► FX: First 26 seconds of the 1939 instrumental introduction to Buddy Jones’s ‘I’m in the Dog House now’, fading out to the Narrator.
Narrator: In preparation for a meeting of the European Union Economic Crisis Committee, to be held in Schwerin, Germany, a meeting has been called in the Taoiseach’s office, to agree the Irish stance following the liquidation of the I.B.R.C.
► FX: Sound of people moving into the office and taking their seats.
Enda Kenny: Good morning people. I need you all to hurry up, please and get settled. We have a lot to get through today and we need to pull together for the good of everyone concerned.
Eamon Gilmore: Yes, do come along. We have a lot to do, as An Taoiseach has reiterated so clearly. So come on now and work with us on this.
Luci Creighton: Froh, hier zu sein, Chef. Ich bin sicher, dass ich eine große Hilfe bei unseren deutschen Amtskollegen sein kann.
Enda Kenny: No, I didn’t get a word of that, Luci!
Luci Creighton: Sorry, glad to be here, Boss. I’m sure I’ll be a great help with our German counterparts.
Enda Kenny: God, that’s great to hear, Lucinda. I think your language skills really gives us one over London, going forward. But, Lucinda doesn’t sound very German, all the same. You need a good Prussian name that they can relate to. How about Ludwig? From now on you will be known as Ludwig Creighton.
Luci Creighton: Oh good! The German Chancellor, Ludwig Erhard? That’s fine!
Eamon Gilmore: Excellent. Ludwig is a great Germanic name, but perhaps better known of course, for the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven. I remember telling a Finnish friend how …
Enda Kenny: Ciúnas, le do thoil! We must move along. Mobile phones off, please. We don’t want a repeat of last year’s unfortunate event; Pope Benedict’s speech on teenagers. He will never forgive us for Jedward in St Peter’s, for goodness sake! I didn’t know where to look.
Luci Creighton: It was treated very well in the end, Boss.
Eamon Gilmore: Yes, I would have to agree, An Taoiseach. Lucinda’s coughing fit was the perfect cover. If anyone got the Papal Look, it was probably the little Italian on the end of my pew. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the Pope’s decision to retire.
Enda Kenny: Maybe, Eamon, if Ludwig hadn’t shoved her hand into my pocket. Honestly, I didn’t know where to look, and my lap singing “she’s got her lipstick on”. It was so embarrassing; I don’t want to talk about it.
Luci Creighton: Ah, il amore di Roma; la città eterna, cuoco unico!
Enda Kenny: German and Latin too, Ludwig?
Luci Creighton: Italian thanks. Ah, the love of Rome, the eternal city, Boss!
Enda Kenny: Enough! Let’s get down to the business at hand. Now, you all have the notes that I circulated last week, so let’s go through them.
Eamon Gilmore: Quite right, An Taoiseach. I gave Ruairí and Joan their copies.
Ruairí Quinn: True, Tánaiste. If I might make one point, however. My copy had a grammatical error by the unfortunate use of ‘whom’ instead of ‘who’. A common mistake in the Junior Cert classes, but still should not be excused at Leaving Cert level or in formal communications. It is just my personal score of course, but I would rate this memo as a C minus.
Joan Burton: Oh no, Brother Eamon. I feel dat brother Ruairí is being overly strict. In determining the correct use of ‘Who’ over ‘Whom’, it should always be only changed after the consid…
Eamon Gilmore: Stop please, Sister Joan…em…Ms Burton. We must show a front to the Irish people and our loyal Labour Party members. Let us please have a united position on the agenda for this meeting, as requested by An Taoiseach. It is our imperative position to present a common front before the British.
Enda Kenny: For God’s sake, Eamon, Britain is now our closest friend. Why, after Her Gracious Majesty’s wonderful visit to our Republic and David Cameron’s generous economic loan, we have only the strongest warm feelings for them. Our armies are even going into Mali as brothers in arms! Definitely best friends, off the rugby pitch of course!
► FX: Hearty laughing from around the table.
Mick Noonan: That was so tragic, Taoiseach. Brian O’Driscoll becoming a father on the same day as the match. It was very unfortunate that he didn’t getting the win to celebrate!
Eamon Gilmore: Heartily said, Edna. I can remember telling Dick Spring after the English match at the old Lansdowne Road in ’79 how…
Enda Kenny: (Shouts) ENDA! E-N-D-A! Feck the bloody New York Times.
Mick Noonan: Don’t look at me, Enda. Sure I’ve no dealings with the New York Times. You never wrote a book, did you Boss?
Enda Kenny: Let us please address the first item for today’s meeting, or we will be here all bloody day. Hey, where’s James Reilly? He was coming with you, Michael, wasn’t he?
Mick Noonan: He was having a late breakfast, so I came on without him. He can’t be long though. Just hunting for one of the free parking spaces, which are almost impossible to find around here.
Enda Kenny: Alright. Back to the agenda. We have a team of six going to Germany; Luci is just at this meeting to keep us refreshed, so we can finish in time to fly out this evening. No offence, dear! There will be a little extra in your next expense allowance.
Luci Creighton: Ah, you’re too generous, Enda. Sure I’m only here to serve and refresh.
► FX: Sniggers spread around the table.
Enda Kenny: Good. Now we need to know, who knows members of other delegations? They may be of help to us. We need to gather as much Euro Zone agreement, before we unleash our secret weapon; Rottweiler Noonan!
Mick Noonan: Honestly, Taoiseach! Everyone knows that I’m a big softy, for God’s sake. Go on, give me a rub and see how I purr!
Enda Kenny: Alright, Michael. We’ll go once around the table. I’ll start. Obviously I am on excellent terms with all of the other countries’ leaders. I’m on first names with François Hollande and Chancellor An-ka-la Merkel “Du’s” me. Cameron is a bit standoff I admit, but that’s in his genes. The West’s awake, so you can expect me to steamroll through him. Now, Tánaiste, who can you bring to the party?
Luci Creighton: Excuse me Boss, but Chancellor Merkel’s first name is, as in English, Angela.
Enda Kenny: Really? Thanks for that, Luci. This German is a lot easier than I though. Anyway, I’m very close to Angela Mur-kill.
Mick Noonan: No, her surname is very German, Taoiseach; Merkel. Angel-a Mer-kel!
Enda Kenny: Feck it! You’re messing with me now, Michael. I’ll just leave it to Luci. Let’s keep moving on. Now to you, Tánaiste.
Eamon Gilmore: Well, as An Taoiseach so perfectly put it, we need to use every contact to forge forward with the Irish Nation’s goals and aspirations. The Labour party is fully behind this government’s innovative and I personally have close contact with a number of cabinet members from other nations in the great European adventure. To express it in the words of our iconic founder, James Connolly, who felt that…
Enda Kenny: Get on with it, Tánaiste, or we will get nothing done!
Eamon Gilmore: Of course, An Taoiseach. You are in control of the meeting and have the full backing of the Labour Party in this respect. Let me see. Well, these European Cabinet re-shuffles are causing me some confusion. I have dined with Alain Juppé, in Strasburg, but I believe that his job is now being done by Laurent Fabius, who I don’t know at all!
Ruairí Quinn: Ahem, ‘Whom’, An Tánaiste!
Eamon Gilmore: Laurent Fabius, Ruairí. Do you know him?
Ruairí Quinn: No, ‘Whom’ Eamon, not ‘Who’.
Eamon Gilmore: Really, Ruairí? Oh, An Taoiseach, I also got a postcard from Portugal’s Paulo Portas from the last World Cup. Although I couldn’t understand what it said, the Labour Party felt it was a wonderful link to our Portuguese brothers and sisters.
Enda Kenny: Thanks Eamon. Moving right along. Michael, how are your financial contacts in Europe doing?
Mick Noonan: My contacts are also very good, Sir. There is England’s George Osborne of course, but I have also a surprisingly close contact with the Slovak Republic. He has great English, thank God. His name is Peter Burian and could be useful with the East Europeans. I also have a working relationship with Wolfgang Schäuble and have met Mario Monti with yourself, Enda.
Enda Kenny: Excellent, Michael. You will be our anchorman, so we need you on top form for the rest of the week.
Eamon Gilmore: Can I just interject, An Taoiseach, that the Labour Party recognises the anchorman position of the Minister of Finance and gives him our total support, along with the support of the government, of course.
Enda Kenny: Please, Eamon. Your support is presumed and noted. Okay? Now, Joan. (Shouts) JOAN!
Joan Burton: Hello?
Enda Kenny: Over here, dear. Now, we need your best work with the social aspects of our policy. Who do you know in Europe, Joan?
Joan Burton: Well, thank you Mr Taoiseach and brother Tánaiste. Can I start by saying how grateful I am at getting this opportunity and hope to reach the goals dat you have set for me. I have always thought dat my mother…
Eamon Gilmore: Of course, Ms Burton but not now. An Taoiseach needs a short answer without any fat to his question about your contacts.
Joan Burton: Yes Sir, Mr Tánaiste. I have a good relationship with Italy’s Renato Balduzzi, who had also done close work with James Reilly on our Mental Health. Their General Election has cast a bit of a shadow over which Italian Team will actually turn up in Schwerin! Raffaele Tangorra is doing my work over there, I think. I also know England’s Owen Paterson, but he’s now running the Environment; a very handsome man that I got to know while working in London in the early 80s!
Enda Kenny: Thank you, Joan. Now Luci, with an eye to your future career, blind us with your German contacts.
Luci Creighton: Danke soviel, Chef. Ich habe ein wundervolles Verhältnis zu Deutschlands Guido Westerwelle, der viel jünger ist, als er…
Enda Kenny: In English please Luci.
Luci Creighton: Oops, silly me! Thank you so much, sir. I have a wonderful relationship with Germany’s Guido Westerwelle, who is much younger than he looks, you know. Quite a dish really! Like Michael, I also love Slovakia as much as Germany, with a working relationship with their Foreign Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda. I introduced him personally to bacon and cabbage!
Enda Kenny: Wonderful, Luci, or should I say Ludwig! Even though I don’t understand a word of German, it sounds so, em, European, doesn’t it? Now Ruairí, ha! Have you done your homework?
Eamon Gilmore: Very humourous, An Taoiseach! The Labour Party’s Ruairí Quinn is totally in step with the government’s policy for the harmony of contacts with our European colleagues. Go on, Ruairí; tell An Taoiseach of the great friendships that you have forged.
Ruairí Quinn: Thank you Tánaiste for that unsolicited support. I have indeed formed close friendships with a range of Education Ministers, as well as hosting a day out with William Hague, here last July if you remember. Of course, being an Architect helps to break the ice at all the E.U. bashes!
► FX: Taoiseach’s mobile phone rings; 14 seconds of the Jedward’s song, ‘Lipstick’ (from 36 to 50 seconds of the track).
► FX: Hearty laughter from around the table.
Mick Noonan: Haha! That’s hilarious, Taoiseach! You should have taken your own advice and turned the thing off!
Luci Creighton: I’ll get it, Boss. Just let me move your…
Enda Kenny: Get off me, Luci you idiot! If I ever discover who keeps changing my ringtone back to that bucket of pooh, I’ll have them counting paper clips on Rockall. Now, shut up everyone. I’m expecting a call from Ank-la. Why hello, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny anseo.
James Reilly: (Over phone) Hi Edna, James Reilly here.
Enda Kenny: ENDA, you plonker! Where the hell are you?
James Reilly: I’m at the Merrion Square gate. Some problem with a Garda on duty. He is demanding a deputy confirms my identity.
Enda Kenny: You obese plonker! Don’t ever shave, or you will never gain admittance again. Put him on. Hello Garda, Taoiseach Kenny here. I can unfortunately vouch for the trolley wobbling before you. We need him at this meeting, so if you would be good enough to let him in, I will see you get a few extra hours overtime.
Garda: That’ll be very much appreciated, Edna. I will send him straight up.
Enda Kenny: ENDA, you little fecker. I’ll have you searching bogs for illegal cigarettes, from six feet down! What is your name? Hello? HELLO? Luci, find out who that Garda is and get Shatter to post him to west Donegal.
Eamon Gilmore: That’s not easily done, An Taoiseach, although I can, as the Labour Party can, understand and support you in your unhappiness at being called Edna, em, Enda, eh Boss. There is only one station still open in west Donegal and it is packed to overflowing with gardaí who have been disciplined in the past.
Enda Kenny: Luci, whatever it takes, just get this done.
Luci Creighton: My pleasure, Boss. Are you ready for morning coffee yet?
Enda Kenny: Put the kettle on, dear. But get that Garda sorted first.
Luci Creighton: I’m on it, Boss.
►FX:Door opens to admit James Reilly, as Luci Creighton leaves.
James Reilly: Good Morning, Taoiseach. I am here at last. Terrible trouble parking; have I missed the morning coffee?
Enda Kenny: Have you not caused enough trouble, Trolley? Sit down and shut up, before I do something unhelpful to your health.
James Reilly: Jeez! I just wanted a cup of coffee, Boss, and if you don’t like being called Edna, then don’t call me Trolley!
Enda Kenny: Explain to me then James, pleeeze. What are you bringing to this party? If we are off to Schwerin for three days of fine food and wine, how can you strengthen our team?
James Reilly: I am the personal friend of Daniel Bahr and Renato Balduzzi, Enda. I have used Daniel’s clinic in Milano for my gastric bypass. I have to admit that it was not the great success I was hoping for, but I also got my teeth whitened while I was there, which you will have to agree look great. Renato got me a priority appointment.
Enda Kenny: A lucky answer, Reilly. Alright everyone, that is a fairly wide group of contacts, I’m glad to say.
Eamon Gilmore: If I could just add, An Taoiseach, to say that I personally, along with the Labour Party are delighted with the credit of goodwill and friendship that our government has cultivated with the other European nations and especially the work that Joan and Ruairí have done in this regard.
► FX: Door opens for Creighton’s return with a trolley.
Enda Kenny: Thank you, Tánaiste. Moving right along, we well next address presents. I naturally will be required to make presentations to Ank-la and Frans-wha. Waterford Crystal should do nicely. Anyone else feel the need to do an independent presentation to another contact?
Luci Creighton: Oh, Chef. Ich glaube, dass ein kleines Geschenk für Guido…
Enda Kenny: You’re at it again, Lucinda. Just keep Ludwig on the back burner until you join the Cabinet, please.
Luci Creighton: Okay, boss. I believe that a small gift for Guido Westerwelle will improve the representation, which Chancellor Merkel would find very attractive.
Ruairí Quinn: But surely you gave Herr Westerwelle a wedding present?
Luci Creighton: Guido married? I never heard of that. I was hoping to catch his eye myself actually, truth be known!
Joan Burton: Haha! Very amusing, Ludwig.
Luci Creighton: Why, Joan? Are you saying that I’m too old for him? You think you stand a better chance than me?
Mick Noonan: For God’s sake ladies, I’ve a better chance than either of you; just ask his husband!
Luci Creighton: But that would mean? No, you’re teasing me. It’s not true!
Ruairí Quinn: It’s true Luci. You really should have done your homework too!
► FX: Hearty laughing.
Enda Kenny: Very well people, settle down please. Okay Luci, get him a present for old times’ sake. Give it to Joan to bring it with us. Anyone else, and remember that this gift will have to come out of your department’s budget. No one? Why am I not surprised! Okay then, moving right along; clothes. I don’t want the same gaff we made at Windsor. Cameron wearing the same tie as me, and me without a change. On this trip, I alone will have green anything. I presume Eamon will want red?
Eamon Gilmore: Certainly, thanks An Taoiseach. The Labour Party feels a special tug to the colour red, reminding us of our…
Enda Kenny: Yes, yes; quite understood Eamon. JOAN! Listen up, dear. You are to wear blue to Germany, okay?
Joan Burton: Great news, Taoiseach. I have a lovely royal blue pants suit that I’ve been dying to wear.
James Reilly: I’ve got just the one jacket that will close; it’s brown!
Mick Noonan: Blue pinstripe as usual, Boss.
Ruairí Quinn: Grey, striped, Boss!
Enda Kenny: Alright then. Everyone wear them on the plane and I will look them over for any clashes. Joan, arrange for laundry services in case we need them.
Joan Burton: Can I get extra tights, please? A ladder would be very unfortunate.
Enda Kenny: Yes, yes, certainly. Now let’s address the heart of our economic policy.
Luci Creighton: Oh, I’m sorry, Boss, but I couldn’t find Shatter. I’ll sort it while you’re away. Now, are you all ready for a cuppa?
James Reilly: God say thanks! I thought I would faint with the hunger. What biscuits have you got?
Mick Noonan: I have a packet of Jammy Dodgers in the my Office.
Enda Kenny: That’s not necessary, Michael. Luci, you may open a packet of my personal milk chocolate digestives, from the cupboard. We have to push the boat out once in a while, eh!
Eamon Gilmore: A wonderful treat, An Taoiseach! I can assure you of Labour’s full support at the next financial watchdog committee meeting. My colleague, Pat Rabbitte will fully endorse your stance on allocated meeting calories.
Enda Kenny: Okay, we’ll take a ten minute break for Luci’s refreshments. Oh, and if you need a bathroom, there’s one right underneath us, on the first floor. My bathroom is only for me and strictly off limits.
Joan Burton: Lucinda, I’d like your advice on what to pack for Germany.
Luci Creighton: Call me Ludwig, please, so I can use my new character.
Joan Burton: Fine Ludwig! You do still use the Ladies, don’t you?
Luci Creighton: Of course, Joan. With these looks it would be impossible to ever see me as other than the cherry on the Taoiseach’s cake?
Joan Burton: Thank goodness! It’s very confusing; Luci and Ludwig. Just let me pop downstairs first, Ludwig.
► FX: Door opens to let Joan leave; closing behind her.
Ruairí Quinn: Excuse me, Tánaiste. Have you considered the students celebration of the centenary of the Easter Rising yet? I’ve been giving it some thought and would like to run a few proposals past you.
Eamon Gilmore: Well, I’m obviously very aware of our need to remember the heroes of Ireland’s struggle for Independence, Ruairí. I know that the Labour Party will want to remember and honour our great founder, James Connolly. However, in the current economic difficulty it might be a mistake to be seen too closely aligned to the Unions.
Ruairí Quinn: Oh my goodness, Tánaiste! We certainly don’t want that to happen. I just thought that we might organise some events in our Colleges, that would attract students to our Party.
Eamon Gilmore: Capital idea. Draw up a brief that I can bring to Cabinet, Ruairí. Nothing too ‘Blue Shirt’, okay. You know how touchy they are about all that!
Mick Noonan: Sugar Eamon?
Ruairí Quinn: Neither the Tánaiste nor I take sugar, Mick! You’re not wanted here, as it’s a private conversation.
Mick Noonan: Back off, Rory! Who stole your bloody lunch money?
Enda Kenny: Come away, Michael, please. He’s not worth it and we have to get our sums finished before Schwerin.
Mick Noonan: Of course, Taoiseach. Quinn just has to know his place, is all! I am sorry about that, but they are just so disrespectful. We’ll be rid of them come the next General Election, thank God. Bloody yobs! I think that they are plotting to try to upstage us during the 2016 celebrations.
Enda Kenny: Oh dear, I was hoping to forget the whole thing, Michael. All those old people talking about ‘the good ol’ days’ and Gerry Adam’s endless questions in the chamber. It’s too much. I hoped that we could use the economic crisis to detour the thing away from Fine Gael altogether. I have nightmares of thousands of protesters dressed as blue shirts, marching up Kildare Street.
Mick Noonan: Oh, I totally understand, Taoiseach. We certainly don’t want that sort of thing. I’ve make a note to look into changing the Gardaí uniform to something less blue. The German green that Alan suggested perhaps? You could announce it in Schwerin if needed. Then we can have the defence forces do a couple of mass parades in marginal constituents. That should see us clear for another hundred years.
Enda Kenny: I like that and send their left-wing President on a state trip somewhere, while you’re at it. We’ll write him a statement to say while he’s away. He has far too much to say, for my liking. Send him to visit our troops in Mali! That would serve him right, the little upstart. Only last week he rang me looking for a poetry slot on RTÉ. It was so embarrassing. Hey, Reilly is gone again! Where is he now?
Mick Noonan: He has a jippy stomach after some beef lasagne, Taoiseach. He’s just popped out to use the bathroom.
► FX: Toilet flushing.
Enda Kenny: Jeez, he’d better not have used my bathroom! I’ve asked for a lock for the door, although it seems that Bertie liked to keep it open; a very paranoid man, I have to say.
James Reilly: Phew, that’s better, Boss. Bloody hospital food will be the death of me! I’d give it a few minutes, if you need to use it. There’s no window and that little extraction fan is useless. Any biscuits left?
Enda Kenny: You absolute waste of space, Trolley! You really are a disgrace; Mary Harney in trousers!
James Reilly: Well, at least I can fit through the door, Boss!
Enda Kenny: But for how much longer? You are a walking health hazard. You know that they’re calling you ‘Anyone Butt Reilly’, don’t you?
James Reilly: That’s most unfair, Taoiseach. I’m not with the H.S.E.!
Luci Creighton: Excuse me, Taoiseach. Sorry to interrupt, but we have London on the line. It is about an e-mail that Ambassador McDonagh sent you last week. I am trying to find a porter to set up the video link, but they are all still on their bank break, Boss. Will you have a refill, while you’re waiting; it’s no bother!
James Reilly: Thanks, Luci. Three sugars, please.
Enda Kenny: Oh for fecks sake, Reilly! Can’t you control your stomach for a couple of hours?
Eamon Gilmore: I have to wholeheartedly agree with An Taoiseach, Reilly. Can you not improve your public image before we have to meet the Germans?
Enda Kenny: Well, it’s your fault really, Eamon. You clearly cannot keep your Unions in check? We are actually trying to run a country here.
Eamon Gilmore: They have nothing to do with me, Enda; always demanding and never giving! If only you hadn’t accepted the Croke Park Agreement; but you’ve tied my hands.
Enda Kenny: Watch what you say, Eamon! You are on thin ice from where I’m sitting.
Ruairí Quinn: I’ll have a go, Tánaiste. I saw a tutorial on You Tube.
Eamon Gilmore: Good man, Ruairí. We’ll show them how it’s done.
► FX: Door opens and closes as Joan Burton returns.
Joan Burton: (Sniff) My God, what is that terrible smell?
Luci Creighton: Oh my God, Joan! I think Quinn has soiled himself.
Joan Burton: No, Luci! That is definitely not a Labour smell. Would you look at Reilly, it was obviously him.
Enda Kenny: Hurry up Joan, please! We want to press on and have London on the line.
James Reilly: Oops, Enda. I’d better go again then, before you start the conference call.
Enda Kenny: Get your ass back here, Trolley! Don’t even think of using my…
Mick Noonan: Too late, Boss! Anyway, no one else will want to use that bathroom for the rest of today.
Luci Creighton: Hey, Boss. I’ve got a signal. I’m connecting the picture now.
Enda Kenny: I can see him, Luci. Hello; hello, Bobby! Hello? We’ve lost him Luci.
Luci Creighton: Just one sec, Boss. There!
Bob McDonagh: Hello Taoiseach, and hello Ireland, this is London calling!
Enda Kenny: Hello there, Bobby. How are you?
Bob McDonagh: Great Enda, and yourself? What time is it there?
Enda Kenny: It’s the same time zone, Bobby! We’re having a pre-meeting meeting, before the meeting in Germany and I want to address your e-mail before we leave.
► FX: Toilet flushing.
Bob McDonagh: Fine, Taoiseach. As you know, Her Adored Majesty has celebrated her diamond jubilee, so we don’t need any diplomatic problems. By the way, is this a secure line, Boss?
Enda Kenny: Of course it is, Bobby. Direct encrypted bi-line link from this office directly into the embassy. No expense spared!
Bob McDonagh: Oh, it’s just that I’m out at the moment, Enda. Dan Mulhall has dropped in from Berlin and I decided to take him shopping. He wanted to hit Regent Street. We’ve come into a Cyber Café in Victoria, but it is very quiet and I’m sure no one will be listening in. It’s famous for cappuccinos and I wanted to give Dan a treat.
Dan Mulhall: Hi y’all, I’m Bob’s wingman today, Boss. I’ll keep an eye on our back. I just have to get to London or Dublin every so often, for a break from the black bread and those tiny glasses of Pils! So, I hear you are coming to Germany?
Luci Creighton: Hallo Dan! Sie sind in der Lage, uns den Anblick zu zeigen, wie?
Dan Mulhall: Sorry, I didn’t catch any of that! An awful language, German, so I insist on only speaking the Queen’s English. Mind you, that stance goes down very well, here in London!
Luci Creighton: Das ist, Dan so traurig! Dan’s missing out on wonderful German talents like Goethe, Loriot and Techno, Boss.
Dan Mulhall: Ah, Lucinda, as beautiful as ever. Are you on this trip? Remember Cologne in ’92?
Luci Creighton: Not this time Dan. I’m Ludwig now! Oh ja, aber ich bin ein Superjüngeres jetzt, das ich setze mich auf die Oberseite denke! I was just telling Dan about my new position, Boss!
Dan Mulhall: Ugh, Ludwig! That’s terrible. What did they do to you? Can you e-mail me a photo, please?
Joan Burton: Gosh Ludwig, you are so brave!
Luci Creighton: Cut it, Burton! Not at all Dan, I’m just using a Germanic name to accentuate my language skills. I’m still the Queen of Leinster House, two years running.
Dan Mulhall: Congratulations Ludwig, although being Queen Ludwig in Berlin may be lost in translation!
Enda Kenny: Can we please get back to Bobby’s e-mail. Honestly!
Eamon Gilmore: Well said, Taoiseach. There is a time for reminiscing and restoring past relations, but the Taoiseach’s Office conference call to a cyber café is not the time.
► FX: Sound of Reilly sitting down heavily.
James Reilly: You should really get a lock for that bathroom, Boss. I cannot be expected to contain the vapours! I was scared to strike a match, as they seemed a bit dense for safety.
Ruairí Quinn: Phew, Reilly, you are letting the whole team down. A bad reflection on Fine Gael really! Sit at the far end at least and open the door, Joan.
James Reilly: How dare you Rory! I’ll see you on a trolley some day, and it wouldn’t be nice, I promise you. It wouldn’t happen to me if I could get some decent food in this place. Speaking of nibbles…
Enda Kenny: Shut up, Trolley and you zip it up too, Ludwig. We have to move on. Bobby, I kept your e-mail ‘My Eyes Only’, so I haven’t circulated it to the people at this meeting. Would you succinctly fill them in on the problem.
Bob McDonagh: Certainly, Boss. Our embassy gardener was coming to work, a week ago last Wednesday, when he found a briefcase that had been left on the bus.
Mick Noonan: Not Irish I hope?
Enda Kenny: No, thank God. Please continue, Bobby.
Bob McDonagh: Yes, Taoiseach! It actually belonged to the Home Office and it wasn’t very interesting, except for one memo. Should I really read it aloud, Taoiseach? It is just that Dan has gone to order us refills, and maybe I should wait for him to return.
Enda Kenny: Yes, go on, Bobby please.
Bob McDonagh: Very good, Boss. It is a memo from the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg to Prime Minister David Cameron, concerning their government’s loan to Dublin’s previous administration. I believe that you know Nick Clegg?
Enda Kenny: I know him, Bob! Very Spanish, but that’s not important for now. Read it, Bobby please.
Bob McDonagh: That would explain why I can never understand a word he says! A terrible loud language, Spanish. Oh, Dan is back, Boss. Just one sugar, thanks Dan.
Dan Mulhall: His back is secure again, Taoiseach. Actually, we are now the only customers here now. Just two staff girls cleaning tables.
Enda Kenny: Just read it please Bob.
Bob McDonagh: The memo reads: “David, we have just received the signed documents from Brian, for our bilateral loan agreement. There are no amendments! He has accepted all the terms and conditions, which should earn the Treasury around £500 million in interest per year. Osborne says that although we own them for twenty years, in reality it will be for far longer. It is better than we could have hoped for and you should remember to include it in Her Majesty’s brief, before she travels to Dublin. In fact, our Dublin man, David Reddaway feels that if you could accompany the Queen on her trip, you will have the opportunity to set the deal in stone and to rate their public popularity for yourself. A good day’s work, Nick”.
Enda Kenny: Well, I don’t understand, Bobby. So, Britain gave us a much needed help out when we really needed it. They forced the best terms that they could get and we can accept that. It was agreed by the Fianna Fail administration and can’t surely stain us?
Dan Mulhall: Is there a German angle, Boss?
Bob McDonagh: No Dan, the potential problem Enda, is that the administration fees are to be paid, whether the loan fund is drawn down or not. In transferring the money to the Department of Finance, it appears to have, ahem, sat in an unknown bank account for a week!
Mick Noonan: I had no dealings with it until its receipted arrival into the Department’s account. I have no record of the route it took to get there.
Eamon Gilmore: What’s this then, Enda? I can speak for the Labour Party, when I say that we had no knowledge of this before today! Bobby, what bank accounts were used?
Enda Kenny: Stop right there, Tánaiste. Hold on Bob. Eamon, we always work by collective Cabinet responsibility, and there will be no slinking away from that when things get tough. We need the facts, Bobby. Which account was used for lodging the funds?
Bob McDonagh: A bit embarrassing really, Enda. The account was in the Anglo-Irish Bank, and a clerical error would appear to have occurred, when the company name was changed to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation!
Michael Noonan: What?
Eamon Gilmore: Bloody heck!
Enda Kenny: Shut it, Eamon. Bobby, can’t we get the details from the British Treasury? After all, we must have secure contacts to get us through just this type of awkwardness. Sort it out as a priority and get straight back to us on this line.
Bob McDonagh: I had started as soon as I read the memo, Boss. However, there is a lot of paperwork involved and, with all due respect, Michael Noonan has now liquidated the IBRC! So much of the documentation is now trashed or missing, and many of the people have left…
Enda Kenny: Michael is in control of all our finances, Bobby.
Mick Noonan: Well, em, Enda. I will certainly react to this new information. It may be that there are facts in the boxes left by Fianna Fail when we took over. But you know yourself what it’s like! The reduced staff mean that you never get the time necessary to address them.
Eamon Gilmore: What the hell is going on here? I think we should take this into a private conversation, Enda.
James Reilly: Oh, I don’t like where this is going! You’ll have to excuse me again, I’m afraid.
Enda Kenny: Feck off Reilly, and don’t bother coming back unless I call you.
Joan Burton: It is not in Social Welfare, Tánaiste!
Luci Creighton: Excuse me, Taoiseach. Is it okay if I start to clean up, only I’ll have to do a constituency clinic this evening.
Enda Kenny: Fine with me, Luci or Ludwig! Don’t forget to check behind the Sofas for some Punts! It has to be somewhere. Bobby, what damage can befall us over this?
Bob McDonagh: Worst situation could end up with a demand for immediate repayment, Boss. Someone, somewhere has the interest that the fund was gaining while it was in Anglo-Irish! That amounts to a cool €2 million!
Luci Creighton: Bloody Hell!
Eamon Gilmore: Ditto!
Ruairí Quinn: Jeezus! I’d better get a new copybook.
Eamon Gilmore: It’s your bloody Croke Park Agreement, Enda. Good Lord, it will be the ruin of us all. Well, the country finances have nothing to do with the labour Party. You kept all that for yourselves, so I’d check out your front benchers, Mr Kenny!
Enda Kenny: You’re really pushing your luck, Mr Gilmore. Sure your support base are the unemployed and benefit scroungers. Joan is hovering up every cent she can grab.
Luci Creighton: Joan’s clutching her handbag, Boss! Give it here.
Joan Burton: Get off, Ludwig, you little upstart! Nobody gets into my bag unless invited.
Ruairí Quinn: Quite right, Joan. These buffoons are trying to stitch us up!
Enda Kenny: Why you urban corner boys! No wonder that we have to put chains on our pens. My upstanding colleagues would never try such a scam. It’s obviously a Labour robbery.
► FX: Door opening and closing as Reilly leaves.
Ruairí Quinn: James’s getting away, Eamon! Halt! We have to stop him. Come on, Joan. JOAN! Let’s go.
Joan Burton: I’m right behind you, Ruairí.
► FX: Door opening and closing as Quinn and Burton leave.
Eamon Gilmore: I’ll give you 24 hours to find that money Enda, our I’ll be visiting the Áras for a chat with Michael D., and you’ll be the only thing on the agenda.
Enda Kenny: Stuff you, Eamon. You’ve been a weight around my neck for too long. You better follow Burton into the wilderness, as I won’t be making this mistake next time. The Labour Party is finished.
Eamon Gilmore: I shall see you, as they say, on the Hustings. Goodbye, Edna!
► FX: Door opening and closing as Gilmore leaves.
Enda Kenny: It’s just us then, Ludwig. You’ll be coming to Germany with me after all.
Luci Creighton: Sorry Taoiseach, but I’ve accepted an offer to join the ECB. I’ll be working in Mario Draghi’s office in the Eurotower, in Frankfurt; a chance to use my German and to improve my Italian too. I actually took the opportunity to write you this letter. I’ll be heading off now and will clear my office tomorrow. I feel sure you’ll understand? Oh and by the way, I’ve got an Ank-la Murk-ill on the line, insisting on speaking to an Edna Kenny immediately. She seems really put out about something!
► FX: Sound of the door opening and closing for Lucinda leaving.
Enda Kenny: Ahem! (Sigh, Pause, lift phone) Hello, Angela. It’s Edna here.
► FX: Last 50 seconds of the 1939 hit, Buddy Jones’s ‘I’m in the Dog House now’, including the final 20 second instrumental as background to the Narrator’s credits. Fade out.