OZONE – 3622
HSE CRISIS WORSENS
AS WINTER weather conditions set in and hospitals come under renewed pressure, a senior health service correspondent has said that the situation is veering out of control due to the increase in HSE crisis stories.
“There simply isn’t room for the huge numbers of stories that are queuing up to get into the paper,” said one exhausted hack. We are being forced to make some very tough choices as to which stories are most at risk – and many of these are elderly and extremely feeble.”
Over recent weeks, there have been harrowing accounts of health crisis stories abandoned in piles on dingy corridor floors outside newsrooms. Eye witnesses have repeatedly spoken of harassed staff suffering nervous breakdowns after failing to get them on to the front pages.
As he left his newspaper’s offices in Talbot Street last night, one junior reporter admitted that he was on the verge of collapse: “After spending 16 hours non-stop working on a HSE crisis report about waiting lists, I’m absolutely shattered,” he said. “Is it any wonder that mistakes are happening every day and our paper is a complete shambles?”
FESTY O’SEMTEX 3622
Remembrance Sunday: BBC One, 10AM – David Dimbleby presents live coverage of commemorations at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. Join her Majesty Mary Lou McDonald, who will lead this year’s service, alongside Lady Liadh Ní Riada of Ballyvourney.
Doing Money: RTÉ One, 9:30PM – One lucky millionaire manages to get his deposit back after a divisive election campaign.
FRANCES FITZGERALD FAVOURITES
- Favourite film: The Great Escape
- Favourite song: Final Countdown, Europe
- Favourite TV show: The Commish
- Favourite food: Gravy train
- Favourite breakfast: Continental
- Favourite number: Cushy
- Favourite fruit: Plum
- Favourite band: The Police
- Favourite football club: Charleton
- Favourite exercise: Walking the plank
NAUGHTEN CLARIFIES DINNER DATES AND RELEASES MINUTES
Embattled former minister Denis Naughten today launched a four-square riposte to his critics (Vlad) who forced his resignation. “I did not have four dinner engagements with David McCourt,” he insisted.
“It was one dinner but spread over four occasions. First we had the starter. That took about three minutes. A week later we had the main course – five minutes. Dessert – a month later – took just five minutes and then the cheese board on the following night, okay that went on for a full 60 minutes.
“So, yes, technically I did eat the full dinner – but I did not partake in the washing up.
“But let me be very clear on this for once and for all, and let there be no doubt about it; on no occasion did Mr McCourt provide me with a doggy-bag as I left.”
“Eureka! O’Neill discovers miracle insomnia cure in Aviva” – Sports 7
I HEAR YOU NAUGHTEN
(Lyrics by L Varadkar. With apologies to Dave Bartholomew)
You went away and left me a short time ago
Now you’re knocking all day upon my door
I hear you Naughten, but you can’t come in
I hear you knocking, go back to Roscommon
I begged you to go and you said goodbye
And now you’re telling me all your lies
I hear you Naughten, but you can’t come in
I hear you knocking, go back to Roscommon oh yeah
You better get back to your used-to-be
‘Cause your kinda Independence ain’t good for me
I hear you Naughten, but you can’t come in
I hear you knocking, go back to Roscommon.
LEINSTER HOUSE LEXICON
• OPPOSITION (common noun) – Body of docile persons who always agree with the government. E.g. “The Fianna Fáil Opposition is totally committed to wholehearted support of Mr Varadkar’s administration on all issues.”
• Leader of the Opposition (insubstantive noun) – Person who is even more in agreement with the government than his colleagues. E.g. “Micheál is a dead loss as Leader of the Opposition.”
MICHAEL D RENTS GAFF SHOCK
- Official staff wing
- “I abhor these awful Dragons and their money-making schemes”
- Other family residences guarded by rabid Bernese mountain dogs
- Garage full of unsold copies of Michael D’s brilliant poetry books
- ATM cashpoint
- “Who says I’m doing nothing to combat homelessness?”
- Miggeldy making passionate speech criticising landlords
SEÁN GALLAGHER’S 60-SECOND PITCH
Since the dawn of time, this great little country on the edge of Europe has punched above its weight, to be or not to be, that is. The question I put to you now is, do you want your old lobbying washed down? Because it’s a grand day for the drying thank God and now is the time for north men, south men, comrades all, to grasp the nettle and make hay while the sun is shining on our 40 shades of green!
I believe passionately in this great island of saints and scholars and will leave no cliché unturned to bring home the bacon.
Because as your president I believe I can fly and, when I hit the ground running, I will be the wind beneath your wings and will be sucking diesel like there is no tomorrow!
And I want you to suck it up too because together we can Foster & Allen across the world, while continuing to build a ‘new Ireland’ for our children and their genetically modified children and their child-cyborg hybrids, in the generations to come.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh.
• Finding Joy — RTÉ One, 9pm: Uplifting sitcom in which an under-fire Montrose producer finds a formula for success: “We’ll just ask Amy if she’s free to do a new series.” Predictable.
THOSE CABINET CHANGES IN FULL
- Minister for gritted teeth: Regina Doherty
- Minister for martyrs: Frances Fitzgerald
- Minister for women’s liberation: Simon Harris
- Minister for Noel Grealish: Joe McHugh
- Minister for optics: Richard Bruton
MY FAVOURITE HALLOWEEN MOVIES
with Donald Clarke
Galway 2020 Horror
A disturbing tale of what happens when a remote Irish town is suddenly chosen to become European Capital of Culture. Something creepy starts when a curious band of accountants take possession of a spine-chilling budget of €46 million. Overnight, they splash out on lavish admin offices and heavy-duty expenses.
The mysterious disappearance of the project’s chief executive is followed by graphic scenes – including the mass slaughter of several Macnas puppets alongside horrified Druid actors.
In an stomach-churning finale, Zombie management experts go on the rampage in Eyre Square, eating up the remaining phantom funds.
The ensuing orgy of boardroom bloodletting causes a further outbreak of serial resignations until Galway is left as a post-apocalyptic cultural wilderness.
Night of the Brexit Backstop
Trouble starts when a group of mutant DUP politicians go over to the dark side and form an unholy alliance with fellow cult members in a haunted house in Westminster.
Led by Arlene and Nigel, they spend their waking hours opposing the Brexit proposals by trying to bury them alive. Truly horrific.
(That’s enough scary movies – Ed.)
NÓIRÍN O’SULLIVAN – AN APOLOGY
Some readers may have, in the now distant past, taken inference from reports in this, and indeed all, newspapers that we considered former Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to be a person of suspect character.
Headlines such as ‘Nóirín O’Shady’, ‘Cop yourself on Nóirín and GO!!!’ and ‘Can anyone ever believe a single word that comes out of this woman’s mouth?’ could have given the impression that we harboured some doubts about the commissioner.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Thankfully the findings of Mr Justice Charleton have confirmed what we suspected all along, namely that Nóirín O’Sullivan is and always has been a paragon of courage and truth; a kind, generous, warm-hearted individual and a beacon of hope for us all.
We hope this clarifies our position and we wish Ms O’Sullivan the very best in her future employments, unless we hear something about her that we can blame her for.
If the proposed 37th Amendment to the Constitution is passed, the following statements will no longer be considered blasphemous:
- There are better sports than hurling
- Amy Huberman wouldn’t be my cup of tea
- No I haven’t watched the ‘Handmaid’s Tale’
- Brendan O’Connor is a bit annoying, isn’t he?
- I just don’t get the Rubberbandits
LABOUR PARTY RECRUITING – LABOUR WANTS YOU!
Following a number of recent vacancies and a report by the Labour Innovation, Management and Performance (LIMP) group, we are now inviting applicants for roles at all levels of the party. But especially at the top.
Desirable attributes include:
- Endless optimism
- Strong faith in the power of prayer (and in miracles)
- Some knowledge of fine wines
- Any kind of an idea at all, at all
- Even a few jokes to brighten the place up, for god’s sake!
- Not be Alan Kelly
- Neck like a jockey’s bollocks
Note: This is a fast-track opportunity and maybe promoted to leadership of the party by next Saturday. Apply in writing to LIMP, Dire Street, Ballyragged, County Clareoff.
MCGREGOR: ‘TURN AWAY FROM VIOLENCE’
IN HIS first public comment since being mauled by Russian fighter ‘Doner’ Kebab Nurmagomedov, former UFC champion Conor McGregor says the world should “follow my example and abandon the use of violence” to resolve conflict.
“I am a massive believer in the power of passive resistance, as my most recent encounter with my angry antagonist clearly demonstrated,” says the bearded Dubliner.
The multimillionaire whiskey seller says his tactics “clearly worked because, when realising I would not stoop to his level and fight back, the aggressor ran away and tried to find someone who would respond to his primitive inclinations. This is why my idol, Ghandi, was such a great fighter.”
The former champion says he also prayed for his attacker. “You can clearly see my lips reciting a decade of the Rosary as he was about to strangle me.”
That Halloween bonfire in full
• We Need to Talk about Kevin — RTÉ 2: 7PM — Unsettling thriller in which a hapless executive assistant finds himself targeted in the middle of an election. Some great car chase scenes.
CALL THE DOCTOR
An occasional series in which resident Doctor Leo answers readers’ concerns
During a routine examination it was discovered that I have been sitting on a rather large lump sum for several years. I should have kept an eye on it as there is no accounting for why it is there or even whether it is a benign or malignant discovery.
As you can imagine it is very uncomfortable for me and I’m told if it persists I may end up without a leg to stand on. Can you save my arse?
Yours with concern,
It does sound like the kind of thing that badly needs to be cut out.
In the meantime, my advice to you is to continue working as if nothing has happened, but at all times adopt a ‘sit tight’ position while keeping your head down
Hopefully this will help to ease the pressure and it will all fade away. Works for me every time.
BORIS JOHNSON’S BREXIT PLAN
- Theresa May has to go
- Tell Johnny Foreigner to go whistle
- Adopt Canadian model… phwoar!
- Is Putin really that bad?
- The sun never set on the British Empire (because the blood never dried)
- Does anyone have Jacinda Ardern’s number?
PADDY LEADS HIS PEOPLE TO THE CUL-DE-SAC
And lo at that time there came amongst the people a bestubbled man known as Blessed Paddy of Cosgrave who didth vow to save their streets and put roofs over their heads. And there was great joy and much dancing and clapping of hands amongst the poor and the homeless for all knew he promised great happiness in all his doings.
And the people followed him on foot and on Twittereth and even by Instagrammon, and great hope filled their hearts – especially when Paddy preached “woe to the Kingdom of Montrose who spreadeth fake news that these wretched people are thieves and robbers or something like that anyway.”
But soon a voice revealed that Paddy didth not scorn King Leo for his treachery when he didth speak to him on Mount MoneyConf. And the people saw Paddy was not a lion but a kitten. And with much gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands they returned to their rooms at the inn and their doorways and a great weeping was heard throughout the land. And all said never would they bow to Paddy of Cosgrave again. Ever.
JP MCMANUS FAVOURITES
Favourite film: Eurotrip
Favourite song: Taxman, The Beatles
Favourite TV show: Home and Away
Favourite GAA team: The Exiles
Favourite herb: Basel
Favourite cheese: Swiss
Favourite chocolate: Toblerone
Favourite accessory: Deep pockets
Favourite exercise: Splash the cash
EXCLUSIVE! – EXTRACTS FROM JOSEPHA MADIGAN’S SENSATIONAL NEW NOVEL
Gorgeous, sassy Jemima Madrigal, the country’s stunningly beautiful culture minister, positioned herself pertly as the sleek, top-of-the-range Lexus made its way along the leafy suburbs of Cosgrave Avenue. Glancing briefly at the temporary halting site, she grimaced, wondering why such unkempt scenes were necessary at a time when Ireland’s economy was booming.
A tiny translucent tear trickled down the exquisite peach-skin purity of Jemima’s perfectly formed cheeks. How on earth did these people ever expect to get anywhere if they chose to remain living in halting sites?
After all, there was no secret about her own meteoric career as a highly successful solicitor before being elected to the Dáil in 2016. It was simply a matter of hard work, extraordinary talent and all-round brilliance.
Yet Jemima had only just begun to make her iconic mark on the glittering world of Fine Gael politics. Nothing was beyond her – an expert on all things artistic, Irish law, adoption, the Catholic Church, constant media appearances – and now there was her seminal novel about an alluring government minister who was destined to go right to the top.
No wonder she had bonded so well with the current taoiseach. Oh, yes, there was so much more to Leo than his beaming smile and tanned, finely chiselled features.
Jemima always shuddered to hear his critics’ cruel comments. “Vlad’s nothing but a ruthless opportunist,” they said. “He’ll do anything to stay in the public eye.”
There was only one possible response from Jemima. “I know – that’s exactly why we’re so well suited.”
Ireland’s most expensive school crest
SWISS TO GET ALL-IRELAND INVITE
A LITTLE ALP FROM HIS FRIENDS: Supporters of the Swiss resident are known to frequently blow his trumpet
Gaelic games supporters across Ireland were last night urging GAA President John Horan to issue a formal thank you to the Swiss tax authorities after a donation of €100,000 was made by a Swiss resident to every county board in Ireland.
“Fair play to the Swiss,” said a club treasurer in Kilkenny. “If the man had been paying his taxes here like the rest of us, that money could have been whittled away in some new children’s crèche or something.”
A club secretary in Limerick added: “The Swiss have been brilliant for Gaelic games here. The GAA hierarchy must invite their top tax official to throw in the ball at next year’s All-Ireland finals as a sign of respect and appreciation.”
THOSE GARDA REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS
Technology: 12,000 new pencil sharpeners to be purchased
Diversity: Doesn’t always have to be salt, vinegar and ketchup on the snack box
Traffic: Always allow room for a pushchair between the squad car and the wall when parked on the kerb
Listening to victims: Be sure to take careful note of what he remembers if he threatens to sue us
Communications: Sergeant’s door to be left ajar at all times
Solving crimes: We’re going to re-open all those cold cases so one of the lads will give you a shout when he comes in on Tuesday
ULSTER LEXICON UPDATE
FOSTER verb. (From the Ulster Scots.) To promote or look after oneself at all costs as an absolute priority. E.g. “Arlene did everything in her power to foster her own interests at the RHI Inquiry.”
SPAV noun. A wide boy, Jack-the-lad. Slick operator who makes a living from underhand activity that benefits his relations. E.g. “The DUP employed a right bunch of spavs to run the cash-for-ash scheme.”
BRADLEY adverb. In a desperate manner designed to convey the impression that all is going well when one is presiding over a disaster. E.g. “The Secretary of State is bradley in need of an Irish history lesson.”
‘DESPERATE WOMAN’ TRIED TO ENTER ÁRAS
By Dee Nied
Gardaí say they were “shocked and alarmed” at the efforts of a lone female who tried unsuccessfully to get into the president’s office at Áras an Uachtaráin.
Observers say the woman – known as ‘Gemma’ – seemed “very, very desperate” to get into the building. “The poor thing was running about the place for weeks pleading for help to give her a leg up”, said one eye-witness.
“She had this intense look in her eyes and kept saying how everyone who disagrees with her is corrupt,” said another. “She may have looked pathetic but could have been very worrying if she had got in.”
One garda recalled that a Northern Ireland woman who gained access to the presidential suites some years ago was recently seen “annoying the hell out of the Pope”.
BLASPHEMY REFERENDUM – THOSE SCRAPPED QUESTIONS
Do you wish to remove the phrase, “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” from article 40 of the Irish Constitution?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Do you wish to remove Roy Keane and prohibit him from constantly bollocking all those lazy fucking players?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Is Leo Varadkar an exceptionally trendy taoiseach or a reallyexcellent taoiseach?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
(That’s enough blasphemy – Ed)
ECB WARNS IRELAND EXPOSED TO CRASH FILLER
By All Financial Hacks,
There was a renewed outpouring of lengthy articles this week marking the 10th anniversary of the crash as economic experts struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was all very old news.
Day after day, newspaper front pages were filled with hundreds of long-winded headlines entitled “The Crash: 10 Years On” and “Ireland Exposed To Another Crash – ECB Warning”.
Said one delighted editor, “For the past year, we’ve been filling up space with depressing pieces about the Brexit negotiations and the housing crisis, but the latest credit crisis anniversary stories and the possibility of a renewed financial crash have changed everything, giving desperate media outlets a reason to be really positive about the future.
“At long last we have something new with which to fill our dire papers over the coming weeks. Fingers crossed, we can get at least another month or so out of this 10-year anniversary of the tragic crash story.”
On Other Pages
- The night fear and loathing gripped RTÉ – Dave Murphy p3
- Why oh why are these greedy bankers so awful? – Fintan Tool p4
- Arghh! It’s about to happen again – Cliff ‘Edge’Taylor p5
PLUS: Stats, charts, scare-mongering, stock exchange pics etc.
Michael D to appear on Dragons’ Den
President Michael D has announced he will be making a surprise appearance on Dragons’ Den during the presidential election campaign.
The president is rumoured to have a sure-fire, seven-year business idea to put to dragons Gavin Pompuss and Peter Who-he.
He will say he has already trademarked the brand name Twee and has arranged temporary premises in the Phoenix Park Business Estate at Áras House. He estimates that brand Twee will generate an income of €1.75m over the seven years of his business plan.
He says he plans to retire after the seven-year stint, but the judges are unlikely to be convinced about this. However, all three judges have intimated that that they will compete with one another for a slice of the action.
Meanwhile, presidential hopeful (surely “hopeless”– Ed) Seán Gallagher is promising to provide everyone in the country with the opportunity to have their photo taken with him if he is elected president. A professional photographer will take the pics, so it will be a “Seánie” rather than a “selfie” he joked.
Gallagher has promised to deliver the photograph personally to every household.
“The specially framed photograph will be cherished forever by its owner, their partner of either sex, their extended families and their friends – including those who self-identify as LGBT, OAP or FF,” he promised.