Taoiseach Enda Kenny burned the candle at both ends during his visit to the Cathedral Town this week when he arrived at 4:15am at the Anner Hotel en-route from an informal leaders summit in Brussels, before attending an 8:00am breakfast meeting with business people, elected representatives and members of the Myles Macken branch of Fine Gael.
The punishing schedule endured by Mr Kenny was undertaken in response to a promise to Mrs Eve Molony, to attend the Thurles Ursuline Secondary School where he presented the David Molony medal in memory of the late, former Fine Gael TD who died ten years ago. While in town he availed of the opportunity to meet and greet during the business breakfast organised by Deputy Noel Coonan and Thurles Town Councillor Michael Cleary.
Lack of sleep there might have been for the Taoiseach, but he was still as bright as a button when he breezed into the function room in the Anner Hotel where he was greeted warmly before delivering a stirring and very informative speech on the Fiscal Stability Treaty.
The Taoiseach would probably have found it difficult to sleep had he been aware that he was housed in the Hanafin Suite of the Anner Hotel - the room having been named in honour of the hotels former owner, Des Hanafin, former Senator and father of Senator John Hanafin, and Minister Mary Hanafin. However, he was blissfully unaware of his lodgings and slept well having arrived in from Baldonnell airport in his State mercedes. “There wasn’t a sinner on the streets of Thurles when I got here and it was just beginning to get bright,” he told guests in the Anner and students in the Ursuline Secondary School where he was also on hand to see off retiring Principal Sr Berchmans after 29 years, alongside four other staff members who also retired including former Fine Gael Councillor Mae Quinn.