The Robbie Savage of NI politics…

10 10 2007

It was a busy day at Stormont yesterday. But amid all the bluster staff at Bobballs were impressed by the all-round party performance put in by Barry McElduff.

A direct style, big work rate, loves tackling the opposition, uses language he knows offends people, good in defence and attack. It was a bit like watching Birmingham City’s Robbie Savage.

We already know about McElduff’s Daithi Baiting. It’s now his specialist subject. But unlike so many of his colleagues, when McElduff goes into the Chamber he is also aware of going into Hansard.

Also, McElduff is Sinn Fein’s resident wag. And yesterday he comprehensively flattened the UUP counter-wag.

First to the Irish Language debate. Alas, when Sinn Fein MLA Caral Ni Chuilin referred to McNarry as ‘Daithi’ it was all too much for Davey… and he stormed out.

This was covered on television. Anyone in the public gallery would have seen this. But McElduff leapt up on behalf of Hansard – the official record must not be denied!

Mr McElduff: I want to point out that David McNarry, who proposed the motion, vacated the Chamber as soon as the Sinn Féin Member got up to address the issues contained in his statement.

And later…

Mr McElduff: I thank the Member for giving way. I wish to welcome Mr McNarry back into the Chamber. Ba mhaith liom a rá fáilte ar ais. The Sinn Féin Member has spoken: Mr McNarry can now come back into the Chamber.

Later in the debate, the UUP Deputy Leader Danny Kennedy made a flippant remark about an Irish word inscribed on Stephen Farry’s mayoral chain. Kennedy questioned whether people in Bangor could spell properly.

A short time later…

Mr McElduff: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mr Kennedy made a comment about people in Bangor not being able to spell. Bangor is in North Down, which is the only constituency in which the Ulster Unionist Party held on to its MP. It may be in danger of losing that constituency if it continues to insult the people of Bangor.

Ouch. It smarts.

Along with a good contribution in the Arts debate as well, staff at Bobballs feel Barry really earned his industrial wage… (and a breathless comparison between the diminutive, balding middle-aged politico from Tyrone and a strapping, blond-haired, long-mained footballer from Wales? You’re fired. Ed.)

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