- Favourite TV show: The Price Is Right
- Favourite film: A Fistful of Dollars
- Favourite song: Take the Money and Run
- Favourite animal: Fat cat
- Favourite food: Bread
- Favourite character: Gordon Gekko
- Favourite book: My Post Office savings book
- Favourite tennis player: Pat Cash
- Favourite colour: Gold
Latest from the Blog:
- Mr Mercedes RTÉ 2, 7:00PM — Documentary about Fine Gael TD Noel Rock as he attempts to get his hands on a ministerial car. Contains scenes some viewers may find cringeworthy.
- Embarrassing Nobodies TV3, 8:00PM — Medical series. Dr Pixie McKenna meets Ivan and Matt who have being suffering from chronic smugness since childhood.
- Nowhere Fast RTÉ1, 10:00PM — In-depth analysis of the Labour Party’s prospects under the stewardship of Brendan Howlin.
- Acceptable Risk RTÉ 2, 9:30PM — Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin explains his strategy of simultaneously being in and out of government.
THOUSANDS of commuters face being late for their cancelled Ryanair flights after the dispute between Irish Rail unions and management escalated last night.
As the threat of strike action grows, there are fears that passengers will be left stranded at rail stations unable to get to the city to hail a taxi that would bring them to their abandoned journeys.
Said one angry businessman in Sligo, “I’m due to fly out from Dublin for a crucial conference on Tuesday. This train farce means I will probably miss my cancelled flight before arguing with a Ryanair official about getting onto another airline six hours later.”
By Phil Boots
FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern says he is “willing and able” to assist Kerry football legend Colm ‘The Gooch’ Cooper with his testimonial dinner this month.
The ex-Fianna Fáil leader said, “I actually participated in several fundraising events of that kind back in the day so I have great experience. It’s not as straightforward as it looks. You need to have people handy with numbers counting the money.
I’d be delighted to lend my experience, with a 5% fee reduction as it’s for charity.”
Cooper responded to the offer by saying he has already decided to take advice on the matter from rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll: “Nobody ever cleaned up like Drico did. That London bash – pure genius. I wouldn’t be up to that, but I do have a move or two of my own.”
SEPARATED AT BIRTH
GEORGE HOOK has condemned Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow women drive cars. The veteran broadcaster claimed male motorists would need to exercise extreme caution on the roads.
“The problem with putting women behind the wheel is that they are always giving mixed signals and they don’t understand the concept of a green light. We need to put our foot down and end this nonsense,” the Newstalk star said.
But a Saudi government spokesman dismissed Hook’s accusations and claimed the presenter was living in the past: “George is a relic of a bygone era and his chauvinist comments have no place in a progressive country like Saudi Arabia. The man shouldn’t be allowed out on his own,” he said.
By Phil Antrophy
THE GOVERNMENT was coming under increasing pressure last night to declare September 26th ‘National Mary Mitchell O’Connor Day’. The calls follow the announcement by the ‘Super Junior’ Minister of State for Altruistic Endeavour (Surely Higher Education – Ed) that she was “happy to forego” a U16,000 salary hike to which she was never actually entitled. A close friend says, “It’s just so typical of Mary. I remember as a child she came round to my birthday party and immediately said she was happy not to take her present back home even though it wasn’t hers. I was stunned that she was so happy to forgo it. She’s definitely one of a kind.”
TAOISEACH DEFENDS PHOTOBOMBING ALLEGATION
THERE was widespread apathy throughout Ireland last night after the Taoiseach announced a timeline for several new referendums over the next two years. As almost nobody at all took to the streets to welcome the news, one angry Dubliner summed up the mood of the nation. “It’s just typical,” said Mike Madeupname. “You wait ages for a referendum and then a whole convoy come along at once.”
THOSE REFERENDUMS (IN FULL)
Do you want to have a totally secular society with compulsory abortion, divorce and all that liberal carry on?
◊ YES ◊ NO
Wouldn’t it be nice to prevent the diaspora from voting in Presidential elections just to annoy Michael D?
◊ YES ◊ NO
Do you prefer the word ‘referenda’ to ‘referendums’?
◊ YES ◊ NO
Should the unborn be given a vote in future referendums?
◊ YES ◊ NO
Are there far too many of these referendums?
◊ YES ◊ NO
Does anyone care in the slightest about how town mayors are elected?
◊ NO ◊ NO
Is Leo Varadkar a very good Taoiseach or a really excellent Taoiseach?
◊ YES ◊ YES
It’s another busy morning in the Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary, aka Blueshirt General. Hospital master Leo Varadkar tours the wards, accompanied by matron Frances Fitzgerald.
Varadkar (stopping by a patient’s bed and examining chart): Who do we have here?
Fitzgerald: It’s the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.
Varadkar: Strange name – although who am I to talk? What’s it’s problem?
Fitzgerald: Crisis pregnancy. We think the foetus has the potential to threaten the life of the mother… (she lowers her voice and leans into Varadkar) and possibly of the hospital as well.
Varadkar (performing ultrasound scan while studying screen): I can’t see anything.
Fitzgerald: Well it’s still very much in the embryonic stage.
Patient: Can we take it you’ll support us whatever decision we make, doctor?
Varadkar: Yes, probably. Although it’s a complex issue, so I’d like to get a second opinion. And, as it happens, my second opinion is no.
Varadkar: Yes, I’m officially in two minds. But I’ll tell you what. Let’s just wait until we see the shape of this thing (he pats the patient’s belly). I might make a decision then.
In the operating theatre, a patient is undergoing emergency surgery, between screams.
Varadkar (to surgeon): What happened him, Dr Ross?
Shane Ross: Poor chap. Something blew up in his face. I’ve been extracting bits all morning.
Michael O’Leary (for it is he): Ouch!! That really hurts, Doc. When is the anaesthetic supposed to kick in, anyway?
Ross: You were expecting anaesthetic? Sorry. You’re booked in for the no-frills surgery.
O’Leary: Ah, for f**k’s sake! Ouch! All right – I want to be upgraded to the full epidural, now.
Ross: You’re out of luck, Mick. All our anaesthetists are on holiday – we had a problem with the annual leave backlog.
O’Leary: Arrgh! F**k!
Ross: But look on the bright side – our operation’s very cheap.
Varadkar (laughing and heading for the door): Don’t forget to charge him extra for the stitches, doctor.
In a ward on the hospital’s left wing, Dr Varadkar turns suddenly sarcastic after listening at length to a female patient complaining about her treatment.
Varadkar: May I take this opportunity to compliment you, Deputy McDonald, on the flawless delivery of your script?
Mary Lou McDonald (for it is she): I beg your pardon? Varadkar: The pauses, the intonation, everything. You must have spent ages rehearsing?
McDonald: Maybe you’d just answer my questions, Mr Smarty-Pants?
Varadkar: I thought you left-wingers had all the answers already. You’re always so good at diagnosing society’s problems and saying how you’d cure them. So check your script – all the information you need is probably already in it.
A group of hospital (law and) orderlies burst into applause nearby.
Fitzgerald: Keep it up, Leo. The Blueshirt grassroots love it when you have a go at lefties.
McDonald: Anyway, who are you to talk about people being scripted? Mr PR himself. It’s a wonder you still have time to turn up here. Surely there’s a photo op to attend?
Varadkar (looking at watch, startled): Gosh, you’re right, Mary Lou. My weekly spontaneous video presentation is in five minutes and I haven’t learned the lines.
The A & E department, later. The place is full of alcoholics and binge drinkers suffering the after-effects of a rough weekend.
Varadkar: This is why the hospital’s new campaign to reduce alcohol intake in the community is so important. By the way, is that Doctor Twomey, who used to work in St Enda’s? I didn’t realise he was back with us?
Fitzgerald: He’s not. He’s the medical director of something called Drinkaware now – it’s an industry lobby group.
Liam Twomey: (handing Varadkar his card): Hi Leo. I’m just here to tell people to drink alcohol sensibly.
Varadkar (noticing patient with hatchet in his head): The advice is a bit late in his case. Wait. Isn’t that Ciaran Conlon who used to work for us too?
Twomey: Yes, he’s doing some work for the Responsible Retailing of Alcohol in Ireland group. Similar line of business.
Varadkar: And that guy over there. Wasn’t he part of Dr Coveney’s staff?
Conlon: Yes. I think he’s lobbying for IBEC’s Alcohol and Beverage Foundation.
Varadkar: Jesus. I knew this job drives a lot of people to drink eventually, but this is ridiculous.
A man dressed as a bishop limps past, badly bruised and with a mitre wrapped around his neck.
Varadkar (to Dr Harris, who is treating him): Don’t tell me – a drunken fancy dress party?
Simon Harris: No, he’s a real bishop. He just made some unfortunate comments about the HPV vaccine.
Varadkar: So somebody beat him up?
Harris: I did it for his own good.
Credits and music roll. Varadkar and Fitzgerald look at each other wryly.
Varadkar: We’re working in a mad house, matron.
Waiting for Pilots
Reworking of the classic Beckett play about two men waiting for a plane that never arrives. Starring Michael O’Leary as Vladimir and Shane Ross as Lucky. All times are approximate.
Much Ado About Nothing
The story of Paschal, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Blueshirt who has to give a meaningless budget speech to his friends in the media. Expected to sell out very quickly.
A thin-skinned egomaniac (Leo) is gifted and cursed by the gods with a silver tongue and butterfingers. This results in everything Leo touches (health, housing, Brexit etc) turning to mush while he simultaneously evades responsibility for anything.
O’Neill and Keano Are Dead
Absurdist tragicomedy about two irrelevant bit players who manage to turn a routine errand overseas into a gruesome bloodbath. This very underwhelming performance will conclude in Cardiff on October 9th.
An examination of one woman’s desperate attempts to put back together her life’s work following its inevitable destruction by German voters. Could drag on until Christmas at least.
RTÉ’s Michael Corcoran (for it is he):
“…Welcome to Twickenham where Ireland is taking on the combined might of France and South Africa in an all-out bid to host the 2023 World Cup.
And already, the opposition have grabbed the game by the scruff of the teeth, thanks to the legendary 33-stone Jacob Zuma, who is rightly famed for his kicking ability. France’s Brigitte Macron is also getting in on the action. Indeed, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle going on around her – and it seems like Ireland’s ambassadors are definitely going for touch… Oh my – that’s a lovely little off-load.
Drico’s really popping up all over the place… Sadly, Amy Huberman’s on the bench today, busy filming her latest legal TV series back in Donnybrook.
Oh – and seizing the opportunity, it’s Leo Varadkar who is also getting involved right beside the touchline cameras – you can just see Vlad’s blue and red socks. He’s dropped the ball – it’s getting ugly out there now.
Bob Geldof’s come on – once known as ‘The Hitman’ – but that was a very long time ago – Geldof’s flailing about. He’s shouting abuse at the opposition and quoting Yeats again. The South Africans seem to be fading and the French and are going nowhere.
There’s some confusion and Vlad’s just run off with the ball and is rushing towards the photographers again – yes, it look like it’s all over…”
THE TAOISEACH has defended controversial remarks he made about Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald. Varadkar was accused of sexism when he claimed Mary Lou was being “very cranky” following a heated exchange. But while speaking outside Leinster House, the Fine Gael leader denied he is patronising towards women. “I think anyone who witnessed the incident will agree that Mary Lou was hysterical. She is far too emotional and her shrill behaviour is unacceptable,” he claimed. The Taoiseach also believes the Sinn Féin politician will need to mind her manners at leaders’ questions. “Nobody likes bossy women, especially me, and I think she will have to lose the attitude. It wouldn’t hurt for her to smile a bit more either.”
According to coach Leo Cullen, “Leinster can only control the controllables.” After their recent trip to South Africa, he has identified some issues to be addressed.
- Brush up on international Visa requirements
- Research a team call ‘The Cheetahs’
- Bring up this whole playing against South Africa teams with Pro14 bosses
by Ross O’Carroll-Kelly
Exclusive extract from Keep ‘Em Coming, the hilarious new book by Ireland’s multi-award-winning journalist.
You don’t always have to be a top-notch sell-out author, playwright and all-round genius type comedy writer to be on the receiving end of so much attention in the soaraway Irish Times, but that’s exactly what I actually am in fact – an absolute phenomenon – roysh? And just about anyone else who matters is in total agreement. That’s loike my really good friend Róisín Ingle and all my non-swamp friends at the Times. Alpha bitches one and all – and totally into the fine orts. I mean, those goys really have their finger on the pulse and all that – unlike our red-faced garda boggers. Not that any of these dork culchies could ever work out the actual nuances of what it is to be a self-styled phenomenon that’s been re-running this one-trick pony joke for two long decades. I mean, it couldn’t be much simpler. Paul’s this goy, roight, who doesn’t realise that his constant rehashing of Southside society mores and flash cors is wearing a bit thin by this stage. Hilarious!
THOSE PASCHAL DONOHOE BOBBLEHEADS
RANK AND SINGLE FILE: Plain clothes gardai pictured here at a popular Dublin nightspot after being forced by senior management to ‘police outdoors’
By Policing Correspondent, Jack Boot
IN A SHOCKING new twist to the crises in An Garda, it is claimed that hundreds of rank and file members were “forced to police outdoors” because senior management wanted to prove they were running a real police force.
The astonishing claim comes from a Midlands-based Templemore recruit, who says he and his colleagues were “made to go out even if it was raining or dark or if you had half the snack box left.
“If we’d been allowed stay in by the heater, there would have been no stupid breath testing falsifying which we didn’t do even if we did. It was the big shots that done it. It’s all their fault, so it is!”
Meanwhile in Cork, a Garda veteran says he “cannot be blamed for anything” because he “mentally resigned” from the force in 2003. “So I was a member but I actually wasn’t, if you see what I mean. Of course that suited senior management just fine!”
FIANNA FÁIL leader Micheál Martin has confirmed at his party’s annual think-in that one of their elected politicians was the victim of an elaborate “honeytrap” scheme in which he was forced to expose his real intentions.
Martin said that the politician in question and his party had been in a stable but boring relationship with a narcissistic doctor for some time but it’s believed this partnership has become increasingly stale and predictable.
The politician decided to seek companionship online and struck up a friendship with a woman called Mary Lou. She encouraged him to reveal his inner most fantasies, one of which included his desire to jump into bed with Sinn Féin after the next election.
But now Mary Lou is threatening to leak his explicit U-turns in order to ruin his reputation with right-(wing) minded voters. A Fianna Fáil spokeswoman urged members not to be caught out in the same manner.
“We would urge all TD’s and senators to exercise caution when dealing with the Sinn Féin issue and when pressed our advice would be to deny, deny, deny.”
This apology is intended as a deep expression of remorse for any hurt that my unconsidered comments may have caused to the victims of rape, their families or anyone else affected by my unfortunate error of judgement for which I am truly sorry. The producers of High Ruin and Newstalk management deeply regret that yesterday’s apology fell short of the high standard of apologies that the company has traditionally maintained.
Of course, it’s also worth bearing in mind that when I made those ill-advised remarks on High Jump, I never thought for a single moment that anyone was actually listening to me. It’s common knowledge that the listener figures have been plummeting over recent months, so it came as a total bolt out of the blue to find out that some people were still tuning in to the programme.
Needless to say, had I known, I would have concealed my real opinions and trotted out some trendy PC rubbish that would have had Fintan O’Toole and rest of the wishy-washy liberal set jumping for joy. I am very sorry to have been caught on the hop like this and sincerely apologise (again and again and again…).
By Fintan Tool
What I have to say is of no consequence – regardless of my prominence as the leading intellectual voice of the post-modern generation and the pioneering advocate of Irish Times radicalism – in publicly denouncing the disgraceful rape comments perpetrated by George Hook.
It is incumbent on me to decry Hook’s reprehensible discourse and the flagrantly sexist strategy of the shock-jock radio station for which he works. Newstalk is fundamentally crass; a testosterone-fuelled old boys’ sanctuary, similar to a squalid 1950s Irish men’s pub where you would be openly jeered for ordering a home-made tofu salad.
As I write these historic words, I can assure readers that I have genuine crocodile tears in my eyes. Hook has always courted disaster having spent years bending over backwards and taking up all sorts of twisted right-wing positions. Let’s face it – he was asking for it.
In boycotting Newstalk, I have also initiated a courageous stand against the vile intimidating culture of individuals everywhere who strut around the media blatantly undermining more talented colleagues – some of whom have been winners of the prestigious Orwell Prize. Take that Una Mullally, for instance.
Something hard and thick, curved or bent back at an angle, typically barbed and baited for catching hold of things. “George was always deliberately outragous in order to hook listeners”.
Used also for hanging things on
(a ‘tough guy’ reputation, perhaps? Ed)
Sling your hook – A polite way of telling someone to “Go away” or “Leave”
(“Resign”? – Ed)
The Northern Ireland gaffer has shown he can organise a squad of journeymen and no-hopers to perform to the highest international standards. Comfortable with whistle blowers and certain to eliminate the habit of own goals, has experience with the breathalyser system.
Chances: Probably blown it.
The former champion jockey would soon focus the minds of even the more vacuous and empty-headed amongst the ranks with a good dig behind the ears when needed. The more mulish amongst the brethren could be expected to jump to it when ordered, or risk a hefty kick in the ribs and sharp slap on the arse!
Chances: Punching above his weight.
No more wasted man hours queuing at Supermac’s as wholesome carb-free spinach and lentil sandwiches and savoury prune soup would transform the gardaí into a tummy-tucked outfit hungry for action!
IF DARA MURPHY has long since jettisoned his domestic career boosters – ex-taoiseach Enda Kenny, as well as Cork moneybags and Fine Gael trustee... Read more »
BOYLAN’S BRUISED BY BYRNE
THE RAPTUROUS review of super-smooth gynaecologist Peter Boylan’s book,... Read more »
THE RECENT debate between Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny and Ballinamore Community Group spokesman Gordon ...
EVOKE.IE, website of the Mail titles newspaper group (DMG Media Ireland), hosts a timely and ...
THE COMPANY that has provided the most entertainment to market watchers this year is without ...
BARRISTER and author Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has been popping up a lot recently as a ...
IT HAS been hard to avoid Sinéad O’Connor (aka Shuhada’ Davitt) recently and her media ...
HERMANN KELLY’S CORRECTION
HERMANN KELLY, founder of the decidedly, er, right-of-centre Irish... Read more »
LEITRIM IS A VERY FUNNY PLACE, SIR
THE ASYLUM-seekers row in Ballinamore is not over yet,... Read more »
KEVIN DOYLE’S HARD SHOULDER
MIRIAM LORD regaled Irish Times readers last weekend with... Read more »
NOT IN FRONT OF THE HACKS
‘SMILING CHILDREN, not sour-faced journalists’ is the best description... Read more »