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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Election 2014

There was some pretty awkward canvassing at the Stephen's Green Luas stop this morning

Plenty of laughs and plenty of disinterested commuters.

IT’S 8AM AND if there’s one thing that people want to hear on their way into work on a Thursday morning it’s really loud samba drumming.

Fortunately on the last day of the election campaign, Labour was only too happy to oblige, organising these lads to pound the drums at the entrance to St Stephen’s Green:

Amid various cries of “it’s a bit early for this” there was a pretty happy atmosphere among the Labourites as they still hold out hope that they won’t be obliterated all over the country when voters go to the polls tomorrow.

And everyone was delighted when Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore danced down Stephen’s Green to the beat of the drum. Sort of:

Gilmore was in optimistic mood and expects Alan Shatter to do the “honourable thing”. He cautioned that he hadn’t spoken to the former minister but “despite our differences” he’s a “a very honourable man”.

Then the Tánaiste was off and we were left waiting for the Taoiseach.

In the meantime, a few yards up at the Luas stop itself, Fine Gael’s Dublin candidate Brian Hayes, or ‘Brian Whatshisface’ as he is known to his left-wing rivals, was standing with TD Eoghan Murphy waving at people as they departed from the Luas:

A short time later the Taoiseach arrived, and greeted the assembled “meeja” – as he referred to them – before heading up to greet Hayes, Murphy and councillor Kieran Binchy:

But even the arrival of the dear leader did little to pique the interest of busy commuters so there was more standing around waving at people passing by:

The politicians spent quite a bit of time crossing the Luas tracks back and forth, trying to catch commuters.

Canvassing can be awkward at the best of times but this was excruciating. The Taoiseach resorted to the fail-safe option employed by many a politician on a canvass like this: say what you see. So when students emerged from one tram and headed towards Grafton Street Enda pointed and said: “Ah, the students”.

Eventually, he did manage to beckon one young gentleman over to say hello and have a chat, we didn’t quite catch the conversation but it concluded with a “good luck lads” from the Taoiseach:

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

Luckily, the Taoiseach was saved from more awkwardness a short time later by spotting Labour MEP Emer Costello, who was canvassing across the road. “Come on,” he shouted and the Fine Gaelers headed across the road to greet Costello.

“I’m being swamped,” Emer laughed as the media bounded over and Kenny outlined the importance of the “one and two”. One for Hayes, two for Emer on your ballot paper tomorrow please and thank you. The Labour candidate said she hopes to be joining Hayes in Europe.

Then it was back over to the other side of the tracks for the arrival of the next tram or “train” as one in the possé referred to it, prompting the Taoiseach to burst into a Johnny Cash song: “I hear the train-a-comin’” to the amusement of everyone.

After a bit more waving and giving the thumbs up while most people walked past, Enda had a quick chinwag with Hayes before having a few words with the “meeja”.

Had he spoken to Alan Shatter? “When?” he asked innocently, before adding: “I speak to Alan Shatter all the time.”

He continued: “I spoke to him yesterday. I didn’t speak to him about this because he’ll do the right thing anyway I expect.”

After that he was off again, a busy day ahead after an awkward, but at times hilarious morning on Stephen’s Green.

‘My old stomping ground’: In Portobello, Labour looks to bridge the gap to Fianna Fáil

‘People are raging’: Bríd Smith is capitalising on voter anger

All or Election 2014 coverage right here > 

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