THERE was always something of the local postman about Green Party leader John Gormley.
Cheerily cycling around the neighbourhood, performing a small but vital service, you'd tip him a tenner at Christmas for working in the wind and rain, but you also knew that he'd eventually run for cover if your portly bulldog bared his teeth.
So after having his trouser leg gnawed once too often, John has finally packed it in, and the residents of Ringsend will have to go to someone else when the want a new cycle lane installed, or advice about fitting a low energy lightbulb.
Because while the country has been collapsing all around them, this is what Gormley & co. have been sweating about these past four years. Of course, in political terms, the Greens resignation from Government isn't just a case of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. The horse had not only escaped – it had time to run cross country, learn to stand on its hind legs, take elocution lessons, join the Green Party and start giving press conferences accompanied by its daughter.
With the timid Gormley at the microphone, the uncouth, equine Gogarty on his shoulder, and the not insubstantial frames of Eamon Ryan and Dan Boyle proving the benefits of widescreen TV, the Greens' last stand was suitably comical.
When a proper political party wants to make an important announcement, it sends a spokesperson or two up on stage. So there was something slightly pathetic about the entire Green Party managing to fit behind one microphone stand in the Merrion Hotel.
The only person missing was Paul Gogarty's 18-month-old daughter, and we're guessing that was her decision.
Uneasy on the eye and more often than not out of tune, the Green were like a Von Crap Family, and the Greens' announcement that they were finally pulling out of Government carried all the weight of the chorus from a West End production of The Sound Of Music announcing that they were leaving the show.
You'll be replaced without fuss in the morning, guys, and the show will go on, and you'll be reduced to selling kiss-andtell stories to the tabloids.
The Irish people, said Gormley with a deep sigh, deserved better. Looking at the scruffy, miserable, irrelevant collection of backing singers on stage in the Merrion Hotel yesterday, I couldn't have put it better myself.
It is deeply ironic that the place where I lost my beloved iPhone should be the opening night of The Field at the Olympia Theatre.
For it's not only a piece of equipment that The Bull McCabe would have raged against as being a plaything favoured by outsiders trying to take over his beloved Carrickthomond, but my loss also adds to many of the prejudices I have about Theatre, with a capital 'T'.
The cramped, deep vein thrombosis-inducing seating, even in the best seats. The general air of pretention amongst the audience, even on an opening night that included Daithi O Se.
The habit that full-grown adults have of laughing outrageously at something that, outside the theatre, would barely register a minor smirk.
The unseemly rush for the cramped bar at the interval and close. The crashing bores all jostling to tell you who was 'the best Bull' they ever saw. And no, it wasn't Richard Harris, my dear boy, it was Ray McNally in the Olympia, 1965...
But most of all, the fact that you can't use a phone during the performance, something which of course I couldn't do after the curtain fell either because, for all their aesthetic pretentions, someone among the audience nicked it.
Carelessly left on the coat that I draped over a stall seat while availing of opening night hospitality in the bar, I returned to find six months' worth of contacts, phone messages and Angry Birds victories lost for ever. And I've no one to blame but myself.
The new owner, though they won't now be able to make or receive calls on it, will be able to view my small collection of photos (none of them embarrassing), my solitary video entry, taken at a Michael Buble concert (deeply embarrassing), and also gain the phone numbers of such Irish luminaries as The Breffmeister.
But don't let my misfortune put you off going. While the stage version is very different to Jim Sheridan's movie, The Field is a magnificent play, boasts a performance by Brian Dennehy that grips without overshadowing the wonderful ensemble cast, and provides great insights into rural Irish life.
And The Field's central message about the Irish obsession with land resonates so strongly in 2011 that you'd almost think John B. had seen the Celtic Tiger, property crash, and Sean Dunne coming.
Bollox, I'm beginning to sound like a theatre bore...
GEORGIA SLAPA has revealed how much she enjoyed a stint on radio last week, co-presenting the Morning Show on 98FM with Aidan Power.
She particularly enjoyed not having to get glammed up for this assignment. “I just threw on clothes I’d be comfortable with, and wore Ugg boots and a hoodie.”
And in that sentence, Georgia has revealed why she should never do radio again.
WHAT is it with Tanaiste Mary Coughlan and her dress sense? Standing beside Brian Cowen a week ago when he announced his decision to remain as leader, she wore something resembling a set of curtains. This weekend, however, accompanying Cowen on stage when he announced that he was going to stand down, she wore a jacket that looked like a living-room carpet.
Did she not hear her title properly, and thinks that she is the Axminster for Trade, Employment and Tourism?
I’M not going to pick on Jim Corr again, following his performance on the Late Late, because, according to a Sunday newspaper, he’s angry enough already.
What we did learn on Friday night was far more scary than Jim. It was his sidekick, Christopher Monckton, whose creepy demeanour made me grateful that at least we don’t have a version of Monckton’s UK Independence Party.
“I’m a great admirer of Jim,” he revealed at one stage, “and I love his music.”
If ever you needed proof of how unstable Monckton is, there you have it.