Latest from the Blog:

Politicians prepare for Ophelia damage
HOT AIR: Meteorologists are now worried about a second hot air front, which originated in the RDS during the Fianna Fáil Árd Fhéis last weekend
HOT AIR: Meteorologists are now worried about a second hot air front, which originated in the RDS during the Fianna Fáil Árd Fhéis last weekend

Our Hurricane Staff, Gusty Waters

IRISH politicians were last night making preparations to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ophelia.

Sources inside the new government Propaganda Unit (‘Strategic Communications Unit,’ surely – Ed) say that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been hard at work readying a “rousing” address to the nation. One insider said: “This storm has affected the lives of many people in Ireland. That’s why Leo has been flipping through a book of famous, inspirational quotations to find the perfect references for his address. It’ll be very statesmanlike.”

One Cabinet source said Varadkar also had to “dig deep” into his novelty sock drawer for just the right pair in the wake of devastation.

Asked about the damage done by the weather front, which has been furiously spinning across the island, a Fine Gael spokesperson said: “There’s a lot we can learn from it.”

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil TDs were heaping praise upon themselves for their efforts during the storm. Said one source: “Fianna Fáil is the party of government… even when we’re not in government. As such, we are prepared to take the credit for the emergency response during the storm and the clean-up afterwards. If there are any criticisms, it was probably Fine Gael’s fault. And anyway, Sinn Féin has serious questions to answer about its links to the hurricane.”

Sinn Féin TDs declined to comment.

Those new An Post stamps

Following the release of the Che Guevara postage stamp, An Post is delighted to announce the arrival of a new series of products for the Irish market.

The Denis O’Brien

Designed exclusively for those who work in the legal profession, this stamp is ideal for anyone who needs to send a solicitor’s letter in a hurry.  Caution is advised when handling the Denis however, as its thin-skinned design is known to cause damage.

 

 

The Michael O’Leary

While initially popular with the public, in recent years many complained about bad experiences while using the product. Anyone who tried to lick this stamp reported that they were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.

 

 

The Varadkar

Dedicated to Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, this excessively ostentatious stamp will never let you down. Covered in a naturally occurring oily resin, this guarantees it will never move from the extreme right of any envelope.  This could change if there happens to be inclement weather conditions though (election season etc).

 

The James McClean

The McClean is sold in bundles of 11, but its superiority to the other 10 is self-evident.  Although hugely popular, it prides itself on having never sold out in Northern Ireland. This has caused much annoyance to the residents of Windsor Park.

 


Schwadron - named after

 

Why I simply must appear on Newstalk every day
FIntan O'Toole

by Fintan Tool

The bizarre fatwa pronounced by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp group against Irish Times journalists appearing on its radio stations is both empirically and ontologically retrogressive. This flagrantly outrageous ban represents a fundamental attack on one of Ireland’s most revered and distinguished institutions, i.e. myself.

It’s hard to believe that just a month ago I was churning out 5,000-word articles about boycotting Newstalk and any other radio station that blatantly demeaned women by air-brushing female presenters out of the picture.

But now we face a much worse scenario.

Mr O’Brien says he is not personally involved, but he has described me as “a nasty journalist”. Such an affront is a reckless act of self-destructive hubris on a Shakespearean level. Newstalk will have to dig deep to get itself out of this hole.

Ireland desperately needs the round-the-clock presence of its leading cultural commentator. Who else can speak with the authority of someone who has already won the prestigious Orwell Prize and who can – ipso facto – regurgitate earlier pieces ad infinitum?

(Continues like this for 5,000 words)


We don't want you

We don’t want you

T.V. Listings
Retro tv icon

• Salon Confidential, RTÉ 2 — 9pm: This fascinating reality series looks at the relationship between TDs and their hairdressers. Starring Mick Wallace, Kate O’Connell and John Halligan’s moustache.

• Peaky Blinders, BBC 1 — 10pm: The hit gang drama is back! When a rival kingpin bans Blinders from his radio stations, plucky hero Fintan rises through the Shelby ranks, making matters worse for everyone.


Snowman

Those Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis motions
Fianna-Fail-logo-green-bg

The following motions were passed at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis last weekend:

  • Bertie Ahern to be invited to attend the 2078 Ard Fheis
  • Insist Micheál Martin’s leadership is safe whatever happens after next election
  • Reaffirm Fianna Fáil’s commitment to united Ireland (just not yet)
  • Independent Alliance should be ashamed of themselves for keeping the Blueshirts in power
  • Micheál has way nicer abs than Leo Varadkar
  • Under no circumstances mention Mary Hanafin
  • Pretend we are worried about a hard border

    PASCHAL DONOHOE UNCOVERED

Doctor in the House
Vlad-Doc

Goldenbridge Cemetery, Dublin. It’s a sad day for staff of the Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary as they say farewell to a former hospital director, Liam Cosgrave. Following the cortege, current master Leo Varadkar chats with Charlie Flanagan.

Varadkar: He was before my time, obviously. But I’m told he was one of the great surgeons.

Flanagan: Yes, my father used to say so anyway. Him and a guy called Richie Ryan. They were a famous double team in the theatre, always cutting things. And this was the 1970s, remember, so they didn’t have anaesthetics back then. The cuts must have been pretty painful sometimes. But Cosgrave was a no-nonsense guy. He had no time for sentiment or screaming. He just got on with the job.

Varadkar: The hospital was smaller then, I presume?

Flanagan: Yes. The bit we call the Right Wing now was the entire thing in those days, just like in Eoin O’Duffy’s time. It was a later master, Garret Fitzgerald, who built the new Left Wing. My Dad would never go anywhere near that.

Varadkar: Ha, ha. He was old school?

Flanagan: Yeah. So was Cosgrave. But times were changing and he didn’t change with them. That’s why he had to retire as master so early.

Varadkar: And never practiced again? What happened? Did he lose a patient?

Flanagan: He lost the entire country, near enough. The so-called ‘Jack Lynch’ virus of 1977. It started in Cork, but turned into a national epidemic. We had no defence against it.

Varadkar: Gosh. Cork – that’s where we’re going on next week’s charity outreach mission.

Flanagan: Yes, so I see. Anyway, poor old Dr Cosgrave. His likes will not be seen again.

The hospital’s A&E department, next day. As a patient suffers cardiac arrest, Dr Varadkar and his team swing into action.

Varadkar (checking monitor, urgently). The patient’s flat-lining! We need a defibrillator here now! (He looks over his right shoulder.) Where’s the nurse?

Katherine Zappone (appearing from his left): I’m right here, doctor. (She clamps defibrillator pads to the patient’s chest and shouts “Clear!” The patient jolts from the shock and opens his eyes. They all look anxiously to the monitor, where the heartbeat returns to normal.)

Varadkar: Good work, Nurse. It’s Ms Zappone, isn’t it? So that’s why everyone calls you “Zapper”?

Zappone (sternly): They do?

Varadkar: (blushing slightly): Sorry, I thought you knew. (Their eyes meet and her frosty exterior melts into a smile)

Zappone: I suppose it’s not the worst thing I could be called.

Varadkar: So what has you over in this part of the hospital? I thought you were mainly located on the Left Wing?

Zappone: Actually I’ve been spending more and more time here on the Right. And I must say, I’m rather enjoying it. It seems to be where the real action is.

Varadkar (in mock whisper): It is. But don’t tell your Lefty friends that. We like to pretend that what they do matters too.

Zappone: So, might there be a permanent career position over here for an ambitious nurse like me?

Varadkar: There might. (He picks up the chart from the end of the revived patient’s bed and reads the name) Mr F.G. Dunne-Leary? Hmm. That gives me an idea for a role for you that might suit. (They walk off down the corridor, deep in conversation).

A mobile clinic in Cork, some days later. Dr Varadkar addresses staff.

Varadkar: Ok, first I want to thank you all for volunteering for this charity mission, which is part of our commitment to Médecins Sans Frontières. I think it’s important, especially for those of us from Dublin, to visit places like Cork occasionally and be reminded that not every is as fortunate as us.

Simon Coveney: Less of the sarcasm, Leo.

Varadkar: But we have job to do here too, which is to inoculate locals against this dangerous little chap. (He points to a screen showing a picture of Micheál Martin). Yes, I know it looks pretty harmless. But believe me, this can do a lot of damage if it goes viral. Our challenge is to nip it in the bud at base, where it incubates.

Frances Fitzgerald: But isn’t it in Dublin, already? (She holds up a newspaper). They’re predicting a major outbreak in the RDS this weekend.

Varadkar: That’s precisely why we’re here, in its native breeding grounds. To use a non-medical term, we’re going to upstage it. Our colleague Dr Donohue has been busy in the laboratory all week, working on a vaccine called the “M20”. This is where it’s going to go. (A wavy red line appears on screen).

Fitzgerald (squinting): What is it?

Paschal Donohoe (looking smug): I call it the Cork-Limerick interconnector. But it’s a major artery, basically.

Varadkar: We’ll be treating the locals for other things too while we’re here, of course. (He glances at Coveney.) Malnourishment, fleas, the effects of centuries of in-breeding, and so on. But the M20 is the main thing, because it reminds this chap (he taps the picture of Martin again) who’s boss. Any questions? (There are no questions.) Ok, people. Let’s go.

VOGUE’S GUIDE TO ATTENTION
Vogue Williams

It can strike at any time: One minute you’re cruising along and the next the photographer cancels!!

  • Learn to manage it: A good agent is crucial to rearranging the appointment.
  • Don’t let it become panic: Distract yourself. There is so much to do in New York if you book a flight quickly
  • Talk to someone: Tubridy is good but, if you have to settle for D’arcy, take it.
  • Diet is important: Double check your booking. Nothing’s more stressful than arriving and the maitre d’ has forgotten your table!
  • Chill by ‘emptying your mind’ of thoughts: TV3 in the afternoon is an excellent way to forget about real life.
Those ‘libellous’ Indo comments in full

@RobbiePITT — Re: robots taking over our lives, I know this seriously rich chap who has a mup… sorry, puppet, called Les that actually looks like he’s real when he gets him to sit, dance, sing and even bid for radio stati… (The online editor reserves the right to curtail any comments deemed unfit for publication _Ed)

@FiNtan_ToolIT — Sometimes in the dark darkness of my pillowed sleep I dream of a Hook-less, liberated Newstalk, where women are free to roam the prairie of their talents without being hunted down for the ornamental ivory of their gender.

@CathMurph4TEESHOCK — Re: thread on paranormal activities, I may have info about skeletons in a cupboard owned by a portly businessman. Anyone interested?


Wilbur - chins

Wilbur – chins

Ryanair in talks about ‘pilotless’ planes
Michael O'Leary

RYANAIR CEO Michael O’Leary has confirmed that the company is in discussions with Google about ‘pilotless’ planes.

Google has already done pioneering work in the field, developing its ‘driverless’ car model called WAYGO. It is understood that the Ryanair pilotless aircraft will be branded as WAYTOGO.

“Well, it has some way to go yet before it takes flight or, more importantly, stays in the air,” said an ebullient O’Leary at the company’s offices in Standstill Airport, “but we are aiming to have it up and running (surely “flying” ? – Ed) as soon as possible.

“It means no grasping bastard pilots and no meddling fucking unions bugging me for ‘rights’ or ‘holidays’.”

The under-pressure chief executive said: “Our intention then is to move quickly on to “passengerless” planes. This will overcome the need to deal with whinging, moaning passengers at all. They will simply pay their money and be given one of those Google ‘virtual reality’ headsets that they can use to simulate being on holiday without ever leaving their awful, tiny homes.”

THAT ALAN SHATTER MEMOIR
Alan Shatter

Exclusive extract from Life Is A Funny Business, available in bargain bins everywhere now!

I have always admired Enda Kenny, ever since he promoted me to high office as Minister for Defence and Minister for Justice in 2011 – I know, two whole senior ministerial positions. Of course, the Taoiseach’s decision only confirmed the esteem in which I was held within political circles.

Growing up as an infant prodigy in the 1960s, I always knew that I would end up in the public eye. So it was no surprise that I would soon combine a glittering political career with my extensive property portfolio – and still find time to write a best-selling bonkbuster novel. Quite an achievement, by any standards.

During the Queen’s historic visit to Ireland, I found Her Majesty to be entirely cordial as we exchanged eye contact across the banqueting hall of Dublin Castle. Even though it was all extremely crowded, I was given a whole table to myself – presumably because of my vital roles as Minister for Defence and Justice.

I can honestly say that everyone seemed most impressed by me – especially the former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, who kindly tape-recorded our conversation. Years later, ironically, there was some unpleasantness regarding Garda operations, but I always knew that I could rely on the full support of Enda Kenny, who was right behind me during my gracious resignation – the little bastard.

Have a happy Halloween in the Magnificent Midlands
halloween failte

AS PART OF Fáilte Ireland’s campaign to boost the midlands as a holiday destination, the following areas have been earmarked as ideal for short breaks away during the Halloween bank holiday. 

Ghost Estate,  Longford 
Designed and implemented by the last Fianna Fáil government, these haunting sights are very prevalent throughout the midlands. The genuinely spooky reminders of the past are known to cause anger, eyesores and depression. 

Zombie Bank, Westmeath 
The bank died in 2008 and was thought to be dead and buried but was brought back to life thanks to the bank guarantee. However, recent attempts to get people off tracker mortgages provided proof that the banks truly are alive and kicking out. 

Pumpkin festival, Kildare 
A celebration of the world famous D’Arcy pumpkin, which takes place annually in county Kildare. The D’Arcy variety is known for its bloated head and miserable demeanour. 

Athlone Town Stadium 
This ancient landmark was believed by the Celts to be a source of good luck. In recent years it has been reported that people can make large amounts of money by betting on the strange events inside.

Leaked terms of Martin O’Neill’s new contract
Martin O'Neill
  • No interview with Tony O’Donoghue will last longer than 20 seconds
  • Media won’t mention the fact that we threw away automatic qualification
  • If Martin says Wes Hoolahan is tired, then he really is tired
  • Emphasise Roy Keane is a invaluable member of the management team
  • Congratulate Martin on the season ticket sales
  • Pray James McClean doesn’t get injured
  • Claim dozens of clubs were looking for O’Neill’s services (just like Trapattoni)
  • Avoid talking about hoofball
  • Deny John Delaney was concussed when he gave O’Neill and Keane a new contract

Hurricane Donald

CLARIFICATION
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane

In common with most, if not all, other publications, in recent times we may have given the impression that we lacked confidence in the ability of Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill to steer the squad to the World Cup playoffs.

Headlines such as ‘Worse MONager Ever”, ‘What a Load of Mon-ure’ and ‘Boot This Clueless Clown Out NOW” may have led some readers to believe we were losing faith in the Derry-born maestro.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Following the glorious slaying of the Welsh dragon, during which the manager’s tactical brilliance, inspired team selection and unruffled composure was fully apparent, we are delighted to see this highly talented but hugely underestimated football genius justifying our long-held belief in his talents.

What a MON! What a team! COYBIG!!!!


Festy 3521 - Hurricane

Festy 3521 – Hurricane

Carles Puigdemont favourites
Carles Puidgemont

Favourite film: U-turn
Favourite song: Coward Of The County
Favourite musical: The King and I
Favourite book: No Country For Old Men
Favourite water: Bottled
Favourite comedian: Karl Spain
Favourite band: Status Quo
Favourite exercise: Climb down
Favourite food: Humble pie
Favourite hobby: Caving


Keane - willie wonka

IT’S JUST NOT CRICKET – IRELAND BRACED FOR MAY DOWNPOUR
Cricket - Rain stops play

IRELAND is bracing itself for five days of torrential rain in May 2018.

It is unusual for weather forecasters to be able to tell how much rain will fall at such an advanced date but the news that the Irish cricket team is to host Pakistan in their first Test match has emboldened Met Éireann to make a confident prediction.

“Although the exact date of the match has not been set, we’re sure that it will coincide with the biggest rainstorm the country has ever seen,” said Evelyn Cusack.

“It might be a sign that we’re just not meant to play Test cricket. Who knows? All we can say for sure at this stage is to bring your umbrella, haha.”