EMBATTLED Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulherin has been responding to claims that she has racked up a Dáil phone bill of over €2,000 euro by placing calls to a Kenyan mobile.
Mulherin first queried the fascination the media greeted the bill with before insisting she would pay the bill in full if it was required in an interview on RTÉ radio this morning.
The calls are believed to have all been placed to a single Kenyan mobile number.
However, the Mayo TD asked for understanding from the Irish public, explaining that the phone calls made often dragged on for hours due to her inability to say ‘goodbye’ in a timely fashion.
“I would have thought fellow Irish people would understand the difficulty I find myself in as an Irishwoman when having to end a call with anyone,” Mulherin explained, citing a long held belief in Ireland that we take too long to say goodbye on the phone.
“It could be viewed as a condition or even an addiction, I can’t quite say goodbye in a way that helps keep phone calls under an hour.
Mulherin when on to describe to WWN the method she employs on a typical phone call.
“I’d usually start off with what I call the ‘safety goodbyes’, one you just get out of the way in case the signal suddenly dropped – disconnecting you. So ‘bye, bye, bye now, yeah, yeah, bye, bye’ that’s the first wave and they last about 10 minutes,” Mulherin said.
“There’s every chance the person on the end of the line doesn’t think you’re serious, so I add a second wave of ‘confirmation goodbyes’ which reiterate the serious nature of my initial goodbyes. I guess like many other Irish people I’m basically saying ‘this isn’t some sort of bluff, I really am hanging up, so if you’ve any more news speak now'”.
The Mayo TD admitted her ‘goodbye addiction’ was proving a problem and that she would seek help in the future.
“I suppose I knew I had a problem when I was dragging out my goodbyes for so long on the phone, I hadn’t realised a friend had hung up several hours earlier,” an honest Mulherin shared, “and despite starting the call on a Friday I actually finished it on a Sunday”.
“But I just don’t feel right if I haven’t got into my ‘officially hanging up, seriously’ phase of goodbyes. They get a bit more formal like ‘bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, goodbye, bye, bye'”.