Latest from the Blog:

Enda for the Emirates?

By Dion Fanningabout

EMBATTLED Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has “no ambition” to succeed Endless Kenny as leader of Fine Gael when he leaves the Emirates misfits. The Frenchman has been hotly tipped recently to take over the Blueshirts, with leading party figures reportedly keen to “have someone whose English we can understand and who takes full responsibility for the disasters he creates”.

But a spokesman for Whinger says he is not interested: “Arse is fed up with leaky defences and ball hoppers and will not be moving into the Irish political playing field.” Meanwhile in a bizarre coincidence the Arsenal board is keen to speak to the embattled Taoiseach about taking over at the Emirates. “We’ve a proud history of promising a lot and delivering sweet FA,” says spokesman E.I. Adeeo. “So Endless sounds the ideal man for us.”

Topical Words

Compiled by Dick Shunery
An occasional service to Phoenix readers explaining the meaning of certain words that have suddenly become newsworthy.

This week: ‘TUSLA’

The word borrows from the Irish words TÚS (start or beginning) and LÁ (day). So TUSLA can be taken to mean “
beginning of the day”, as in “beginning of the day of reckoning”.

TÚS is also a Filipino term for having been caught doing illegal things or
immoral actions.



24 minutes from TUSLA
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Lyrics by Des Gusting (Whistleblow Music)

To be sung à la Gene Pitney in a false set of files. (Surely a “falsetto voice”? – Ed)

Dearest Voter, I’m making this call to say that I won’t be in anymore.
Cos something happened. To me. While I was driving home.
And I can’t stay in office anymore

Oh, I was only 24 minutes
from TUSLA
Less than a half hour away
from that file.
It was such a welcoming sight,
when I read that fiction all night.

After I met them: when I pulled up outside of the caff they were all sitting there. And so I walked up. To them. Asked them where I could get dirt on McCabe And they told me where.

They said “It’s only 24 minutes
“Only a short trip away from
that file.”
And when we left the café, they promised I’d be okay.

So I said: “Lead the way.”

Cos, we were only 24 minutes from TUSLA
Only a short trip away from that file…
(fades into retirement)


  • Pours milk into cup before removing teabag
  • Leaves the toilet seat up after use
  • Watches Premier League soccer but won’t go to see his League of Ireland team
  • Unable to use #hashtags correctly on Twitter

Fintan Tool: Why, oh why, are our politicians so awful?

By Fintan Tool

WE USED to live in the postwar world. And now we live in the post-postwar alien environment where anything can happen.

It’s bad enough that all political careers end in failure, but the self-serving behaviour of Fine Gael ministers has been astonishing. Enda Kenny’s long goodbye has brought out the worst in his ministers who routinely pour fire onto the stormy waters.

Recent events show power corrupts. The bizarre McCabe scenario is a chilling reminder of Al Pacino’s performance as the NYPD cop in Serpico. Flawed systems need to be challenged by heroic individuals. It’s Samson and Goliath. We must all play our part. Some aspects of Irish life aren’t very, you know, civilised. But when faced with a mountain to climb, you might as well throw everything into the kitchen sink. Frank Serpico was an honest cop who agonised about right and wrong. Some of us share his intense idealism. We care about things. Deeply. Vaguely.

Meanwhile, Kenny’s closest colleagues have deserted him. He must surely realise that Fine Gael are finished. They have run out of ideas and are completely finished. They are out of fresh ideas. They are finished.

Yes! It’s the new-look ‘Irish Times’

FOR YEARS, the Irish Times has contained nothing at all of  interest to the younger generation. But all that is about to change.

From today, everything in the paper will be directly geared to the millennials (also known as Generation Y, Generation Me, Echo Boomers and Peter Pan Generation).

“Ireland is currently being transformed beyond all recognition – and so is the soaraway Irish Times,” explains Kevin “Kev” O’Sullivan. “We’re now completely cool and awesome – and absolutely desperate to appeal to the younger demographic.” Said columnist Michael “Mikey” Harding: “It’s such a radical alternative to RTÉ which is just so out of date. I mean, all their presenters are totally ancient. Who cares what Claire Byrne thinks, right? She must be at least 40 – and now she’s having another baby – ugh! How gross!”

OUT go all those fuddy-duddy opinion pieces on politics and world news!

IN comes loads of exciting lifestyle stuff aimed at today’s yoof!


  • Stephen Collins “Top 10 Snapchat Tips”
  • Miriam ‘Mir’ Lord “Those trendy women TDs”
  • Fintan Tool “The swinging blue jeans revisited”
  • Patsy ‘Mac’ McGarry “Up-to-the-minute Church of Ireland notes”

PLUS Irish Times offer: Year’s supply of toys with every copy sold

ISIS backs the ‘Late Late Show’

GODLESS: Porter and Martin were labelled ‘infidels’ by the Islamic State, which also penned a number of sternly worded complaints to RTÉ

THE Islamic State has confirmed it will be using the Valentine’s episode of the Late Late Show to entice new recruits.

The group claimed that the show encapsulated everything wrong with western society and would be distributing copies throughout the Levant to boost its ranks.

A spokesman for ISIS said it had struggled in the past to attract suicide bombers but following the broadcast it was overwhelmed with applications.

“After watching Ryan Tubridy for 15 minutes, most new militants were overcome with blood lust. It’s incredible. Coupled with Al Porter and Linda Martin’s… carry on, we should have absolutely no problem convincing future holy warriors of just how great a caliphate could be,” he added.

SIMPLER TIMES: The poll showed the public yearned for the days when politicians looked as dodgy as they actually were

IN A major boost for Fianna Fáil, the vast majority of Irish people “do not fully understand recent government scandals” and yearn for the “more straightforward crookedness and malpractice of the Soldiers of Destiny”, according to a shock new study.

“I lost track of this whistle blower thing after Zappone came back from America,” complained one man turning off Vincent Browne last night.

“Typical Fine Gael not to care about the ordinary voter. It’s even more complicated than Baldy Noonan and the hepatitis B. Say what you like about Fianna Fáil but they always keep it simple, whether it’s bribes, drunk driving, avoiding tax or even Ivor Callely. I can’t wait for them to get back in!”


By Terri Bell-Stuff

RTÉ’s comedy entertainment department says the station is determined to “scour every inch of the canteen” in its efforts to unearth new comedy talent to replace the booted Republic of Telly series.

“We remain as committed as ever to producing top quality, insightful comedy that carries a punch and leaves the viewer yearning for more while rolling on the floor,” says a spokesman.

“You should hear the stuff they come out with up in the canteen! It’s always been a great recruitment centre for us. But we’re prepared to search the car park too for real cutting edge stuff.

“Watch this space!”

Funerals ‘won’t be the same without Republic of Telly’

By A Hearse

FUNERAL directors across the nation are appealing to RTÉ to reverse its decision to axe Republic of Telly.

One veteran gravedigger in Waterford called for the show to be re-instated. “It showed people there are things worse than death”, he sighed.
“But at least we still have Pat Shortt.”

“Bereavements are always difficult for families to handle,” said a Dublin undertaker. “And Republic of Telly managed to capture perfectly that mood of loss and sadness. People found solace in it knowing that life isn’t always about joy and laughter. I’m gravely disappointed.”

That Mary Immaculate College timetable in full

12pm: Media studies – how many stories about Rag Week in the paper today?
2pm: Business – calculate costs of repairs to lecture theatre

4pm: Legal studies – getting our stories straight for the guards

12am-3am: Science – practical experiment to see how much drink you can take on board during Rag Week

4am: PE – Strenuous workout including smashing up of lecture theatre and urinating on floor

Enda’s Story – The newsletter of St Enda’s Special School

A Message from the Principal

As another Lent approaches, it’s time for us all to decide what, if anything, we want to give up this year. Obviously, in light of recent events, this is a bigger than usual question for me.
Back home in Mayo during the mid-term break, I made a list of things I’d be only too happy to give up in 2017. The constant back-biting of my critics is one. Being the whipping boy for every mistake made in Enda’s is another. Getting constantly dragged into that row in the Garda Station next door (see below), even though it should have nothing to do with me, is a third.

I could also easily give up on waiting for some signs of gratitude or loyalty from the many St Enda’s staff members who owe everything they have to me. But of course, all of that would mean relinquishing my job as principal, too.

And apart from considerations such as the job’s petty rewards – money, glamour, satiation of naked lust for power, etc – I have to ask myself whether depriving the school of my leadership at this time would not, deep down, be selfish.

Soon it will be Easter, when we commemorate the man who made the ultimate sacrifice for the common good. So like all Christians, I must ask myself: what would Jesus do in this position?
Naturally, I’m reluctant to compare myself with the Messiah (and in any case, it’s too early yet to decide which of Leo or Simon would be Judas in the metaphor).

But rightly or wrongly, many people do see me as something of a saviour for the way I turned the school around when it was a financial ruin. Much as I might be entitled to a well-earned retirement, I also have to consider whether I would be letting down my flock by retiring now.

In making this momentous decision, I will as always guided by my greatest adviser – Fionnuala – who forever has my best interests at heart. She’s already concerned about the great strain my mission at St Enda’s puts me under. Before a staffroom meeting last week, for example, she took me aside and said she was worried about recent lapses in my short-term memory.

“Who are you?” I replied. But that was just a little joke. I told her not to worry and assured her that when it was time to retire, I would know. Then I went into the meeting where I was my usual masterful self.

Actually, it might have been after the meeting that Fionnuala and I had that conversation. Or maybe we didn’t discuss it in person at all. It could have been her officials that mentioned it to mine. Yeah, that was probably it.

But where was I?

Oh yes, I was talking about what I need to give up for Lent this year. Hmm. That’s always a tough one. I think, all things considered, I’ll go with sweets.

‘Missing’ Child Found in Garda Locker – Clerical Error Blamed

A child reported missing from the St Enda’s kindergarten last week has turned up safe and well in the local garda station after what appears to have been an innocent “cut-and-paste” error.
The kindergarten supervisor, Ms Zappone, said the child – who is unusually thin – had accidentally slipped into a file being updated as part of routine garda vetting procedures.

Luckily the mistake was noticed after only a few days and the victim has since made a complete recovery, apart from malnutrition, claustrophobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In the meantime, neither Ms Zappone nor the garda station can explain how the file ended up in the locker of Sgt Maurice McCabe, the man at the centre of the so-called “whistleblower” controversy.

But this will now be the subject of an independent inquiry, which may also investigate a separate incident at the crèche, during cleaning operations, in which another child was swept under a carpet.

WhatsApp? – a warning on dangers of social media

The principal has asked us to remind students and staff of the risks of using social media, especially the school’s WhatsApp forum, introduced last year by Mr Varadkar. Mr Kenny’s warning follows the recent embarrassing leak to media of a What’s App Valentine’s Day message, apparently involving a love triangle of St Enda’s staff members, thinly disguised by their user names of Frances, Simon and Charlie.

“I know it was Leako – sorry, I mean Leo’s idea to drag school communications into the 21st century,” Mr Kenny said. “But as this incident proves, you just can’t trust social welfare ministers – er, I mean, social media networks to safeguard your privacy.”

The principal called for a return to traditional communication techniques, including the passage of notes under desks. “Or if anybody has any dark secrets to reveal about, say, Mr Varadkar,” he added, “why not write it on the walls of the school toilets, like we used to?”

The Whistleblower Controversy for Beginners

Younger students and some of the new teachers may be mystified at the ongoing Whistleblower controversy, which continues to bedevil the school. So we thought a recap might be useful.

The trouble all started at a Garda rugby match a few years ago, on the pitches adjoining St Enda’s. The game was between a team of “old-school” gardaí, and a new reformist element. Despite conceding a record 27 penalties in the opening 40 minutes, the old boys somehow led 3-0 at half time, largely because the penalty points kept being mysteriously wiped from the scoreboard.

But when, early in the second half, the referee Maurice McCabe intervened to have the points restored, putting the reformers 81-3 ahead, all hell broke loose. In the resulting fracas, the captain of the old-school team was sent off and a St Enda’s teacher, Mr Shatter, suffered career-ending injuries.

Mr McCabe later had to have his whistle surgically removed. But the bad feeling next door continues to impinge on life in St Enda’s. New security responses are being considered, including the separation of the Garda station and school campuses with a 40-foot pole.


1. Room where Rolling Stones groupies used to stay
2. Inconsolable Irish Times hacks
3. Someone else who isn’t going to buy the place
4. Handwringing politicians
5. Room full of For Sale signs
6. Members of public bored stiff by whole thing
7. Denis O’Brien’s eyes on the gaff
8. Bedroom where Wacko Jacko … (That’s quite enough – Ed)

Furtive high-flying lifestyle Furtive high-flying lifestyle
Completely mad Completely power mad
Used to poisonous atmosphere around him Used to poisonous atmosphere around him
Despised by most of his own family Despised by all in the Fine Gael family
Victim of vicious assassination Victim of political assassination
Leaving Kimmy a dead man Leaving Kenny a dead man walking

General Flynn’s Favourites
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Favourite song: Back in the USSR

Favourite film: From Russia with love

Favourite animal: Trojan Horse

Favourite vodka: Smearnoff

Favourite job: Drugs Czar

Favourite saint: St Peter(sburg)

O’Neill shocked by Stokes incident

IRELAND soccer manager Martin O’Neill has spoken of his shock at former international Anthony Stokes being forced to pay €230,000 in damages after head-butting an Elvis impersonator in Buck Whaley’s nightclub.

“I couldn’t believe he actually hit the target,” said the Irish gaffer. “Normally he misses by a mile so this was absolutely incredible.”

However, O’Neill insisted Stokes isn’t in line for a call-up for the crunch World Cup qualifier against Wales in March, despite assistant manager Roy Keane feeling he deserved another chance.

“He showed plenty of aggression in Buck Whaleys,” said the Irish supremo, “but it’s not the kind we’re looking for. Having said that, I’d say he could have a hugely successful GAA career.”

Jesus back for Easter

PEP Guardiola is quietly confident that star striker Jesus will be back from injury around Easter.

Reports claimed the Brazilian may miss the rest of the Premier League season with a broken foot but Spanish coach thinks he may have special powers of recovery.

“With Jesus, it’s different to a normal player,” said Guardiola. “I expect miracles, that’s why I bought him.”

“He really is something special. He appears out of nowhere and is brilliant with crosses, his teammates, all bar one, love him. Maybe some in the press will try to crucify him but I believe in him.”

Ministers fear the worst over US immigration policy
SWEET DEAL: Top politicians might have to spend Paddy’s Day at low class events in kips like Switzerland and Monaco

By Dee Lay of Our Airport Staff

AS THE fallout from US President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies continue, worried Irish ministers and civil servants say there is a “real possibility” they may miss out on the “hors d’oeuvres and other courses on offer” when visiting American locations on St Patrick’s Day.

One deeply concerned minister who asked to remain “anonymous, for f**k’s sake”, said the removal of pre-clearance facilities at Dublin airport could have disastrous consequences for his swish junket (“Vital diplomatic and trade mission,” surely – Ed).

“We’re looking at total Armageddon as far as the breakfast is concerned and I’ll be lucky if I get in for the dessert at lunchtime,” he gasps.

“It’s absolutely inhumane. The wife’s furious and the shop won’t refund her new morning wear.”

Mexico to Trump: ‘No way, Jose’
MEXICAN CAVE: The plan to tunnel under the US border is modelled on the work of totally legitimate Mexican businessman Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, pictured here

THE Government of Mexico has offered to take in all of the refugees banned by Donald Trump from entering the US.

In the spirit of goodwill, humanity and love (Surely “revenge”? – Ed), Mexico will allow all those refused entry to the US to be fast tracked through Mexico’s airports.

From there, they will be transported to the land border with the US and introduced to Mexico’s new Trumpway. This is the nickname given by locals to the recently completed Subterranean Conveyor of Refused Emigrants Walkway Unit (SCREW U for short) where travellers can simply stroll under the border and scatter to the four winds once inside the US.

Asked about the massive cost of the project, a government spokesman replied. “The US will pay. One way or another, Trump will pay for this. We’re not going to pay for that fucken [sic] tunnel.”

The Irish Government has welcomed the initiative with Endless Kenny hinting that “it could have applications on certain parts of the island of Ireland, post-Brexit.”

HOLE-Y CRAP: A tourism boss says the hole is visible from space but we’re not sure if she’s talking about Wicklow or Donnelly’s Hollow itself.

By J. Unket Our Travel Correspondent

Tourism chiefs in Wicklow have encouraged the public to visit the infamous Donnelly’s Hollow in the county. The naturally occurring sinkhole is named after Stephen Donnelly, a notorious lightweight, thought to have been long since forgotten as an obscure relic of the past.

However, his reputation has grown and grown in recent months due to his constant engagement in bare-knuckle fights with colleagues and his tendency to throw in the towel.

A local tourism boss told Goldhawk: “Donnelly’s Hollow was created as a result of a pugnacious character plodding along a well worn rightward path. However, at this time of the year it is particularly treacherous and slippery and it would probably be better to avoid it altogether,” she added.


Note that the following categories will be restricted from entering the United States until further notice:

  • Non American true-blue patriots. Period.
  • Mexican undesirables – even if they’re classy-looking.
  • Totally biased media liars. Nasty.
  • ISIS terrorists. Muslims probably. Bad dudes.
  • All other shifty-looking foreigners. Especially brown types.
  • Goofy losers carrying nuclear weapons in hand luggage.
  • Bono. Do-gooder. Can’t sing to save his life. Sad!
  • Slimy Irish politicians with their bowls of shamrock.
Valentine’s Day Rhymes
To Angela Kerins, my love,

I miss the sheerness
of your neck,
That made you what you are,
So sad to see the court decide,
You’d stuck it out too far!

Shane Ross

My Dearest Monk,

I chase you here
I chase you there,
I search the world each day,
For I have feelings
here to share,
That would blow you away!

Thinking of you,
Christy Kinahan

My darling Pat Hickey,

Oh what a summer my Irish lad,
For you it was oh so sad
Please hurry back from
whence you came,
So we can play that
legal game.

Yours forever,
Police Commissioner Falcao

Gerry Adams, a stór,

Labour is dead,
The Provos are too,
Us Blueshirts are in,
And you can be too.

Do ghrá,
Enda Kenny

Robinson: ‘We must stand up to this blowhard’
AIRY FAIRY: Met Éireann warned of fast approaching hot air from the west following Mary Robinson’s speech

By Martin Wall of Our Political Staff

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s immigration ban has been branded “un-American” by ex-Irish president Mary Robinson. Speaking on RTÉ’s Mourning Ireland, Mrs Robinson criticised the travel ban, saying his policies would not make the US a safer place.

“It’s important to stand up to self-righteous bullies – particularly those with enormous egos and lofty inflated titles like Leader of the Free World or Commander,” said the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

She refused to comment on Taoiseach Enda Kenny travelling to the White House on St Patrick’s Day, but she said: “Everyone is sick of this arrogant character hogging the media and pretending it’s all for the common good. But enough of me.”

Spot The Difference
Enormously rich tycoon Bankrupt enormously rich tycoon
Made an absolute fortune Owes an absolute fortune
Friends in high places Friends in low places
Silly “Kaiser” nickname Silly “Ballsbridge Baron” nickname
Stylish silver-grey moustache Stylish blonde wife
Swanky Shrewsbury Road house purchase Murky Shrewsbury Road house sale
Lots of smokey cigars Lots of mirrors and smoke
This is Angela

Not long ago Angela was just a normal, everyday worker pushing a pen and earning a modest €240,000 a year plus company car.

Then Angela’s little earner came to an end and soon she was out on the street.

Angela found herself being pursued by people she had never met and several she had even refused to meet. Eventually there was no place left to hide.

Angela’s story got worse after she lost her precious case. The case contained not just her personal papers but also her high hopes and wishes.

As she faces mounting financial challenges, there is one ray of hope left for Angela, however. If you everyone reading this today was to donate just one euro every 30 seconds for say, 20 years, Angela could again enjoy the lifestyle she once had.

Please, give a three-star €1,000 now to kick-start her rehabilitation.

Medication Nation Update

Ireland’s most damaging pill(ock)s:

Drug Description Side Effects
Endacetamol: Sleep-inducing laxative type Delusions of immortality
Keanoothyroxine: Highly potent stimulant Terrifying mood swings, facial hair
Dannyhealyrazephine: Enhances creativity Black and white vision
Shanerossetine: Boosts the ego Paralysis
Geldofizone: Restores self-importance Verbal diarrhoea, pain in the arse
Behind Ireland’s pill-popping epidemic

By Anna Din  

RESEARCHERS have revealed the shocking reasons why every Irish adult spends over €50,000 per week on pills (Alarmist nonsense _ Ed) to cope with life.

According to Dr Ruth A. Round, of the Authority for Analysis, Research, Study and Examining (AARSE), the main causes of pill-popping are:

  • Getting sued by Denis O’Brien n Where can I get an All-Ireland final ticket?
  • ‘Muriam’ back on telly for a summer season
  • Bertie Ahern
  • Seeing John Waters in town
  • Voting for Stephen Donnelly

SPUD DAY’S WORK: Gardai say they’ve seized a large quantity of these powerful handguns that were destined for use by Dublin’s most hardened crims

By Our Gangland Staff Paul “Scummer” Williams

IN WHAT has been described as the latest development since yesterday’s edition in the feud between Dublin’s most notorious drug gangs, the ruthless Kinahan cartel is targeting a possible supergrass “rat” in its outfit.

Mob enforcers believe both Kevin “Killah” Killahan and Ned “No Nickname” Nogent are connected to recent garda seizures of €972m of heroin at Dublin Port. Up to 12,976 deadly weapons – including thousands of high-powered handguns, Lance missile carriers and guided nuclear devices were also recovered.

“Ordinary people should be on the lookout for these dangerous underworld figures,” said a garda spokesman. “Crime journos have no sense of decency. They are completely ruthless, often working under cover of darkness and taking money from anyone for their lurid gangland stories.”


Enda’s Story – The newsletter of St Enda’s Special School

A Message from the Principal

Meteorologists may disagree – and so may the weather. But February is upon us and, according to the old Celtic calendar, that means spring has sprung.Time for such ancient Irish traditions as whitewashing walls, letting cattle out to pasture and convincing ourselves yet again that this is the year Mayo will win an All-Ireland.

Here at St Enda’s, of course, it’s also time to start worrying about the Leaving Cert mocks. Speaking of which, I was chatting to Mrs May at the European School Principals Summit in Malta at the weekend, and she told me an amusing story about her school’s recent exams.

Among the essay subjects was “Explain what you understand as the significance of Brexit”. As Mrs May explained: “We were hoping they’d come up with a few ideas, because God knows, we haven’t a clue ourselves.” But instead, every student just wrote: “Brexit means Brexit.” And following legal advice, they all had to be given an A+.

Students have since been issued with a “white paper” on the subject, she adds. “So come the real Leaving, they’ll have to think of something to fill it, or else.”

Her impending departure from the union made it a sad occasion in Malta, although I lightened things up a bit during the post-summit party. We were singing songs by then and a teary-eyed Mrs May suggested The Parting Glass. “Well if you’re offering,” says I, “I’ll have a triple brandy – the most expensive they have.” All the other leaders followed suit, and the Brits got stuck with the bill – €60bn.

Anyway, getting back to spring, this is also the time of year we in Ireland visit the swamp: not to drain it (God forbid), but to collect rushes for making St Bridget’s crosses. I love rushes – not when it comes to retirement, obviously – there’s still no rush with that. Bog rushes, I mean.

I love the way they’re so strong yet malleable, capable of bending whichever way the wind blows, and yet just firm enough to be formed into whatever shape is required. That’s why, for my big trip to Washington next month, I’m thinking of dispensing with the usual shamrock.

“Maybe this year, I’ll being a bowl of rushes instead, and fold them into whatever shapes Mr Trump wants to see.

Rugby Bus Delay – Not Mr Ross’s fault

Hard luck to the St Enda’s senior rugby team, which lost to St Nicola’s of Scotland in the annual Six Nations School Championship in Edinburgh at the weekend. Let’s hope they have better luck in Rome next Saturday.

In the meantime, our sports team manager and bus driver Mr Ross has asked us to point out that, contrary to some media reports, he was in no way to blame for the team’s delayed arrival at Murrayfield, which seemed to set the tone for their subsequent performance.

“I was in the VIP lounge at the time, having a champagne lunch,” he told us, producing as evidence an iPhone selfie taken alongside the St Nicola’s rugby patron, Princess Anne. “This is one sporting debacle you can’t pin on me.”

Back home, meanwhile, Mr Ross refused to be drawn on what if any action he plans to prevent the school bus strike threatened from February 20. But informed sources predicted that he would not be the driving seat on that occasion either.

New Gymnastics Instructor

A warm welcome to Mr Stephen Donnelly who has joined the school staff on a part-time basis. Like Mr Martin, he will now help us out with occasional lectures (mostly on the New Politics), while also acting as Mr Martin’s assistant in the gym.

In fact, it was Mr Donnelly’s gymnastics skills that recommended him for the job. Based on his CV, which suggested the possession of principles, he had previously been ruled out for a full-time position in St Enda’s.

But he demonstrated impressive flexibility during an interview with Mr Martin, which included a foot-perfect dismount from the (high) horse, followed by a swift, cross-the-floor exercise, and then a series of somersaults.

It’s understood that Mr Donnelly was attracted by the possibility of Mr Martin setting up his own school in due course, where there may be big jobs available. If that doesn’t work, now that he’s proven his footwork, a future full-time role in St Enda’s cannot be ruled out.

Stories from the life of our patron saint – No 5 King Donald and the Shamrock

In the year 517AD, according to the Annals of the Four Masters, the people of Ireland were beset by a terrible foreign King, known as Donald of the Evil Eye, or Donald “the Rump” (so-called because of the body part he expected visiting leaders to kiss).

A pagan who worshipped only gold, King Donald spread fear wherever he went, grabbing women by “their feline parts” (in the Four Masters’ curious phrase) and threatening dire retribution against men.

It was said that he punished his victims in a most cruel manner, turning them into human ammunition for use against his enemies. After his soldiers stuffed the victims into the barrels of cannons, he himself would light the fuse. Then as the prisoner went shooting across the castle ramparts, Donald would say: “You’re fired!”

But Enda believed he could convert this evil king. So armed only with his mitre and a bowl of shamrock, he visited Donald’s castle. Many of his followers wept with fear, expecting him to be martyred. Others wept with shame, believing he was secretly intent on posterior kissing.

In the event, according to the annals, he miraculously converted Donald to Christianity. Indeed, it is said that when Enda accidentally plunged the end of his mitre through the king’s foot while explaining the shamrock’s significance, Donald mistook this for part of the initiation and endured the pain without complaint.

There is, however, some dispute about this part of the story. In an alternative-fact tradition, handed down in the memoirs of a scribe nick-named “Sean of the Spices”, King Donald did not endure the pain willingly. Instead, flying into a rage, he inserted the mitre in a part of the Saint “where the sun shineth not”. And although Enda escaped the castle without being fired, it was many months afterwards before he could sit down again.

Topical Words – Compiled by Dick Shunery

An occasional service to Phoenix readers explaining the meaning of certain words that have suddenly become newsworthy.

This Week – ‘Shortage of greens’
Current shortage of spinach, lettuce, courgettes, broccoli and aubergines due to the poor weather in Spain which produces half of Europe’s vegetables in winter.

Can also refer to:

1) Reduced number of Politicians from the Green Party represented in the Dáil after the last election.

2) Reason given by IRFU for Ireland sourcing players from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia etc.

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Hacks, make sure to include the following when writing your Federer pieces.

  • Legend
  • Superstar
  • One of a kind
  • Different to other sports stars in this era
  • Best of all time
  • Humble
  • Tanned
  • Epitomises what sport is all about