VARADKAR GETS TOUGH WITH MERKEL
By Phil Frontpage
IN A move that has already sent shock waves through Europe and the UK, Leo Varadkar has pledged that he will devote all his time and energy into doing everything that Chancellor Merkel tells him.
Speaking to reporters in Dublin after meeting Mrs Merkel yesterday, the Taoiseach said that the two leaders had exchanged “frank and forthright” views about the continuing Brexit impasse.
“Angela reminded me of the Irish Government’s appalling course of inaction in failing to make any preparations for managing the border in the event of a ‘no deal’ outcome,” he continued, “and I fully agreed with her in the toughest terms possible that it was right and proper (And high time!_Ed) that I did something useful.”
Looking shifty and ashen-faced, Mr Varadkar added: “Let me make it crystal clear that I would have come up with this tough-talking initiative even if Mrs Merkel had not insisted that I do so – which surely shows the UK Government that Ireland really means business this time.”
When asked whether there would be any checkpoints manned by customs officers and British soldiers along the border, Vlad replied, “I wouldn’t know anything about things like that – you’ll have to ask Mrs Merkel.”
UK ON BRINK OF EDGE OF PRECIPICE
by Our Political Staff Cliff Edge
THE ENTIRE world held its breath last night as the British Government teetered on the verge of the Brexit endgame. Following months of political uncertainty and bitter in-fighting, the Westminster Parliament has finally reached the make-or-break point in what has been a long and torturous road.
It also emerged last night that the UK was facing a new crisis – an enormous shortage of metaphors to describe the county’s increasingly volatile situation.
“We are now at the critical stage when we really have used up everything,” said one anxious headline-writer.
“We’ve repeatedly done ‘the ball is in their court’, ‘crashing out without a deal’ and ‘at the end of the road’. We’ve also done ‘eleventh hour’, ‘final curtain’ and ‘the last chance saloon’ hundreds of times. We simply cannot carry on like this any longer – particularly as we currently find ourselves drifting into unchartered waters.”
THOSE RTÉ CELEBRITY GLOBETROTTERS
TORY LEADERSHIP LEXICON
BORIS (noun) upper-class buffoon; slobbering idiot; statesman-like figure capable of occupying the highest political office. Example: “Cripes! Seems like all the others are so awful, there’s a real chance that the next PM could be a real Boris.”
LEADSOM (adjective) repugnant; vile; obnoxious; detestable; unbearable. Example: “Everyone agrees that Andrea is completely leadsom – obviously the ideal front-runner to take over from Mrs May.”
HUNT (noun) derogatory slang term used to denote a treacherous person who will use every underhand method to pursue self-advancement. Often used as a compound phrase. Example: “Absolute Hunt”, “Total Hunt” or, worst of all, “Jeremy Hunt”.
JOHN DELANEY – AN APPRECIATION
So farewell soon,
a man who rose
A self important egotist,
with hardly a saving grace
You bought us drinks, but now it’s time
to induct you into the Fall from Fame.
It’s double yellow,
And give us back
JOHN DELANEY’S GAFF IN FULL
FAI SEEKS CEO
Due to a recent human resource adjustment, we are now accepting applications for the CEO poser (‘Post,’ surely_Ed).
This is a high profile, deeply challenging position, demanding exceptional flexibility and the skills to respond to a crisis even worse than the previous one for as often as it takes.
The successful candidate will be proficient in the preparation of press releases and adept in the practice of issuing injunctions.
An understanding of the game of football would be deemed advantageous.
Ideally applicants will also be expected to have:
- Ready access to a solicitor at all times
- A spare pair of shoes
- A half-decent singing voice
- No banners
- A neck like a jockey’s b***ox
Send cv to: firstname.lastname@example.org/fai/jawn
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
|TENNIS BALL||JOHN DELANEY|
|Completely hollow||Completely hollow|
|Appears on court||Appeared in court|
|Associated with rackets||Always causing a racket|
|Bouncy||Bounced around the FAI|
|Full of air||Full of hot air|
|Takes flight easily||Will never take flight from Abbotstown|
|Engineered to reduce drag||Enormous drag on Irish soccer|
|Fuzzy texture||Fuzzy about bridging loan|
STAR PRAISED FOR CHARITABLE GESTURE
Charity organisations across Ireland were fulsome in their praise for broadcaster Gráinne Seoige last night, as news emerged that the well-known presenter had given shelter to a man with no home of his own for several years.
The man, known simply as ‘John D’, or ‘Waterford John’, in order not to protect his identity, would often travel the roads of Ireland by day, but would return to the kindly Galwegian’s house at night to recuperate from his travels.
“Not many would put him up or put up with him”, said one impressed man buying tennis balls in Wicklow. “The unfortunate man was down to his last €360,000 –anyone would have done the same for him,” a blushing Ms. Seoige said modestly.
Meanwhile, in a shock move, retired MMA star Conor McGregor says he has his sights set on assuming John Delaney’s vacated CEO role within the FAI. “Guilty as charged -yet again!” admitted the bearded battler yesterday when asked if the position interested him.
“Switching from MMA to FAI It would be next step up in my fighting career”, says the bearded battler. “I’ve watched John with envy for years as he wrestled gamely with very difficult figures. And it’s a chance to finally bring home some proper money.”
HOWLIN BACKS CLOCK CHANGE
LABOUR leader Brendan Howlin has welcomed the decision by the European Parliament to phase out daylight savings time.
The Wexford TD claimed that not only would it be good for the economy but it could also boost his ailing organisation.
“We in the Labour Party have been trying to turn the clock back for the last eight years but to no avail. No matter what we do we always seem to be going backwards under my leadership,” he said.
But the suggestion was immediately shot down by Alan ‘AK47’ Kelly who branded the scheme as nonsense.
“I’m not a big fan of clocks to be honest. I much prefer timers. Preferably ones that are ticking down or even running out on someone. I have a feeling time will run out on Brendan in late May,” the Tipperary politician bellowed.
DIGGER STOLEN USING ATM MACHINE
by our security correspondent Lotta Cashe
A digger was stolen in County Fermanagh in the early hours of yesterday.
In a statement following the incident, a spokesperson for the PENIS NI said:- “The thieves used an ATM machine, stolen earlier in the day, to access the digger that was parked on a building site beside a filling-your-pockets station, causing extensive damage to the building. We believe the culprits threw the ATM machine at the gate in order to gain access.”
Asked why the thieves did not simply run off with the ATM machine full of cash, the spokesperson said that, following Brexit, the cash would have practically no value at all. The digger on the other hand could be used to remove hard borders.
LOAN DEALS AGREED FOR KASH AND DIMONI
by our soccer correspondent Dennis Balls
Although not qualified to play for Ireland as yet, in demand strikers Grabdi Kash and Boro deMoni have joined two Irish outfits on loan, according to their agent Jon DeLayni.
Kash has joined Abbots Town on a short-term two month deal while diMoni has hooked up with JMPHE Waterford for an as yet unspecified period.
The fees are reported to be €100k and roughly €225k respectively.
Their previous manager at Stamford Bridging Loan, Inje Unction said he had no comment to make about the deals.
O’DONOGHUE REVELLING IN FREEDOM UNDER MICK
CLASH OF HEADS: Tony after one of his post-match chats with Martin O’Neill
IRELAND regular Tony O’Donoghue says he is “relishing” a new-found freedom in his role since Mick McCarthy returned to the reins of the national side.
The veteran performer concedes he felt “quite restricted” under former boss Martin O’Neill who, he reveals, “didn’t want to play ball at all” on occasions.
“Martin never liked me putting in a challenge” says the much-travelled journeyman. “I’d be waiting for the rollicking or even a cuff around the ear after every game. But Mick lets me express myself as I please. He even encourages me to dribble.”
PLAYERS HAIL ‘INSPIRING’ JOHN DELANEY
By Owen Goal
League of Ireland footballers have hailed the news that FAI guru John Delaney gave a bridging loan to the organisation when it was experiencing cash-flow difficulties in 2017.
The Waterford Native – who it was recently revealed had received €160,000 as a member of the UEFA executive, complementing his €360,000 FAI salary – was described as “an inspirational example to us all”.
Said one goal-hungry striker, “I was beginning to panic that I hadn’t scored for 12 games. But John is living proof that, if you hang in there, even when times are tough and people are slating you as clueless and not contributing, you can come back and prove them all wrong.”
One Irish player said that the loan really shows the “calibre of the man”.
“He’s not just generous; he’s also a modern, forward-thinking chief executive. You only have to look at our friendly extravaganzas against the likes of Oman to see that. The man has his finger on the pulse.”
The FAI has strenuously denied that the €100,000 loan was used to pay off prawn sandwich-related debt.
BILLY KELLEHER FAVOURITES
Favourite film: Narrow Margin
Favourite song: Ain’t That a Kick in the Head
Favourite TV show: Malcolm in the Middle
Favourite hobby: Counting chickens
Favourite food: Hard cheese
Favourite exercise: Pulling rugs
Favourite detective: Shaft
Favourite colour: Rebuff
Favourite feast day: Assumption
Favourite body part: Cold shoulder
TAKE THE KAREN BRADLEY TEST
Could your child be the next Northern Ireland secretary? Take this short, simple test to find out if he/she has what it takes to be the next Karen Bradley?
Does your child:
- Think Dublin is in Wales?
- Stare blankly into space when talking to you?
- Prefer to walk backwards?
- Round off the day with breakfast?
- Think the queen is the president of Ireland?
- Cry when a murderer is jailed in crime programmes?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, congratulations! You should contact your nearest Conservative party branch immediately, where a pivotal posting to Northern Ireland or a place on a Brexit negotiating team awaits!
- Fertility Shock – RTÉ One, 9.35pm: Journalist Dearbhail McDonald investigates why so many people at INM are being frozen out and why others at the company continue to act like babies.
- Celebrity Globetrotters – RTÉ One, 8.30pm: In this week’s episode, MMA phenomenon Conor McGregor heads to the sunshine state of Florida for a meet and greet with some of his loyal fans.
- Grow, Cook, Eat – RTÉ One, 8.30pm: British PM Theresa May tries to find out why the deal she spent so much time cooking up has proven to be so unpalatable to everyone who has sampled it.
LEO BACKS ISIS RECRUIT
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has supported the return of the Irish woman detained in Syria on suspicion of links with Islamic State.
“I’ve been advised that there’s no security risk whatsoever – seeing as this unfortunate woman was a serving member of the Irish Defence Forces, so she could not possibly have access to any worthwhile intelligence whatsoever,” Varadkar said.
ENTIRE TORY PARTY IN LEADERSHIP BID
Our Political Staff Philipa Page
THERE was no surprise in Westminster yesterday when it became clear that all 308 Tory MPs had thrown their hats in the ring to succeed Theresa May as prime minister.
With confusion mounting over the UK’s disorderly Brexit strategy, the Snoresbury North MP, Mike Dullman, of whom no one has heard, said: “How anyone could have thought that Mrs May should ever have been chosen for the job is beyond belief. She has been allowed to lead a truly shambolic government for the past three years while many of us on the back benches have been completely overlooked – simply because of our lamentable shortcomings.”
When questioned about his many speeches in support of the prime minister’s “inspirational leadership”, Mr Dullman insisted that these had all been taken out of context.
“I have always wanted the Conservative Party to follow in the footsteps of such true humanitarians as the late great Enoch Powell and Mrs Thatcher,” he responded, “which is why I believe that it is surely my turn to be PM, so that I can sort out this awful mess we’ve caused. After all, I am every bit as incompetent as any of my Tory colleagues.”
VLAD AND MARY LOU ON THIN ICE
Leo Varadkar and Mary Lou McDonald are in serious danger of being voted off top tv show Dancing on Thin Ice.
“The dancing duo have dialed up their dalliance ever since Vlad had a falling out with his main dance partner, Meehawl,” according to Vlad’s spokesperson PR Guffe, “Strictly speaking, Vlad did not have confidence that the supply of an appropriate new partner would be forthcoming from the FF Dance School so he took a chance with Mary Lou instead.”
After an initial frosty relationship, Mary Lou’s hot performance in the Dance of the Dáil melted Vlad’s heart and made them the shock sensation of the show within a few weeks. Vlad’s steady grip on the media is believed to have had a stabilising influence on the shiny Shinner ever since she experienced a couple of early spills, while attempting a leading role in The Coalition Carry Lift. (Is that a lift without a rotating taoiseach? – Ed)
But after a number of titanic struggles on the ice and “a failure to resolve differences in their orientation”, the couple’s reputation has begun to sink rapidly and it looks like only a matter of time before the ice cracks.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE 3706
|KEITH FLINT||THERESA MAY|
|Famous for Firestarter||Famous for firefighting|
|Prodigy frontman||Brexit straw woman|
|Achieved mainstream success||Achieved nothing|
|Critically acclaimed||Critics claim she needs to go|
|Hardcore breakbeater||Irritates hardcore Brexiteers|
|Crazy make-up||Makes it up as she goes along|
|Energetic and charismatic||Lethargic and charmless|
|Originally a dancer||Always out of step|
NEW BREXIT OPTIONS REVEALED
Theresa Brexit: Everyone in UK rushes over to Europe and then rushes back again to argue amongst themselves before rushing back over again and then back to…
Boris Brexit: Kind of Brexit where everyone in the UK leaves the real world entirely, while simultaneously going nowhere.
Bollocks Brexit: The attorney general’s Brexit – an extension of the present one – often mistaken for Boris.
Rees-Moggish Brexit: Britain abandons the present and goes back to the 18th century instead.
DUP Brexit: A second referendum in which everyone says NO!!! to staying in the EU and also leaving it and to any other fancy ideas anyone else might have!
Micheál Martin Brexit: Britain disowns the EU while fully supporting it.
ATROCITY INTERNATIONAL VICTIMS OF THE WEEK
Now that that one former British paratrooper is to be charged in connection with the deaths of civilians on Bloody Sunday in January 1972, it is of some comfort that the UK Secretary for Defence has acknowledged the courage of all the soldiers involved in the killing of 13 people on that day.
Earlier official inquiries have already found these unarmed protestors guilty of blatantly and recklessly walking on public streets in Derry in broad daylight.
Faced with such outrageous provocation, is it any wonder that the British Army’s Parachute Regiment responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons – and that at least 21 soldiers discharged 108 live rounds in self-defence?
It is now time for the rest of us to do everything we can to give legal and pastoral support to all the serving and former personnel of the British forces who cannot live in constant fear of prosecution.
Join the campaign to support these brave peacekeepers, who are still being cruelly vilified by oppressive relatives of the deceased. Surely these soldiers have suffered enough already by being let off scot free.
EU DROPS BACKSTOP
The world of parliamentary farce was rocked with laughter yesterday when the EU unilaterally announced that it was dropping the backstop. “Yes,” said EU spokesperson Johann Bach-Stoppe. “We are replacing the word backstop with the word frontfoot. Other than that, nothing else will change”.
Welcoming this bold new initiative, UK PM Theresa May said that parliament will vote twice on a motion to accept it and she expects two entirely different results within minutes of each other – after which she intends to fly immediately to Brussels hoping to meet anybody who will agree to speak to her.
LEO VARADKAR WHITE HOUSE FAVOURITES
Favourite film: Yes Man
Favourite song: Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
Favourite TV show: The Apprentice
Favourite animal: Fawn
Favourite food: Treacle
Favourite insect: Sycophant
Favourite town: Blarney
Favourite exercise: Bowing and scraping
Favourite dog: Poodle
Favourite fabric: Flannel
ISRAEL RESPONDS TO BOYCOTT CALLS
It is with great regret that we see our Irish friends sniping at us as we soldier on with hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.
These boycott calls that have exploded on the scene have been levelled at Israel unjustifiably. Allegations about our alleged treatment of our Palestinian neighbours have been blown up out of all proportion and continue unjustifiably to occupy news headlines without a tack of truth.
Arrest assured that these cheap shots are not gunner trigger any changes in our efforts as we march on, expelling any doubts and evicting any scepticism around our ability to capture the world’s attention with an all-conquering Eurovision.
This is now within our sights and our ‘Pals’ should retreat from advancing any further assault and take their bullet points with them!
Hopefully, before it is too late, they will reach a settlement with their consciences and hunker down to watch the show.
Israeli TV for Victory
BREXIT REMINDS ME OF CHILDHOOD
By Una Mullawful
For me, the Brexit turmoil brings back the awful memories of my harrowing childhood in the republican ghetto of south Dublin.
Virtually all aspects of my life were caught up in showing support for ‘the cause’. Nowhere was this more evident than in school.
Each subject in the educational curriculum was geared towards placating the rabid republicans who populated the student population.
Home economics consisted of knitting balaclavas for the volunteers. Art class meant painting walls with murals of Gerry Adams. Geography lessons meant burning books that contained partitionist maps.
Anyone who expressed preference for Eastenders over Glenroe faced ridicule and aggression. I myself was ostracised by my contemporaries for expressing an interest in Doctor Who.
I dreamed of one day escaping this stifling mental torture and joining those who appreciated the superior culture of our neighbouring island. Luckily, I’ve found refuge at the Irish Times.
My only hope going forward is that the younger generation won’t suffer the same discrimination I have. Guest columns in the Guardian and regular media appearances are just a fraction of the cross I have had to bear.
U.S. WEATHERS STORM CONOR
Americans were “following every precaution and remaining behind closed doors” last night as the threat of Storm Conor continued to hang over the country.
The latest trail of destruction saw one man have his mobile phone swept from his grasp and smashed on the ground by what the nation is calling “the most notorious accumulation of hot air our country has ever seen”.
Last year, Conor swept through New York, leaving a trail of destruction, including some severely smashed windows in an underground car park.
“It’s a total freak show man,” said one gentleman huddled in the rear of his locked garage in San Francisco. “Conor may be 3,000 miles away at the moment in Florida, but Ireland was 3,000 miles away too and within hours all hell broke loose. Wind has incredible power!”
SUPERSTAR PROTOCOL: NO. 15
WHAT YOU NOW CAN’T SAY ABOUT HOZIER:
- I found Take Me to Church a tad self-indulgent actually
- He isn’t exactly prolific with his one album every five bloody years, is he?
- Given how much he cares about the homeless, what’s he doing swanning around America?
- Bet he ends up like Bono, lecturing us all
WHAT YOU CAN SAY:
- The great thing is he is so down to earth
- My cousin brushed off him accidentally and her cough was cured instantly
- He’s the exact opposite of Donald Trump
- He actually ‘gets’ what being a woman is really about
That Climate March in full
MCCARTHY: PLAYERS KNOW THE SCORE
Republic of Ireland gaffer Mick McCarthy says he is confident that his players know exactly what they have to do as he approaches the opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.
With no room for friendlies and training limited to just a few sessions, many fans feared the squad would struggle to take on board the new manager’s message.
“Nay, mo accen’ assen bin a problum ferdy lads adawl,” reassured the former Barnsley defender yesterday. “Dayno waddeye wandfrumdem. Um ‘andy wi’ me ‘and signals, me. Ah lurned dat frum Roy longtimeago.”
MESSI SCOOPS FAI AWARD
Lionel Messi has been named Irish Player of the Year by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). The Barcelona ace said he was “absolutely thrilled” with the honour but also slightly confused, having never donned the green jersey in his career.
An FAI spokesperson said the decision to award the Argentina captain was part of a new policy of recognising foreign talent.
“We already named Declan Rice Young Irish Player of the Year last week and sure he’s a Tan. And because we’re not producing much in the way of talent these days, we thought we might as well recognise the achievements of a genuine superstar. Class is class.”
THE ANDRÉ PREVIN I NEVER KNEW
By Phil Space
Unlike everyone else paying tribute to the great composer and conductor on this very sad weekend, I will never remember the moment when I met André Previn. The intense feeling of excitement when he walked onto a stage was something I never experienced.
Indeed, it’s all the more difficult to encapsulate the qualities of such a musical icon in mere words on a page – particularly when you’ve never known him. It seems inadequate to rely on André’s Wikipedia page, which is filled with the usual details of his meteoric fame in a glittering career that spanned film scores, classical and jazz.
Of course, many of Previn’s beautiful ex-wives – including the actress Mia Farrow – have paid their own tributes, describing André as an “incomparable husband” and “one of a kind”.
Although countless tributes have flooded in from the showbiz world about Previn’s legendary appearance on the Morecambe and Wise Show, the fact that I have no recollection of ever seeing this hilarious comedy sketch only adds to my inconsolable grief.
SHOCK NEW VATICAN EXPOSÉ!
THE Catholic Church has been rocked by new revelations that a religious sub-culture may exist at the Vatican. According to reports, there is a shadowy circle in the Church hierarchy who openly say Mass and engage in intense prayer sessions for hours at a time.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of back-scratching and self-congratulatory orgies,” says a Vatican insider, “particularly when discussing the Pope’s public appearances. But recently a group of us took a break from organising nightclub meet-ups on Grindr and came across a couple of priests casually talking about clerical matters.”
Meanwhile, following Pope Francis’s suggestion that feminism is “machismo with a skirt”, the Vatican have angrily dismissed claims of a sexist outlook. “I am totally progressive,” said one outraged priest. “I was just saying so to my housekeeper the other night whilst we were discussing child maintenance payments.”
“Brexit deadline extended to 2092” – Page 7
THAT ST PATRICK’S PARADE
1st Driverless Caravan
Peter Casey, Liam Neeson, Ivan Yates, taxi drivers and assorted populist pundits
3rd Ecumenical Bandwagon
Mr Fintan Tool, Mrs Mary McAleese, Ms Mary Robinson and Ms Sharia O’Connor
4th-Rate Stretch Limousine
Lifesize cardboard cut-out figures of 32 smirking government ministers currently abroad on urgent business in various exotic hot-spots
(That’s enough parade. Ed.)
MINISTERS BUSY EN ROUTE TO ST PATRICK’S DAY POSTINGS
MORE MONEY FOR DRAIN PROJECT
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has pledged that additional investments will continue in a number of essential national projects, including the country’s largest drain. Speaking on Newstalk radio this morning, Mr Varadkar admitted that government agents had made “scandalous” mistakes in estimating the costs of the National Drain, which is situated in Dublin on the controversial St James’s site.
“Despite the initial miscalculations about expenditure,” said Mr Varadkar, “this vital facility fully deserves an extra €2 billion top-up boost in tribute to its inexhaustible capacity for absorbing huge sums of public money.”
The taoiseach also outlined proposals for future investment in the national broadband plan.
“Leading drain experts have advised us that the country needs to make substantial sums of money available to roll out a world-class broadband infrastructure,” continued Vlad. “This exciting project will involve a private-public partnership with costs spread over the next 50 years at least.”
REFERENDUM ON THE UNITED KINGDOM’S MEMBERSHIP OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Should the UK remain a member of the EU?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Are you absolutely sure, seeing as the earlier referendum was such a total fiasco?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Should the UK adapt the Norway option, allowing everyone to live in Norway, where people are much better off?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Should UK voters adapt the Canada-plus plan to finally escape the utter boredom of Brexit by moving to Canada?
YES [ ] NO [ ]
Should Mrs Mayhem drive off a cliff and set new date for third referendum?
YES [ ] NO [ ]