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March 16, 2013

Irish eyes were smiling at annual political roast

NEWBURYPORT — President Ronald Reagan once remarked that he didn’t understand how politicians can function without being actors, because, he declared, they’ve got to deliver lines in the spotlight.

Local political figures were in the spotlight yesterday at the 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon to benefit the Link House, a facility for helping North Shore residents achieve and sustain sobriety.

State Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, hosted the all-for-a-good-cause roast, while banker Charlie Cullen provided clever tunes with amusing political analysis.

Mayor Donna Holaday was named “Irishman of the Year” for her aid in securing financial support to aid Link House, and newly elected state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, and state Rep. Lenny Mirra, R-West Newbury, made their initial appearances.

Jibes focusing on local officials were hurled throughout the 90-minute event but no injuries were sustained, save for perhaps a few bruised egos.

Cullen, who heads the local Provident Bank, made light of local political events.

To the tune of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” he sang about Mayor Donna Holaday: “She’s safe and yet we wonder, who would run for this great job, Even Sullivan can’t beat her or the councilor known as Bob (Cronin); Still they threaten to oppose her and replace her city team, but they’re merely two court jesters, while she’s still our regal queen.”

About Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer, Cullen sang to the tune of “McNamara’s Band:” “My name is Thatcher Kezer, I continue to be sure, that lowering the tax rate, is a bogus city cure; Our schools our roads, our services, they are (second) to no one, (So what) if our tax rate, in the state is number one.”

One tune that Cullen played and Chamber of Commerce President Ann Ormond sang lead to was “Nefarious,” set to the tune of “Aquarius.” The song poked fun at the debate over an open waterfront and referenced the Committee for an Open Waterfront (COW).

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