Enda’s Big Day

See you all in Coppers

In 2011, on the steps of Croke Park, Bryan Cullen, uttered the above phrase to ecstatic Dublin Supporters, as the county captured its first All Ireland Title since 1995. A lot has changed since then. But Copper Face Jacks remains constant, GAA party central.

The proliferation and regurgitation of Coppers “Gold Cards” is the source of many a tale, and there are many of those that you couldn’t tell. When Newly Appointed Right Wing TD Noel Rock, declared his intention to not declare his Coppers Gold Card as part of his perks package, we all laughed. Albeit, most of us laughed in despair

But, I can’t help let my mind drift to that institution on Harcourt Street. The dance floor, filled with preening peacocks, a “theatre of dreams”. The bar packed five deep, thronged with punters. The queue outside the door swelling with the closing of the pubs on Camden Street. The gangs descend on the last, best hope for some late night adult entertainment.

Some of the peacocks will have their strutting rewarded. Most will be found to be not peacocks at all; most are Dodo birds, shaking their tail feathers, hoping to deceive in the darkness. But when the lights go up the last Dodo’s, glance sadly at one another, together in their loneliness.

In the coming days, the Independent Alliance, the Rural Alliance and the Unholy Alliance (Lowry and Zappone) will elect the lame duck Taoiseach enda kenny. They will cut deals (more power to them) and swallow principles, in order to facilitate the New Politics* of Fianna Gael. More on that anon.

Anyway, people are feverishly scurrying about for the big show. The media want the best quotes, quips and soundbites from their unnamed and unverified “sources”. The wannabe ministers are having their teeth whitened and false tan applied. TV3’s Xpose, informs us that even Cinderella wants to go to this ball.

The kenny coronation will be the best show in town, apparently. Fifty Eight soldiers of (good or bad)fortune, supported by the Soldiers of Destiny, will march proudly and smile for the cameras. While us, the electorate, try to quell our upchuck reflex.

When in 2011 Bryan Cullen, said “See you all in Coppers” he spoke to the Dubs. Thirty One other counties could not care less. And the Dubs, in wild celebrations, cared even less about the rest of the country. The kenny coronation will be something similar.

While the new Administration (this will not be a government) get suited and booted for the anti-climactic coronation, the electorate could not care less. As enda gets ready to make history, by becoming the first Fine Gael Taoiseach to be reelected (as part of Fianna Gael), most of us will turn away, repulsed by the spectacle.

Picture it, the wannabe peacocks cramming on to the dance floor, hoping to get picked out as the New Minister for New Politics. Dancing and shaking their tail feathers, each of them, drunk on just a sniff from the cocktail of power.

But when the lights go up, we will see them for what they really are; Fifty Eight Dodos’, strutting their way towards political extinction.  I do worry for newbie Noel Rock, those Dodo’s will be all looking for a lend of his Gold Card…


Tony Groves May 2016



*New Politics: A marketing phrase used to re-brand traditional politics and the time-honoured values of cronyism, corruption and nepotism.



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