Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

LAST DECEMBER the Independent’s lovable columnist, Ian O’Doherty, wrote about what he described as “maybe the worst year of my life” but it doesn’t appear that things are getting much better, with the dreaded taxman registering a judgment against the media company co-owned by O’Doherty and his missus, PR queen Sarah Gallagher.

Ian didn’t tell his readers exactly what had made 2023 so forgettable but maybe his significantly reduced profile in the Indo had something to do with his sombre mood.

Certainly, the newspaper’s owner, Mediahuis, appears to have adopted a strategy of less is more when it comes to O’Doherty, who has found himself reduced to a single measly column a week, having been a near permanent fixture in the paper Monday to Friday, including a weekend column in the Saturday ‘Review’ section.

Separately, he lost his column with the Irish Daily Star.

Happily, Iano has been able to pick up assorted other gigs and he continues to pop up as a commentator on issues such as ‘snowflakes’, woke culture etc. For example, Newstalks Kieran Cuddihy recently wheeled the hack on to his Hard Shoulder programme to discuss “the right to be offensive”, with Ian predictably telling the host: “There’s nothing that really offends me.”

O’Doherty’s journalism also features in outlets in the UK, including the Spectator (natch), where he pontificated this week on “the real reason Ireland is going to recognise Palestine”. The Tory rag’s readers were informed that the move “is the latest way for the government to punish the Israelis”, with Ian adding for good measure: “Ireland is a cold house for Israeli Jews”.

Meanwhile, since September last, public relations consultant Gallagher (who started out in O’Leary PR back in the 1990s) has held the high-profile position of head of communications and engagement at Gaisce – Michael D Higgins’s annual presidential awards for young people who complete certain challenges.

Before that, she worked on marketing for the Women’s Mini Marathon for seven years.

Back in 2015, Gallagher and her outspoken journo hubby incorporated a “media consultancy” company called Cloisters Media Ltd. The Terenure-based couple are the two listed directors here and each holds a 50% stake.

According to the last accounts filed, Cloisters was sitting on accumulated losses of €18,000 at the end of 2022, following a deficit recorded for the 12 months of €30,000. Nevertheless, short-term creditors, “including tax and social insurance”, were owed €134,000, up from €95,000 at the end of 2021.

It is not clear how the two busy media players managed to overlook the tax status of their loss-making company but last month the Revenue moved to register a judgment against it for a paltry €16,300.

This could turn out to be another forgettable year for poor Ian.

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