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‘LOVELY PEOPLE’: Mr Public was delighted to see smiles on the faces of top banking executives and investors after years of doom and gloom
A KIND-HEARTED Irishman who heroically saved an entire organisation from collapse, says that he is “absolutely thrilled” to learn that the wealthy investors are poised to become very rich thanks to his own selfless actions.
Mr Joseph (Joe) Public became aware that his local AIB branch, plus all its other branches, were about to go bust and so he very quickly donated €21bn to tide them over until things improved at the bank.
“It was nice to be able to help out in some small way,” he smiled bashfully. “It was the least I could do.”
Mr Public says the bank has not forgotten him.
“They promised to take my house unless I gave them another €10,000 by Wednesday,” he smiles.
“It’s great to see them getting back to normal – being owned and controlled by the super-wealthy again.
“They really are lovely people.”
By Tintan O’Foole
THERE are no prizes for winning prizes. Nor should there be; for winning is all about losing. This irrefutable fact became irrefutably factual to me in the most irrefutable manner on receiving the coveted Orwell Prize which I recently irrefutably won.
It was a proud moment in the fleeting fleetness of that measurement of time known as “my life”, but, like Hannibal facing another Alp, the self harbours deep misgivings.
For if I am a winner of the Orwell Prize then by definition I am assumed to be the lesser man, aka, “a loser”. I think George and I both would see the supreme irony in that misconception. That is why there can be no winners or losers; there just “is”.
My “winning the Orwell” must deem me equal to George to have any merit. Any other interpretation is to lower such recognition to a capitalist manifestation of art that would ungraciously demean both him and me.
Of course the “looniverse” of Brexiteers would have us dismiss the very concept of equality. I made this point in one of the acclaimed essays that earned me the much-coveted Orwell Prize. I think I have proved the great master’s old adage that if you want a picture of the future, imagine an Irish Times columnist stamping on a human face forever.
Leo finds a position for his newest Super Junior
Riviera — 8PM, Sky Atlantic: The over-the-top lifestyles of the rich and famous are essayed in this lush drama. Watch as overpaid prima donnas scrap for creative control and moan about each other to the Sunday papers. Puffed up.
Secondhand Lions — 9AM, Sky Sports: Disaster film. With egos inflated by months of press coverage, a group of northern tourists is quickly despatched by a well-drilled tribe. Gory to say the least.
- A drama starring Amy Huberman
- Ring the BBC and ITV about any original stuff they’re flogging
- A comedy starring Amy Huberman
- Something with Pat Shortt in it
- A documentary presented by Amy Huberman
- Spruce up the Angelus again
- More make-up for the weather girls
- Give Johnny Logan another bash at the Eurovision
- Tubridy’s dream project: A 21-episode epic about JFK
“I’m against it. I was once accused of being in a relationship with a bunch of gardaí and a female judge.”
“I’m all for it. The Labour Party supports getting into bed with all and sundry, regardless of political affiliation, beliefs or scruples.”
“It doesn’t matter a bale o’ hay how many are in de family or how many oo ties the knot with, as long as oo’re divorced from reality in de firsht place!”
Danny & Michael Healy-Rae
LEO: THE FACE OF NEW POLITICS
An occasional service to Phoenix readers explaining the meaning of certain words that have suddenly become newsworthy.
This Week – DUP
Origin. contraction of Do + up. To Do Up, to repair, to improve, to present oneself well.
Eg “The party’s HQ is in a good location but it needs doing up a bit; say £2bn worth of doing up.”
“She spent hours doing herself up before meeting Prime Minister May.”
“Nigel Dodds was done up in a silky black dress and fishnet stockings.” (Are you sure about this? – Ed)
In our next issue the topical word will be: Humourless
1. Spontaneous spells of hot air causing mild discomfort but soon passing to most likely return periodically.
2. Remaining static up North with a slowly departing front in the South giving way to frost and ice.
3. A seemingly never ending shower that somehow continues to get worse.
4. Unruly, unpredictable movements coming in from the left but too disjointed to have any noticeable impact.
5. Isolated sunny conditions locally.
6. New front appearing and moving further to the right with speed. May be short lived.
Salutamus Dr Sir Lord Bobbus Geldofus, amicus Bonodius apud raggedi hairi scraggias ratstailium et foulus gobbus et multi millionarium quod askius givusius yerfuckin moneyum et neveri shuttupi et singerius uselessius apud Boomtownium boringfartsium et looni oanboatus Thamesium apud Nigelius Faragius et nexius desirus spacium tripius apud beardi Bransoni Virgini Galacti hopefullium onewayum!
BOD AND AMY’S DREAM HOME (MAYBE)
QUIT THE DAY JOB: The actor is adjusting to civilian life but was visibly frustrated yesterday after being forced to queue at his local supermarket
By Hollie Wood
AUDIENCES have given a major thumbs-down to three-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis following his latest performance as a non-actor.
The Wicklow man made his debut in the role yesterday as he crossed a Dublin street towards a post office, before buying a stamp and posting a letter.
The public were left hugely unimpressed. “I don’t think he rehearsed it at all,” said a local chemist. “He seemed to be making it up as he went along.”
A nearby hairdresser agreed. “I’ve seen my gran cross that road with more feeling,” she said dismissively.
“It was like his right foot didn’t know what his left one was doing. And the scene where he licked the stamp was so awkward! I just looked away. I reckon he’s finished!”
It’s another busy morning in the Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary, aka Blueshirt General. New hospital master Leo Varadkar makes his rounds, accompanied by deputy master Frances Fitzgerald. They pass the operating theatre, from which a hospital press officer emerges:
Press officer: Could we have you in here a moment, Dr Varadkar?
Varadkar (stepping inside and noticing a large gathering of medics around a bed, where a patient named Joe Public is waiting to be stitched up). Gosh. What kind of op is this?
Press office: Just a photo op, actually. We need you to pose with all your new junior doctors. Smile for the cameras, everyone!
Fitzgerald (looking on, unimpressed): There’s a shocking lack of women in that line-up.
Varadkar (Between clenched grinning teeth): Really? I’m so gender neutral I hadn’t even noticed. But diversity is not all about men and women, you know. I had to balance other things. Religion. Sexual orientation. Different competencies. (He notices Mary Mitchell-O’Connor beside him). Or lack of competencies, as the case may be. Ouch!
Mitchell-O’Connor: Sorry for standing on your foot with my stiletto heel there, doctor. It was an accident – I was aiming for your back.
The hospital corridors again, later.
Fitzgerald: Dr O’Connor’s still very annoyed at being demoted, clearly.
Varadkar: She’ll be even more annoyed when she doesn’t get that super-junior bonus I promised to ease the blow. The board wouldn’t have it, unfortunately.
They drop into a specialist head injury ward, where senior consultant Charlie Flanagan is treating a patient.
Varadkar (to Flanagan, quietly): Is this the case you were telling me about?
Flanagan: Yes. I’m at something of a loss with her – I’d appreciate your opinion.
Varadkar (reading patient’s chart): So how are you today, Nóirín?
Nóirín O’Sullivan (for it is she): It’s Commissioner O’Sullivan to you. And if by “how are you today?” you mean am I resigning, the answer is no. I have complete confidence in my ability to lead An Garda Síochána.
Flanagan (leaning in to Varadkar and speaking very quietly): I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There seems to be some sort of progressive sclerosis of the sub-cranial region, accompanied by a strange bronzing of the skin.
Varadkar (nodding): Yes, it’s called “brass neck”. It’s just a lot more advanced than I’ve ever seen. (Reading the chart) There are some unbelievable figures here. The pulse rate, for example – 295 beats a minute?
Flanagan: She supplied that figure herself. Apparently the gardaí have their own PULSE computer system. She insists the figures are perfectly in order. So you’ve dealt with this neck thing before?
Varadkar: In a patient called Kenny. Amusing old guy from Mayo, but also shamelessly attached to his job, despite his position being clearly untenable. It’s the condition. (He points to the back of his own skull) It impedes the transmission of signals to the part of the brain that normally allows for feelings of shame or inadequacy.
Flanagan: But you cured him?
Varadkar: Eventually. (He puts the chart back). Let’s just keep probing her for now. If there’s no sign of embarrassment by next week we’ll consider something more drastic.
Fitzgerald (reading phone text): Sorry to interrupt, Dr Varadkar – but there’s a developing emergency in A & E.
They dash out the door, and sprint to the A & E department, where an ambulance has hit the glass doors.
Varadkar: What the hell happened here? An accident or terrorism?
Nurse: A protest, apparently. The driver threatened to bring the whole hospital crashing down. Luckily, the porters managed to restrain him before he could do serious damage.
Varadkar: What’s he protesting over?
Nurse: He shouted something about the hospital’s chief legal adviser being appointed a judge. Sounded very angry.
Varadkar: Yes, well we had to get rid of Máire somehow. (He approaches the driver, who has been placed in a straitjacket). What’s the meaning of this?
Shane Ross (for it is he): The judicial appointments system is rotten and I’m not putting up with it anymore!
Varadkar: Maybe it is, but what’s it got to do with you? You’re a driver – you’re only responsible for transport.
Ross: I can’t help it. It’s just an issue that really bothers me.
Varadkar (feeling his brow): Normally in this situation I’d suggest someone had been working too hard. But not in your case, obviously. (To the nurses) Give him a couple of aspirin and get him to lie down for a while. He’s running a temperature – let’s just hope he runs it better than the transport service.
(Everybody smiles indulgently at the Master’s witticism while the nurses lead Ross away).
Varadkar (to Flanagan, surveying the cracked glass doors): Sigh. There’s always something to fix around here.
Fitzgerald: Oh well, look on the bright side, chaps. At least your glass ceiling is still in place.
EXAM students all over Ireland are demanding that they be automatically allowed to repeat examinations they have done badly in, using the original exam paper so they have a fair opportunity to achieve higher points.
Said one student: “My eighth subject was, loike, Jopanese.
“I will, loike, dafinitely need to repeat. I never even completed the paper. That has to be a breach of my, loike, constitutional rights.
“I had a few amendments to make but I, loike, ran out time. Had to abort. The heat in the exam room was woejus. No air-con. And the smell! Exam pressure is bad enough without having to deal with the issue of Fetid Feet Abnormality.”
As part of our coverage of the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, Goldhawk profiles some of the managers at this year’s tournament.
Cameroon – Shane de Rossi
This flamboyant right- winger terrorised opponents down the years with his relentless attacks. However, he has found the transition from player to manager very difficult and stands accused of leading a team of mercenaries.
Portugal – Leon Varadkar
The self described “special one” has found himself in the unfamiliar position of defending following a series of tricky openers. While hailed by the media as a breath of fresh air, many believe he is virtually identical in his tactics to the previous stale and unpopular gaffer.
Chile – Miguel Martinez
The usually cautious silver-tongued Martinez recently caused outrage when he questioned the competence of a newly appointed female referee. It’s believed he could be axed if his side doesn’t improve over the summer.
Russia – Theresa Mayski
Mayski’s outfit struggle against European opposition and a routine training exercise ended in disaster last month. The coach is desperately trying to negotiate a new contract and pacify player unrest but her reliance on second-rate prima donnas from Spartak DUP will probably hasten the manager’s exit.
Fast Spin: Limousine trip on the motorway
Full Cycle: Everyone gets to go on holiday eventually before we start again
Hot ‘n’ Cold: Brazil first and then a weekend in Iceland
Tub: Large container of ice cream towards the end of the banquet
Powder: Gift for herself’s nose at Christmas
Tumble: When the jewels fall out of the box
Cold Fill: Lorry load of lager
Mixed Load: The girls joining us for the cruise
Softener: Bit of jewellery for the good lady when she’s moody
Wool: Thing we pull over people’s eyes.
- Whitewash – What New Zealand cross often. Also end of series result
- Pride – What they’ll pretend they’re playing for after this Saturday’s defeat
- Dirt-trackers – The team that doesn’t face two more thrashings by NZ
- All Black – The team’s outlook on winning a Test
Favourite song: Taxman, The Beatles
Favourite player: Tommy Coyne
Favourite signing: Quinton Fortune
Favourite midfielder: Matty Cash
Favourite genre: Cooking Books
Favourite character: Artful Dodger
Favourite analyst: Garth Crooks
Favourite musician: Muddy Waters
Favourite destination: Moneypoint
ROYALIST BLUE: These marchers have been described as triumphalist, supremacist and detached from reality
AS MARCHING season begins in earnest, the rest of the country’s GAA football teams have been told to be extra careful around Dublin.
The Boys in Blue are marching to another All-Ireland final determined to walk in a straight line the whole way there.
Teams like Carlow and Westmeath have already had to put up with Jim Gavin’s men strolling right through their territory. “These boys believe it’s their God-given right to walk the highways to Jones’s Road unobstructed,” said one GAA fellow who works in Croke Park.
“They can be quite dangerous and even linesmen must be careful not to award too many decisions against them.”
A RAFT of ‘eminent’ figures made fools of themselves in the furore over the government’s Judicial Appointments Commission Bill in the past week, chief among them being justice minister Charlie Flanagan. But Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson, Jim O’Callaghan, has inflicted serious damage on his own party, by diverting attention from the government as Fine Gael began to fight with Shane Ross’s Independent Alliance over the bill.
In political crises involving security and the law, O’Callaghan has shrunk from challenging authority and has reverted to legalistic arguments, firstly to defend Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and now the judiciary. He has successfully positioned his own party alongside Fine Gael’s discredited ex-justice minister Frances Fitzgerald in the garda scandals by refusing to demand the commissioner’s resignation and, when forced to do just that, by stating that FF still would not vote for it. Now O’Callaghan has pushed his party to the right of the supposedly reactionary Blueshirts with Law Library rhetoric about disrespecting judges, in particular Chief Justice Susan Denham.
Party leader Micheál Martin appears to be in thrall to O’Callaghan’s gravitas and plummy tones but not everyone in FF is pleased to see their party position itself on the same side as judges against the government, Sinn Féin and most left wing parties and TDs in the Dáil. Such law and order arguments may play well in parts of Jim’s Dublin Bay South constituency but most FF members and many frontbenchers are unimpressed.
Flanagan’s recent appointment as justice minister appears to have gone to his head as he delivered a gung-ho statement to party TDs and an even more provocative Irish Times article (he implicitly compared Ross to subversive elements). The article read like a swingeing attack on the rationale behind the new bill that the justice minister himself was introducing. A blustering Flanagan also made it known he would not be subject to demands from Ross; nobody said he would be. The minister said he wanted a “full debate, an open ended debate”; whoever demanded otherwise? And while he solicited speeches from his party TDs – as opposed to Ross – he added meekly that he was not saying he would take any amendments. Flanagan issued a contrite, ‘clarifying’ statement within 24 hours stating he was fully behind the bill while Varadkar’s office denied the Taoiseach had instructed him to do so.
Chief Justice Susan Denham did not cover herself in glory either. A week ago she lectured politicians about the separation of powers between politicians and judges during the Máire Whelan controversy. Five days later, without blushing, Denham appended her name to a statement from the presidents of the five courts divisions criticising the judicial appointments bill. It may be that such as High Court president Peter Kelly applied irresistible pressure on Denham; whatever, she looked foolish.
Most startling was the public intervention this week of former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness who was very cross indeed with Ross and his critique of the system of judicial appointments. Catherine was elevated to a series of high profile positions by successive FF administrations, led by Charlie Haughey, then Albert Reynolds and, finally, Bertie Ahern whose government appointed her to the Supreme Court in 2000. Catherine does not believe there is a need for a judicial appointments bill.
Varadkar, Flanagan and Ross will push through the bill, Ross will claim a victory and they will make up until the next inter government spat. But O’Callaghan and Martin will face an angry parliamentary party and grassroots membership unless Jim changes tack on justice issues.
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