Schmidt hails World Cup preparations
IRELAND’S PREPARATIONS for a World Cup of mediocrity are in full fl ow after easy wins over the mighty Wales and Scotland. Now ranked as the second best team in the world, Joe Schmidt’s men are right on track to repeat the glorious failures of 2007 and 2011.
“We’re going to get carried away,” Schmidt told reporters. “This is our year. I can feel it in my bones. I know we’ve been down this road before but this time we’re in with a real shout. This year’s quarter-final defeat will be better than any of our previous efforts. I can see us leading the All Blacks well into the fi rst quarter. ”
Ashley Madison shock
Thousands of Irish people are living in fear, after details of their online activities were leaked on the Dark Net following the Ashley Madison hack. The expose threatens to reveal the sordid internet history, email addresses and pictures of the users.
It is expected to show that thousands of Irish people have been clicking on links on the Independent.ie website claiming to tell you ‘10 things you thought you knew about Kim Kardashian’ , and showing exclusive pictures from Ronan Keating’s latest wedding.
A source said, ‘These people are terrified that their names will be connected to such filthy pasttimes. To you and me they look like happily married couples, but beneath the surface they are hiding these terrible compulsions to satisfy their lust.’
More Star non-stories
Following on from their sensational scoop about Alan Shatter allegedly claiming 12 euro in expenses, the Irish Daily Star has uncovered further evidence of outrageous extravagance amongst Irish politicians.
According to documents seen by the paper, TDs have claimed upwards of 30 cents for items such as matches and toothpicks. Despite the wave of indifference that greeted the non-story, the Star is standing over its allegations.
“This is another example of Irish politicians living the high life at the expense of the hard-pressed taxpayer,” said a spokesman for the paper, Mike Shameless. “It’s a disgrace – and you can read further damaging revelations concerning claims for paperclips in tomorrow’s sex-sational Star!”
NASA to help with Irish Water
The Government is to ask NASA for help with administering Irish Water, it has confirmed. The coalition no longer has any clue who qualifies for the €100 conservation grant and requires the space agency’s help with the calculations. “This is obviously a massive project for us,” said a NASA spokesman yesterday. “We’ve been busy with attempting to land another probe on Mars, but Irish Water dwarfs that in terms of complexity – we could be looking at billions in financial outlay, or roughly equivalent to what Irish Water has spent on consultants”
However, the spokesman denied the agency will also attempt to fi gure out Alan Kelly’s homeless policy. “AK47 is off-limits,” he explained. “We simply don’t have the manpower – we’d have to set up another agency.”
KELLY ‘DISCUSSED HOMELESS CRISIS WITH HOTEL STAFF’
Minister for Doorways and Park Benches Alan Kelly has stringently defended his approach to the country’s homeless crisis, and denies he failed adequately to address the situation while on his summer holidays.
“To say I was ‘hiding’ from the issue is a monstrous fallacy of gigantic proportions”, said the straight talking minister from his mobile phone somewhere last night. “Th ere wasn’t a meal or a drink ordered when I raised the subject with the waiter and other hotel staff .
“I even discussed it with a family of three Americans by the pool and with at least four taxi drivers on the way to the beach.”
Meanwhile, in his latest initiative to resolve the crisis, the minister has guaranteed that “every homeless man, woman and child in this country will receive a warm promise before Christmas that something will be done about this problem, caused by Fianna Fáil policies.”Commenting further, Kelly states, “I absolutely guarantee that. Th e consultants are working on the wording even as we speak. No expense is being spared to ensure it reads well.”
Power finds new way to not get elected
Former Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power has confi rmed she has found a new route to not getting elected. Having already failed to get elected for FF, Power has revealed that she faces rejection as an Independent candidate in Dublin Bay North at the next election.
“Averil Power is an icon for our times,” commented Irish Independent editor Fionnan Sheahan. “We don’t deserve her, but in a selfl ess act of remarkable courage, she has vowed to put her remarkable talents to work for our country.”
Writing in a special 30-page souvenir on her life and times in the Indo, Power said that, “I was torn whether or not to run – but in the end my colossal ego just meant I had to.”
Sinn Féin planning to enslave humanity
Sinn Féin is hatching a diabolical plan to bring about the end of days, it has emerged. Last night we tracked down the party’s spokesman, known only as Legion, to his hideaway lair where he warned of the dark terror to come.
Martin McGuinness contemplates his next move
“The time of purification is at hand,” he commented. “Humanity shall soon kneel before us – there will be no place to hide. We will not rest until all corners of the earth have succumbed to our might.”
The Gardaí refused to be drawn on the party’s plot to imperil the future of mankind, except to say, “It would be inappropriate to comment as investigations are ongoing.”
Meanwhile, it is believed that the UN was last night trying to contact the Avengers.
OPERATION TRANSFORMATION 2015
Meet The (Wannabe) Leaders
Always prepared to jump onto the nearest bandwagon, Eddie is highly motivated and especially keen to shed the entire public service who are draining essential private profits out of the body politic.
The dapper Dublin South TD has always considered himself a political heavyweight, but is still not quite fit for purpose. Intends to keep climbing the greasy pole even more over the coming months.
Something of an early front-runner who is constantly chasing after the nearest camera crew. This former Fine Gael lady has a lot to lose, so even more PR exercises are planned during the year ahead.
(That’s enough Team Leaders – Ed.)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Sir, – On behalf of the entire country, may I be the first to the legendary George Clooney and his beautiful bride Amal Alama- dwun to our shores. Hollywood’s glamorous A-list couple have been extremely busy since they celebrated their marriage last September in Venice in front of a small group of several thousand invited guests. Since then, they have been honeymooning quietly on the front pages of all our lead- ing newspapers, so they will be glad of a short hideaway break in the Cooney ancestral home (23, Main Street Tullahought, Co. Kilkenny) where I would ask fans and the media to fully respect their publicity at all times.
Mike Madeupname Dublin 2
ROYAL FAMILY SCANDAL
Sir, – Recent sensational allegations suggesting my sordid involvement in under-age sex orgies are absolutely unfounded. Such vile facts divert attention from my vital work promoting British interests in European ski resorts and on the world’s leading golf courses. Since I have nothing whatsoever to hide, HM the Queen has just offered me an important new 25-year appointment in the South Atlantic.
Andrew Windsor Falklands
TV3 SOAP OPERA
Sir, – My colleagues and I are having a great laugh in the station when we tune into this new soap opera on UTV. Talk about unrealistic! Shur them lads look like they’ve been savaging it at the gym every week of the year! And off they go solving murders without a sign of a gouger rightly getting a flake across the head on the q.t. in the back room, let alone a bit of a ‘kidney massaging to jog the memory! And there’s no way any of us would try it on with a young wan in the front of the squad with a whole back seat empty! To cap it all, as the new young fellow here noticed, not a bottle of tomato ketchup in sight! We do be nearly choking on our chips so we do!
Garda Seán ‘Hopper’ Ball c/o the station Cuffstown,
Sir, – I was very disappointed with the quality of last night’s soap opera on TV3. The OTT histrionics of the lead character, Vincent Browne, were scarcely credible and he was clearly unable to contain his penchant for scenery-chewing. In addition, his melodramatic showdowns with his panellists were hammy and contrived. I’m surely not alone in thinking TV3 can do much better!
Mick Kindle Waterford
(ANOTHER) NEW POLITICAL PARTY
Sir, – I am sick and tired – sick and tired I tell you– of the sham- bolic excuse for either leadership or political policy as practised by public representatives in this proud but betrayed country. I am now in the process of forming a new political party, in which I intend to ally an all- embracing collective of dedicated, forward-thinking and energetic individuals.
In our commitment towards cre- ating a new political reality opposed to the practice of political cronyism, I vow to re-construct the political landscape on behalf of Irish people of all political, religious and cultural persuas… (The editor reserves the
right to edit any correspondence on the grounds of cliché abuse and the insensitive practice of mantra-mongering – Ed.)
Joe Soap, Ballyvision, Co. Kill Kenny
Sir, – I am a 55-year-old Cork man with a strong interest in politics and, if I may modestly concede, excellent prospects. I am presently seeking about 27 women to join me in an exciting adventure to scale the heights, brave the storm and eventu- ally sail into a new dawn over the coming 15 months.
Some door knocking duties may be required in advance. This golden opportunity is open to all ages. Looks are unimportant but an ability to recall whatever I say, recite it clearly and with conviction and a willingness to stand where one is told is absolutely essential.
Micheál Martini, Cork
Sir, – Following the tragic events in Paris, I hope I am not alone in ex- pressing hope that we do not witness a wave of copycat articles based on the content of last weekend’s news- papers. I would appeal to journalists to show restraint and not emulate the slew of alarmist articles about jihadists in Ireland, which were not just confined to the tabloids but also spread to the Sindo and Sunday Times. We also had to suffer bursts of hot air from Tom McGurk and Oliver Callan in the Business Pest. I sincerely hope these pieces are one-offs and not the start of a frightening new era.
Todd Rundgren-O’Sullivan Mayo
THE IRISH TIMES receives a great many awful letters each day and, thankfully, it is possible to find space for only a small selection. We regret that we can’t publish even fewer of them.
THAT FINE GAEL THINK TANK
ROY KEANE has vowed to quit giving up on things for 2015. Having recently left his assistant manager position at Aston Villa after just four and half months, the Cork man has vowed to cut down on the habit. ‘The idea came from going to see Gone Girl with some of the lads on the Ireland panel before Christmas,’ says the Irish assis- tant manager. ‘It was crap but I stayed until the end. Then I ordered a coffee in a café and even though I didn’t think the barista poured it particularly well, I drank the whole thing. Now I am determined to quit quitting once and for all. I’ll stick with this for as long as I can.’
Former Fine Gael strategist Crank Flannery has said the party’s very existence is threatened unless he is on board for the next general election. Speaking last night, Flannery commented: “Ireland is heading for an apocalyptic abyss if Enda doesn’t utilise my extraordinary political genius. I think it’s time the media focused on my unparalleled strategic brilliance rather than those massive Rehab payments. Oops!” Meanwhile, other possible strategists the Taoiseach has met with include Charles Manson and Robert Mugabe.
EMPTY BED FOUND IN HOSPITAL – INQUIRY DEMANDED
Angry crowds gathered out- side the Ministry of Health last night after it was revealed that a free bed had been dis- covered in one leading Dublin hospital.
The demonstrators handed out leaflets claiming that pa- tients on trolleys had already suffered enough without this latest shock.
“My 90-year-old grandfa- ther has just got used to the busy corridor where he has been for the last five weeks,” said one distraught protestor. “It would just be too great a shock to suddenly move him into a strange bed in an over- crowded hospital ward after all this time.”
Meanwhile, HSE spokesman Mike Madeup appealed for calm and promised an immediate inquiry into the free bed development.“The occasional empty bed is bound to become available once in a while,”said Mr Madeup,“but the public can rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that no patient will be offered a free bed ever again.”
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Try to win 3 majors to be in with a shout of winning the BBC Sports Personality
Learn to be more outgoing
Take acting lessons to become more convincing
Contact Mike Tyson regarding getting career back on track
Game Of Thrones:
Sexually explicit, ultra-violent story of medieval political intrigue. Contains strong language and scenes some viewers may find distressing. Starring Aidan Gillen
Sexually explicit, ultra-violent story of medieval political intrigue. Contains strong language and scenes some viewers may find distressing. Starring Aidan Gillen
CHARLIE STARS Aiden Gillen and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor have said that their roles in the RTÉ drama are the toughest they’ve ever had to play. Both featured in Love/Hate as murderous, treacherous gangland bosses but say those roles were like playing Bosco in comparison with their characters in the new drama. ‘Ah here,’ said Gillen, ‘those roles were easy. Now I am playing a man who was at a different level of evil than Johnboy. Johnboy wouldn’t have lasted a second with Charlie.’ Vaughan-Lawlor, who plays Char- lie’s press secretary, said: ‘There was a lot of duplicity involved, a lot of wheeling and dealing, a lot of back- stabbing. So playing Nidge in Love/Hate served me well in getting into the mind of a government press secretary, yeah. I just had to ham it up a few notches to be convincing as PJ.’
New Drumm Uproar
In a sensational ruling that has sent shockwaves throughout the financial world, a US judge has ruled that the former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm was “not remotely credible” and that his statements to the court were filled with “outright lies”.
Just seven months after Drumm’s Boston bankruptcy trial, the damning 129,000-page ruling concluded that the 48 year- old banker had made statements to the court that were “knowing and fraudulent”.
Close associates of the former banker immediately expressed their surprise at the latest development. “Although I have never met Mr Drumm and know nothing about his dodgy financial affairs,” said one former colleague, “I have great sympathy for him and his millionaire wife at this very difficult time.”
REBOOT IRELAND LATEST
Health experts say Ireland is facing a “catastrophic” population explosion due to the political party being launched by former Fine Gael TD Lucinda Creighton. “The new party’s four founding principles are so in- credibly promising and reassuring for Ireland’s future that people are inevitably going to want to have lots more children,” warns sociologist Raisa Brood. “I already know dozens of pro-life couples who have already started going to bed early. They can’t wait to rear large, happy families but
IRISH INDOBRIENDENT NEW EDITOR HAILS FRESH DIRECTION
As he commences his new role as editor of the Irish Independent, Fionnan Spleen yesterday stated that the paper was about to enter an exciting new era.
“Under the guidance of the supreme leader, his magnificence Denis O’Brien, the Irish Spindo can look forward to a bright future largely based around the same tired old guff,”said Spleen.“As well as acknowledging the vitally important role that filthy rich business tycoons play in our society, we intend to provide a dynamic mix of dull news stories, hackneyed lifestyle features and egotistical columnists.”
Stephen Flay, INM mouthpiece-in-chief, said:“We are delighted to announce the appointment of both Fionnan and Cormac Berk, who succeeds Anne Harass at the Sindo. They are committed to building INM’s reputation as a digital company, as well as boosting their own profiles and egos.
“At INM we put great store in developing our talent across online and print, in addition to making shedloads of money. We intend to grow our market share until there is no other media organisation left globally. Cormac and Fionnan will bring a fresh prospective, and hopefully we will see a sizeable growth in readership – as well as our executives’ bank balances.”