At Home With… Enda Kenny
THE Enda Kenny that meets us at the door of his Mayo home is not the Enda Kenny, we’re used to seeing on the news.
Gone is the leader of State dressed in an expensive suit, wearing a worried look on his face as he struggles through one political drubbing after another. Instead, we’re greeted by a Taoiseach in laid-back mood, wearing a black TapOut hoodie, no trousers and a pair of old Converse runners with no laces in them.
“Mon in lads, you’re letting the heat out,” says Kenny, leading us into the spacious four bedroom dormer bungalow on the outskirts of Castlebar.
Inside the house, it is roasting. We catch a glimpse of the thermostat; it’s at 40 degrees.
“Yeah, I like to keep the house hopping when herself isn’t around,” said Enda, referring to his wife Fionnula.
“She’s in town for the day so I’ve the house to myself. It’s Enda time!”
The house is for the most part immaculately clean, albeit swelteringly hot. Enda leads us through to his “man cave”, a dimly lit office towards the back of the house. The windows are shuttered to prevent light from entering, and there’s a laptop open on the desk. We try to take a glimpse at it, but An Taoiseach shuts the lid quickly.
“Don’t mind that lads, it’s just… Government work I was doing. Yeah, Government work, gotta stay on top of it you know? Have a seat, do youse want a can?”
We decline. Enda throws off his TapOut hoodie and kicks off his cons, stretching loudly before reaching for the remote of his 42″ Walker TV.
We shuffle uncomfortably in our seats. Enda turns on Pawn Stars.
“These lads… I don’t get it,” he muses, slouching down in a leather couch.
“They tell the producers of the show how much they’re going to settle for, and then try and go haggle for a price with Rick. Seriously. The producers are just going to tell Rick,’ hi, this lad is going to ask for a grand but he’s told us that he’ll settle for 200 dollars’. Why would you show your hand like that? Americans, seriously”.
We hang out with the Taoiseach for about an hour or so. We’re offered tea, half-heartedly. There’s no feeling that the offer is genuine; Enda is just asking out of politeness. The feeling is very much that here is a man who wants to spend the day sitting in his pants watching Pawn Stars and Storage Wars (“another fixed show”, Enda assures us).
Eventually, the blaring heat becomes too much for us, and we make our excuses and go. Enda thanks us for calling round, without getting off the sofa.
“Sure, you can let yourselves out there lads,” he says, reaching for his laptop.