25 February, 2007

Finally, and in Conclusion

...was the title of Barry Desmond's memoirs, a fine read. It also marks the end of a busy weekend in Galway at the Green Party's Annual Convention. There's a pic I took just after Trevor Sargent finished his leader's address to a packed-out auditorium at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill last night.

I've never been as nervous in the Dáil as I was during Trevor's speech. Mary White's intro had run late due to applause, so he had to race through, to catch up. I could see the RTE Floor Manager running his hand across his neck trying to guillotine the end of Mary's speech, and I had thought she hadn't noticed. I found out later that she had in fact effortlessly skipped to her final para. She had a great line about hiding a helicopter behind a hedge. It's worth reading it here to get the full story. As Trevor got into his stride, I was worried that our applause would drag on too long and stop him from getting through the specific proposals towards the end of his speech. Then I realised that we'd look stupid on the podium if we didn't clap along, so I just decided to smile and go with the flow. In the end the timing worked out fine, with enough time for the applause and the ovation to be captured in the live broadcast. I thought the wrapping of climate change into a new deal for Irish children hit the spot. Here's his script.

The evening continued till the wee hours in the Resident's Bar. That's Dan Boyle tinkling the ivories, with Renate Kunast looking on amused in the background. She had earlier commented that the German Greens conferences were never as well organised as ours, but heck, that's live television for you. I wandered back to my room around three, but reports emerged that there was still singing emanating from the bar around eight this morning! A short sunny walk along a windy Prom in Salthill blew away the cobwebs this morning, and here's a clip of my thoughts on how I felt it all went. Let's just hope that we can keep this up for another 80 days. Nobody wants to peak too soon. Heading back on the train this evening we felt we'd won the triple crown, between the rugby, the polls and the sheer buzz off the whole weekend.

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