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FG: MAIREAD & MARIA
Mairead McGuinness

FINE GAEL MEP Mairead McGuiness has been forced to deny reports that she has plans for greater influence of the religious right in EU decision making.

Documents leaked to the website openDemocracy last week reveal that the MEP authored a report on Article 17 of the Lisbon treaty which allows for “open, transparent and regular dialogue between the EU institutions and churches, religious associations, and philosophical and non-confessional organisations”.

While this appears harmless at first glance, critics and MEPs have raised concern that the measures proposed my McGuinness specifically reflect those desired by powerful Catholic lobbyists in Brussels.

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DAN MORRISSEY’S €5.5M PILE
Dan Morrissey

IT’S NOT every day that a €5.5m house goes on the market in Co Dublin, but that is the case with the very private Redwood on Avoca Avenue in Blackrock. This has been the home to top legal eagle Dan Morrissey for 30 years.

Morrissey, partner and head of asset management and investment funds at William Fry solicitors first came to Goldhawk’s attention as a backer of Derek Quinlan back in the good old days.

Read more about legal whiz Morrissey in the latest issue.

FEUDS IN SICILY AND DROGHEDA
Drogheda Leader scoop

THE Drogheda Leader freesheet splashed a sensational scoop across its front page recently, telling the population, already terrified by a local gang feud, that Drogheda is the “second most dangerous place to live in Europe”.

Read more in the latest issue out now. 

RTÉ’S COMPLIANCE CONCERNS
Maura Derrane and Daithí Ó Sé

FANS OF Irish daytime TV will be familiar with Today with Maura and Daithí, fronted by the dream team of Maura Derrane and Daithí Ó Sé. This is the daily, two-hour, RTÉ One show that “brings you the latest showbiz news, comment and opinion, Ireland’s biggest giveaways, inspirational fashion tips and recipes”. However, according to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland(BAI), the popular production may also be bringing viewers some product placement. This has resulted in the issuing of a warning notice.

Read more in the latest issue of The Phoenix

O’LEARY’S QUIET LANDING
Michael O'Leary

DESPITE BEING crowned leading jumps owners for the fifth year in a row, Mick O’Leary’s Gigginstown House Stud had a rather poor Punchestown Festival, welcoming back just two winners from 42 runners over the five days.

Could that have something to do with his decision? After all, ‘It’s the Money, Stupid.’

REVIEW: WINGMAN – RTÉ ONE
Baz Ashmawy

THE LATEST Baz Ashmawy vehicle got off to a typically improbable start when the manic-eyed presenter assured viewers that, “with the right help, anything is possible”. This new exercise is depressingly similar to his hit show 50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy – a huge commercial success thanks to Sky’s involvement.

Read the full review in the latest issue. 

SEX’N’DRUGS’N’ROCK’N’ROLL
Chris Goodey

ONE FEELS sure that Chris Goodey will be able to sort out that contretemps with the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) – of which he is chief executive – given that he usually manages to deal with financial travails and other misunderstandings.

Goodey’s career as a publisher and business consultant has been rich and varied, starting with a partnership with publisher Mike Hogan in 1997 with their magazine Medicine Weekly.

Read more about him in the latest issue. 

FG’S TEENAGE PROHIBITION
Catherine Noone

FINE GAEL senator Catherine Noone had to back-pedal rapidly last week following her demand that the legal age limit for alcohol be raised from 18 to 20 years as in Iceland. Her press statement said that the Icelanders had implemented two effective measures, namely raising the drinking age to 20 and banning alcohol and tobacco advertising.

It is hard to tell which of these proposals provoked more angst from the army of drinks and cigarette lobbyists that proliferate around Leinster House (many of them former FG members).

Read about Noone’s gaffe in the latest issue. 

And you can read Goldhawk’s January 2018 profile of the senator here for free.

JONATHAN GRAHAM’S BOXING BOUTS
Jonathan Graham

WHILE HE has been busy on the campaign trail in the Palmerstown-Fonthill ward in South County Dublin, Fianna Fáil councillor Jonathan Graham may have been distracted by a recent knockout in a Circuit Court defamation case. This was not the first controversial bout featuring the former Sinn Féin councillor.

Read more about Graham in the latest issue. 

CHOPPY WATERS IN STORE FOR ROTHWELL’S ICG
Eamonn Rothwell

LAST YEAR was a bad one for Eamonn “Rottweiler” Rothwell’s Irish Continental Group (ICG). He is now looking to bounce back, but the shares will remain on a demanding price-earnings multiple at a time when competition is heating up on the Irish Sea.

Read more about it in the latest issue. 

And you can read Goldhawk’s June 2018 profile of the Rottweiler here for free. 

BARRY CONNELL’S NEW NAGS
Barry Connell

ONE JUMPS owner whose enthusiasm has been tested in the latest season is Barry Connell. After a disastrous performance that yielded only seven winners – his worst in 10 years – Connell seems undeterred, having just invested heavily in new blood at the Goffs Punchestown Sale.

Read more about Connell’s new nags in the latest issue. 

Fans of Goldhawk will be familiar with the trials and tribulations experienced on the turf by Connell. You can read more about some of them here for free. 

DANA’S CROSS-BORDER LIBELS
Dana

EX-PRESIDENTIAL candidate and singer, Dana, took the Sunday World for a sum not far off €200,000 plus mammoth legal costs in the Belfast High Court last November with the newspaper apologising for material on its website and Facebook page.

Despite this admission from the Sunday Worst, Independent News & Media (INM), owners of Sunday Newspapers – its subsidiary that publishes the Worst – is resisting exactly the same libel action in the Dublin High Court.

Read more about it in the latest issue. 

And you can read more about ‘Dana’s Libel Saga’ from November last, here for free. 

TARGETING JOHN ARKINS
John Arkins

IT IS more than a year since Screen Ireland chief executive James Hickey told a Joint Oireachtas Committee that a forum on industrial relations issues in the film and TV business would be organised. The issues were brought to the fore at the committee by John Arkins of the Irish Film Workers Association (IFWA) and supported politically by Richard Boyd Barrett. However, Siptu’s film branch, citing ICTU chapter and verse on its rules about union affiliation, has refused to sit at the table with the IFWA. Now the plot is getting murky.

Read more about this drama in the latest issue. 

And you can read even further about Arkins here and here for free. 

BERNIE MADOFF’S IRISH FEEDER FUND

OVER A decade after details emerged about the huge Ponzi scheme operated by US fraudster Bernie Madoff, a filing in the Companies Office here sheds some light on the current status of Thema International Fund (TIF), the company behind a so-called Irish ‘feeder fund’ established in Dublin to tap wealthy European investors eager to get a slice of the Madoff magic.

Read more about it in the latest issue out now.

BELLA HUDDART’S SOFT PILLOWS
Bella Huddart

READERS OF The Irish Times were given a crash course this month in how to short-let a property by making it “stand out from the crowd”. One of the experts featured was one Arabella Wauchope Huddart (aka Bella), who highlighted the attractions of Sandbrook House, an 18th-century pile on 25 acres on the Carlow/Wicklow border.

Read more about the the colourful Huddart in the latest edition. 

SAME OLD SONG: ‘ANTI-SEMITISM’
Keyes - Eurovision

IRISH TIMES opinion formers lapsed into pro-Israeli sentiment recently, not for the first time, as defenders of Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision song contest dominated the newspaper’s columns. Supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divestment Sanctions) were relegated to the letters pages and occasional quotes rejecting allegations of extremism.

The IT published a lengthy interview with Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Ophir Kariv, in which he denounced boycott supporters as “a very extreme minority”. This was followed by another substantial column by staff journalist, Mark Paul, who claimed that boycotting Eurovision in Israel paralleled the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930s.

Two lengthy opinion pieces from resident PC polemicists, Fintan O’Toole and Hugh Linehan, agonised over the arguments on both sides but failed to say whether they agreed or disagreed with the boycott.

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‘SEXED UP’ DEBATES

RTÉ have taken some flak and even a High Court challenge in recent weeks over the selection of panels for election coverage. Labour’s Dominic Hannigan was incensed following his exclusion from a Week in Politics debate and penned a letter accusing the station of “sexing up its coverage” and “making up the rules as it went along”.

RTÉ have justified their decisions based on past and present electoral performance. However, even Luke ‘Ming’ Flannagan, an outgoing MEP, tweeted his surprise after RTÉ shared a photo of rival candidates preparing for a debate in studio yesterday.

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ROSS’S OLYMPIC BILLS

The inquiry into ticketing at the Olympic Games in Brazil has cost the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport a hefty €312,765. Legal Fees alone were €249,719, forensic accountancy clocked in at €40,744 with Stenography at €12,455 and other incidental expenses

Following the dramatic events at the Rio games, Judge Carroll Moran was tasked with investigating practices at the Olympic Council of Ireland and the distribution of tickets going back as far as 2012.

Minister Shane Ross was responding to questions on related matters in the Dáil, and was also very eager to stress that an unnamed individual “is not, and has not been, in receipt of any payment or financial support or other supports from either my Department or Sport Ireland”.

GREEN REIT SALE DOESN’T MAKE SENSE
Stephen Vernon

THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Steve Vernon on April 15 that the Green Reit board “has taken a decision to initiate a process for the sale of the company or its portfolio of assets” came as a real surprise. What should happen now, rather than selling out, is that the board of Green Reit should remove Vernon and CEO Pat Gunne from the board, cancel the expensive service contracts with the group’s ‘investment manager’ and start running the company under normal commercial conditions.

Read more in the latest edition of Moneybags

And if that’s not enough, you can read Goldhawk’s previous analysis of the company’s underperformance and the very generous rewards on offer to the principal’s from last November here for free. 

SARAH DURCAN’S NOMINATION
Sarah Durcan

GOLDHAWK was recently perusing the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Abbey Theatre and spied a regulation that could be interpreted to cause a headache for one of the board members, Sarah Durcan.

Find out why in the latest issue, out today.

And you can read more about ‘Young Blood’ Durcan here for free.