Seems there’s a chance we might have Sinn Féin in government in a few week time.
As someone who frequently wins awards for his journalism (Really. Twice already. Once in 1975 and then, soon after, in 2016!) it’s my job to investigate things.
And so, disguised with a Tiochfaidh Ár Lá t-shirt and humming Come Out Ye Black and Tans, I infiltrated Sinn Féin’s headquarters to find out what their plans are when in government.
I wasn’t expecting much.
But, to be honest, I was impressed when I sneaked into a meeting of the, er, Ard Comhairle.
There they were, sitting around a table: Mary Lou, Eoin Ó Broin, Pearse Doherty and a few guys in masks.
(I caught a glimpse of some notes which had been prepared for Mary Lou by her PR advisors. The notes contained some tips for the TV debate and warned her not to use phrases such as “we know where the bodies are buried” or “our policies will go down a bomb” or “we’d like to have a shot at it.” They also advised her not to suggest the party was “taking aim” at developers, had land speculators “in their sights” or were going to “bite the bullet.”)
But as they sat around the table, they confidently made plans for their forthcoming role in government.
They agreed that they will demand the roles of Tánaiste (Mary Lou), Minister for Housing (Eoin Ó Broin), Minister for Finance (Pearse Doherty) and the ministries of Justice and Defence (the lads in the masks).
They had a short discussion about Conor Murphy but decided not to sack him because after 13 years it was Mary Lou who had to more or less apologise to the Quinn family for accusing their son of being a criminal after he was beaten to death. “Sure if I’m not sacking Dessie Ellis for making bombs and Gerry Kelly for planting them it would be a bit rich to sack Murphy just for saying something wouldn’t it?” Mary Lou said.
And it looks like they’re really up for building 100,000 houses.
That will comprise 35,000 social houses, 35,000 affordable houses, 29,995 safe houses and five holiday homes for Gerry Adams.
Then Eoin said that the national debt was also on their clár oibre. Mary Lou looked puzzled until Pearse explained that clár oibre means agenda.
The total amount Ireland owes is, apparently, in the region of €300 billion.
Well, it won’t be next year.
The debt is not going to disappear as such. No, it’s going to be disappeared – although they all agreed that, eventually, it would be found buried in a field along the border somewhere.