John Fleming – Jerry Buttimer

THE ghost of Oliver J. Flanagan was surely in the ether, as deputy Seán Fleming of Fianna Fáil was reprimanded by Fine Gael deputy Jerry Buttimer for including the word ‘orgy’ in a jibe he made about the Government’s three-day debate on the Programme For Government. Seán described the event as an ‘orgy organised by the Government to congratulate themselves’. Jerry was sitting in for the Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett, and he used his opportunity to rap Seán on the knuckles for using ‘unparliamentary language’.

Jerry was sitting in for the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett and he used his opportunity to rap Johnny on the knuckles for using “unparliamentary language.” However, somewhere over the lunch break, the official transcript came back sanitised and harmless, now calling the event a ‘festival of praise and self- congratulations’. 

When the puritanical, old ways of Fine Gael bubbled up for a moment, we all laughed at the memory of the Laois/Offally Fine Gael TD Oliver J. Flanagan.This was the proud Irishman, who told the world, authoritatively, that there “no sex in Ireland before television.”

Oliver’s maiden speech in The Dail also contained some fiery political beliefs.

“How is it that we do not see any of these [Emergency Powers] Acts directed against the Jews, who crucified Our Saviour nineteen hundred years ago, and who are crucifying us every day in the week? How is it that we do not see them directed against the Masonic Order? How is it that the I.R.A. is considered an illegal organisation while the Masonic Order is not considered an illegal organization.”

Steady on Oliver. Antisemitism

In “neutral” Ireland in 1943 wasn’t very cool. But guess what, the following year he doubled his vote!

In 1947 Oliver J. caused  more excitement, when he accused members of the Fianna Fáil government, including Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, Minister for Justice Gerald Boland and Minister for Industry and Commerce Seán Lemass. Despite the judges’ conclusion that Flanagan had lied to the tribunal, his vote increased by 45% at the 1948 general election.

It isn’t any comfort to know that some politicians were llars, even back in Oliver’s generation. Maybe its because, Generation Now, seems to have a total disregard for perjury, which is now committed as nonchalantly as Bart Simpson repeating his mantra, “I didn’t do it.”

But back to the orgy. The man for the orgies was a politician, worse than anything we’ve ever had, Caligula, Emperor of Rome.

We don’t have anyone to match Caligula, but reading between the lines of his historical profile, there is as a composite of faces we recognize, who had a small shade of Caligula in them.

During his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor (as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate of Rome). There were no official pension funds at that time, so he would reward himself with acts of cruelty. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects, notoriously erecting luxurious dwellings for himself. However, he did initiate the construction of two new aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus.

Did you recognise Silvio Berlusconi and  Nicholas Sarkozy in that pen picture of Caligula? Me Neither. But, alarmingly, I thought I caught a glimpse of a few of our fellas, living an dead.

The good news for those in the Dail who abhor censorship, is that there are many ways around this Dail language problem, as there are plenty other word to describe different kinds of orgy.

GEORGY PORGY. This common or garden sex orgy, is regarded as an unspectacular evening of groups sex, between three or more people. Its akin to the human pile-ups that ensue from a Crystal Palace goal in the Premiership.

REVELRY. This Is a bit more of a light-hearted, orthodox party orgy, accompanied by much gaiety and merriment and achieving an over-all effect of a typical post-Ard Fheis gig, without the sex.

CAROUSEL Rugger-bugger types go for the Carøusel, which has an emphasis on drink. Those who like carousing tend to get noisy, quite quickly and before you know it, all the speakers are turned up to 11. The combination of drink and noise, often leads to riotous behaviours..Not for the deaf or the timid.

BACCHANALIA  Wine drinkers, this is the orgy for you. This was Caligula’s favourite, a social occasion, where you could discuss the quality of the different wines, whilst coupling recklessly with the next-door neighbours’s wife.

SATURNALIA. Now we’re getting somewhere. In Ancient Rome, around the Winter Solstice, they celebrated Saturnalia, a holiday which promoted excess, wild celebrations and as much debauchery as you could handle.

Saturnalia was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten, while the businesses, courts and schools were closed. It  sounds very like our Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, an ideal orgy for Ireland.

If Jerry wants to avoid the jibes of Johnny, when the next Government three-day meeting comes around,  he should alter “a festival of praise and self-congratulations” in advance and replace it with, ”A Saturnalia of Success and Self Satisfaction”

It’s the same bullshit, but with a prettier name.

Article Written by Shay Healy 
First Published in The Irish Daily Mail 
Saturday 1st March 2014 
Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99
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About shayhealyblog

Shay Healy is a multi-media artist from Dublin Ireland, who has been in the music business all his life. His song “What’s Another Year”sung by Johnny Logan won the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest. He has written two musicals, The Knowledge and The Wiremen. As a television host, Shay is famous for a cult chat show, Nighthawks and on the other side of the camera, he has made over 12 documentary films, including “The Rocker-A Portrait of Phil Lynott” ,“First Lady”-A Portrait of Tammy Wynette ” and “Roy Rogers-King of The Cowboys. The Danny Boy Triangle (3 Books in 1) is now available to buy on Amazon
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