Saturday, June 02, 2012


The year was 1965, the month July.

I was showing a French girl round the town and was at a bit of a loss for where to bring her, me not being a tourist myself. After Nelson's Pillar I decided on the Dáil. It was our national parliament, after all, and would be sure to impress.

We ended up in the visitors gallery just as the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, was on the receiving end of a blast from the chamber's prime orator of the day, James Dillon TD, former leader of Fine Gael, the main opposition party.

Mr. Dillon: I said I expect nothing from a pig but a grunt.

I was mortified. This was not quite the impressive dignified debate I had expected.

And to add to my mortification, the French girl asks "What did he say?"

I think I mumbled something about him not agreeing with the Taoiseach, and there and then swore never to bring anyone near the place ever again.

Dillon had been leader of Fine Gael up to the general election on 7 April 1965. In fact I had been at his last big rally outside the GPO two days before the election. That must have been where I formed my exalted opinion of his fine oratory and no doubt it had influenced me into putting the Dáil on my itinerary.

And in case you think I'm spoofing, that's me and my friend Tom in the detail above.

God be with the days.


Anonymous said...

You're like Zelig. You get everywhere.

Póló said...

Great fan of Blessed (now Saint) Martin in my youth. He was blessed with the gift of bilocation which I am sure has now expanded on his elevation to sainthood.