with meaningless sound bites from their manifestos, and are extremely dangerous, particularly if engaged in conversation about what’s wrong with the other parties.
CALLS FOR EARLY BEATIFICATION OF CLAIRE BYRNE
Pressure was increasing on Pope Francis last night to fast-track the canonisation of RTÉ broadcaster Claire Byrne. The calls come after the adored broadcaster miraculously kept Irish television viewers tuned into an RTÉ political debate for 90 minutes.
Such was the powerful force of the transmission that many viewers have had their lives altered forever. “I’m not religious and I’ve always considered RTÉ as sort of evil but I was praying on my knees that she’d keep going and maybe even hit Gerry Adams a smack,” said one born again viewer in Clonmel. “I can’t wait for next Tuesday”.
Meanwhile in Cork, a mother of six claimed the experience had turned her “away from Vincent Browne”. She added, “For the first time in 20 years, my husband put his arm around me as Claire put a stop to Micheál Martin’s waffling. I believe her intercession has saved our marriage.”
A Vatican spokesman said the Pontiff was considering the appeals but was warning people “not to get too pushy about it!”
Creighton pledge – “Prison for all”
by Our Crime Staff Phil Cells
Lucinda Creighton has again called for the imprisonment of everyone in the country for an indefinite period. The Renua leader has focused on crime throughout the election campaign.
“The only way to make the streets of our cities safe is to have nobody on them,” Ms Creighton told reporters. “We will all be out of danger if all potential criminal families are safely incarcerated behind bars.”
The Renua plan will involve the long-term construction of at least 17,000 new prisons.
“This is an additional spin-off benefit of our proposals and should provide a much-needed boost to the national economy,” explained Lucy. “What’s even better is that I then get re-elected by pandering to the prejudices of ordinary high-income tax-payers, who will save billions if the prisoners themselves carry out the building programme by working around-the-clock in chain-gangs.”
JOAN BURTON’S HANDS
1) Thumbing nose at socialism
2) Pointing out everyone else’s mistakes
3) Middle finger to Eamon Gilmore
4) Finger not lifted to help Alan Kelly
5) Finger used for pointing out water protestors
6) Thumbs up to Enda Kenny
7) Wagging finger at Sinn Féin
8) Finger switching remote control to Downton Abbey
9) Hanging onto seat by fingertip
Eamon Ryan pictured with friends and supporters
Just how long can it survive?
by Our Political Staff Hugh Cares
As the fall-out from this week’s election continues, there is still no clear answer to the question that every political pundit is now asking. How long can this piece about the make-up of the next government keep going?
Almost nothing has changed since yesterday when I wrote at length about the most likely combination of coalition partners. Amid the ongoing uncertainty, speculation is rife as to whether or not today’s article has any chance of going on indefinitely.
There are encouraging signs that I have enough paragraphs left to strimg out this in-depth analysis piece for at least another 500 words. On the other hand, it’s quite possible that the endless conjecture may well run out of steam.
Of course, this is not inevitable – particularly as the political situation remains fluid. Meanwhile, frantic discussions are taking place behind the scenes in the editor’s office and the likelihood is that every journalist in the country will be reporting on developments as usual in tonorrow’s papers.
Taoiseach spells it out
By our Political Corr – Phil Space
FOLLOWING MONTHS of uncertainty during which Enda Kenny has repeatedly insisted that he would not go into government with Fianna Fáil under any circumstances, the Fine Gael leader finally came off the fence yesterday and said that he would not enter into coalition with Fianna Fáil.
However, the announcement only increased speculation about an imminent political deal between the two parties. Seasoned commentators around Leinster House suggested that rumours were still rife about the intentions of both leaders.
“Mr Kenny has always said that he would never work with Micheál Martin,” said one insider, “but now he is maintaining that he won’t ever work with him – so what are we to think of that?” Prominent political reporters also expressed the view that it was time for the Fine Gael boss to make a definitive statement about his immediate plans.
Said one disgruntled hack, “Either Enda will not form a government with Fianna Fáil or he will not form a government with Fianna Fáil. The big question remains: will he or won’t he…give us something to fill up tomorrow’s front pages?”
ELECTION LEXICON (Contd.)
- n The party: Thing people hold when last of the candidates has departed a constituent’s doorstep.
- n First preference: To jump under a bus rather than shake that gobshite’s hand!
- Poll: Speculative form of filler much loved by desperate news editors.
- Mudslinging: Inevitable result when a candidate enters a farmyard during a busy period.
- Frontrunner: Candidate leaving the farmyard quick smart.
APOLOGY – FIANNA FÁIL
In common with all other newspapers, we may in recent years have given the impression that Fianna Fáil were a hopelessly washed up political outfit. Headlines such “Biffo And Co. Destroy Country” and “Fianna Failures Facing Total Annihilation” may have led some readers to believe that we felt the party were headed towards oblivion. However, following their strong performance in the polls and Micheál Martin’s high satisfaction ratings, we now realise that FF are set to enjoy an unprecedented political comeback. This is reflected in many of our latest headlines, including “Micheál Works Miracle” and “Sky’s The Limit For Resurgent FF”. We acknowledge our error and apologise for any confusion.
FG to go into coalition with Fine Gael
By Stephen ‘Phil’ Collins
In an unexpected move that has shocked many political observers, the Fine Gael party yesterday announced plans to enter into a coalition arrangement with Fine Gael.
“We have a very proud history of forming successful governments with other political groupings,” Enda Kenny told reporters, “and I now feel that the time is right to put aside our differences and work together for the good of my leadership.”
Other senior members of the party also voiced their support for the latest proposal, claiming that there was no reason why recently elected Fine Gael TDs could not agree on a shared programme for survival.
“The bitter rivalries and resentment towards Fine Gael from many of my colleagues has prevented any chance of coalition for too long,” commented Vlad Varadkar. “But now that the election is over, we have a good opportunity to unite the party, with Enda and the outgoing group of has-beens closely supporting my own larger party while I prepare to take over as leader.”
ENDA’S ELECTION PLAYLIST
- I Just Called To Say I Love You (And Stop Whinging, For Christ’s Sake)
- All The Young Dudes (And All The Whingers)
- Break On Through To 30 Percent
- I Can’t Go For All That Whinging
- I Would Do Anything For You – So Stop Moaning
- Do Ya Think My Taxation Policies Are Sexy?
“Brexit shambles a great success” – Cameron
“…Yes, it’s an excellent result for Britain as well as the entire EU – and it’s all thanks primarily to the hard work of myself burning the midnight oil at both ends to completely transform Europe for everyone’s benefit (except for child allowances to foreign workers, of course).
“You must understand that the key to effective negotiation is sensible compromise – and no-one can deny that I very courageously went that extra mile (or 1.609 kilometres as I agreed to say) to compromise much more than all the other member states.
“Our total lack of progress is more than compensated for by my resounding success in achieving radical reforms in the Eurovision Song Contest. So, from now on, every country can award itself 12 votes – which means that ‘nul points’ could well become a thing of the past for Great Britain.
“These proposals will prevent freeloaders shamelessly scrounging off the public purse – Tory MPs, for example.”
Enda ‘didn’t know there was an election’, shock!
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has again rejected claims that he deliberately dodged appearing on RTE’s 6pm on the day he dissolved the Dáil, stating that “didn’t know there was an election on.”
The Fine Gael leader insisted he had “no problem discussing anything in a public forum”, but that “this election business” caught him “completely offguard”. Before departing in a tinted-window Mercedes, the humble leader said he would be “up for any debate” once he had “confirmed these rumours about the so-called election one way or the other.”
In another major shock, Kenny was apparently unaware of being Taoiseach for the past five years. “It’s news to me,” he shrugged.
RTÉ have clarified that their broadcasts on February 26 will feature coverage of the election as well as Miriam O’Callaghan. Speculation has grown that the election day output would consist solely of material based around the wildly popular mum of 43, but an RTÉ spokesman has emphatically denied the suggestion. “Obviously we’re talking about an issue of the utmost national importance,” he explained. “But leaving aside Miriam, we’re aware people want to view election coverage as well. We can shelve the Miriam stuff until she runs for President.”
Gerry Adams’ Valentine’s Message to Micheál Martin
With your balding head and Corky smile
We are like chalk and cheese
But if mandating is your thing
I’m up for giving us a fling
So Marty, call me please
Fear grips country as early polls predict a government will emerge!
A deep sense of increasing fear was rapidly spreading ac to power. “I’m petrified they won’t hold the lead and those Fianna Fáil b**tards will somehow sneak in,” said one Blueshirt supporter in Mayo. “I’m really scared the poll will prove accurate and the blue-short feckers will return,” fretted a badly shaken chef in Dublin. “I’m extremely concerned that some sort of Sinn Féin-led leftie alliance will seize power,” fretted a Waterford garda. “I can’t sleep with the thought of those evil sadists in Renua being in government,” said a deeply worried teacher in Sligo. Meanwhile a traumatised shepherd in Donegal vowed to emigrate if Shane Ross manages to… (Contd until Feb 26)
FG CANVASSERS SPOTTED IN CENTRAL DUBLIN
Cabinet: Thing you hide behind when a candidate comes round to the back door determined to see if you really are not at home.
Constituent: Member of society known to harbour strong emotions of anger, disillusionment, cynicism and revenge.
Candidate: Much smaller section of the population known to harbour strong sentiments of grandeur, egotism, vanity and self-delusion.
The party: Thing people hold when the last of the candidates has departed a constituent’s doorstep
Demoralised Sinn Féin struggle to top poll
With the election just weeks away, discredited Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has very good reason to be dejected this weekend. The humiliated boss of his minority republican party seems certain to lead his team of losers to their best ever election result, according to the latest Sunday Independent poll from noshinners.gov.
With a mere 29% ratings share, Sinn Féin has barely managed to become the second most popular party after Fine Gael and only slightly ahead of Labour’s highly impressive 5%. When voters were asked the question: “Which party do you trust most to follow through on their election promises?”, the universally-derided left wing Sinn Féin struggled to come out on top with a dismal 83%.
Put simply, Grizzly is doomed.
Kenny “will be involved in campaign”
by Our Political Staff – Mark O’Really
Fine Gael strategists have angered some of the party’s TDs by confirming that Enda Kenny will continue to have a role in the election campaign.
Party sources have said that Mr Kenny’s prominence in the election will be strictly controlled because of growing concern over his media performances and his embarrassing gaffes about the housing crisis and fiscal space.
“It’s common knowledge behind the scenes that the Taoiseach is a complete liability, so the main thing is to keep his public presence to an absolute minimum,” said Mike Madeup, a leading party activist. “We intend to put a limit on his appearances – restricting his profile to those smug posters currently on lamp-posts.”
Meanwhile, several of Mr Kenny’s senior colleagues have also expressed concern about his impact on voters. “This election is all about the need for strong leadership – and we don’t want to confuse people with too many appearances by the Taoiseach,” said one prominent minister.
“This high risk strategy of associating Enda with Fine Gael could do untold damage – especially to my own immediate prospects of getting out of Health as soon as possible and replacing the little bastard as Party Leader.”
Party Facebook Roundup
Election Poster Roundup
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Labour have come under intense pressure to decommission Alan Kelly after the environment minister’s latest bizarre outburst. During a live interview on RTÉ television, Kelly declared that the time had come for him to “realise his destiny” and “lead mankind into the new Age of Aquarius”. However, a Labour spokesman denied that Kelly had become a liability. “It’s just Alan being Alan,” he said. “Even that recent incident where he declared that alien beings are living amongst us in human guise, it’s all part of the cut and thrust of the election campaign.”
ELECTION JARGON EXPLAINED
No# 47: Rainy Day Fund
Meaning: None; total bollocks
Meant to convey: Fiscal responsibility, instead suggests love of empty guff
Likelihood of being implemented: Will be forgotten on Feb 27
A MESSAGE FROM ENDA KENNY
The general election is now in full swing and I know how much you’re all enjoying it. While the country has benefited from an economic upswing of late, it’s important not to forget the most vulnerable in our society – and rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to keep Alan Kelly away from the media at the moment.
I know how grateful you all are for austerity, water charges etc and certainly on the doorsteps, people cannot wait to discuss these issues. The fact that your views are often accompanied by the hurling of sundry objects is testament to the robust nature of our political debate.
Elsewhere, our successes are too numerous to count, whether it be the crumbling nature of our transport system or the shambolic state of the health service. If we wish to maintain our successful programme of infrastructural and economic renewal, the best option is undoubtedly to return the current coalition – all the other parties are absolute chancers who will drive us over the cliff.
With regard to forming the next government, we are totally ruling out doing a deal with Independents, Fianna Fáil or indeed anyone else – unless of course we need to rule it in. In conclusion, I would like to tell you about a man I met in Dublin recently. That man’s name was Leo and he said to me, “Enda, I want to replace you as party leader some day”. His words were a powerful reminder of the rampant self-interest that dominates our political landscape.
In this centenary year of 1916, I encourage voters to return Fine Gael to government so that we can maintain Ireland’s status as a vibrant 21st century nation – while also enjoying the many perks of power over the next five years, of course.
POLL OF POLL OF POLLS UPDATE
Compiled by Our Political Staff – Phil Inname
% of newspaper headlines taken up with election polls
% of pointless bar charts, graphs, diagrams stats, etc. on front pages
% of inside pages filled with other worthless graphics
% of readers who are not remotely interested
% of people who will stop buying papers until election is over
Questioned about election coverage, 63% of the public expressed a strong wish for less Irish Times than Indo. 87% found both newspapers “unbearable”.
A staggering 96% of those polled found nothing remotely interesting about Fintan O’Toole’s hand-wringing articles addressing the post-modern decline of Irish political life.
Only 3% read anything written by Jody Corcoran although in the same survey David McWilliams was trailing Corcoran at 2%, having dropped 13% from his previous high of a 15% lead over Eoghan Harris, whose dull rating remains steady at 97%.
Just over 47% thought that Miriam Lord had even less to say than either Harry McGee or Noel Whelan.
This latest finding is 16% up on yesterday’s poll, which showed that Martin Wall’s long-winded pieces were 39% more mind-numbing than Fionnan Sheahan’s.
When asked to name the candidates most likely lose circulation during the run-up to the election, Kevin Myers came out on top with 59%, Michael Clifford was a close second with 57% followed by Una Mullally, who registered a disappointing 54% – splitting the disaffected vote three ways.