News | 4 years ago
5 things you might not know about Enda Kenny
In the wake of awful recent poll results, here are five things might not know about Enda Kenny. This list might convince you he's no dullard. But then again...

Dreadfull poll results over the weekend have called Enda Kenny's leadership of Fine Gael into question. Only 30% of Irish people have said that they want him as the Taoiseach. Often seen as the dull man of Irish politics, here are five facts that might change your mind. Then again they might not. Oh and we struggled to find five interesting things to say, so one fact is made up.

1. Enda Kenny is a Hero

Webster's dictionary defines hero ‘as a mythological character, who does lots of heroic stuff’ (or something like that, I couldn’t be bothered checking it up). It’s a word that gets bandied about too often these days. “Oh you found my keys, you’re a hero”, “That’s a lovely cup of tea, you’re my hero”, “You didn’t spill your lasagna all over my new moccasins, you’re a hero”.

It’s used so frequently, that when there is an actual hero in our midst it can seem inadequate. Hercules was a hero. That pilot who landed the plane with only one wing is a hero. And Enda Kenny too is a hero.

On a cold and wet Valentine's night in 2005, Enda Kenny saved a woman’s life, when he pulled her from a mini-bus only minutes before it fell off an embankment in Roscommon. One Garda vividly described his heroics: “He ordered his driver to flag down traffic. Mr Kenny raced to the bus to see if there was anyone inside. When he found the woman he kept her calm and then dragged her out the door to safety.”

2. Enda Kenny is the Father of the Dail

Elected in 1975, succeeding his father, Kenny is now the longest serving in the Dail. When he was elected originally in '75, he was 24, the youngest elected politician. Therefore at different occasions, Kenny has been both the Father and the baby of the Dáil.

3. Enda Kenny is a huge fan of The Bangles

Kenny owns all six Bangles albums (his personal favourite is A Different World) on tape, CD, and on vinyl. "I first got into them when I saw them play 'Going Down to Liverpool' on the Old Grey Whistle Test in early '82," he told Hot Press last year. "I became obsessed, and even took a couple of months off to follow them on their North American tour."

His favourite song is September Gurls which he describes as the "finest pop song of the 20th century." His copy of the single Eternal Flame, signed by Susanna Hoffs, is one of three things he'd bring to a desert island, along with water and a Mayo jersey.

4. Enda Kenny is on Facebook

Enda Kenny is on Facebook, and has 1014 friends. Unfortunately, a fake 'Ennda Kennie' page had 500 more than him, until Fine Gael made the faker shut it down. Whether Ennda Kennie's higher friend count means he was more popular than Kenny, or simply less selective is unknown.

5. Enda Kenny likes to tell racist jokes

Enda Kenny was giving an after dinner speech to party members and journalists in September 2002, and decided to tell a joke. Unfortunately, the joke turned out to be a bit racist. Kenny, talking about a holiday he had in Portugal, said “a Moroccan barman 'with shiny teeth' had been asked why a cocktail was called a 'Lumumba' and replied it was named after 'some nigger who died dans la guerre'.”

The Lumumba he referred to in his anecdote was one Patrice Lumumba, a murdered African freedom fighter. And ‘unluckily’ for Kenny many members of Lumumba’s family were currently living in Tallaght, including one of his six sons and seven of his grandchildren.

As you can imagine they weren’t very happy when it was reported, his son Kongole Lumumba saying, “It is very sad to hear of my father, who was a great man, being spoken about in this way. I would like to call that man [Kenny] and ask him exactly what he was talking about. I still can't believe that a man in his position would make such a remark. He has made a spectacle of himself.”

So there you have it. Enda Kenny is not quite as dull as people make out.

(Fact 3 about the Bangles is the one we've made up. But you never know, he might like them. They aren't as good as the Go Go's but they aren't exactly bad.)

Conor Hogan

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