Donald Trump last night hit out at Irish ‘snowflakes’ as the scandal which some commentators are referring to as ‘Free Ice Creamgate’ took a turn for the bizarre. Free Ice Creamgate began when a man calling himself ‘Bill Gleeson’ tweeted that Irish premier Michael D Higgins had purchased 99s for a crowd of people in Dun Laoghaire, where he’d made a speech to mark the anniversary of the opening of a local landmark. Despite drawing an annual salary of €250,000, it later transpired that Michael D had not, in fact, seen fit to spend a few euro on refreshments for the sweaty onlookers. This forced the noble Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company to step up and purchase ice creams for the crowd.
A spokesperson for the president confirmed that Michael D had not, in fact, been responsible for the free ice creams, going on to channel his inner Sean Spicer and claim that the President’s speech “may have inspired the general feeling of goodwill that gave rise to the offer.” This admission did not prevent the fake, unsubstantiated news story which attributed the purchase to Michael D spreading like wildfire across the internet and social media.
One amateur commentator, Frank O’Malley, tweeted a link to a factually-false article on Breakingnews.ie, captioning it ‘Take note @realDonaldTrump-THIS is how a president should behave’. Trump, who like most people spends his free time searching for internet mentions of himself, was quick to respond with a link to an Irish Times article which debunked the original story. He tweeted:
Trump went on to say ‘My colleague Seán Gallagher should have won 2011 election! Only lost because Irish people believed fake news from terrorists on that Pat Kenny debate!’
Things didn’t get any better for Michael D this morning, when a young Dublin mother channelled her inner Scandinavian Prime Minister to take a broad satirical swipe at the beleaguered President.
Sharon Higgins, of Ballybrack, Co Dublin, purchased a 99 for both her son Axel and Axel’s friend Todd, after the three enjoyed a promenade on the 200-years-young Dun Laoghaire pier. She paid for the ice creams, which were procured from local institution Teddy’s, in cash, which she produced with a flourish from her own purse. Making no efforts to dispel the suggestion that she was engaged in a high-minded pastiche of the previous evening’s shameful events, she went on to post a photo of the two young whippersnappers on Twitter. The picture was captioned ‘#icreamsfortheboyz‘ (sic) and ‘#Teddys’. If her Twitter bio is to be believed, Ms Higgins works as ‘Makin Dreams Come True’ and as an ‘Earth Mother’, with her combined annual salary presumably amounting to less than Mickey D’s cool quarter mill.
When contacted over the telephone for comment, Ms Higgins confirmed that she would not be seeking reimbursement for Todd’s ice cream from his mother later that day. Her knowing silence when asked about the satirical intentions behind her behaviour was telling; she was content to let her actions, and hashtags, speak louder than real words.
One thing’s for certain-Michael D Higgins, and his shallow pockets, must feel very small this morning.