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Category: Affairs

SPINNING BRIAN REDMOND’S PERFORMANCE

IN HIS role as resident panto villain, Brian Redmond is currently casting judgement on celebs hoofing in Dancing with the Stars. Redmond is certainly familiar with judgements of the financial type, as a couple have been registered against companies co-owned by the dance professional and teacher. These include one for €17,000 registered against Spin Dance... Read more »

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SOBER REALISATIONS

Michael McDowell

ONE COULD be forgiven for thinking that the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) was the first occasion in which the cost of gargle increased. After almost two decades of debate in Leinster House, the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill finally became law in 2018. A young Micheál Martin was Health Minister when the first tentative... Read more »

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MICHEÁL MARTIN’S STANDARDS

Micheál Martin

THOSE RESPONSIBLE for leaking the Mother and Baby Homes Report can sleep easier a year into the Government’s rigorous investigation. Cabinet whispers in the Zappone affair were enough to prompt amateur sleuthing and recriminations within Fine Gael. The entire Government has more than once restructured its business in effort to prevent Nphet speaking to the... Read more »

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SINN FÉIN REFORM DEBATE

MARY LOU McDonald’s remarks on public sector reform have stirred wider feelings and some surprising outcomes. The prevailing narrative that Sinn Féin in power would be a disaster for the country is giving way to the novel sight of right-thinking people agreeing with the party leader’s analysis, at least when it comes to the wheels... Read more »

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FIONANN SHEAHAN’S PINKOS

Fionnán Sheahan

STRANGE TO see Fionnán Sheahan do down the work of a fellow journalist. A column in Monday’s Irish Independent seems to turn reality on its head, erasing the reporting of a rival newspaper in the process. Anyone who hoped a new year might see the Indo move on from some of its go-to clichés will... Read more »

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O’GORMAN’S ADOPTION TEST

A YEAR to the day since the Government released its final report from the Mother and Baby Homes Commission, Roderic O’Gorman emerges with the long promised Birth (Info & Tracing) Bill. If the timing indicates an attempt to turn the page on eight years of criticism in handling this delicate saga, the Children’s Minister has... Read more »

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DONIE O’SULLIVAN’S CAPITOL RISE

RTÉ’S RECENT broadcast of a documentary on Donie O’Sullivan provided a useful portrait of the intrepid reporter’s journey from Cahersiveen to the US Capitol. The CNN Correspondent has been written about in gushing terms here at home since rising to prominence last year and the film followed this same pattern of journalists talking among themselves.... Read more »

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IRISH TIMES HARI KARI

irish-times

GENEROUS OF the Irish Times to offer Johann Hari another step on the road to redemption. The controversial journalist, once a darling of liberal Britain, has been eking his way back to prominence after a number of scandals in the early part of the last decade. The former London Independent columnist at one point commanded... Read more »

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THE PRODIGAL RAY FOLEY’S RETURN

AS LOUISE MCSHARRY and Muireann O’Connell can testify, Irish radio departures aren’t always music to everyone’s ears. Unlike the gals, Ray Foley resisted the temptation to put the boot in with his former employers when he departed his weekday radio show on Today FM in 2012. This measured approach has paved the way for the... Read more »

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INTRIGUING BARMAID

SUE GRAY, the ‘senior civil servant’ delegated to inquire into the non-party at 10 Downing Street that Boris Johnson invited 100 guests to in May 2020, knows all about the difference between a drinks session and serious business. The BBC did not give much away about Sue today describing her thus: “an employee of the... Read more »

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OPERATION TRANSFORMATION’S LOSS

Kathryn Thomas

THE BACKLASH against RTÉ’s Operation Transformation is bad news for Vision Independent Productions, the company behind the station’s annual weight-loss and fitness juggernaut. Given that the Philip Kampff-led firm made a small loss during the year ending September 2020, compared to a profit of €210,000 the previous year, the show falling out of favour in... Read more »

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MARY LOU’S HEADLINES

Mary Lou McDonald

WITH THE Christmas break out of the way, political theatre resumed with a bowel movement on Wednesday following an Irish Examiner interview with Mary Lou McDonald. Outlining some of the priorities her party may tackle on entering Government, the Sinn Féin leader told Elaine O’Loughlin that “there is immense talent in our civil service, our... Read more »

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MARK HENRY’S MESSAGE

ONE MAN who will be cheerful despite much uncertainty is the new author Mark Henry, whose book, In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100, filled many influential stockings over Christmas. Though released in Autumn, the book and its message became inescapable throughout December and this was not the usual seasonal marketing campaign. In... Read more »

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FRANCES BLACK SINGING THE BLUES

WITH FRANCES BLACK appealing in the Seanad to Catherine Martin on behalf of the music industry, the question of where live income supports are going has raised a discordant note in the entertainment industry. The third strand of the Live Performance Support Scheme is worth €5m and is a response to new capacity restrictions to... Read more »

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SEBASTIAN HAMILTON’S TOY SHOW

IT WAS a lucky escape for fintech challenger Revolut during this year’s Late Late Toy Show, with publicity disaster averted by the deep pockets of founder, Vlad Yatsenko. Attaching the banking and payments app to Ryan Tubridy’s annual feel-good event was certainly a clever move in the context of Revolut’s overall Irish strategy, even if... Read more »

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LUKASHENKO’S LOCAL CRITIC

ONE OF the lower profile diplomatic style sinecures is that of honorary consul, the small cohort who represents around 40 countries here. They have a quasi diplomatic role but also essentially promote business ties between the countries. Sometimes, however, what seems like a cosy enough arrangement can get a little bit tricky, as is the... Read more »

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FINTAN’S FIVERS

Fintan O'Toole

“VICIOUSLY EXTORTIONATE” was how Fintan O’Toole described the terms of the “ransom note” imposed on Ireland a decade ago when Troika heavies rolled into town. Days after taking to the stage to act as master of ceremonies for an ICTU demonstration against the austerity plan in Dublin, the Irish Times columnist wrote that “Ireland has... Read more »

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BRITAIN’S BORDERS

FEW MATTERS more than citizenship underline the true reality of the political project underway in Britain. It is impressive, almost, how the right wing press have drummed up a contrived outrage about so-called cancel culture, while in the background the Tory Home Office carries on its effort to strip people of a right to live... Read more »

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DIXON WHACKS GOVERNMENT

THE NEWS is not good for the party of law and order. A climbdown from Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys in her appeal against the Data Protection Commission (DPC) sees her party concede at last that successive Fine Gael governments have been acting flagrantly outside the law, across a number of departments and over several... Read more »

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RTÉ’S BIG DEBATES

Jon Williams

INTERESTING TO see Jon Williams take on the critics. In the Sunday Times, RTÉ’s Director of News and Current Affairs responds to Declan Lynch, who in a recent Sindo column argued that the media should at this stage question its motives for giving airtime to figures to like Nigel Farage. Williams counters this by insisting... Read more »

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NUTRALISING NPHET

Tony Holohan

IRISH CUSTOMERS have recently encountered problems with further verification requirements in the online shopping process. Following months of scam phone calls, the banks have added what they call “an extra layer of security.” The same principle has been applied to public health as the Government face down unwanted communications of their own. Members of Nphet... Read more »

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DOIREANN GARRIHY’S DISAPPEARING LISTENERS

Doireann Garrihy

RTÉ CONTINUES to champion Doireann Garrihy, although the latest JNLR figures suggest that the public is not quite as enamoured of the golden girl of Montrose. Louise McSharry was recently dropped from 2fm although her show was pulling in 104,000 listeners on Saturday mornings. Yet Garrihy’s 2FM Breakfast show with Donncha O’Callaghan and Carl Mullan... Read more »

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NORAH CASEY STRIDES AGAIN

HAVING SO much of her considerable energy trained on Woman’s Way magazine seems to have reaped rewards for Norah Casey. According to recently-filed accounts for Harmonia Ltd, the publishing company made a profit of €305,000 in 2020, bringing accumulated profits to €703,000. By comparison, Harmonia only made a profit of €14,000 in 2019 and recorded... Read more »

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MEDIAHUIS’S MORTIFICATION

JUDGES AT the recent Newsbrands Ireland Journalism Awards clearly weren’t as impressed as publisher Mediahuis Ireland is with its output. While it boasts of its titles’ “unique and original Irish journalism” and “thorough and entertaining background features,” the Indo, Sindo, Herald and Independent.ie received zero gongs at the awards. It was left to the Sunday... Read more »

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HIGGINS UNHEADED

Michael D Higgins

HAS THE Oireachtas set itself on another collision course with the President? Despite the Dáil’s Business Committee, Ceann Comhairle, Taoiseach and Office of Attorney General all committing to change on foot of criticism from Michael D Higgins in Summer, the December bottleneck has once again appeared on the order papers at Leinster House. In a... Read more »

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CHARITY PAY DAY

Dee Forbes

MEMBERS OF the public who gave so generously during RTÉ Does Comic Relief last Summer may not have expected to see their donations used to rehabilitate the image of the charity sector. Ever eager to emphasise its own vital national importance, the cash strapped broadcaster tapped into a sense of community during the pandemic last... Read more »

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JENNY MCCARTHY’S NEXT SHOT

AS A side hustle to her photography business, broadcaster Martin King’s missus Jenny McCarthy has joined the ranks of minor celebs launching their own brands. McCarthy has made her name capturing the marriages and babies of celebs and influencers like Karen Koster, Glenda Gilson and Pippa O’Connor, which may provide her with a ready market... Read more »

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UNIONISM’S NEXT MOVE

POLITICAL FALLOUT from the death of David Tweed has exposed the limits of Jim Allister’s ability to put space and moral certainty between himself and his Unionist rivals. The TUV leader, senior DUP figures and the Orange Order have all been criticised sharply for their tributes to a man remembered in the Irish Times sports... Read more »

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BOGGED DOWN

EVEN BY standards so wearily familiar the latest bid to continue commercial peat harvesting is a supremely impressive piece of political cynicism. With the Government scarcely home from a global climate summit, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have revealed their intention to permit one of the country’s most harmful practices to persist for up to... Read more »

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TOYING WITH FIONA O’LOUGHLIN

RTÉ BROADCASTER Joe Duffy may be deploying his pen to console Fiona O’Loughlin again after reactions to her call for a new bank holiday to coincide with the Late Late Toy Show ranged from amused to rather scornful. Being laughed at over trivial matters has upset sensitive Fianna Fáilers of late, and the Kildare senator... Read more »

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VLAD’S GULF PLÁMÁS

Leo Varadkar

AN TÁNAISTE’S tour of odious Gulf regimes this month passed without incident and not a whole lot of media scrutiny. A solitary report by Petula Martyn for RTE’s website at least sought comment from Enterprise Ireland’s Conor Fahy on human rights abuses in the Saudi kingdom and UAE but there was no mention in any... Read more »

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EU VS BIG TECH CONTINUES

EUROPEAN EFFORTS to put manners on Silicon Valley took a step closer this week as the Digital Markets Bill moved toward its final parliamentary vote. The internal markets committee on Monday voted by a majority to adopt the legislation which will impose a raft of stricter obligations on some of the internet’s largest players. Compromise... Read more »

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GRIPT BROUGHT IN FROM THE COLD

John Burns

CONCERN ABOUNDS in recent years about partisanship, “dark money”, the stoking of online outrage and so-called fake news fuelling dangerous problems. The Sunday Times is, at least, in safe hands judging by recent remarks from Nóirín Hegarty. In an interview published this month, the new editor at Rupert Murdoch’s Aawrish title told the Corporate Governance... Read more »

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“DEMONISING” THE VULTURES

BUSINESS POST hack Killian Woods noticed an interesting trend in housing coverage this week, starting with the opinion page in his own newspaper. A column on Sunday by Dan O’Brien cautions against “demonising” international investors as “vultures” and “cuckoos”. Woods points out that Matt Cooper in the Daily Mail earlier in the month makes this... Read more »

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SEAWEED SHOCK

THE IRISH Independent picture desk got itself in a tangle last week over the delicate problem of agri emissions. Young seaweed farmer Sinéad O’Brien was less than impressed to find her image used by the newspaper in what she describes as greenwashing. An article by Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries in the Indo’s farming supplement... Read more »

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NÓIRIN O’SULLIVAN’S REHABILITION

ALL IS well that ends well for Nóirín O’Sullivan, who appears to have patched things up with at least some sections of the media. Four months after the Disclosures Tribunal published its fourth interim report, the former Garda Commissioner was the subject of extensive coverage in the Irish Times over the weekend. Spread across two... Read more »

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