I spent my Saturday morning travelling to Millstreet to attend the Fine Gael National Conference – curiosity got the best of me and it was the first time to attend a party conference in Ireland. The last time I went to one was in 2003 in Bournemouth for the Labour get together.
To compare, the FG conference was an incredibly somber affair from what I could gather. A one day conference in the middle of nowhere – hardly the same as Fianna Fail ones or the sheer debauchery and alcoholism of the Labour ones in the UK. But I didn’t stay in Millstreet into the evening, so maybe things did liven up a bit after I left.
As I kind of half expected I bumped into someone I knew, namely Richard, who was there covering the event for the Sunday Tribune. He suggested I get a press pass to use the press facilities upstairs, and meet some hacks. Some minutes later I go to the press room – certainly wasn’t something I expected. It was an interesting experience to see many of the faces familiar to me from the telly – RTE and TV3 correspondents – a plethora of laptops and mics. A shortage of tables prompted me to take a table with a bag on it, Ursula Halligan from TV3 was very polite in later saying it was her table, but there would be little problem sharing. She did enquire who I worked for and where I was from – a blogger I replied – attending simply because I was interested. Ursula expressed interest in blogging and my blogs – a very nice woman indeed.
Unfortunately I couldn’t liveblog the event, simply because the Greenglens Arena doesn’t have Wifi, and the press room relied on a dozen dial-up land lines, for which I had no cable.
In the end Richard was driving back up to Dublin, so I bummed a lift in order to go out on the beer in Dublin. Where I managed to bump into Caoimhe in a rather inebriated state (me, not her).
All in all an eventful weekend.