An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The washed-up former TD.

He used to be a contender.
He used to be a contender.

You frown as you look at the face. Isn’t that…your man? Of course, the face is ruddier now, plump and full and the hair is thinner and greyer, but didn’t he used to be..? Fifteen or twenty years ago, he was the coming man. Fron a long political pedigree, you can still remember him being lifted up at the count centre when he took his old man’s seat, a younger, slimmer version of Senior. There was no question: He was cabinet bound, who knows, perhaps all the way to the top job.

But the booster rocket never kicked in, and he seemed to coast on the family name, and no one ever remembered anything he ever did. He kept the seat with a moderate if unspectacular vote at the following election, spending that term in the Dail bar, and finally being ejected at the following election, full of bluster about the service his family gave to the state but remembered for drunkenly stepping through a plate glass door in the Gresham.

After life in politics, the TD’s pension keeps him going and he is seen in the constituency, stumbling from a hostelry with a few auld boys who used to be his father’s henchmen, usually in a suit that looks like it came free with its own park bench. Is that dried sick on his tie?

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