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get the red carpet

Look out for the giant spliff: The not-so-serious 2014 political awards

They all take themselves way too seriously in Leinster House. So here’s a bit of light relief from the year that was…

LOTS OF SERIOUS things happen in Leinster House and the political world, but there is also a lot of daft stuff that goes on every week.

With that in mind it’s important to remember that when they’re not deciding and voting on important pieces of legislation or debating matters of State our politicians are up to all sorts, some of it good, some of it bad, some of it just kind of silly.

So here are our not-so-serious political awards for 2014…

The ‘Lost the Complete Run of Ourselves’ Award 

Remember when the whole country was convulsed by the Garth Brooks saga? That extended into Leinster House and we had bizarre and unprecedented tweets like this…

The ‘Stand-off of the Year’ Award 

No doubts about this one as Mary Lou McDonald’s four-hour Dáil sit-in saw her refuse to leave the Dáil with the Ceann Comhairle refusing to continue the day’s business.

The ‘Accidentally Posing Beside an Object You Shouldn’t Pose Beside’ award

Spliffs are stealthy. One minute there’s none around. The next? There’s a giant one RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.

Winning this accolade will surely come second only to taking over the Labour leadership when Tánaiste Joan Burton reflects on her highlights of 2014.

joan spliff

The ‘That’s Not a Graph, THIS is a Graph’ award

Twitter spat between Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell and a voter got graph-ic (sorry) last month. David Kenny described a graph posted by Farrell to highlight falling unemployment as “nonsense”. Farrell responded by calling Kenny a “moron”.

Kenny then made his own graph:

The ‘Na na na na na na, I’m not listening to you’ award

Children’s Minister James Reilly won this hands down for choosing headphones over Richard Boyd Barrett when debating the Budget.


The ‘Compliment of the Year’ Award

Former Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery was full of praise for Health Minister Leo Varadkar, describing him as ‘tall and good-looking with a certain exotic feel’.

Ebola Issues Crisis in Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The ‘Best Use of the Word Anti-Christ’ award

Michael Healy-Rae had some choice words for whoever cut down the cross at the summit of Carrauntoohil.

mhr cross

The ‘Wedding Crasher of the Year’ award

The Taoiseach, em, made a bride’s day while out canvassing in Carlow.

Kenny European Elections Campaigns Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

We always knew Enda Kenny had a bit of Owen Wilson about him.

owen wilson

The ‘Best Promotion of Recycling’ Award

This one goes to Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy, for tearing up his Irish Water registration form in the Dáil.


The ‘Least Expected BFFs’ award

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons rocked up to the Dáil earlier this month. Because he’s good friends with Fine Gael Deputy Pat Breen. Duh.

Sadly, Simmons is not in the running to be a celebrity candidate for the party. Opportunity lost.

Gene Simmons Rock Stars in Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

The ‘Best Post-Election’ Speech

Campaigns Fiscal Treaty Referendums Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

New MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan kept it short and sweet.

The ‘Worst Comparison of the Year’ award

Fine Gael TD Noel Coonan warned that the country faced “an ISIS situation” if the more extreme elements of water charge protests were not “nipped in the bud”. *facepalm*

Hugh O'Connell / YouTube

He later withdrew the comments.

The ‘Mick Wallace Sartorial Elegance’ Award

For the second year in a row the independent TD comfortably wins this one.


The ‘Having a Great Time in My New Job’ Award

Former Environment Minister Phil Hogan got to leave his water woes behind when he took up the position of EU Agriculture Commissioner. He’s been having great fun in Brussels ever since.

The ‘Best Throwback to the 1980s’ Award

Political affiliates of the Right 2 Wate Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger revealed her nostalgic TV preferences when describing Government ministers promoting the new water charges package as being “like Del Boy trying to sell discounted goods from the back of a truck”.

del boy

The ‘Technology Fail’ Award

Fine Gael’s Andrew Doyle tweeted that he was attempting to download the ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ charity single … before it was recorded. He meant well.

andrew doyle

The ‘Worst Spelling Mistake’ Award

The Department of Transport got Green party councillor Roderic O’Gorman’s name hopelessly wrong. The incorrect moniker has a nice ring to it, though.

roderic-broderick Roderic O'Gorman via Facebook Roderic O'Gorman via Facebook

The ‘Letting Off Steam’ Award

Fine Gael Councillor Kenneth Egan was the only real contender for the title here. (Did you see what we did there? You did? Brilliant.)

kenny egan tweet

The ‘Hamlet Award for Indecision’

This prize is shared equally between former Fine Gaeler Lucinda Creighton and Independent Shane Ross. Will there be a Reform Alliance party? An alliance of Independents? Anything? Nothing? Oh right.

Panal Disscussion Forum. Pictured Refo Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

CRC at Committees Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

With contribution from Hugh O’Connell

Shufflin’, celebrating and protesting: The political year in pictures

‘Your own party have urinated all over this house’: The not-so-serious 2013 political awards 

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