President Michael D Higgins has a cosy secret and we finally have proof
You aren't expecting this.
I heard a story a while ago, it was a whisper in my ear, an anecdote at the dinner table, a wonderful tale almost too delicious to be believed. For months I have tried to get proof of this story but I have been foiled, cut down by the impenetrable guard of the Irish army, outsmarted by a tour guide and repeatedly laughed at.
But the day has arrived where I can finally provide proof of the President's secret collection of tea cosies.
Intrigued? Of course you are.
I first heard tell of the wooly collection from a family friend who had visited Áras an Uachtaráin and had been shown into the private rooms of the President for afternoon tea with Michael D and Sabina Higgins. While dining on sandwiches and sponge cake, my family friend spied a shelf the length of the room. She edged a little closer, unsure whether her eyes were deceiving her or whether the funky little shapes that caressed the walls of the room were really what she thought they were.
Aha! She exclaimed to herself, or so I creatively imagine she did, it was true, a shelf, 10 feet long, heavy under the weight of tea-cosies, knitted to resemble the ninth president of Ireland.
In all shapes and sizes, tufts of white hair spurted from the tops of these creations. Dressed in signature suits Michael D's miniature representations were undoubtedly stylish.
This family friend, upon enquiry, discovered that the women of Ireland, knit with great care these cosies and send them to the Áras, of no accord but their own. The handmade gifts then find themselves displayed with great affection in the room where the President and his wife dine daily.
Upon hearing this story, my journalistic spidey senses went off, tingling and jingling and wondering how I could possibly get proof of this?
And so to the Áras I went, reporting on a different story but with the single intention of rooting out those cosies. Alas, to no avail, security at the Irish President's house is tight it seems.
And so I waited. I waited months, patient in this investigative endeavour, sure the day would come when I would be able to bring proof of the knitted marvels to the people of Ireland.
I never gave up hope and today, upon a routine perusal of twitter, I saw it; a photo, not the one I had been wishing for. But proof that the tree I am barking up is knitted.
RTÉ cameraman Michael Mac Suibhne, took a trip to the Arás for a tree lighting ceremony and in the process took this photograph;
— Micheal Mac Suibhne (@MicMacSuibh) December 10, 2016
Admittedly this is not the shelf laden with treasures I was promised but it is proof that somewhere within the fortress of Áras an Uachtaráin, there is a bounty of Michael D tea-cosies.
The quest for truth continues.
Happy New Year.