And so the waiting begins.  Bertie has bid farewell to Mr. Justice Alan Mahon and his esteemed colleagues down at Dublin Castle, and when Owen O’Callaghan has given his tuppence worth the three judges can get on with writing their final report.

I must say that I will miss the tribunal.  In entertainment terms it has been the best show in town for quite some years now and had come to feel almost like an old, reliable friend.  The sort of old friend who could always be relied upon to cheer me up and give me a giggle on a dreary, wet Monday in Dublin traffic.  After a 12 year run the end of it will seem a bit like the last episode of The Riordans.

The tribunal even outlived the Vincent Browne Show.  The re-enactments pioneered on the show were always fantastic entertainment.  Way back in the dim and distant past, before pod-casting had been heard of, I used to set my cassette recorder on a timer to record the show before I went to bed at night.  Driving out the N4 at 3 or 4am the next morning I was often convulsed with laughter while listening to Tom Gilmartin of Liam Lawlor giving evidence.  Gilmartin’s recounting of the occasion when Lawlor gate crashed a meeting in London nearly put me in a ditch west of Enfield one dark morning.

You see, there were one or two consummate entertainers at the tribunal a few years before Bertie came on the scene.  Imagine how disappointing it would have been if Bertie had completely flopped in the comedy stakes.

Good old reliable Bertie, though, he really didn’t let us down.  Bertie’s run had many highlights.  Everything from how as minister for finance he didn’t engage with the banking system to Michael Wall not eating the dinner and many more fabulous anecdotes in between proved his status as a raconteur without peer.  However, the day he told us that he won the money on a horse has got to be the pinnacle of a performance with more peaks than the Himalayas.

I look forward eagerly to the publication of the final report.  It is sure to be a bestseller and should easily outstrip Justice Floods interim report from a couple of years ago.  Perhaps it will enliven the blogosphere, which quite frankly has been a little quiet of late.

Over in Dublin 4 work on the new Lansdowne Road stadium continues apace.  When the newly built venue opens to the public in 2010 rugby and soccer fans can expect a much enhanced day out for their sports viewing.  What they won’t be expecting, however, is the crowds of spectators urging them on as they go to spend a penny in the stadium’s many toilet facilities.

“The other big thing is the toilet facilities, something that the old stadium was lacking in, to put it mildly. It’ll be a much better spectator experience.”  So said Martin Murphy, Lansdowne Road Stadium Director

Just spotted this over at Dublin Opinion.  A must read.  Deja Vu doesn’t even begin to describe it. 

Average life expectancy in Ireland is currently about 78 years. This is not as good as Japan where an infant born in 2005 can expect, all things being equal, to live to the ripe old age of 81. However, a child born in Ireland in 2005 can expect to live over twice as long as a child born in Zimbabwe, where life expectancy has now dropped to just 33. Swaziland ranks lowest of all at just over 31 years.

All of this information came to light when I was thinkiBertie's Poochng about what to write today. I was going to do a tongue in cheek piece about all of the dead bodies around Dublin Castle this last 10 years or so. Isn’t it odd that every time the trbunal or a witness unearths the identity of someone who could clear up his whole sorry mess……you guessed it.

They turn up dead.

(Has Jessica Fletcher been hanging around the Castle recently?)Bertie’s Pooch

This was supposed to be a post about Bertie and the wonderful gift he recieved from his dear old mammy, But after reading about the decimation of Zimbabwe in life expectancy terms by that animal, Mugabe, I don’t really have the heart for it.

I’m sick of Bertie and his lies. I’m sick of his grubby money. I’m sick of the explanations which rank lower than ‘the dog ate my homework…’ I’m sick of the guy who can explain everything being, unfortunately, inconveniently dead. I’m sick of banks that don’t keep records or even count the wads of cash handed to them by finance ministers. I’m sick of the Green Party saying in May that Fianna Fáil are the devil incarnate before entering government with them in June. I’m sick of hearing that Bertie doesn’t care about money when all of the evidence says that there is no level to which he will not stoop if the price is right.

You might think that I’m sick of being taken for a fool, but you would be wrong.

I’m not all that sure that the Irish public has been taken for fools. We know that these leaches have been pilfering and lying and cheating for years. If we gave a shit about this then we would have been taken for a ride. However, if we gave a shit about any of this they would not still be there, most likely still pilfering and lying and cheating.

As I have said many times before, the beauty of democracy is that you actually do get the government you deserve.