#af12 “No. No interest, feck ’em.”

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.

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  • Mick Fealty

    What happened to the ‘heave’ John?

  • So which political party could have held a conference on the same day as the expo and looked good? Poor optics, perhaps, but 4000 attendees impressive for a party on its back foot.

  • Dec

    Someone should have told these people to stop cribbing and moaning (hat tip, Bertie). Now, if they’d had the sense to go to the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis instead of, you know, trying to save themselves and their children from financial hardship, they’d soon realise that there’s no need for any pessimism (ditto) and that:

    ‘Ireland needs a vibrant Republican Party that will support small businesses, education and new industries; one that will help people and not exploit their fears; one that is open to new ideas and one that will get this country back on track.’

    I bet they’d be rushing home to unpack those suitcases.

  • John Ó Néill

    thedissenter? Reality check – which party do you think is most closely associated with the economic collapse?

    Mick – O Cuiv lacks the Machiavellian genes. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else that the party could find to rally round. Mahon will be the real test of FF, though. It has been flagged that it is ready to be published but it there is no date set yet.

  • claudius

    The IT guy should go to Belfast . My friend is programmer and has told me that there are any number jobs in IT at the minute

  • Mick Fealty

    More importantly he lacks the support.

  • sherdy

    Maybe it was a fortuitous coincidence for any FF would-be emigrants.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’ll be watching Mahon with interest. He could have done with that before the Ard Fheis tbh… might have given him something to beat Bertie with…

  • wee buns

    ‘’This crisis is something that just happened to them. They consider themselves to be desperately unlucky, rather than grossly inept and fantastically corrupt.’’

    The pith of FF in a nutshell, both past and present.

  • Mack

    IT is booming in Dublin, to the extent that most new hires are immigrants to Ireland.