'I sat down in a meeting with five very serious people,' he says, diplomatically electing to not name them. 'They're fed up with the heritage of the country being thrown aside. They said to me, 'We keep throwing your name in a hat and it keeps coming back', and they're asking me, will I stand? I am not a politician; what I'm doing out there is selling Ireland. I've been selling Ireland and I've been selling our heritage all over the world all my life.'
All over the world is where recession-crushed Ireland is once again scattering its young, and the folk music veteran says he's broken-hearted ('They were once our future, now they're yours'), and angered by the politicians. 'They let the kids down, pure and simple; it's a shame St Patrick didn't get rid of all the snakes,' he muses. 'We were spoiled [as a nation] with a few bob. We've all gone through that; I was guilty of it myself. We've learned a lovely little lesson in how to move forward this time a little bit slower. Ireland will be twice as good when we get back, and twice as smart.'"