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VACANCY: GARDA COMMISSIONER
Garda-logo-colour

Due to recent developments a vacancy has arisen for a senior management position in An Garda Síochána.
Generous remuneration includes substantial retirement package and free parking on any footpath in the country.

The successful candidate will:
i) Have a strong and detailed understanding of primal work practices and ancient rituals
ii) Be in (legal) possession of a strong imagination
iii) Be capable of counting up to 100,000 and a bit above it on bank holiday weekends
iv) Have at least one blind eye
v) Be able to hang on to a mobile phone
vi) Not be Clare Daly
vii) Take no lip from anyone
viii) Have the squad back from the chipper by 10 pm.

Apply by snail mail or pigeon post only to:
Garda Commissioner Job, the Old Barracks, Fishy Street, Dublin the numbers.

NEW GARDA BREATH-TEST INSTRUCTIONS
Breath-test
  • Don’t blow it in front of the media
  • Pull over John O’Keeffe – he’s driving us demented
  • Arrest slide in reputation amongst members of public
  • Sort out our PR – it’s a car crash
  • Watch for reporters… Keep an eye on journalists getting ahead of themselves Put brakes on GRA backlash
Not another year (A Song for Gerry)

(with apologies to Shay Healy)

We’ve been waiting such a long time,
Hoping that you’ll go
But you’re still here
Not another year

We’ve been pleading for such a long time,
Reaching out to you
But you don’t hear
Oh, not another year

Not another year
For Shinners who want a government of their own
Not another year
For Mary Lou who’s already sitting on the throne

We’ve been praying such a long time
It’s the only way to hide the fear
Not another year

We’ve been crying such a long time
With such a lot of pain in every tear
Please, not another year.

Murphy offers bed time advice for safe sleep
FOILED AGAIN: Fine Gael councillor Brian Murphy pictured here in his favourite headwear

DUN Laoghaire-Rathdown Councillor Brian Murphy has warned constituents to “check under the bed” at night amidst growing alarm that jihadist terrorists may be ready to take over their houses as they sleep.

Cllr Murphy says “tens of thousands of homes in Germany, France and Italy are already in the hands of Islamist extremists, who gained entry while the residents were in the shower.

The police are afraid to interfere in case they get stoned to death in accordance with Sharia law”, he added, speaking in a low tone out of the side of his mouth.

The Fine Gael representative says “a quick check under the bed and perhaps on top of the wardrobe as well as down the back of the armchair after the rosary can prevent south Dublin falling under Sharia law, with public executions every Friday morning.”

Medical Matters

Doctor Rhona writes:

AS THE country’s most famous maternity doctor, I often hear patients say: “Doctor, I’m absolutely exhausted.” Well, my usual response is, “Yes, I know all about it.”

It’s at that point I’m normally asked: “So how on earth do you cope with such a gruelling schedule and still manage to be so exquisitely photogenic on the front of the Indo all the time?”

The simple answer is that I’ve always been able to multi-task very successfully. Of course, as the first woman to fill the enormously demanding position of Master of Holles Street, my waking hours are spent doing the daily rounds.

This includes addressing the huge backlog of urgent appointments with newspaper journalists about the need for more resources and the complex issue of Irish women going abroad for abortions. No wonder there’s hardly any time left for any actual medical work. It’s enough to cause a breakdown (which, in my case, includes my basic six-figure salary, plus allowances and occasional special payments).

Then there’s the hectic scheduling of PR operations, speaking to various political groupings – not to mention Prime Time interviews with Miriam O’Callaghan – now there’s another yummy mummy. She’s also an amazing role model for young girls – even if she doesn’t get the kind of remuneration I receive. But then, who does?

Doctor in the House

At the hospital’s annual “think-in” in Clonmel, Dr Varadkar reflects on his first 100 days as Master.

Varadkar: …So to sum up, these first three months have been an unqualified success. We’ve taken giant strides towards making Blueshirt General a truly world-class infirmary. And don’t just take my word. (He holds up a document) I can reveal that, according to new public-approval rankings to be published this weekend, we have now pulled eight points clear of our nearest rivals, St Meehawl’s. Plus my self-satisfaction rating has reached an all-time high of 79 per cent! (The assembled doctors and nurses give him a standing ovation).

Varadkar (continued): Anyway, enough of patting myself on the back – you can all do that for me later. We also have some serious work here this weekend. But first, as we always do at our annual think-in, I would ask you all to pause for a minute’s silence as we think of old friends and colleagues who are not with us this year. Speaking of old, we particularly remember Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan, who couldn’t be bothered to attend because they’re semi-retired now and didn’t have sufficient team ethic to show up as a gesture of solidarity. (The audience bows its head in silence for a minute, which is cut short after 15 seconds)

Vardakar: Ok, that’s enough dwelling on the past. But by the way, speaking of team ethic, the weekend won’t be all work. We’ll also have a fun team-building exercise tomorrow (several members of the audience groan audibly). It’s a sort of survival-course thing, where you have to work together in mutual trust, while suppressing the usual urge to stab each other in the back. Participation is voluntary, of course. But if you don’t think you can make it, just let us know, so we can make a note in your personnel files.

Two days later. En route back to Dublin, Dr Varadkar and chief matron Frances Fitzgerald make an emergency detour to Thurles, where an outbreak of election fever has been reported at a venue called The Ragg.

Varadkar: What an odd name for a pub and restaurant.

Fitzgerald: It’s a relic of the War of Independence, apparently. Local safe houses used to fly rags from their windows as signals to Republicans on the run. The name stuck, except that over the years, for no reason, a second ‘g’ was added.

Varadkar (Smiling): Well, let’s try not to lose the Ragg here, shall we? Or indeed any of our patients. How many are there?

Fitzgerald: Seven. (She hands him a file, marked “Tipperary Fine Gael Selection Convention”). Their symptoms are all fairly similar. Ambitions running high. Prospects worryingly low.

Varadkar (reading): Gosh, yes. These vote count figures from last year are positively anaemic.

Fitzgerald (handing him a MRI image, in the shape of Michael Lowry): Here’s the problem.

Varadkar: Hmm, I read about this chap in medical school. Very unpleasant. And resistant to all known antibiotics, apparently. (One of the patients approaches)

Tom Hayes (for it is he): What are my chances, doc?

Varadkar (taking his pulse and frowning): Not good, to be honest. But don’t worry, we’ll save you, if it’s possible.

Fitzgerald (quietly): What can we do?

Varadkar: Just give them all a couple of aspirin for now. We may have some new, experimental treatments that can eliminate this Lowry thing for good.  But they’re expensive. I’ll have to talk to Paschal about his budget plans first.

Two days later, in Croke Park. Minutes after the All-Ireland Final, a man collapses in the VIP lounge. A crowd gathers around him.

Varadkar: Let me through – I’m a doctor. (He recognises the patient) Oh, it’s you.

Enda Kenny (clutching his chest): Am I finished?

Varadkar: Only as a leader. (He applies his stethoscope to the patient’s chest, in various places, looking increasingly puzzled).

Kenny: What’s the prognosis?

Varadkar: Your heart seems to be broken. And quite badly. It’s in several different pieces now.

Kenny: That’s what following Mayo does to you.

Varadkar: I can imagine. I’m more of an oval ball man myself, but even I could see that you chaps were unlucky today. You couldn’t possibly have come closer to winning.

Kenny (raising himself onto one elbow): We were pretty heroic, weren’t we?

Varadkar: Yes. And you know, all the Gah-heads say this Dublin team is the greatest of all time. So even if Mayo keep losing narrowly, that must make them the second-greatest?

Kenny (sitting up and looking healthier): When you put it like that, we probably shouldn’t be so disappointed.

Varadkar: No. And Mayo seem to be getting closer to Dublin every time. Who knows, maybe next year, they’ll win with the last kick?

Kenny (back on his feet now and straightening his tie): You’re absolutely right. Thanks Leo – I feel much better now.  (They shake hands and Kenny walks away).

Paschal Donohoe: Wow – that was a miraculous recovery. What did you give him?

Varadkar (Smiling indulgently, as a warm musical soundtrack begins to play): A little thing called hope, Paschal. The most powerful medicine known to mankind.

Donohoe (Also smiling, as the music grows louder): And he fell for it, the poor bastard.

The JP Donleavy I knew – 1926-Recently
Donleavy

By Our Obituary Staff – Phil Grave

WHEN I heard the sad news that another of our greatest writers had passed away, I was immediately gripped by a sense of desolation, which I had never experienced in over 25 years of journalism.

I had good reason to feel sad. Although I had never met the colourful novelist or read any of his books, I knew that the editor would be emailing me shortly asking for 2,000 words about the author of The Ginger Man.

Even with the invaluable help of Wikipedia, it seems impossible to capture the impact of that mould-breaking 1955 novel with its combination of sexual frankness and outrageous drunken humour. But how can anyone ever sum up the combination of JP Donleavy’s incisive wit, lively warmth and good-humoured observations of a by-gone Ireland? In two simple words, you can’t.

That is why so many of us recalling the precious moments we didn’t share with JP are filled with inconsolable grief today and shedding private tears as we contemplate the large white space we have to fill on the life and times of this acclaimed author and painter. (That’s enough obituary. Ed.)

TV Listings
Retro tv icon

Narcos, Netflix — Season 3 of the smash hit crime show. Watch the drama unfold as the daring DEA falsify breath tests and smear whistleblowers while failing to take down an evil druglord. Sickening.

Ploughing Live, RTÉ 2, 7:00PM — All the action from the Ploughing Championships where the Mayo ploughers look destined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again. Predictable.


That Apple iPhone X

FOLLOWING months of eager anticipation, tech giant Apple has finally unveiled the company’s new futuristic iPhone X.

“It is all screen, it is beautiful to look at, incredible to hold,’ said a grey-haired marketing man in a pair of jeans yesterday. “Our customers have never seen anything like it – at least not since last year’s update.”

The latest device’s special features include exciting new energy-saving Apple-I-Pay software that allows users to issue instant voice commands like:

  • “Siri, please empty my bank account right now!”
  • “Send the lot to Apple straight away!”
  • “Yes, I’ve destroyed my shamefully outdated previous generation iPhone.”
  • “See you in a few months for the next life-changing product.”

Festy-3519

Kim Jong-un favourites
Kim Jong Un
  • Favourite song: Rocket Man, Elton John
  • Favourite film: Striking Distance
  • Favourite TV show: Big Bang Theory
  • Favourite food: Fried
  • Favourite destination: Bombay
  • Favourite rapper: Lil’ Kim
  • Favourite band: Fall Out Boy
  • Favourite book: War and Peace
  • Favourite game: Brinkmanship
  • Favourite nickname: Fat Man
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE – Irma & Leo
HURRICANE IRMA LEO VARADKAR
Devastated poor communities Devastates poor communities
Releases tonnes of energy Releases tonnes of press releases
Won’t leave Florida Won’t leave social media
Made thousands homeless Keeps thousands homeless
Poisoned water supply Poisoned political debate
Controls news agenda Wants to control news agenda
Full of hot air Full of hot air
Leaves trail of destruction Leaves trail of smarminess
Spot the Difference – Kim & Marty
KIM JONG-UN MARTIN O’NEILL
Can’t hit target with missile strikes Strikers can’t hit target
Clamps down on media Clamps down on Tony O’Donoghue
Has military launch missiles Has goalkeepers launch missiles
Citizens living in poverty Poverty of creative ideas
Ballistic missiles Roy Keane
Will possibly blow up world Has definitely blown World Cup chances

Leaked Plans for Leo’s Comms Unit
Fine Gael logo

The Communications Unit News Team will have responsibility for shaping the news agenda to highlight the positive aspects of the government’s legislative programme. Some of these stories will include :

• Leo is fantastic isn’t he?
• He’s more ripped than an internal memo from Anglo Irish Bank
• Pensioners are also great
• And so are the gardaí
• Not that sure about Fianna Fáil
• Please don’t get me started on the lefties
• Something about sustainable and balanced regional economic development
• Don’t mention houses or hospitals


VLAD’S TRIATHLON GUIDE

VLAD’S TRIATHLON GUIDE

VLAD’S TRIATHLON GUIDE

Biffo’s no hurler on the ditch

OFFALY’S HURLING woes were caused by a worldwide downturn in hurling and not local events or structures, a new report has concluded.

The Faithful County, four-time All-Ireland winners, is currently in a slump with a review committee having resigned en masse amid frustration over the county board’s attitude to reform.

Soon after it emerged that former Taoiseach Brian Cowen was called in to help sort out the situation.

And Cowen has now revealed that it is mostly external factors that have led to massive underperformance from the hurlers in the championship.

He said: “The advice we were getting was that everything was going to be fine. Nobody could have foreseen that Kilkenny would be so strong for so long, that Waterford would come good, that Galway would eventually get their shit together.

Offaly were told there would be a soft landing, not a 33-point hammering. Basically, it’s everyone else fault.”

Prof Patrick O’Donovan – Key dates in Irish history

1014: Red Hugh O’Neill defeats Spanish Armada at the Battle of Vinegar Hill
1169: William of Orange drafts Good Friday Agreement
1315: Wolfe Tone marries Aoife MacMurrough at Stormont Castle
1607: Countess Markievicz invents camogie and Irish dancing
1690:  Robert Emmet establishes Shamrock Rovers
1798: Patrick Sarsfield elected MP for South Longford
1845: Fungie the dolphin brings potato blight to Ireland
1916: Charles Stewart Parnell implements the Plantation of Ulster
1922: Brian Boru kills Daniel O’Connell during the Nine Years’ War
1969: Edward de Bruce invades Munster Republic during the Siege of Limerick

What Leo says / What Leo Means
What Leo says What Leo Means
Global footprint Trendy socks from lots of countries
More embassies to increase our global presence More photo ops for me posing with world leaders
Will help unlock the enormous untapped potential There’s no end of places I can get to visit!
We must always be ambitious I can master any set of clichés if I try hard enough
New and augmented diplomatic missions Various ways of telling George Hook he’s a gobsh*te without offending too much
We plan to grow this inward investment significantly The Taoiseach’s travel expenses may rise
ZZZZZOZIMUS – Lame Collins

WE NEVER see much in the papers about summer holidays at this time of year – which is strange since it’s a really interesting subject. Last week, for instance, I found myself in Sicily enjoying wall-to-wall sunshine.

It was so hot that I spent the entire time in Julio’s, a sidestreet taverna in Palermo where Julio himself was happy to serve me a full-bodied Fumo d-Etna red wine until the sun came up again.
When possible, I always stand up for Ireland when I’m abroad, but I must admit that the prices in Europe are a lot cheaper than dear old Dublin – I mean, try getting two bottles of the local wine and and late-night baby squid tapas here for just 285 euros!

* * * * * * *
All these amusing holiday stories just go to prove that travel is the spice of life for broadening the mind and the greatest thing since the proverbial French loaf. Of course, Zozimus understands there are still a few twisted begrudgers out there who don’t like the idea of people going away on holidays.

Some of these social media trolls even have the audacity to criticise Ireland’s leading wealth-creator, Denis O’Brien, for recently taking a well-deserved break in the company of his good friend Bruce Springsreen (the other “Boss”). I mean – talk about bloody narrow-mindedness!


PADDY COSGRAVE’S TECH SUMMIT ‘CRASH PAD’

PADDY COSGRAVE’S TECH SUMMIT ‘CRASH PAD’

O’DONNELL WREAKS HAVOC IN DONEGAL
FLOODY HELL: A picture of utter devastation in Bundoran after the last O’Donnell-Carter show tore through the town
FLOODY HELL: A picture of utter devastation in Bundoran after the last O’Donnell-Carter show tore through the town

THERE WAS further devastation for the people of Donegal last week as Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter performed a show to help victims of the flood disaster.

Dozens of homes were destroyed by the recent downpours and many people were displaced.

And just as residents were getting back on their feet, the news emerged that the duo were to perform at a special show in Letterkenny.

“We just can’t catch a break,” said one Inishowen man, whose home was completely submerged and whose cat and wife are missing.

“We thought things couldn’t get any worse and then this happens. It’s bad enough when one of those cheeseballs sings by himself but the two of them, together, on the one stage. It’s too much. One town can’t take that.

“I suppose that we should just be glad that Shane Filan didn’t show up as well.”


THIS YEAR’S FRINGE FEST HIGHLIGHTS

Twelfth Night:
Hilarious piece of work about a group of unfortunates dealing with a shipwrecked health service while clinging to trolleys for nearly a fortnight. Starring Simon Harris as the man disguised as capable of solving the problems.

A Streetcar Named Desperation:
Contemporary drama set in modern Ireland. Tensions rise as a desperate young woman and her family of four move into cramped wheel-less accommodation in a dilapidated Dublin suburb. Will Eoghan save them? Will they survive without a Public Services Card?

Playboy of the Western World:
A new young leader of a small western nation arrives in Canada where he meets…(That’s quite enough playacting!_Ed)

Doctor in the House
Doctor Varadkar

Another busy morning in the Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary, aka “Blueshirt General”. As hospital Master Leo Varadkar chairs the weekly conference of senior clinicians, sharp differences arise over the use of the Human Papillomarvirus (HPV) vaccine.

Varadkar: So, Dr McGrath, I understand you have some concerns about the HPV jab, even though it’s hospital policy?

McGrath: Well, I had concerns last year, yes. But that was before I started working here. I was a mere independent consultant at that time.

Simon Harris: You didn’t just have concerns then, Dr McGrath. You said – and I quote from one of those wacko social media pages that feature your comments approvingly – that the vaccine should be withdrawn “as a matter of priority”.

McGrath: Yes, well, that was my position then. I only want what’s best for my patients. In this as in everything, I’m guided by the Hippocratic Oath.

Harris: The Hypocritic Oath, more like!

McGrath: Take that back, you young pup.

Varadkar: Gentlemen! Let’s not resort to the language of the barroom here. What people may or may not have said last year needn’t detain us much. What matters is now. So Dr McGrath, can we take it that from here on, you’re at one with us on this?

McGrath: As I’ve been saying in the media, I accept that such vaccines are an important part of hospital policy.

Harris: Accepting is not enough, Dr McGrath! We’re supposed to be promoting them against a wave of unjustified public scepticism.

McGrath: People have a right to ask questions.

Harris: Not when they don’t know what they’re talking about. The medical experts back this vaccine. Everyone else should butt out.

McGrath: And when did you become an expert, Dr Harris? If I remember correctly, your degree was in (spits the word) journalism. Where did you get your medical licence – the Internet?

Varadkar: Now, now, Dr McGrath – no need for that. We’re all highly qualified professionals here. (He glances at his watch). But I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you to your argument, gents. I have an appointment in SCU.

Frances Fitzgerald (puzzled): SCU?

Varadkar: The Strategic Communications Unit – my latest initiative. It’s important for hospitals to get their stories out first these days. Otherwise those pesky journalists (taps Harris on the shoulder) will do it for us, and not always so sympathetically.

En route to SCU. Dr Varadkar sees a patient he recognises being pushed on a trolley into A&E. He follows.

Varadkar: That’s Patrick O’Donovan, isn’t it? Our junior from Limerick? What happened him?

Paramedic 1: A terrorist incident. Or rather a series of them.

Varadkar: Gosh. What? Shooting? Stabbing? Explosives?

Paramedic 2: All three.

Paramedic 1: First he shot himself in the foot during an interview in which he claimed the 1974 Dublin-Monaghan bombings were carried out by the IRA.

Paramedic 2: Then later, he did a second interview to clarify this. And even though he was in a hole, he kept digging, and stabbed himself in the other foot with a spade.

Paramedic 1: After that, he wrote to victims’ relatives, apologising, but kept referring to the events as having happened in “1973”.

Varadkar (sighing): Alas for human frailty.

O’Donovan: Give it to me straight, Leo. Are my injuries life-threatening?

Varadkar: Career-threatening, maybe. But you’ll live. (He carries out a quick examination.)

The Strategic Communications Unit, later.

Varadkar: So, as we discussed, John, I don’t want this to be a mere Spin Shop.

John Concannon (SCU director): God forbid.

Varadkar: And I certainly don’t want it to add to perceptions of what some people are calling the “Cult of Leo”.

Concannon: Perish the thought.

Varadkar: Although if any legitimate human interest story arises in that line – say, an elderly patient claims to have been cured of something just by touching the hem of my garment – naturally, we would should share that with the public.

Concannon: Of course.

Varadkar: But it won’t be all about me. (He sees hospital personnel pass: Finian McGrath, Shane Ross and Mary Mitchell O’Connor – he frowns). You’ll have to deal with a lot of other sometimes colourful characters too. You need to make them all sound like they’re reading from a coherent script.

Concannon: I can do that.

Varadkar: You were the guy behind the branding of the Wild Atlantic Way, weren’t you?

Concannon: Yes, that was mine.

Vardakar (still watching the group as they continue down the corridor): So you took an anarchic jumble of loosely-connected highways and byways and, with clever signage and marketing, convinced people they were all going the same direction?

Concannon: That’s one way of looking at it.

Varadkar: I knew you were the right man for the job.


Electric Picnic Review

Scary O’Leary & the Jets:

Typically long-winded bout of trumpet blowing by the veteran high flyer had the large and frantic audience on their feet, banging their heads against the surrounding walls and demanding more. Unfortunately for them, Mick decided if the wanted more they would have to pay extra so everyone went somewhere else.

Abracanóirín:

Another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it performance from Ireland’s foremost magician who is renowned for her skills with smoke and mirrors! Left audience speechless by making herself disappear this time, for an entire five weeks!
Astonishing stuff.

Menacing Denis:

The portly poet-philosopher yet again deployed his unique linguistic gifts to demonstrate why rhyme and reason are surplus requirements in the world of literature! Audiences will have treasured his individually addressed works, advising them to keep their distance and not ask any questions and the walk-on sax solo from his close pal Bill Clinton.


SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
DONALD J. TRUMP KIM JONG-UN
Hair-brained megalomaniac Hair-brained megalomaniac
Hates non-Americans Hates everybody
Doesn’t believe in a free lunch Always believes in a free launch
Enjoys golfing and flexing his muscles Enjoys nuking and flexing his missiles
About to destroy career as president About to destroy Korea

Imelda May’s Favourites

Favourite film: Fight Club

Favourite song: Viva Las Vegas

Favourite TV show: Bonanza

Favourite currency: Dollars

Favourite shoes: Flip Flops

Favourite newspaper: USA Today

Favourite sport: Skipping

Favourite climate: May weather

Favourite singer: Johnny Cash

Favourite politician: Boxer Moran


Percival---not_a_robot