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Category: Affairs

PAUL REID’S TRACKING PUSH

Paul Reid

THE UNEXPLAINED delay in publication of the Winter Health Plan will not inspire confidence. This strategy, mooted to be €600m, was due to be released to the public and staff last week. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that “this winter poses the biggest challenge... Read more »

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TENEO’S TRUMPIAN TANGLES

IT WAS another launch and another week of Covid confusion as the Government struggled to get their message in order. Working for the present Irish coalition has surely left Declan Kelly longing for the order, decorum and certainty of Trump’s America. At Dublin Castle, an... Read more »

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UNQUIET GRAVES: RTÉ

Drew Harris

THE NATIONAL broadcaster’s decision to screen the Unquiet Graves documentary on Wednesday night drew mixed reaction.  Seán Murray’s award winning film on British state collusion with loyalist paramilitaries premiered in Belfast last year.  Ahead of the first showing on national television, Unquiet Graves was marked... Read more »

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FINN MCREDMOND’S WARNING

Finn McRedmond

FIONNUALA MCREDMOND’s bid to establish herself as the Irish Times resident young fogey moved up another level on Wednesday. Casting her eye over Jennifer Zamparelli’s self-inflicted controversy, the “Westminster based” columnist repeated a trope gaining currency in stuffier corners of the media world. In the... Read more »

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MCDOWELL’S GAMBLE

WITH A RETURN to cabinet off the table, Michael McDowell has settled into a gig acting as national conscience in the Irish Times opinion pages.  The country must be in dire straits if the former Tánaiste is worried about the public health service.  This week,... Read more »

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MYERS IN THE WILDERNESS

Kevin Myers

PERHAPS NO other figure has suffered for their beliefs as Kevin Myers has done. Banished from respectable society, Myers has been condemned to a lonely existence on the margins. Christlike, the “silenced” writer, with “no career”, nevertheless appeared on front of the Sunday Independent and... Read more »

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JENNIFER ZAMPARELLI’S COVID U-TURN

Jennifer Zamparelli

IT HAS been “an emotional 24 hours” for Jennifer Zamparelli after an embarrassing u-turn on RTÉ Radio.  Media consumption has soared amid the pandemic but as the Government bungles its own communications, the war between Covid fact and fiction is growing increasingly tense.  Prompted by... Read more »

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POLITICAL PREMIUMS

Pearse Doherty

THE NATION was left flabbergasted on Wednesday when it emerged that the insurance industry has been less than upfront about its business practices. The Central Bank’s shocking findings present an awkward political dilemma for Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath. The initial report is indeed... Read more »

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BACK ON KILDARE STREET

AFTER MUCH wailing and discontent, Dáil proceeding will mostly be returning to the august confines of Leinster House from next week.  Politicians and journalists alike have been unimpressed with their time at the National Convention Centre. They bemoaned the lack of atmosphere, the difficulty in... Read more »

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IMELDA HENRY’S LAST ORDERS

THE TIMING of the Government’s capitulation to open so called “wet pubs” is hardly surprising.  The vintners do not require trendy behavioural science modelling to know that dinner acts as a disincentive to students whose budgets are already better spent down the off licence.   Gasping... Read more »

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MASK SLIPS

WITH THE PUBLIC desire to get on with life increasingly clashing with efforts to contain the virus, the NEPHET doctors are hardly getting better encouragement from the Government. The great experiment in face coverings got off to a glacial start with mixed messages, woolly advice... Read more »

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IRELAND’S NEW COMMISSIONER

PROOF THAT banks can benefit from any misfortune was underlined this week as Mairéad McGuinness was elevated to the position of European Commissioner overseeing Financial Services, Financial Stability and the Capital Markets Union. The appointment will soften the blow for those who feared Ireland would... Read more »

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EOIN DREA’S EURO MELTDOWN

BLUESHIRT INTELLECTUAL Eoin Drea received a firm dressing down in the Irish Times last week for a comical article he wrote for the same paper days earlier. The Brussels boffin has regularly featured in the Irish media with either a byline or contributing quotes, though... Read more »

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DUBLIN INQUIRER VS BEN GILROY

Ben Gilroy

SPARE A THOUGHT for Goldhawk’s old pal Ben Gilroy who may have yet another day court. The ‘New Land League’ activist, who is the subject of a High Court order preventing him from taking certain legal actions and from providing advice to others, has filed... Read more »

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TV REVIEW: THE SOUTH WESTERLIES

SOMETIMES WITH new TV programmes, the production back-story is rather more interesting than production itself. RTE’s new prime-time, Sunday night offering, The South Westerlies, produced by Paul Donovan’s Deadpan Pictures and directed by Simon Gibney, blows cold rather than hot, and there’s five more long... Read more »

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STATE OF THE UNION

AS AMERICA’S FUTURE teeters on the edge, Donald Trump can least count on some support in Belfast. On Wednesday, MP for East Antrim, Sammy Wilson joined Ian Paisley Jr and Paul Girvan outside the British Houses of Parliament with a banner reading: “Trump 2020, keep... Read more »

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GREEN PARTY STRUGGLES

THE MERCURIAL Extinction Rebellion movement returned to the streets of London this week for a series of planned protests at Parliament Square. The Met Police confirmed as of 18:00pm Tuesday a total of 90 people had been arrested on suspicion of public order offences. Commander... Read more »

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PROFILE: CHARLIE McCONALOGUE

Charlie McConalogue TD

THE NEW Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine may have had to step over the bodies of several fallen colleagues on his way to cabinet this week but Goldhawk has kept an eye on young Charlie McConalogue.   Read The Phoenix  Young Bloods profile... Read more »

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THE NEXT FOREIGN MINISTER

Neale Richmond

NEALE RICHMOND has enjoyed something of a blessed existence in Fine Gael.  As a favourite of party strategists and influential figures in the leadership, the new deputy for Dublin Rathdown will hardly be too disappointed to see Simon Coveney packing his bags for Brussels. Will... Read more »

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THE LONG GRASS

EFFORTS TO elevate Irish beef to a status alongside champagne, prosciutto and gorgonzola have run into contention. A Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) listing from the European Union has long been floated as a means of distinguishing Irish red meat in a crowded market. As well... Read more »

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THE WEST’S AWAKE

Noel Grealish

GALWAY WEST TD Noel Grealish has been most contrite since details of ‘golfgate’ emerged. News of the event was greeted with dismay locally. Both City Mayor Mike Cubbard and Galway County Cathaoirleach James Charity have called for the TD to resign.  A high profile controversy... Read more »

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AUTUMN BLUES

THE NEWLY released RTE autumn schedules promise “18 hours of new Irish drama” – much of which could be taking place in the RTE canteen. Indeed, the riveting subplots that have developed around replacing Sean O’Rourke will likely prove more compelling than any of the... Read more »

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HOGAN’S FARMING FAVOURITES

THE IDEA that Phil Hogan’s continued presence on the European stage was vital to the interests of farmers was one of the more fanciful of several such notions floated in recent days. Some elements have been quick to paint his demise as a set back... Read more »

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BIG PHIL’S FEMINIST FLOP

SYMPATHETICALLY INCLINED obituaries for Phil Hogan will surely attempt to flag the introduction of gender quotas as at least one example of the Kilkenny bruiser’s more enlightened instincts. In what has now come to define Hogan’s legacy, ambition remains unfulfilled. Gender quotas legislation was a... Read more »

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END OF THE ROAD FOR BIG PHIL

Phil Hogan

THE CLOCK was ticking on Phil Hogan’s career the moment an EU spokesperson stepped on the podium to brief the media on Friday afternoon. Once the former Commissioner’s EU bosses realised that they were burning their own credibility in publicly repeating partial accounts of his... Read more »

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SHY ADVISERS

IT HAS been a punishing month for the government’s raft of special advisers, several of whom arrived mid-July from the ranks of media and PR, amidst controversy over the hefty salaries for such appointments. Media coverage of health minister Stephen Donnelly’s car-crash press conference last... Read more »

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STEPHEN DONNELLY’S MEDIA ENFORCER

IT WAS torrid week for Health Minister Stephen Donnelly who surely imagined his ministerial career would be very different. First, there was widespread confusion and anger following the announcement of new guidelines on Tuesday. Efforts to address these concerns resulted in an interview with Zara... Read more »

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MARY LOU’S BOGEY

CRIES THAT Sinn Fein are not a “normal party” have been given further credence as it avoided being implicated in the ‘golfgate’ drama. Just days earlier, Pat Leahy in the Irish Times took the narrative to new and absurd levels of ahistoricity in claiming that... Read more »

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DAVID HIGGINS’ ANALYSIS

WITH THE public appetite for news at an all time high, the pandemic has thrown up a whole set of voices jostling to make sense of it all. Among the new attention seekers armed with graphs, statistics and their own take on events, Goldhawk was... Read more »

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LOBBYISTS IN THE ROUGH

HSE BOSS Paul Reid was resolute in Thursday’s warning that a recent surge in cases has put “immediate strain on testing and tracing.” Of acute concern was the issue that “some people have well over 40 close contacts, some even up to 50.” Meanwhile, up... Read more »

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JIM’S HOLIDAYS

Jim O'Callaghan

POLITICAL aficionados have focussed their attention on dissent within the Green Party, but how long can Micheál Martin tolerate the public machinations of Jim O’Callaghan? The backbencher has made no secret of his ambitions for the leadership, but the Taoiseach must be pining for the... Read more »

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FOX AND THE HOUNDS

AT FIRST glance, Ruth Dudley Edwards is an unlikely champion of the recently ennobled Clare Fox. This peerage has been a source of outcry in Britain due to Fox’s record of support for the Provisional IRA. Former Brexit Party MEP Claire Fox is not only... Read more »

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BYRNE IN, MCINERNEY OUT

Claire Byrne

FANS OF Goldhawk will not be surprised to see Claire Byrne announced as presenter of the Today Show on Radio One. While stand-in Sarah McInerney won plaudits for her handling of the popular morning slot, there was little doubt that the show would be hosted... Read more »

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FF SLOW OFF THE MARK

FRIDAY’S BIG PR push provided some insight into the dynamics in government as Fianna Fáil struggle to keep up with Fine Gael. The Blueshirt’s intensely public-focused strategy has their old foe looking more than a little rusty. Social Protection Minister Heather Humphries was up early... Read more »

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JAY BOURKE’S ADVENTURES

Jay Bourke

THE HITS keep coming for Goldhawk’s old pal, Jay Bourke. The one-time restaurant impresario is back on the defensive as weekend antics at one of his Dublin venues became the stuff of national outrage. The publican was disqualified from acting as a company director in... Read more »

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SINDO’S PATH TO PEACE

Tony O'Reilly

IT WAS ironic that it took the death of John Hume to ensure that the Sindo opinion pages were eagerly awaited throughout the nation for the first time in many years. Among the well-crafted, but highly revisionist, special section last weekend (see The Phoenix 13/8/20),... Read more »

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