Mario Rosenstock is going to have a field day with this one.

The often-parodied Joan Burton got more than she bargained for today when she visited Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny to see first-hand the devastating effects of this week's floods.

In hindsight, it was probably not a good idea to agree to be dragged along in a canoe with no lifejacket on – as Joan learnt the hard way when she took a tumble into the ice-cold water of the River Nore.

Oops. Luckily, the Tánaiste found her feet quickly – and was suitably decked out in protective waterproof pants and wellies.

The canoe-dragger himself, a local named Shem Caulfied, joked that the incident was a lesson in "how to drown a Tánaiste."

In the boat with the Tánaiste at the time was the Minister of State Environment Ann Phelan, who also got tipped into the water when the canoe unbalanced.

"We're grand," said Minister Phelan afterwards. "We’re a bit tougher than that now."

In fairness to the women, they continued with their visit after the tumble – though it was all on foot the rest of the way.

We're not sure Enda would be quite so hardy in the same situation…