Latest from the Blog:

Forgotten Roses of Tralee

Nóirín O’Sullivan: Rose through the ranks

Katie Taylor: Rose from the canvas

Frances Fitzgerald: Rose in Enda Kenny’s estimation

Mary Mitchell O’Connor: Rose and rose of people still signing on

Roseanna Davison: Rose of unsold recipe books

Clare Daly: Very thorny and… (That’s enough picked for now_Ed)

Rose of Tralee shake-up shock!

HEADS UP!: Dáithí Ó Sé’s decapitated body was lauded as a big improvement on the full version of Dáithí that hosted last year.

THERE was a big shake up to the Rose of Tralee this year as organisers changed the format for the contest. Aiming to modernise the 57-year-old festival — which is not a beauty pageant! — organisers decided to ban entrants from reading poetry in the “talent” portion of the competition.

The committee behind The Rose Of Tralee — which first allowed unmarried mothers to enter in 2008 —believe that the presence of poetry in the broadcast “slowed down the flow of the show”.

The competition, which judges women based on how “fair and lovely” they are, has been making a concerted effort to adapt to the 21st century.

Explaining the decision to ban poetry, a spokesman, said: “Poetry is old and boring and the Rose of Tralee is anything but old and boring.

The Rose Of Tralee festival runs from Wednesday 17 August until the heat-death of the universe.

Healy-Rae ‘an act of God’, say environmentalists

ENVIRONMENTAL experts claim Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae is “caused by God” and say there is “not much we can do about it”.

The shock assertion comes after the Independent politician poured cold water on the so-called “scientific fact” that climate change is man-made by emitting a massive blast of hot air.

The Kerryman’s views on a variety of issues such as abortion, self-defence and same-sex marriage also flooded every news bulletin in the country.

Sighed one climatologist: “Natural disasters like the Healy-Rae’s come along every 500 years or so and we just have to learn to live with them.”

Danny Healy-Rae

On climate change: Any leprechaun in de country will tell ya ’tis caused by God’s volcanoes in order we have a ta in summer and clean roads in winter. De little peepul do never be wrong and ’tis they tipped off Noah so he could build de ark.

On women’s rights: I shtrongly believe dat every girleen is entitled to have a go at catchin’ de eye of a good man an’ gettin’ de chance to be taken home on the bar of his bike.

On abortion: I tink once you let the shtork inside de door at all, oo have to follow through wit it an’ shtick wit it ’til de very end.

On legalising prostitution: ’Tis no way to shtart a family at all at all.

On drink driving in rural Ireland: ’Twould reduce accidents cos everyone knows de fairies will always guide a man who can’t see his way home in de dark.

  • Receives news by phone from a government lackey, dropping croissant and almost spilling morning latté
  • Checks out story with more reliable lackey in Sindo office
  • Puts on very cross face
  • Goes to Rio with new pair of runners
  • Loosens tie and waves finger at Pat Hickey while frowning heavily
  • Declines Hickey’s offer of turkey sandwich
  • Shouts after Hickey
  • Bangs head off wall
  • Awakens Attorney General with phone call at 4 am


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:


“A dark coloured mark left on any part of the body that’s been sucked for a long period of time.”


God marks the Irish scorecards
STOIC: Good to see Irish boxing fans haven’t loss the run of themselves in the wake of Katie’s defeat

By May A. Culpa

The Catholic Church has called for more people to attend Mass and for an increase in vocations amid growing speculation that God is losing patience with the country.

“The apocalyptic defeat of Katie Taylor, who has always had a close relationship with Our Lord, is certain proof that He is less than impressed with our carry-on”, said Church spokesman Moe Rality.

“If He can do this to Katie, God only knows what He might inflict on ordinary people. Do we really want to risk plagues of locusts, rats the size of greyhounds eating our children, vampires rising from the grave or even Pat Rabbitte coming out retirement? Respect the signs and repent.”

ENTRIES FOR Journalism Awards 2016

Judges for the 2016 Journalism Awards say entries have been of an exceptionally high standard, with “many pages reflecting the best wine stains and a 5% reduction in spittle and cigarette burns” compared to the previous entries in 2013.

Among the favourites for top accolades are:

Fintan O’Toole for his article: “Why I Am the Only Journalist who Deserves an Award.”

Vincent Hogan for his article: “The Shame and Pretention of Over-Elaborate and Egotistical Prose in Sports Journalism (Part I).”

Eoghan Harris for his retrospective: “Archimedes: the Man and his Life.”

Barry Egan for his piece: “Famous People and Why They Love and Need Me.”

Louise O’Neill for her think-piece: “Was There Ever Anyone as Interesting as Me?”

Michael Harding for: “A Really Profound Thing Happened to me as I was on my Way to my Kitchen Yesterday.”

Ian O’Doherty for his op-ed: “Left-Wing Bleeding-Heart Softies Responsible for 95% of Road Rage Carnage.”

And Ruth Dudley-Edwards for her investigation: “The Untold Horror of Cannibalism among Irish Republicans.”

UFC fans laud ‘sound’ judges
HUMBLE: Mild-mannered McGregor was so shocked by the result he declared Diaz the winner (“Pull the other one” _ Ed)

DODGY JUDGES screwing fighters out of victory have been deemed “not too bad” this week after Conor McGregor claimed a strange win in the UFC.

All of Ireland had been outraged after Olympic boxing judges awarded decisions against Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan in Rio.

But all outrage seemed to subside when the Notorious one benefited from a bizarre nod against Nate Diaz, who clearly won the bout.

“Ah you have to accept strange decisions. It’s all part of the fight game,” said Brian Smyth on Twitter, who had previously threatened never to watch sport again after the Conlan fight.

UFC boss Dana White said it was all above board and nothing to do with McGregor being the biggest draw in the sport, nothing to do with that at all, at all.

Synchronised judges win big
STANDING COUNT: The three synchronised judges receiving their prizes after the tournament

THREE boxing judges shared the gold medal for synchronised judging when all three awarded 29 points to boxer Ugli Faceov in the final round, clinching victory for the Russian.

In achieving this momentous feat, they managed to overcome the not inconsiderable hurdle of the Russian boxer scoring fewer points than his opponent.

Faceov subsequently withdrew from the next round due to the injuries sustained in the fight. He will now spend some time recuperating in a gulag camp in the frozen wastes of Siberia.

Pat’s Peru Two advice
TOP BIRD: Michaella McCollum JAIL BIRD: Pat Hickey

CONVICTED drug mules Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid say they are “available and willing” to provide OCI President Pat Hickey with advice on how to get by in a South American jail, should he need it.

The generous offer comes as the embattled official faces the possibility of a seven-year stretch behind Brazilian bars following his arrest in connection with a ticket tout investigation at Rio’s Olympics.

Says Tyrone-born Michaella, who spent over two years incarcerated in Peru: “Pat was put on show for all the world to see. Even in his bathrobe.

“I can certainly sympathise.”

“But on the bright side, the coffee can be surprisingly warm and strong in South American jails now and then.

“It’s not all doom and gloom for him.”

Reassures Ms Reid: “Once he masters sleeping standing up, the nights just fly by.”

Crying Baby Trumps the Donald
SHOO-IN: The baby has already been doing the rounds on Fox News

REPUBLICAN strategists are furiously trying to convince the crying baby Donald Trump ejected from a recent rally to run for President.

With mounting concern in the party over Trump’s campaign, some GOP members believe the baby’s superior communication skills make it an obvious candidate to replace the real estate tycoon.

“The baby was throwing a tantrum and dribbling all over himself – that would be a big improvement on what we have right now. It’s definitely a better look for us,” said a Republican insider. “Plus he has more foreign policy experience. He’s a shoo-in.”



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

A Message from the Principal

YOU KNOW, when you think about it, St Enda’s School and the Olympics have a lot in common. They’re both committed to the same general pursuit of excellence – to “Altius, Citius, Bendybus”, as the famous saying goes.  And of course, to one degree or another, both are also heavily involved in dope-testing.

Here at St Enda’s, we pride ourselves on the rigour of our testing programme.  It starts even before students join the school.  We try to identify suspected dopes at the application stage, where, if spotted, they are advised to join St Meehawl’s, or St Brendan’s, or (God forbid) Gerry’s instead, where their, er, talents might be better developed.

Inevitably, however, some will get through the system.  And in many cases, they may not avoid ultimate detection until their Leaving Certain results.

The Leaving Cert, I always think, is a bit like the opening of the A sample.  If a candidate tests positive for dopeyness at that stage, he still has the option of a re-sit: the B Sample. But in my experience, this rarely produces a dramatically different result.

The candidate is often better advised to admit guilt straightway, and accept whatever sanction the authorities lay down: which usually means having to do a bog-standard arts degree, followed by a life of underpaid drudgery.

Of course, the unpalatable truth is that some dopes are never found out, or at least not before it’s too late to do anything about them.

Collegiate responsibility prevents me from mentioning any names here, but our staff-room has several people who blagged their way into jobs with impressive-sounding CVs (from the “Independent Alliance” School or other such makey-up establishments), and who clearly don’t deserve their positions on the podium.

But one area in which we are definitely not like the Olympics is in casting unfair aspersions on Russians.  We have several children of Russian heritage on our roll and they and their parents are all very welcome members of the community.

This is particularly true of the respected local businessman, Mr Mafiahenchmanov, who will be well known to other parents from the distinctive armour-plated Humvee from which he drops off his son Dmitri every morning.

Although never one to blow his own trumpet, Mr Mafiahenchmanov is one of our most generous donors.  It was he who paid for all that new gym equipment we got recently – and indeed for those special performance supplements which seem to be producing such dramatic improvements in our school team.  If only there were more parents like him.

But above all, here at St Enda’s, we pride ourselves on the true Olympian spirit of sportsmanship.  The real champions, we believe, are those who make the most of what they have.  Which is exactly what yours truly did 100 days ago when he was reconfirmed as principal despite apparent rejection by the Board of Electors in February.

So here’s to the next 100, and further proof of the truth of an old saying.  It’s not the winning, it’s the taking of the spoils that counts.

Scenes from the Life of Our Saint: Part 4

It is reported in the annals that, in the summer of 616 AD, while preaching among the heathens of the continent, Enda encountered a group of young trainee monks who, like himself, hailed from the “Land of Saints and Scholars”.

Delighted to meet fellow countrymen in foreign parts, he asked what corner of the sainted isle they were from and they told him “Maynooth.”  So, assuming they had volunteered to teach in Europe, he then inquired about the nature of their mission.  But here their faces darkened as they told him of the “strange goings on” at their monastery that had driven them into an unwanted exile.

Enda listened to their story gravely, sometimes crossing himself and saying “Holy God!” at the more lurid details.  Then he blessed them and sent them on their way, thinking to himself: I better get home soon, before the country loses the run of itself entirely.

Campus Expands

ST ENDA’S is delighted to announce the purchase from NAMA of part of the Dublin Mountains known as the “Featherbeds”. The environmentally sensitive area, which lies close to our school, will now become an extended part of our campus, and will be especially useful for biology field trips and for burying enemies of the principal (joke!)

Congratulations are due to our grounds manager, Mr Ring, who negotiated the agreement.  As he explained in a very a long speech outlining the importance of his achievement, the fear had been that this important piece of wilderness might be used to site one or more wind turbines.

We now understand that instead, as part of the deal, energy companies will examine the feasibility of connecting Mr Ring up to the National Grid in some way.  Early tests suggest that the wind generated by his oratory could be sufficient to power a small housing estate.

Viewer Disgust at X-Rated Ray D’Arcy

RTÉ received 23 official complaints from viewers unhappy with the “sexual nature” of an interview conducted by Ray D’Arcy with Pamela Anderson.

The viewers felt D’Arcy “completely screwed up the segment” and “made an absolute tit of himself”. The complaints follow on from previous disgruntlement over the “obscene” nature of the presenter’s salary.

In recent times, there has been growing concern about declining moral standards in the national broadcaster, with audiences indicating alarm about X-rated content (The Sunday Game) and “orgies of self-congratulation” among RTÉ executives.

The State broadcaster expressed regret for any offence caused, and pointed to recent commissions such as Sexy Time with Vogue Williams as evidence of its commitment to non-trashy programming.


A Reading from the Book of Grindr:

Chapter 10, even Verse than we thought.

The Flight into Rome:

AND at that time there was amongst the bloggers and the messengers much talk of strange disturbances in the holy place known to all as Maynude.

And many who passeth by that place didst hurry their step and blocketh their ears for loud were the groans and moans and many were the rumblings that were heard from within. For the scribes writeth that the Devil hath entered the detail and a Hell of a time was amok.

Then it came to pass on the umpteenth day that the Angel Diarmuid didst appear to the Seminarianites. And all could see that he was deep great of frown and great of grimace.

And Diarmuid speaketh unto them that they wouldst notcast shadow in that House of Hell’s Bells.

And ordering them back to their own beds he demanded they repenteth all sin before he leadeth them to Rome instead.

And widely did the Semenarians smileth because they knewth that Roma hadth many Heavenly mortals of bronze skin and strongeth arms –not to mention God-like six packs. And they were very, very happy.


Vatican: Pope’s Fall was All a Game

A NEW mobile game is spelling danger for some unlucky players.

An elderly man has become the latest victim of the curse of Popémon Go – the location-based augmented reality game.

The 79-year-old , Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is known to most people as “Francis” or “Il Papa,” or “Big Daddy Frank”, fell recently after stumbling on an altar step but quickly got back to his feet without injury.

A Vatican spokesman said there had been no Argie-bargie at the event. “The pontiff had simply been using his mobile device’s GPS capability to capture a virtual Popémon who appeared to be on the altar and was so engrossed in the game he momentarily forgot where he was and tripped on the steps.”

The spokesperson also clarified his earlier reference to “becoming a public nuisance at some locations”. This was “a comment on the Popémon Go game and not the pontiff”, he stressed.


By Tess Tickles

RTÉ says it will continue to screen its own special Dáil edition of smash hit Channel 4 programme Naked Attraction next season despite ongoing complaints from a disgusted public over the show’s content.
Many viewers have labelled RTÉ’s Naked Opportunism programme as “cheap voyeurism”, as the participants shamelessly display their naked ambition in the hope of impressing someone and screwing them on behalf of Michael Noonan and some German bankers.
However, “you can tell a lot about a person from their bare cheek”, insists an RTÉ researcher.

Last season’s controversial incidents included:
◆ Enda showing Dr James the bum’s rush
◆ Leo holding his own against Simon
◆ Micheál showing everyone what little he had to offer without blushing
◆ Joan hitting rock bottom
◆ Gerry groping around for something to cling onto
◆ Frances trying to uncover the stark….

(That’s enough of that kind of thing for now – Ed)

‘Anglo’ prisoners solve overcrowding problem

Three men recently sent to jail for a €7bn fraud have come up with an ingenious solution to the problem of overcrowding in prisons, modelled on The Green Jersey Agenda (© P Neary).

McAteer: Okay, let’s recap: how does it work?
Bowe: It works like this: The three of us are immediately “loaned” out to our families. The taxpayer then “repays” the loan.
Casey: By returning us to prison?
Bowe: F**k, no. The Irish taxpayer raises a sum of money running into billions of euro and pays the Prison Service…
McAteer: How much exactly ?
Bowe: Pluck a figure out of your arse!
Casey: So our families are happy to have us home?
Bowe: And the f**king taxpayer should be happy too because it is costing less to run the prisons with three prisoners less inside.
McAteer: What happens if, at any stage, the Prison Service needs to be seen to be “operating at optimum capacity”, and we have to go back inside for a short period?
Bowe: Then the Prison Service repays the billions of euro to our families.
Casey: But does this circular transaction continue forever?
Bowe: F**k, no. At a certain stage along the way, “in order to cost-effectively reduce the levels of administration involved”, we get to stay at home permanently…
All three: …and our families keep the money!
Casey: But won’t the Prison Service realise we’re not inside any more?
Bowe: Well, If they didn’t notice 600 mobile phones, 500 weapons and 800 batches of drugs being smuggled in last year, they’re hardly likely to notice three prisoners slipping out.
(Capital idea! – P Neary)
(Hmmm. There’s something fishy about all this that doesn’t quite add up but we’ll let it go for now – Baldy Noonan)