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HELEN McENTEE’S COMMITTEE

THE TASK of carrying the can for the previous administration began in earnest on Thursday as new Justice Minister Helen McEntee took questions in the Dáil. Fans of Goldhawk will be aware of a curiosity on new Anti-Racism Committee established by Charlie Flanagan, where Margot... Read more »

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DONOHOE’S EURO TRIUMPH

THE NATION held its breath on Thursday before Ireland’s own finance minister was elevated to President of the Eurogroup. No sooner were the last remaining morsels of nostalgia squeezed from Italia 90 when the Government provided Reeling in the Years 2020 with scenes of jubilation... Read more »

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VLAD RETURNS HOME

OVER ONE hundred days since the country went into lock down, Leo Varadkar is finally adjusting to work from home. On Twitter, the Fine Gael leader shared the news that he is “setting up my new home working station. The Government wants remote working to... Read more »

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TAXING TROUBLE

THE HOLY grail of a reduction in VAT has again come within reach of the hospitality sector. All eyes are on the Government’s planned July stimulus package but this is hardly a new demand. The 13.5% rate was cut to 9% as a temporary measure... Read more »

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WHO SHOT THE MINISTER?

Barry Cowen

THE NOTION that damaging leaks about politicians come from opposing parties is very wide of the mark. In Goldhawk’s not inconsiderable experience leaks that target particular politicians almost always come from close, rival members of their own party.  An iron law in politics is that... Read more »

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RODERIC’S RIGHT WING RANTERS

GREEN PARTY minister Roderic O’Gorman is the latest figure to be targeted by the noisy fringes of Irish online ‘patriotism’. As detailed extensively by Goldhawk, Sinn Féin’s Réada Cronin, Social Democrat Holly Cairns,  Fianna Fáil’s Lorraine Clifford Lee.,  Fine Gael’s Catherine Noone and Labour’s Duncan... Read more »

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NOT SO ANGRY MAN

Fintan O'Toole

WITH RECESSION looming, unemployment soaring and dulcet Offaly apologies for ill-judged pints all around us, the sense of déjà vu is palpable.  The last disaster was at least a boom for commentators who set about the task of explaining where it all went wrong and... Read more »

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LAWLESS LEFT OUT

James Lawless

WHILE SEVERAL jilted deputies would have been content with any seat at the table, the same cannot be said for Fianna Fáil’s James Lawless who has nursed a particular set of ambitions. With seemingly no room government, his unwavering loyalty to the present leadership will... Read more »

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JENNIFER O’CONNELL’S BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES

IRISH TIMES columnist Jennifer O’Connell dug herself into a Twitter hole on Wednesday over the complex issue of schools reopening. Inspired after this week’s RTÉ Prime Time double bill, which featured selfless healthcare staff returning to work once recovered from the virus, O’Connell lambasted teaching... Read more »

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OLIVE BRANCHES AND FIG LEAVES

A SIZEABLE cohort of Green Party members choked on their muesli Wednesday morning upon opening the Irish Times. In an opinion piece headed “generational divide within Green Party cannot be glossed over”,  academic Sadhbh O’Neill sagely advised that “divisions, however unseemly, should spark a deep... Read more »

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CORK ‘SHIT’ STORM

THAT unprecedented outburst from disappointed Fianna Fail TD, Michael Moynihan — ‘I-could-a-bin-a-minister’ — was not borne of an over developed sense of entitlement. Moynihan’s remarks — “ I took a lot of shit up and down the country and kept it from (Martin) … there’s... Read more »

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TV REVIEW: INSIDE IRELAND’S COVID BATTLE (RTÉ ONE)

AS WELL as documenting life for patients and staff in St James’s Hospital during the Covid-19 crisis, RTE Investigates: Inside Ireland’s Covid Battle inadvertently provided a fascinating into how the Irish media have covered the pandemic. The abject nihilism that has characterised the Indo’s coverage... Read more »

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WIRECARD WOES

THE COLLAPSE of fintech company Wirecard may be a little too close for authorities in Dublin.  The German payments firm is facing criminal investigations for fraud on an eye-watering scale, while former CEO Markus Braun is on bail having been arrested last week. Wirecard has... Read more »

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JOHN MORAN’S CONVERSION

MANDARINS AT the Department of Finance are no doubt scratching their heads at the avalanche of submissions to the Oireachtas Covid Response Committee.  With almost every sector in the country looking for support, the orthodox handbook, heavily revised toward lean and mean since the crash,... Read more »

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IRISH TIMES GREEN VIEWS

THERE WAS cause for celebration in Tara Street this weekend after a relentless Irish Times campaign on government formation finally saw results. Across editorials, opinion pieces, the entire political staff and several cartoons, the paper remained stridently on message in coaxing the parties towards a... Read more »

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END OF THE ROAD FOR BRUTON

Richard Bruton

THE non-inclusion of Richard Bruton in cabinet represents the end of a career that was long thought destined for the Taoiseach’s office.  As Blueshirt royalty Bruton was deemed fit to lead the unsuccessful coup against Enda Kenny in 2010, but now he finds himself left... Read more »

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CABINET CALAMITY

Dara Calleary

THE ABSENCE of any senior minister from west of the Shannon looks like the first major misstep of the new régime in government buildings. The benefits of having a local representative in a national role vary widely and are often overstated, but perceptions still matter. ... Read more »

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THE RISE OF RODERIC O’GORMAN

Roderic O'Gorman

AMONG THE members of the new cabinet, the name with probably the least national recognition is the Green Party’s Roderic O’Gorman. Goldhawk, however, spotted he was going places last September when penning a profile of the Dublin West TD (see below). The wily politician was... Read more »

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SMITH VERSUS FLANAGAN

Brid Smith

CHARLIE FLANAGAN’S courageous defence of the judiciary last week looks rather opportunistic when set against Fine Gael’s recent record. The justice minister is up in arms over comments from Bríd Smith, who suggested that a recent High Court ruling constitutes a “war on workers.” Flanagan... Read more »

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JIMMY GOUGH’S GOLDMINE

JIMMY GOUGH has been in the headlines for different reasons over the past twelve months, originally from his role in an acrimonious court case against the Association of Irish Racehorse Owners that proved rather expensive for the latter. Gough is, however, currently revelling in the... Read more »

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REMOTE EARNING

ONE OF the ironies of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the need for public bodies to find inventive ways to spend idle money that might otherwise be clawed back by government departments. Back in April, the training division of Desiree Finnegan’s Screen Ireland, came up... Read more »

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VARADKAR’S VANDALS?

REPUBLICAN ACTIVIST Malachy Steenson brought some light relief to the airwaves on Tuesday while engaged in a debate with Joe Duffy on Liveline. The solicitor, who most recently stood for the Workers Party before going independent in 2014, highlighted an outrage in Fairview Park North... Read more »

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GREENS UNDER PRESSURE

RELUCTANT GREENS must wonder what is the point of negotiations as they face an avalanche of pressure to approve the draft Program for Government. It should be clear now that the party would have been cajoled into accepting whatever agreement emerged from talks with Fianna... Read more »

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HARRIS’ HOSPITAL HACKERS

Simon Harris

HEALTH MINISTER Simon Harris is facing another headache as the beleaguered National Children Hospital (NCH) edges into the geopolitical crossfire. At the conclusion of an EU-China summit on Monday, new commission president Ursula von der Leyen denounced Beijing as the culprit behind a recent wave... Read more »

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FF’S EURO TURN

Sean Haughey

THE EUROPEAN Union has found an unlikely champion of LGBT rights in the shape of Fianna Fáil. New MEPs Barry Andrews and Billy Kelleher plan an online event Wednesday evening focusing on how the EU should respond to events in Poland and Hungary, where the... Read more »

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AL THANI VS O’BRIEN

THE ISSUE of team tactics in racing was touched upon recently when the Ger Lyons-trained Siskin overcame a six-strong Ballydoyle battalion to win the Irish 2000 Guineas. While on that occasion it was more a case of pre-race concerns from the connections of Siskin over... Read more »

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Ó RÍORDÁIN’S SEANAD PICKS

THE NEW government has been put on notice as the Labour Party resumes its periodic posture as the conscience of Leinster House. In the Dáil on Wednesday, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin called on the next Taoiseach to consider including “minority communities, rather than party political hacks”... Read more »

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HOPKINS UNWELCOME

MALEVOLENT MOUTH Katie Hopkins getting the boot from Twitter is unlikely to prompt much soul searching at Montrose. In contrast to much of the Late Late Show mythology following the death of Gay Byrne last year, RTÉ producers were at one point addicted to booking... Read more »

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CHARLIE FLANAGAN’S APPOINTMENT

Charlie Flanagan

JUSTICE MINISTER Charlie Flanagan was unusually in tune with the times last week when he convened a special committee to produce an “Action Plan Against Racism for Ireland”. Chaired by Caroline Fennell, head of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, and backed up by... Read more »

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JOSEPHA HANGS IN THE BALANCE

Josepha Madigan

THE CLOUDS gathering in recent weeks were looking ominous for Josepha Madigan but will Mount Merrion’s own Machiavelli hang on? The outgoing culture minister will not have been encouraged this week to hear Leo Varadkar’s reluctance to ensure gender balance in Fine Gael’s diminished share... Read more »

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END OF THE ROAD FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH AFFAIRS?

Katherine Zappone

THE CREATION of a stand alone Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) was an unexpected if logical step in 2011. Whatever its shortcomings or place in the cabinet pecking order, it marked a departure from attitudes when children had been overlooked or let down,... Read more »

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GER LYONS VS AIDAN O’BRIEN

THE STRIAGHT talking Ger Lyons has never been one to mince his words but for once the master of Glenburnie Stables was left speechless after landing his first Classic with Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh last Friday. Lyons was visibly emotional after... Read more »

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NEXT FOR THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES BILL?

Helen McEntee

THE EUROPEAN court of Human Rights’ decision to overturn French criminalisation of Palestine solidarity activists this week could prove a turning point in efforts to shut down the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Twelve people had been convicted for distribution of leaflets in 2009 and... Read more »

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BIG PHIL’S GLOBAL AMBITION?

Phil Hogan

BRUSSELS WAS once the graveyard of ambition but not so for Phil Hogan who is “exploring” the potential for a stint as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The prize is an attractive one with a salary well in excess of half a million... Read more »

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SINEAD O’CONNOR’S LOVERS

THE SUNDAY TIMES’ relish in reporting that Sinead O’Connor’s soon to be published memoir would be “dishing the sexual dirt” on her ex-lovers indicates that none of the paper’s hacks feel vulnerable to such exposure. But in 2007 O’Connor created mayhem at the rival Sunday... Read more »

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IRELAND’S SOCIAL MEDIA WARS

Stephen Collins

FOR OVER A DECADE NOW policy makers and opinion formers have greeted the advent of social media with a mix of bewilderment and terror. Newspapers, broadcasters and politicians alike yearn for an imagined past when Irish public life was a model of decorum, with each... Read more »

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