When common sense departs then farce swings into action

Maria Bailey

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Listening to radio at times can be a very strange experience. Sometimes, there’s a sense of real mortification when you hear someone tying themselves up in knots trying to explain the unexplainable. There’s often a feeling of: “Oh, no, this is just too unbearable to hear any more of,” and then there’s that other voice saying: “No, I just can’t change that channel.”

Anyway, on the Monday morning after the marathon election count in the Galway Lawn Tennis Club, my daily commute to the city was a few hours behind schedule and I happened to click on Radio One to hear Sean O’Rourke welcoming, one Maria Bailey TD, into the studio for a ‘clear-the-air’ interview.

An interesting option for Ms Bailey, I thought to myself, as at least this would give her the opportunity to put her hands up, apologise for making an error of judgement, ask for forgiveness, and move on after her fall from grace on the swings.

Now for a little factual interlude. Ms Bailey initiated legal proceedings against a Dublin hotel after falling off a swing while holding a drink in one hand and reaching out for another with her second hand. (Oh why, didn’t God give us humans just one more hand!). The result: she fell pretty sharply onto the floor and suffered pain: she was hurt.

There are a few little rules about swings and most of us had them well off by heart, or by instinct, when we reached the age of three or four. As you put your bottom on the swing, you catch the rope or chain on one side with your right hand and repeat the process with your left hand. You get a little push to start you off . . . and away you go.

Some of the headlines in the whole ‘Swing-gate’ affair have been brilliant. “On a swing and a prayer,” (The Sun); “Nobody was drunk” (The Indo) and “Sultana of Swing” (The Irish Times). This was a story that just kept on giving and giving. Okay, there are none of us humans purer than pure in this world, and there aren’t many of us out there who haven’t done something stupid or silly when we have imbibed too much.
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