Sunday, September 16, 2007


My debut on RTE's Questions and Answers

I had my first outing on RTE’s Questions & Answers on Monday night. The show is watched by over a quarter of a million people and is one of the station’s flagship programmes.

I did some preparations on Monday afternoon, got my hair cut and purchased a new tie. Then I went home for a shower and drove over to a friend’s house for dinner. They then drove me to the studio. On the way in I was introduced to the Director General, Mr Cathal Goan and I also bumped into Ruth, a friend of mine who is producing a different show for the station.

After my make-up was applied I was shown to the Green Room. This is where we all get to meet each other in advance of the programme.

When we got to the studio I was taken aback by the size of the audience. I had always assumed there were a hundred or so people in the audience. In fact, it was only about 40. What’s more, I recognised about a quarter of them! A few were from my own party, but I also spotted a number of known members of other parties that I had come in contact with over the years.

The show itself flew by. I felt that I took some time to warm up and I was really surprised at the end of the Shannon debate to discover that the show was over.

I’ve put a link in to the show here:

The contest of the Deputy Leadership of the party continues. This week saw hustings in Mullingar on Tuesday night, which I attended. There were about 100 people from the Midlands Region in attendance. Both candidates (Burton and O’Sullivan) were good. It will be a close contest, for sure.

I had an early start on Thursday because I was driving Eamon G down to Shannon, where we had a meeting about the Aer Lingus decision to scrap the Shannon – Heathrow services. We got to Shannon at noon and had three meetings in a row with staff and businesses in the area.

Thursday was my first day in the Seanad. It was largely a ceremonial occasion, the only function was to officially declare each Senator elected and to elect a Cathaoirleach. I was accompanied by four of my family for the occasion. Afterwards, I had to drive down to New Ross for an engagement and by the time I got home it was one am.

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