Standing outside Dail Eireann, RTEs chief correspondent, Charlie Bird was reporting on the great event when, suddenly, a significant development occurred. Members of the Fianna Fail Parliamentary Party had left the Dail and were heading towards the nearby Royal College of Physicians.
Charlie, craning his neck, excitedly exclaimed – Yes, yes, I can just see the great man, surrounded by party members, family and well wishers. Yes, they’re just making their way towards the college now and will be entering very soon where all is ready for the great event.
Excitement had begun to build within RTE as far back as Sunday when Sean O’Rourke introduced a special edition of The Week in Politics by describing the great man:
“He’s a vastly experienced politician, Fianna Fail to his core, clever, cautious and with the common touch.”
On the same show Fianna Fail senator, Mary White, clearly near fainting with admiration and love, said that when the great man speaks it is ‘quite magical’.
On Morning Ireland (1st item, 6th report), to the accompaniment of appropriate music, the nation was informed that the great leader enjoyed a pint of Guinness but in the summer he goes for lager or cider. He prefers cooking to eating out and steak and chips is a particular favourite.
The media was warned that his name is not spelt Cowan but Cowen and, darkly, all were warned not to call him Biffo; at least not to his face.
On Wednesday morning all normal programming was cancelled. The one o’clock radio news (which was entirely dedicated to the great new leader) began around 11.30 am and the historic event was covered live on television from early morning.
A long line of Fianna Fail supporters, family and commentators trooped through the RTE news studio hailing the great man as being super intelligent, a man not to be tangled with, modest, a great leader, humble, his own man and so on.
Suddenly, Brian Dobson, who was interviewing some hack or another, immediately cut the interview short as word came through that the great man had indeed reached the Royal College of Physicians and was about to enter the great hall.
Live coverage immediately switched to the RCP where the great man could be seen walking down a hallway towards the great hall followed by a large retinue of supporters, minions and hangers on.
He paused at the door until all the excited chatter within the hall was silenced before making his grand entry. As he regally made his way to the rostrum to speak to the nation he was greeted by a tremendous and wildly enthusiastic crowd of reporters and party members.
Later, although tired and almost overcome with excitement, the RTE news team broadcast (4th item, 5th report) a special dedication to the glorious new leader that would surely have made North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’, Kim Jong-il, green with envy.
The dedication consisted of a series of generous compliments from friends, family, colleagues and even some opposition politicians all spoken against the background of a gutsy rock n roll number.
Finally, as the great historic event came to an end, the national broadcaster treated the nation’s peasantry to a fine rendition of ‘The Town I Loved so Well’, sung with gusto by the great man himself (One News, 4th item, 6th report).
A somewhat puzzled tourist from Upper Mongolia stopped a tramp outside Dail Eireann and asked: What’s going on, why all the excitement?
Oh, said the tramp; Brian Cowen has become leader of Fianna Fail
(Warning – Some of this post is exaggerated – but only some).