It appears that the truth is very slow to dawn on some people. The gates had to be closed as early as 2.25 pm and there were huge queues outside the RDS on the day, but The Examiner gets pretty close to the actual optics of the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis:
The queues on Saturday were not for the ard fheis but for the nearby Working Abroad Expo.
It goes on to do some vox pops on what those attending the Working Abroad Expo thought about the juxtaposition of the two events:
“They have a neck to be up there, 100 yards away, given the shite that they left behind them,” said one elderly man who did not wish to be named. He was at the expo not because he wanted to emigrate, but because his 35-year-old son, a construction project manager who lost his job, had already done so.
A husband and wife from Galway were there with their young family. Although he has work in the construction industry, they both fear that could dry up. “I was just saying it’s ironic how the Fianna Fáil ard fheis is across the street, and there’s I don’t know how many thousand people here looking to emigrate,” he said. “We have two children, one on the way, and we just want the best for them.”
Not to be outdone, the Irish Times has similarly marked the coincidence of the two events reporting that 4,000 (including Bertie Ahern) attended the Ard Fheis whilst 12,500 went through the doors of the Working Abroad Expo and more were turned away:
Ms Hennessey, who said she formerly worked in a bank, was queuing with Kevin Hickey (33) who was “looking for a job in IT and prepared to go anywhere”. Mr Hickey said it was “not lost on us that Fianna Fáil is next door”, while Ms Hennessey commented on the apology made by the Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin for his party’s role in leading Ireland to seek an international bailout. “He said sorry. Tell that to the children of these people who will be paying back that money for 40 years,” she said.
Michael Flynn (26) from Tallaght said he was a “brickie” but hadn’t worked for more than two years. “I am just here to see what is out there.” Asked if he was aware of the ardfheis on next door he said: “No. No interest, feck ’em.”
So much for weekends like these.