The staff and clientele of The Ramble Inn were stunned into silence last night by an unlikely after-hours claim, made by a dyed-in-the-wool Fianna Fáiler, Pat ‘the stroke’ McGrath.
The proprietor and patrons had been discussing surrogate Fianna Fáiler Seán Gallagher’s candidacy in the presidential election when ‘the stroke’ solemnly announced, “I genuinely believe Seán would make a fine president”.
There was no reaction whatsoever, until the local estate agent added, “…and I wouldn’t be your typical Fianna Fáiler now?”
This was greeted with sniggers, splutters and one bestial fart that caused widespread guffaws from those present.
As McGrath struggled to be heard, he insisted he was ‘regularly’ criticised by other party members for his independent point of view and political objectivity.
‘Early drinker’ Thos J. Guiney, winked at barman & proprietor Eamon Halligan who was studiously mopping the bar, as he leaned towards McGrath.
“And tell me now, Pat,” he inquired with mock sincerity, “do you recall how outraged you were, back in the day, by any suggestion that Squire Hockey might be a crook?”
“Hold on a minute now,” McGrath replied hotly, “hold on a minute!”
“Or is it still a complete coincidence,” Guiney continued, “that the head of the revenue met Ben Dunne the very day after CJ got back into office and saved his family trust £23m?”
This prompted enough laughter to eclipse Pat’s reply and encouraged Guiney to taunt him further, by asking, “Has ‘surrogate Seánie’ ever criticised you for your independent point of view?”
Halligan suddenly straightened and nodded towards the back of the bar, to signal his acceptance of an order of two pints from ‘Fairycake’ Lenihan.
“The way things are going round here tonight,” he muttered to Guiney, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blueshirts break into ‘Take It Down from the Mast’.”