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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Column: Cardinal Rules - on Occupy Jim Sheridan's gaff

This week, the (not) Primate of All-Ireland is caught up in #Occupy fever – and decides to #Occupy Jim Sheridan’s €7,000-a-month rented house.

(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

This week’s exciting goings-on as captured in the diary of (Not) Cardinal Seán Brady…

Sunday

A pleasant breakfast is interrupted by Fr Ryan ranting about Occupy Dame Street. “It’s time to become politicised. It’s time to stop sitting back and just taking it. It’s time to fight ‘The Man’.”

Fr Ryan goes to his room and packs his bag. He stomps down the stairs, turns back at the front door with his fist in the air, and shouts “Fight the power!” Then he leaves.

He returns ten minutes later after realising there are no more buses into Dublin after midday.

Monday

11.10am

Bishop Brophy is driving into Dublin to look at a new house. “It’s for retired priests,” he says to me and winks. He asks me to go along, and despite my better judgement I ask him to give Fr Ryan a lift. We have to make a detour to a camping shop to buy Fr Ryan a tent, a flashlight, and a sleeping bag.

Fr Ryan seems very happy with his purchases, until a shadow passes over his face and he says “But I must remember not to be taken in by the ultimately shallow promises of our vacuous consumer culture.”

Then he spies a particularly fetching billycan set and his eyes light up.

12.30pm

We drop a very excited Fr Ryan at the Central Bank plaza. Bishop Brophy is not impressed by what he sees. He wonders aloud if some of these people “have ever even seen scissors at all.”

5pm

After viewing a few unsuitable properties Bishop Brophy spots an ad for Jim Sheridan’s house in the paper. “It’s perfect,” he says. We ring the estate agent to arrange a viewing for tomorrow.

10pm

Later that night Fr Ryan rings to ask me how to put up a tent.

Tuesday

9am

An early morning phone call from Fr Ryan to assure me that all is well. He has managed to get his tent up with the help of a young woman called “Moonleaf” and her friends. He assures me that there is a great sense of community on the plaza, and that two people have even offered to share their pallet with him.

10am

Bishop Brophy and I venture out to Dalkey to see Jim Sheridan’s house. We are welcomed at the door by none other than Daniel Day Lewis!

“Daniel Day Lewis!” cries Bishop Brophy.

“No, I’m an estate agent,” says a very serious Daniel Day Lewis. “Mr Sheridan has asked me to show you around his house.” We both chuckle at his little joke as he gestures around him.

As we follow him we both wonder aloud why such a marvellous house hasn’t sold yet.

10.15am

We are being shown around the heated swimming pool when Fr Ryan rings me. He wants to know if I can drop him down a packet of Rolos, as Moonleaf says going to Centra would be an act of “reckless corporate complicity.” I tell him to stand up for himself.

“But they’ve taken a democratic vote,” he says.

I get a little annoyed with him. “You forget Moonboot and her friends, and you go to Cent-”

“Moonleaf.”

“Whatever,” I reply. I am finding it difficult to concentrate on what he is saying, because Daniel Day Lewis is doing such a great job at being an estate agent.

11am

Daniel Day Lewis is showing us the kitchen. “What do you think?” he asks us.

Bishop Brophy smiles. “Well Daniel-”

“I’m an estate agent,” glowers Daniel Day Lewis. Then he smiles. “Maybe a word with Mr Sheridan himself might help.”

Daniel Day Lewis ducks down behind the kitchen island and pops back up wearing a grey wig. “Story, buds? Jim Sheridan at your service.”

We don’t know what to say.

“Daniel…?” splutters Bishop Brophy.

“I’m Jim Sheridan,” glares Daniel Day Lewis. He starts to tell us about his childhood growing up in the tenements on Sheriff Street, and how he hasn’t forgotten his roots, and there is talk about not having even seen shoes until the age of fourteen, and how he has now entrusted the sale of his house to the best estate agent in Dublin. Then he ducks down behind the kitchen island again and pops up minus the wig and smiling.

We are slowly beginning to realise why this house hasn’t sold yet.

1pm

Bishop Brophy and I have been hiding in the airing cupboard for nearly two hours now. My phone rings. It’s Fr Ryan. He wants to know if he can go home, as another democratic vote has been taken and his possessions have been “redistributed among the collective as a gesture of fairness.” In response he has declared a corner of the pallet he is on an independent republic. Moon unit, or whatever her name is, is having none of it. “I want to go home now,” he wails.

“He’s outside,” gibbers Bishop Brophy.

I can’t think with all the noise. Then the door of the airing cupboard opens and a crazed looking Daniel Day Lewis, with wig askew, pops his head in. “Story?” he asks.

“Please don’t hurt us,” sobs Bishop Brophy.

“Run!” I shout.

1.30pm

We are driving down Coliemore Road with Daniel Day Lewis on the car bonnet. He is alternating between being Jim Sheridan and the estate agent. He is screaming at us through the spittle-flecked windshield about how he can do us an offer on renting the house “at a very reasonable seven thousand a month.” We try pretending he isn’t there.

He lasts as far as Monkstown.

2.15pm

We arrive at Dame Street to pick up a distraught looking Fr Ryan. Nobody says anything as he gets in the car. Nobody says anything on the drive home. Not even when the AA Roadwatch report on the radio refers to a certain confused actor causing traffic chaos in Blackrock.

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(Not) Cardinal Sean Brady

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