A friend telephones to tell me about the front cover of the new issue of The Phoenix, the nearest thing Ireland has to a satirical magazine. The issue marks the passing of its old adversary, An Duce. I can’t locate the publication online, alas, but my informant describes it thus:
The cover shows (President) Mary McAleese looking grimly presidential, eyes half closed, looking into the middle distance. The photograph was taken at some State occasion or other, possibly the centenary of the Easter Rising. Behind her stands Bertie ‘Gurrier’ Ahern, complete with black overcoat and red nose. McAleese is saying, “He touched millions”. Bertie is muttering, “You’re telling me”. Or words to that effect.
I also hear that some Joyceans, who often renact Paddy Dignam’s funeral on Bloomsday, are planning to make a detour to take in the Haughey obsequies. The Latin Americans have nothing on us when it comes to Magic Realism.