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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019
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This is what happened when Ivan Yates and two politicians walked into a bar

Former minister Ivan Yates went for a jar with Pat Rabbitte and Lucinda Creighton.

IVAN YATES VISITED some of Dublin’s best-known pubs for a review of the year with a few celebrities in a special Christmas programme to be broadcast on TV3 tomorrow night.

Though they might not describe themselves as celebs – nor would many others – Renua leader Lucinda Creighton and veteran Labour TD Pat Rabbitte were among those who sat down with Yates in McDaid’s, just off Grafton Street, for a quick drink and a chat.

It was a pint of Guinness for Rabbitte and Bulmer’s for Yates, but it looked like Lucinda was either on the water or a cheeky gin and tonic.

three amigos

It was a surprisingly informative and enlightening discussion with one or two revelations, not least Pat Rabbitte’s sarcastic digs at his party leader.

Before he did that though, it was more substantial political issues with Creighton “loath” to predict the outcome of the election.

At the same time, she said the next government will likely be a three-way coalition and she’d be “shocked” if the current administration is re-elected.

On Renua’s chances, the former Fine Gael minister was bullish:  

We have a very realistic chance of winning over 10 seats.

lucinda Source: TV3

If we have a good day and a good campaign – and it’s very early days for us, we’re still putting candidates on the pitch – we could do better than that. But I think that would be a very, very solid and respectable performance.

Meanwhile, Rabbitte was talking up Labour’s chances, insisting the party will defy the polls and do better than the forecasts. But he wasn’t prepared to put a figure on it.

Yates then threw a curveball at Creighton, asking what she’ll do if she loses her Dáil seat in Dublin Bay South.

“Lots of things… yeah,” she said while momentarily hesitating.  She listed off her previous work “democracy-building” in the Balkans and said she wouldn’t mind trying her hand at business having come from “a family of business people”.

Creighton also talked of the struggle of building a new party and not just “The Lucinda Show”.

rabbitte and lucinda Source: TV3

Rabbitte paid tribute to his drinking buddy by acknowledging she was at least building a party and not a collection of independents “playing games about being suitable for government”. He scathingly added:

Can you imagine what kind of a country we would have if we had 166 independents running in 166 different directions? It would be like herding cats.

laughing Source: TV3

Before they finished, both were asked by Yates for their highlights of the year. Creighton picked the “nerve-racking and exciting” experience that was starting a new party, along with Ireland winning the Aga Khan Trophy in show jumping.

Rabbitte went for sporting achievements, including Ireland’s win over France in the rugby and Germany in the soccer. But he was in no doubt that the same-sex marriage referendum was the “extraordinary achievement” of the year..

Finally, it was on to worst Christmas presents. Creighton identified some “awful statues” she got when she was younger.

But Rabbitte saved the best for last as he had an unmerciful swipe at Tánaiste Joan Burton who sacked him as communications minister last year.

pat r Source: TV3

“You never know what Joan Burton will give me. You know, that could be a highlight of my Christmas,” he said, with a glint in his eye.

Yates contended that she had been “awful” to the outgoing TD. With sarcasm dripping off his voice, Rabbitte responded:

Oh, not at all, not at all. It’s not in her nature to be awful to me or anyone.

Oh Pat.

rabbitte pint

Yates also goes for a pint with Eamon Dunphy, Katie Walsh, Francis Brennan, Brian Kerr, Stephen Ferris and Eleanor McEvoy in ‘Ivan’s Celebrity Pub Crawl’ which airs tomorrow at 9pm on TV3.

Watch: Eamon Dunphy gets emotional over a pint

Pat Rabbitte’s face doesn’t always reflect his inner happiness

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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