By Caoimhín Mires
'The Drone' can reveal that spade-faced Russian premier Vladimir Putin has turned down one of the most coveted jobs in Western politics: the position of Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.
In a surprise move following the organisation’s 2013 Ard Fheis, CCÉ announced that it would be approaching a number of visionary leaders with an offer of the position so as to try to secure a smooth line of succession from the current leadership. The current head of CCÉ is expected to step down within the next forty years so as to let some 'new blood' revitalize the organisation.
Names reported to have appeared on the list of potential successors include Zimbabwean liberal reformer Robert Mugabe, Ryanair trade union firebrand Michael O’Leary, charismatic TV funny man Imam Abu Hamza al-Masri and, of course, Vladimir Putin. But Putin was not to be won over by the offer of a Monkstown penthouse apartment, an endless supply of tea and ham sandwiches and an executive 2 birth caravan at every fleadh in the country.
A Kremlin source said, “while Mr. Putin was very flattered by the offer, he has important Russian internal affairs to concentrate on at this time, such as the political situation in the province of Poland”.
CCÉ was set up in the 1860s by Lars ‘Dry Bags’ O’Murhily, a celebrated Cork tea importer and banner enthusiast. It quickly established itself as a ‘grass-roots’ organisation to promote the then dying arts of tea and sandwich making and banner hanging. The organisation now commands deep respect from other similar cultural organisations that have followed the CCÉ model of setting up sleeper cells all over the globe.
A Vatican spokesperson welcomed the move to open the organisation up to new and dynamic models of leadership but cautioned against a 'pervasive secular liberalism' that has crept into CCÉ in recent years. This likely refers to the Church’s disapproval at a dribbling-style bodhrán player being awarded first place in the in the ‘miscellaneous’ category of the All-Ireland Fleadh competitions of 2008.