Thursday 7 February 2013


07 February

I shook hands with the President of Ireland at the Irish Embassy on the Gianicolo Hill last night. Later he was rushed home to disinfect his hands. No, he was rushed home to be on hand (Oh God) to sign legislation to deal with the IBRC crisis which kept the Dáil up all night. I just heard about this from a Cork woman and her daughter at breakfast here in Villa Irlanda. 
I thought Michael D. looked rather tired and spoke with far less gusto than he’s known for. With hindsight, now, I can see that one of his slips of the tongue was classically Freudian: ‘confusion’ for ‘cohesion’. This drew a laugh from the crowd as the President immediately acknowledged it with some witticism. I wonder how many of the guests at the reception at Villa Spada were aware of Ireland’s parlous state, with IBRC’s €12 billion assets in danger? I know I wasn’t.
One TD summed it up succinctly: ‘This is going to be a long night.’

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