Local Man Disappointed by Taste of Real Beef

Castlebar – Shocked by the news that his long-time staple of Findus beef lasagne is actually 100% horse, local Castlebar man Pat Murphy (29) treated himself to a steak dinner at the 4-star Harlequin Hotel, only to discover to his chagrin that he doesn’t like beef.

Mr. Murphy tried to make the best of it, but knew beef was a poor substitute at best.

Mr. Murphy tried to make the best of it, but knew beef was a poor substitute at best.

“It tastes like a cow’s arse, to be honest,” sighed Mr. Murphy, as he looked miserably at his expensive rump steak. “I don’t know what I expected really. Just with all the fuss about it I thought I must have been missing out on something.”

“Maybe I should ask for a banjo so I can tenderise it a bit more,” he said gloomily.

In recent days, the nation has been shocked to learn that the popular rhetorical question “Where’s the beef?” is not actually rhetorical in Ireland. This has led to a great deal of soul-searching, and lasagne searching, as the public attempts to find the truth and the beef.

“It’s a complete and total surprise,” said Findus PR manager Art O’Hare. “Findus has been absolutely scrupulous in sourcing its quality products from only the most reputable firms in the Eurozone.

“We purchased the goods from a company dodging tax in Luxembourg which got its meat from a rural Romanian abbatoir.

“Actually,” said Mr. O’Hare with a frown, “when you put it like that I suppose it’s not a complete and total surprise that the beef was a load of old horse.”

The Romanian abbatoir claims the cows escaped in a small Lada.

The Romanian abbatoir claims the cows escaped in a small Lada.

Although it’s unclear how long this scam has been going on, Mr. Murphy reckons it must be well over a decade.

“I’ve lived on Findus lasagne since I was a student and I’d have noticed if there was a sudden change in the meat quality,” said Mr. Murphy. “But it’s always been of the highest standard – lean, tender, swift through the gut, you know?

“This beef stuff is just a lump of fat that sits there for days until you flush it out with Guinness.”

Mr. Murphy took us on a tour of his local supermarket and showed us the now-empty shelves where he used to purchase tainted products.

“There used to be hundreds here. Now they’re all gone,” he said with an air of profound melancholy. “I’d shut the stable door, but that horse has bolted.

“I should have kept a few in the deep freeze.”

The scandal has prompted a deep revision of many landmarks in Irish culture. The classic Kerrygold question, “Who’s taking the horse to France?” has now acquired sinister overtones, while the Rubber Bandits have released a new single, “Horse Inside,” which is currently storming the charts.

While many people profess to be disgusted, Mr. Murphy said that even in the week since the announcement there has been a growing underground trade in horsemeat from people like himself who have suddenly discovered they don’t like beef.

“Yeah, look, I mean, it’s a no brainer, right? You look at a horse standing next to a cow in the field. One of them’s a magnificent animal that’s nothing but ripe muscle and pride and the other’s a fat bitch sitting in her own shit. It’s like being asked to choose between Beyonce and Oprah – who you gonna pork?”

“Of course, Beyonce costs a bit more on the black market, if you know what I mean, but for a prime cut like that it’s totally worth it.”

"Horsemeat, cowmeat," said Mr. Murphy emphatically.

“Horsemeat, cowmeat,” said Mr. Murphy emphatically.

Although he refused to reveal the source of his contacts, Mr. Murphy said that it was relatively easy to import Pferdewurst from Germany and carne de caballo from Spain.

“It’s a disgrace, though,” he said bitterly as he revealed how costly it is to import meat from the continent. “All the good horses in this country are controlled by the rich – JP McManus, John Magnier, all those boys. I bet they sit there every night munching on fuckin’ Shergar while the rest of us have to make do with Bessie the cow.

“This country hasn’t changed since the 19th century. It’s like we’re still living under the Penal Laws. Even today, a poor man can’t afford a decent horse.

“Then we were made a present of it by Findus and the government took it away. It’s fuckin’ typical of Ireland that even when we do get a gift horse we don’t put in in our mouths because of how it might look.”

Budget Speech Announces Radical Austerity Cuts to Truth

Dublin – During his budget speech this week, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the time had come for hard choices to be made and announced swingeing cuts to the root cause of Ireland’s economic crisis – reality.

Noonan boldly gave two fingers to reality in his budget.

Noonan boldly gave two fingers to reality in his budget.

Said Noonan: “Since late 2008 this country has been reeling under the greatest crisis in our history. Under the guidance of our benevolent European overlords and the most holy mercy of the IMF, we have enacted vital austerity programmes in every area of public life, save the most crucial – the truth.

“It is time to recognise that the truth has gotten us into this mess and it won’t get us out of it. That’s why we desperately need to economise on the amount of truth in our public discourse.”

Mr. Noonan said that TDs needed to embrace the three D’s – deceit, dissimulation and duplicity – in order to stage a fightback against the crushing reality of Ireland’s situation. He used his budget speech to illustrate the many styles of deception available.

“There are manifest signs that the country is emerging from the worst of the crisis and that the efforts of the Irish people, despite the hardship, are leading to success,” declared Mr. Noonan, boldly opening up with outright bullshit.

“There are different measures of success however and in taking stock of where we are I would like to examine them,” he continued, injecting a healthy dose of ‘different perspectives on the truth’ to the mix.

Noonan later economised on his gestures, saying one finger to reality was enough.

Noonan later economised on his gestures, saying one finger to reality was enough.

“The first measure of success is whether the bail out programme is being fulfilled,” said Noonan, fighting reality by redefining ‘economic success’ so it had nothing to do with people having jobs. “If fulfilling the programme were the only measure of success then we are successful.”

Having bravely declared that Ireland was an economic success story, despite being bankrupt, Noonan then stepped up a gear by doing some audacious lying. “We will not dither or procrastinate but will drive forward to lead this country,” he exclaimed in a ringing voice that avoided mentioning that he, the Minister for Finance, was a geography teacher with a limited grasp of economics.

“We will continue to fulfil the conditions of the bail out programme, we will carefully plan full market return, we will build on the strong sectors of the economy and repair the weak sectors until they are strong again, we will grow the economy and create the jobs for which so many out of work and so many young people yearn,” he said, masterfully demonstrating how to acknowledge, and yet deny the existence of, reality.

Mr. Noonan had earlier claimed that there was no reason for the public to be anxious about the budget because “there’s lots of good thing in it.”

After the preamble, he then explained some of these good things:

  1. The economy was doing so well and the women of Ireland were so patriotic that maternity benefit would now be treated as a taxable income.
  2. Children were enjoying life without Playstations and iPads and shoes so much, and getting such good healthy doses of fresh air daily, that the government was cutting child benefit for the benefit of children.
  3. So much work will become available in the coming year that the duration of the jobseeker’s benefit could be cut by three months and hardly anyone would notice.
  4. Research had shown that people enjoyed wine more when it was more expensive, so the duty on wine would be raised to stimulate people’s enjoyment.
  5. Home carers found their vocations so personally rewarding and enriching that the government was dropping the whole sordid issue of money and pay altogether to encourage their spiritual brightness.

After detailing these and many other good things for Irish people in the greatest Budget ever heard anywhere in the universe ever, Mr. Noonan made some final remarks before he prepared to go outside to a victory parade in his honour, where comely maidens would shower him with their maternity benefits and kisses and somewhat more expensive wines.

Noonan explains exactly what he will do to the comely maidens.

Noonan explains exactly what he will do to the comely maidens.

“We have seen a total transformation in only twelve months!” bullshitted Noonan heroically. “Confidence is returning to Ireland! We are now well on the road to recovery so let’s look to the future with confidence.

“I commend this Budget to the House.”

And with that, the Confidence Fairy herself appeared and showered Ireland with riches and gifts and Michael Noonan’s hair grew back into long flowing locks and the rivers turned into fine wines which the people were allowed to drink in return for only a moderate government tax. And all was well in the Land of Confidence and Hope, once the stringent economies in reality had taken effect.

Time Defends Nude Photos of Enda Kenny

Dublin – Representatives of Time magazine today defended their decision to publish, as part of their special issue on ‘The Celtic Comeback,’ photos of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the nude.

“Stop concentrating on the smaller picture!”

Catherine Mayer, the European editor of Time, said: “Our coverage of Enda Kenny was comprehensive yet balanced. The nude photos were really only a small part of our feature. It’s just so typical of the Irish to focus on the smaller picture.”

When asked if the smaller picture was the one in which the naked Taoiseach’s erection was tastefully obscured by a shamrock, Ms. Mayer replied: “Yes, that one.”

Time magazine is regarded as one of the world’s leading political journals, having anticipated many of the century’s major developments. It made Adolf Hitler its ‘Man of the Year’ in 1938 for his efforts to bring about peace in Europe. In 1939 it gave the award, again for humanitarian work for peace, to Josef Stalin. It also named George W. Bush ‘Man of the Year’ – twice.

“Yeah, well, you get hits and misses,” said Ms. Mayer dismissively. “But our coverage of Enda Kenny is definitely a hit. The guy deserves recognition. And Time is committed to recognising his achievements, even if some of them had to obscured with a four-leaf clover.”

Ms. Mayer explained that she was motivated to do the cover story both by her desire to correct misperceptions of Enda Kenny in Ireland and her desire to see him in the buff.

Kenny joins such luminaries as Hitler, Stalin, and George W. Bush on the cover of Time.

“Sometimes you can really see things better from a distance,” said Ms. Mayer. “But Enda Kenny is someone you need to see up close and personal. The Irish are both too far away and too close to the problem simultaneously. They know unemployment is sky high, but not that Enda Kenny has a really nice butt.”

“What they need to see is both their Taoiseach’s virile masculine physique and that Ireland’s GDP has started inching up again after it’s catastrophic fall.”

When asked what that meant for unemployed, Ms. Mayer became exasperated. “Honestly, all of this has been explained by America’s finest economists! If your GDP goes up, then the whole pie gets bigger, so it doesn’t matter if you personally are getting less pie. What matters is there’s a lot more pie for you to have less of. And if most people are having less pie, that just leaves a lot more pie for their children.”

“To have less of.” She paused for a moment. “You’ll have to ask Mitt Romney for details. I think it’s 47% more pie for all those having less, or something like that.”

She apologised for being a bit inarticulate and said the photo of Enda Kenny cheekily looking over his shoulder at the camera while his hand slipped his underwear off one ass-cheek had momentarily flustered her.

After a glass of water, she explained that she was fed up with Irish perceptions of the Taoiseach as a political lightweight. “Enda Kenny is someone who has a gulf between the way he’s perceived in his own country and the way he’s perceived abroad. Irish people need to understand that Enda Kenny is the poster boy as far as the European Central Bank is concerned.”

Admittedly, this photo can make anyone lose their train of thought.

Upon being asked if she meant the same ECB that illegally forced Ireland to buy out bondholders of insolvent banks, thus forcing the Irish people to shoulder billions of dollars of someone else’s losses, Ms. Mayer replied: “Yes, that ECB.”

“The one whose actions towards Ireland were considered so needlessly harsh that even the IMF objected?” asked Michael Dooley of the Irish Times.

“Yes!” said Ms. Mayer irritably. “I mean, really, do you Irish have to be so narrow-minded about these things? If the ECB hits you, and then says it loves you, then that’s real love, right? There’s no loss of respect involved. That’s why publishing nude photos of the Taoiseach at this time is appropriate, so the ECB can realise it loves you all the more.”

Ms. Mayer concluded by saying criticisms of Time and Enda Kenny were unwarranted. “We wanted to show everyone just how well Ireland is doing by showing its political leader in the nude playing with an anal dildo shaped like a euro. Is that a crime?”

“Well, maybe, if we don’t advertise the magazine is for over-18s. But, anyway, I think the Irish people need to stand up and salute Enda Kenny.”

“After all, he’s standing up to salute you, even if you can’t see it behind the shamrock.”

Constitutional Convention to Revolutionise Dáil Menu

Dublin – Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny confronted allegations that the ‘Constitutional Convention’ for political reform was a toothless sideshow by declaring that the convention had been given full authority to recommend sweeping changes to the Dáil cafeteria menu.

Said Kenny: “Four years ago, our nation went bankrupt thanks to major institutional failures, particular in our system of governance. Fine Gael knew then that major changes needed to be changed. We heard your cries for change and change is coming.”

An alarmed Eamon Gilmore hurriedly jumps in to prevent Enda Kenny promising genuine reform.

“The Constitutional Convention will change, radically, the fundamental linchpin of Irish political culture and the single most vital ingredient of a properly functioning democracy – the selection, composition, and function of the Dáil.”

“Cafeteria menu,” he added hastily, after being prompted by an alarmed Eamon Gilmore.

“Change,” repeated Gilmore, after an awkward pause.

Critics had previously accused the government of giving the Convention only peripheral issues, such as blasphemy, to deal with.

“I disagree strongly with those criticisms,” said Mr. Kenny sternly. “Blasphemy is a real challenge to our society. Jesus Christ, it may be second only to the total collapse of the Irish economy due to corruption, flawed institutions, and incompetence!”

“But some people still think the Convention is only allowed a menu of marginal reforms, rather than reforms of the menu itself. Well, I swear by the unsoiled pubes of the Virgin Mary that the Convention will have full control of Dáil menu reform!”

Opposition leader Micheál Martin was quick to denounce the new proposal as ‘a radical threat to Irish democracy.’

“Veal tenderloin on Tuesday afternoons is the birthright of every Fianna Fáil TD!” declared Mr. Martin indignantly.

Said Mr. Martin: “The Dáil menu is one of the signature achievements of previous Fianna Fáil governments. The sumptuous five-course lunches with open bars are the only thing that ensure our TDs occasionally enter the parliament.”

“If the Convention were to scrap veal tenderloin Tuesday, then – Jesus’ gay sandals! – this place would be a ghost town.”

Some leading commentators agreed vigorously with Mr. Martin. “Reform of the Dáil cafeteria menu could be disastrous!” thundered RTE political correspondent Noel Knowles through a mouthful of apple crumble. “Do you know how boring it is being stuck on the Dáil watch? Holy Joseph’s balls! Sure, those parish gombeen men have nothing to say, even when they do show up.”

“If it wasn’t for the tender quail breast in lemon sauce on Fridays I’d never make it through the week.”

Political scientists, however, cautiously welcomed the proposal. “Statistics do indicate that there may be a connection between the Dáil menu and the collapse of the Irish economy,” said Prof. Gavin Frumprock of UCD. “I mean, did you see the fat bastards who were running the country then? Every extra kilo correlated with another thousand euros off the average family income. No wonder we were buggered like altar boys.”

“Cowen and Harney alone probably ate the national pension fund,” he added gloomily.

Brian Cowen and Mary Harney look at each other guiltily when asked where the national pension fund went.

Skeptics argue that the Convention is structured in such a way as to prevent any meaningful reform of the Dáil menu.

“Just look at the make-up of the Convention,” said reform activist Ian Gormley (36). “One-third of the people in it are sitting TDs. There’s no way they’re going to vote for austerity measures like Australian cabernet sauvignon on the wine list. It’s Chateau Lafite or nothing for that lot.”

“Not only that, but they’re only allowing the Convention to ‘propose’ changes to the Dáil. Let’s see what happens if the Convention proposes getting rid of filet mignon on Thursdays and replacing it with porridge. That would save a lot of money and show leadership by example. Will it happen? Did Mary blow the disciples one-by-one at the foot of the cross?”

The Taoiseach, however, denied that his government would reject any proposed austerity measures for politicians that arose from the Convention.

“If the people say we must eat cake,” said the Taoiseach with kingly wisdom, “then let us eat cake.”

British, Irish Republicans Share Awkward Moment of Solidarity

Dublin – As Queen Elizabeth II makes the first royal visit to Ireland in over one hundred years, British and Irish republicans clashed on O’Connell Street yesterday in an awkward moment of solidarity.

Witnesses said the encounter was quite accidental, but rapidly became a social quagmire from which neither party could easily extricate itself. As protesters released black balloons into the air and belted out rebel songs, a man with a distinctly English posture and bearing wandered into the assembled mass of fiery republicans, instantly causing a sudden delicate frostiness.

Huntington-Fauntleroy's orange skirt immediately made him stand out from the other republicans.

Huntington-Fauntleroy's orange skirt immediately made him stand out from the other republicans.

“Yes, quite right!” shouted the British republican Cedric Huntington-Fauntleroy, his clear English enunciation cutting through the thick mumbled accents of the crowd like a joke by Prince Philip at a convention for political correctness. “Down with the monarchy, I say!”

Huntington-Fauntleroy then adopted the classic Marquess of Queensbury pose and hit the air with a few left jabs followed by a right cross before looking around in satisfaction at his fellow air-punchers, who were slowly lowering their hands and backing away in confusion.

“Wha’ de fook…?” asked a gobsmacked Marty Delaney (43), leader of the protest, as the tricolour wrapped around his shoulders slid off to reveal a Manchester United jersey.

“Oh, haha, that’s it, my good man, don’t be afraid to turn the air blue, what?” shouted Huntington-Fauntleroy, hitting the bewildered air with a classical right hook. “Damn the Queen’s English – let us have the English of the common man, of republicanism!”

The crowd looked at each other uncertainly and then to Marty Delaney for some kind of guidance. “Are you sure you’re in de roight place?” asked Delaney.

Huntington-Fauntleroy has been a republican since he was blackballed by the royal polo club.

Huntington-Fauntleroy has been a republican since he was blackballed by the royal polo club.

“Oh, wouldn’t miss it!” said Huntington-Fauntleroy jauntily. “I had no idea such a gathering was afoot, but whoever wishes to protest the iniquitous privileges of those antiquated institutions, the monarchy and the aristocracy, has found a bosom companion in Cedric Huntington-Fauntleroy.”

“Rouse the rabble on, good fellow!” he shouted as the air turned still.

The awkward silence apparently stretched for a full minute, broken only by an occasional cough. One of the remaining black balloons deflated quietly on stage with a slow sighing gasp and many in the crowd fixed their attention on it until it was just a limp, wrinkled sack of latex.

Huntington-Fauntleroy himself became aware that his presence had yet again, and for reasons he never quite understood, caused the party to come grinding to a halt. But, in the classic British manner, having introduced himself he could not simply say goodbye without having made some kind of acceptable small talk, however excruciating for all concerned.

“And who are these chaps over here?” he asked, pointing to a group of protesters across the street. “Are they with us?”

Sadly, Éirígí (Arise) seemed unaware of the Swiftean irony of having a sit-down protest.

Sadly, Éirígí (Arise) seemed unaware of the Swiftean irony of having a sit-down protest.

Another awkward silence hung over them all like a tombstone seen from the bottom of an unfilled grave, before one lone voice finally answered from the back. “Dey’re de socialist republican democrats,” said a strong Dublin accent. “Deir name’s Éirígí. It means ‘Arise.’ Dey’re having a sit-down protest.”

“Hoho!” chortled Huntington-Fauntleroy. “What wit! Reminiscent of Swift and Wilde, eh? Éirígí!” he shouted across the street, gesturing for the sit-down protesters to stand up. “Éirígí, hahaha,” he guffawed, before realising that perhaps it wasn’t meant as a piece of Swiftean satire and the humour drained slowly from his face as the awkward silence descended once more like a black cloud of unending gloom.

Whole minutes passed with nothing but the sound of shuffling shoes to fill them. Then the Queen and Prince Philip drove by, waved to the deathly silent crowd, and disappeared round the corner.

“Well, must be off,” said Huntington-Fauntleroy, seeing his chance. He tipped his hat and scooted away, while the listless crowd dispersed slowly, knowing that nothing had changed, and that Ireland would never truly escape the frightfully well-mannered but socially awkward yoke of the British aristocracy.

After Run of Defeats, Queen Commits to Beating Ireland at Hurling by 2025

Buckingham Palace, London – After watching Ireland successively humiliate England in cricket, racing, and rugby, the Queen called today for the people of England to devote all their energies to beating the Irish at hurling by 2025.

Queen Elizabeth II watches Ireland destroy England's Grand Slam hopes.

Queen Elizabeth II watches Ireland destroy England's Grand Slam hopes.

“Too long has one let the Irish taunt one at one’s own games,” declared the Queen with the thin-lipped bitterness of someone who lost a fair bit of her pension when the Irish swept the card on the opening day of Cheltenham.

“And it avails one nought to beat them in return, for they care not for the sports themselves. The gentle smack of leather on willow, the masterful riding of heaving stallions, the sweaty pursuit of oddly shaped balls – these simple yet beloved English pastimes are not valued by the Irish. They care only for the gloating when they win.”

“Paddy does love to have good old gloat,” added the Queen in a burning whisper as she replayed the final overs of Ireland’s famous defeat of the English cricket team in her mind.

“But one cannot have the posterior of one’s most royal sporting dignity so brazenly molested by a bunch of Micks, in full view of the world,” continued the Queen. “We must hit them where it hurts – in their sliotars.”

“I call on the people of England to devote all their energies to beating the Irish at hurling by 2025.”

A leather-clad Willow said she hoped the English found a new pastime soon.

A leather-clad Willow said she hoped the English found a new pastime soon.

News of the Queen’s speech at first raised mocking laughter across Ireland, swiftly followed by a deep sense of unease.

“Haahaha!” guffawed legendary hurling manager Ger Loughnane when he heard it. “Impossible! I’d love to see them try.”

“Although,” he added, scratching his head, “hurling hasn’t exactly had the best few years here. I mean, there’s only Kilkenny left in Leinster, the North may as well be playing tiddlywinks, and Connacht hasn’t got enough wood to make a single hurley.”

“And an awful lot of good young players have headed off to England because of the recession,” he added gloomily. “Jesus, you know, if they made all them English and set up a league for them, they wouldn’t be half bad.”

Loughnane shuddered involuntarily at the thought of the Queen hoisting the McCarthy Cup over Croke Park. “Ah, no, Ger, cop on, get a grip,” he muttered to himself. “Sure, it couldn’t really happen, could it?”

In a bid to forestall even the possibility that the English might put together a decent team and challenge for the All-Ireland championships, new Taoiseach Enda Kenny apologised to the English people for any recent upsets.

Kenny winked and said his discussions with the Queen on the hurling issue had been positive.

Kenny winked and said his discussions with the Queen on the hurling issue had been positive.

“We would, you know, like to say, cap in hand and hand on heart and heart in mouth, sure, that without eating our hats we’re sorry about batin’ ye out of shite recently in all sorts of sports,” said Kenny with his usual off-the-cuff mastery of the English language.

“I hope we can maintain our gentleman’s aggrievement that we only play the sports that matter to the English, and in which defeat doesn’t bother us at all.”

The Queen, however, was having none of Kenny’s confusing attempt to weasel Ireland out of its difficulties.

“Oh, it’s ON,” answered the Queen, glaring directly into the camera. “It’s on, bitches. You can’t go around trying to pretend that it’s not on, when it very much fucking is on.”

“IT’S ON!” repeated the Queen, before setting fire to a toy leprechaun’s crotch and clubbing it to death with the microphone.

Ireland's sliotars wait hopelessly for the English backlash.

Ireland's sliotars wait hopelessly for the English backlash.

Under the Queen’s direction, England has now organised Ireland’s ex-patriot hurlers into a nationwide league with a minimum wage of €50,000 for each player, a national academy of excellence for promising youngsters, and regular coverage on Sky.

A shellshocked Ger Loughnane reviewed England’s plans for hurling domination and acknowledged that Ireland couldn’t hope to compete with the English Premier Hurling League.

“That’s the bitch about being Irish,” said Loughnane bitterly. “Even the good stuff, like beating the English, rebounds to hit you right in the sliotars.”

As FF Gets 17.4%, Calls Grow for Reform of National Anthem

Dublin – The Irish have long had to put up with the stereotype of being stupid, but this weekend’s election results have allowed scientists to measure the number of morons among the adult population at exactly 387,408, the number of people who voted for Fianna Fáil.

Research shows the stereotypical stupid Irish man accounts for 17.4% of the population.

Research shows the stereotypical stupid Irish man accounts for 17.4% of the population.

Having governed for the last 14 years, Fianna Fáil openly shot the Celtic Tiger by failing to regulate the financial industry, ignoring a massive property bubble, eroding the tax base, allowing public sector wages to balloon out of control, and when confronted by the inevitable collapse of the economy issuing a blanket bank guarantee that left the Irish taxpayer on the hook for €145 billion.

Despite bankrupting the nation through its own appalling incompetence and corruption, Fianna Fáil secured 387,408 votes in the general election, confirming that the stereotype of the stupid Irish has some basis in fact.

“17.4% is an awful lot of dingbats for any population,” said Prof. Harriet Feehan (57), professor of social psychology at UCC, looking perplexedly at the figures. “I mean, we would expect the number of total retards in any nation to be somewhere from 5-10%. Ireland, however, has almost double that number of mentally defective imbeciles.”

“There’s got to be some other factor in play here,” she said, frowning in concentration.

After a long brainstorming session with her colleagues, Feehan stumbled across a horrifying possibility. “When the thought first came to me, my blood ran cold,” she said, shivering at the memory. “I was afraid to even say it, but I knew it was true.”

"Would FF really do something this monstrous to their own people? Where have you been?!" snorted Feehan.

"Would FF really do something this monstrous to their own people? Where have you been?!" snorted Feehan.

“But it’s monstrous, absolutely monstrous…” she stopped, looking up in disbelief. “I mean, what organisation would do something so irremediably evil to its own people?”

She looked out the window at a poster of Micheál Martin saying ‘Real Plan. Better Future.’ “God, who am I talking about?” she asked despairingly. “Of course they did it. Jesus H. Christ.”

Feehan’s research clearly demonstrates that, for decades, Fianna Fáil have successfully brainwashed the Irish people with the first line of the national anthem.

“It’s ingenious,” she admitted, taking a deep drag from her cigarette. “I mean, all anyone knows is the first line – ‘Sinne Fianna Fáil’ – then everyone hums along until they get near the end and can starting shouting ‘Come on, Ireland!’ and stuff like that.”

“When you do that on every national occasion, every major sporting occasion, and at the end of every pub gig and karaoke night, pretty soon what you have are a nation of idiots who think we should all be Fianna Fáil.”

Bertie Ahern leads the people in the national brainwashing before a major GAA game.

Bertie Ahern leads the people in the national brainwashing before a major GAA game.

Lab tests on traditional Fianna Fáil voters rapidly proved the hypothesis to be correct.

“I’m a proud patriot, and a proud Fianna Fáil man, and I’ll be a proud Irish Fianna Fáil man until I die!” thundered local halfwit Tomás O’Leary (50), a big red-faced farmer from Macroom. “I won’t vote for any of those ould blueshirts and Commies.”

“Sinne Fianna Fáil!” he bellowed, before humming along wordlessly through the next few bars and finally erupting in deafening roars of “C’mon Cork!”

“Frightening, isn’t it?” observed Prof. Feehan as she watched through the two-way mirror.

However, Fianna Fáil’s traditional death grip on the Irish imagination has weakened to a mere 17.4% because of the introduction in the late 1990s of a new anthem, Ireland’s Call, to be sung at rugby matches as a compromise with northern Unionists.

Initially rejected by many, Ireland’s Call has become popular due its rousing melody and comprehensible lyrics in a language most Irish people can understand.

Patriots put the lyrics of Ireland's Call on Croke Park's big screen to break the national brainwashing.

Patriots put the lyrics of Ireland's Call on Croke Park's big screen to break the national brainwashing.

“Obviously it takes time for something like this to have an effect,” said Prof. Feehan. “But the effect is clear. Fianna Fáil hasn’t changed; it was always corrupt and incompetent and made Ireland the only third world country in Western Europe.

“What changed is the brainwashing effect of the national anthem has weakened sufficiently for most people to break free.”

“Now we have to reform the national anthem, and help the remaining 17.4% of mindless zombie Fianna Fáil voters regain their senses and possibly even contribute to the community – by not voting for Fianna Fáil.”

“If it wasn’t for those patriotic Unionists in the North, Ireland may never have broken free,” she said with a shudder.

Although many have expressed skepticism, Feehan maintains that no other logical answer to the 17.4% enigma exists. “I know it all sounds outlandish,” said Feehan, stubbing out her cigarette, “but do you have any other explanation for how Fianna Fáil could have gotten 17.4% in this election?”

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