Council Affairs: It’s my party and I’ll leave if I want to

Limerick County Council Offices in Dooradoyle.

FINE Gael are adrift at sea this week after being dumped by their party leader Leo Varadkar for “personal and political” reasons.

Only days after a White House visit for the annual St Patrick’s Day stopover of the poor relations, Leo, Ireland’s youngest and first openly gay Taoiseach decided it was time to walk away from a life of endless bliss. The 38-year-old Kylie Minogue fan, after “much soul searching”, came to the heartbreaking realisation that he is indeed a shooting star.

“I’ve come so far. I can’t go back to where I used to be,” he probably told himself on the flight home after leaving Uncle Joe behind him in the land of milk and honey.

And on his return to Ireland, he got the band back together for one show-stopping last hurrah outside Government Buildings, to belt out all the old hits. The Most Fulfilling Time of My LifeThere Is Never A Right TimeFrom Austerity to Prosperity, and of course, the greatest blueshirt anthem of them all, Keep The Recovery Going. It was a teary-eyed spectacle filled with emotion and glitter, right up to a note-perfect rendition of farewell single, We Give It Everything Until We Can’t Anymore, And Then We Have To Move On.

It was enough to bring a tear to even Mary Lou’s eye.

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Such fun they had. Leo even got a few sarky giggles out of his troops at a private parliamentary meeting, before the final curtain fell, as he pronounced, in true leading lady fashion; “I couldn’t find anyone to stab me in the back, so I fell on my sword instead.”

“We didn’t know you were looking,” came the reply from the smart boy in the backbenches.

Tributes were paid, tears were shed, and lips were licked at the prospect of plump bottoms warming the Taoiseach’s big chair.

General Election, perhaps?

Not at all!

Is it a democracy you think we are living in?

No, Simon ‘there have been 18 other coronaviruses’ Harris, is already being groomed for the job.

But what of the Fine Gael lot down in Limerick?

Well, I tell you what, they were very subdued at last Wednesday morning’s Metropolitan District meeting as the big announcement beckoned at high noon up in Dublin.

Only just barely home after their gallivanting in America for St Patrick’s Day, and there wasn’t a peep out of the Fine Gael bench throughout. I thought the heads were just melted off them after too much Green porter, but no, they were broken-hearted at the prospect of being Leo-less!

Still, like the poor craturs’ they are, they found other reasons to get their knickers in a twist, and go crying to that fella from the Leader who camps out down in Merchant’s Quay.

They were quick to get over Varadkar sailing off into the sunset, and instead have a right hissy fit about the election of a Directly Elected Mayor. They stomped and stomped over their party’s slowness to get out of the starting blocks like true Disney princesses.

In fairness, it is almost April, and they aren’t even at the races, so you couldn’t really blame them.

And Leo wasn’t the only one leaving the sinking ship. The Good Ship Fine Gael looks well scuppered after this month’s referendums, and not even a blast of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On could save them now.

Councillors Adam Teskey, Liam Galvin and John Sheahan jump overboard and took themselves out of the mayoral race in Limerick, leaving Daniel Butler the last man standing. But with just over two months to go, he was still coming off all coy and telling the Leader that he is still weighing up his options.

Oh, well, if the last week has thought us anything about Fine Gael, it is that, the most perfect tune for their canon, would have to be, It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

Bless ’em!