This week, Dr Simon Harris examines a contagious condition affecting the nursing profession
As a doctor I am often asked, ‘Why are those nurses outside walking up and down with placards and is there any cure?’
The unfortunate creatures are suffering from what is medically known as awaywiththefairies. It attacks the brain, causing crazy ideas, delusions and a belief that money can cure things.
It is mostly found amongst what we call the ‘working classes’ and may be caused by over-exertion of the sweat glands and poor sleeping patterns – but I find that hard to believe from my intense studies, conducted while waiting for my driver to bring the car round.
The best advice is to wash my hands of it and ensure it doesn’t spread to my career prospects.
IRISH RADICALS ‘MET IN KILDARE STREET’
There was shocked international reaction last night after it emerged that a group of Irish extremists have been living openly on Kildare Street in Dublin for the past number of years.
According to a source close to the shady Fine Gael group, the organisation’s leadership – consisting of Vlad Al Varadkar and Simon bin Coveney – have fantasised openly about imposing their crazed ideology on the Irish public and remaining in power for years on end.
“Their followers have been completely brainwashed,” said the source. “They all blindly support Varadkar and worship PR opportunities. Anyone who steps out of line is stabbed in the back and unceremoniously thrown under a bus.”
Further underlining the cult of personality surrounding the leader, he last week enjoyed a lavish 40th birthday party, at which sundry followers were invited to praise his incredible achievements and pretend the health and housing crises don’t exist.
BREXIT LEXICON UPDATE
DODDS noun. Fearful deep-rooted suspicion of any change. (Ulster-Scots origin.) E.g. “Nigel keeps repeating the same old tissue of dodds.”
PLAN B noun. Aspirational promise to achieve something – anything – after everything else fails miserably. E.g. “Mrs May is intent on using Plan B in a further attempt to cling on to power.”
OTOOLE verb. to experience a deep sense of boredom after reading long-winded newspaper article.
E.g. “That awful stuff in the Irish Times seems designed to otoole readers.”
NO END IN SIGHT TO BREXIT SHAMBLES
EXCLUSIVE TO ALL NEWSPAPERS
– Politicians unable to agree shock
ON OTHER PAGES
• Leo celebrates his own birthday – p4
• Photo of Vogue Williams’s baby – p7
VLAD’S NON-MEAT MENU
Has-beans; toast; smell the coffee
Something cheesy with pickle on brown bread;
Fishy: choice of cod or Healy-ray
Vegetating: Hot potatoes; leeks; corn-on-the-cobblers
Trifle upset & going bananas
DANNY HEALY-RAE’S GRACE BEFORE MEALS
Who art on tractors
Hallowed be thy herd
Thy Kingdom cow
That will be done on hearth
As it is in ovens
Give us this Dáil
Our daily meat
And then give us green pastures
So we can give those
Who trapes past against us
Bacon, cabbage temptations
That delivers us from vegans
THAT COVENEY-ROSS ‘PRIVATE CONVERSATION’
Simple Simon: Well that’s another load of old guff spouted into the record books.
Snobby Ross: Yes and you didn’t go too fast…good man!
SS: Of course; I know where the border is between attentive and bored!
SR: I thought a few of them in the front row were starting to nod off…
SS: That’s why I left out the bits about upping the infrastructural integrity of the quasi-duplicate sustainability, when addressing multifarious proclivity, sort of thing.
SR: I fear that’s where I err – I never know what to say and they all nod off! I ought to check myself before crossing that border.
SS: You should. But don’t go mentioning checks at borders. You know what the plebs are like – they’ll blame us for keeping them awake over border checks!
SR: Correct. It’s a good thing these microphones are switched off…
TRUMP DEFENDS SHUTDOWN
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has defended his decision to maintain the partial government shutdown and has insisted that his Democratic opponents are to blame.
In a series of executive tweets overnight, the president said: “I am sincerely emproudened to see myself as protectifying a great point of principle here, just like Marvin Luther King had to do during the Alamo crisis. He courageously led his brave redcoats along the Mexican border and refused to surrender to trigger-happy Nazi immigrants. A beautiful thing.”
Mr Trump went on to accuse House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of endangering national security: “I have grounded this so-called woman because she is a really bad type of evil witch who is still refusing to hand over the patriotic $6 billion needed to constructify an invisible fence to protect this great country.
“It goes to explain all those angry ladies out there on our all-American streets, so it’s actually a lucky thing they were never given the vote – even though many of them are such good pieces of ass.”
(That’s enough Trump – Ed.)
NEW ABBEY THEATRE SEASON OF PLAYS
WHO’S AFRAID OF NEGATIVE PUBLICITY?
Haunting portrayal of discord in the world of Irish theatre, culminating in unforgettable farce when 300 theatre practitioners chase Abbey bosses Neil Murray and Graham McLaren around the building. Director: Josepha Madigan
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO PENURY
Searing examination of isolation and alienation, focusing on an aspiring actor trying to make ends meet in the world of Irish theatre in 2019. Powerful ending sees the Abbey reconfirm its commitment to contemporary Irish plays, by staging a revival of Grease with an Eastern European cast.
DEATH OF A THEATRE
Harrowing exploration of existential ennui, focusing on a disillusioned audience member forced to sit through the Abbey’s latest co-production.
(That’s enough Abbey – Ed.)
NOTTINGHAM DECLARED NO-FLY ZONE
By Dion Fawning of Woe.ie
The English city of Nottingham has been declared a no-fly zone following the appointment of Martin O’Neill as Notts Forest boss. The move has been made in anticipation of the number of balls expected to be launched into the stratosphere as O’Neill’s reign commences.
“During O’Neill’s spell in charge of Ireland, Dublin became a no-go for aviation,” droned a member of the local airport authority. “There was one occasion when Daryl Murphy and Jon Walters were selected in the same team and there were disastrous consequences for the global airline industry.”
Meanwhile, a UN peacekeeping group was immediately mobilised last week, when rumours spread that Roy Keane was set to join up with O’Neill again as Forest assistant boss.
“We put the city into lockdown and blockaded prawn sandwich deliveries,” said the general heading up the unit. “This was in addition to the APB on Tony O’Donoghue issued following O’Neill’s initial appointment.”
As a doctor, parents often ask me, “Doctor, how much will this prescription cost me?” It’s a frivolous question, but to humour them, I always explain, “It should work out at about €5.50, although that could easily rise due to unexpected but very understandable happenings, such as er, the sun rising in the mornings, birds nesting in trees and Danny Healy-Rae gorging on meat.”
But thankfully even if the knock-on effect of these kind of unforeseen factors should prompt an upward tilt in the price of manufacture, it will definitely not flatline above €3bn. Of course I do reassure the mug…er, patients that they are getting the best tablets of their kind in the world! That usually brings a smile to their faces.
VOGUE AND SPENCER’S LATEST TV SUCCESS
IRISH self-promoter Vogue Williams and husband Spencer Matthews have been celebrating the birth of their E4 reality series (cleverly entitled ‘Spencer, Vogue and Publicity Too’).
Relaxing last night in a quiet London restaurant, with hundreds of their closest photographers, the loved-up celebrity duo reflected on a whirlwind year in the public eye.
Said Vogue: “From the first moment I saw him, I knew Spencer was the one – the one to get me on to the front page of the tabloids. Of course, we’ve also been blessed with the arrival of the new show, so I just feel like the luckiest woman in the world – my husband loves me and so do I.”
Asked about their plans for the future, Vogue said, “For the time being, we’re very happy with stories about our fun-loving private lives in Hello every month but, like any married couple, we would love to have at least two or three more reality shows. If not, then there’s always the chance of getting divorced and going off with some other celebrities.”
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE 3702
|Ran out of road
||Running out of ideas
|Was behind the wheel
||Asleep behind the wheel
|Lost control momentarily
||Lost control permanently
|Couldn’t get out of ditch
||Tories can’t ditch her
|Halted by immovable barrier
||Halted by immovable DUP
|Was breathalysed by police
||Suffered breathtaking defeat
THAT GELDOF HONORARY DEGREE
Saluti Bobus Geldfukoffus auld hairi scraggli e mouthus alwaysi openni per profanatii hurlatus ad infinitum ad infinitum e beardi unkempti au resemblum bogbrushum e givus headachius au screamius awfuli au nolikeum Mondaysium e worsius e bosom pallum au tedius Bononevershuttupius au togethrium worthium billionariums au flyum firstclassium e waggi fingerii atallofus per giveus f***ing shekels e Afric. Bah!
GARDAÍ RELEASE REASONS WHY YOUTH CRIMES WERE NOT INVESTIGATED
- The pencil broke
- Was meaning to do it on Thursday…
- The priest promised to have a word with him
- We were all young wan time…
- He was in the GAA
- They agreed to bring the squad car back undamaged if we dropped it
- Lost track of time while removing penalty points
FARMERS STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE FOOT-IN-MOUTH DISASTER
By Our Political Reporter, Martin Wail
Panic and anger has gripped the Irish cattle industry, as farmers struggle to contain the latest foot-in-mouth outbreak by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The crisis broke out after the Fine Gael leader said cows were deadly killing machines intent on wiping out humanity with cancer, heart disease and farts. (Surely he said, ‘Excessive consumption of red meat may have some negative health and environmental ramifications?! – Ed).
As the grim news that the taoiseach may be a closet vegetarian continues to spread, many farmers already fear they may have to grow turnips in the top field to survive.
Said one Laois farmer picking his nose at a gate, “If just one in 20 people believe what that man says – and that could happen – then I’ll have to cull Cheltenham this year. That’s how bad it is! We need an emergency aid package from the European Union by tomorrow morning or we’re all doomed!”
• Apocalypse Now: Documentary about INM as it embarks on a new three-year strategy. Contains scenes of violent disagreement.
MURRAY – “MY AGONY”
Looking relaxed and cheerful, a smiling Conor Murray posed for photographs yesterday as he told reporters of his “months of hell” after deciding to tell nobody anything at all.
The Ireland international, who was sidelined with a brass-neck complaint that kept him out of action for almost five months, chatted happily with fans as he spoke of the “awful nightmare” he had endured.
“It’s been a crazy time trying to cope with a mystery illness that threatened my delicate negotiations to become the highest paid player in Irish rugby,” admitted Murray.
“The pain was unbearable – even worse than in 2016 when I was savaged by Diertie Baastaad of the South African All Whites who had just done a line out at half-time,” he added.
EDMUND HONOHAN’S FAVOURITES
Favourite musician: MC Hammer
Favourite film: Shattered Glass
Favourite song: ‘The Air That I Breathe’ – The Hollies
Favourite TV show: ‘Breaking Bad’
Favourite businessman: Malcolm Glazer
FURY AS ETHIOPIAN PRIME MINISTER GRANTS AUDIENCE TO VARADKAR
By Jen Derbalance
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has defended meeting Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Ahmed faced strong criticism from his people for seeming to turn a blind eye to the status of women in Dáil Éireann, the temple of power known as the ‘Holy Grail’ amongst Irish politicians, as they pray for elevation to a higher form of existence, influence and eternal reverence.
Privately, an Ethiopian government spokesman said he was astonished the diplomatic gaffe was allowed to occur. Justifying his actions, the Ethiopian leader urged his people to “accept different cultures and beliefs, even if they seem backward”. He asked them to pray that “one day, Mr Varadkar will embrace change and give Irish women equality in their own country”.
‘EVERY CLICHÉ BEING EXHAUSTED’ AHEAD OF BREXIT VOTE
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has assured the country that “every cliché possible” is being explored ahead of the upcoming final vote – until the next one – on the Brexit deal in Westminster.
“The Irish government has given Theresa May further reassurances that we will come out with the usual stock responses when this vote is inevitably postponed,” Mr Varadkar told snoozing hacks at government buildings yesterday. “In addition, we have offered additional clarification on the backstop – ie, that it’s currently mired in complete chaos and confusion.”
The taoiseach also noted that “nobody will go hungry” as a result of Brexit-related food shortages.
“TDs and senators will still have their noses in the trough,” said Vlad. “I have certainly had concerned phone calls from numerous politicians in Leinster House, but I reassured them they’ll all retain their enormous expenses, chauffeured cars and pension perks.”
THAT HACKED LUAS DATA (IN FULL)
The Luas this morning
• Tens of thousands of unanswered emails from disgruntled commuters.
• Additional graphic details of muggers, addicts and party-goers falling about and getting sick.
• Medical records of passengers who have suffered bruising and asphyxia on crowded trains.
HEALY-RAE PROTEST OVER ASSAULT CHARGES
by Our Political Staff Martin Wail
TWO sons of the high-profile Kerry South TD Michael Healy-Rae have issued statements concerning media stories about their father’s abusive behaviour in a public place.
For the past seven years, there have been countless newspaper reports detailing the Independent Deputy’s antics on the floor of Leinster House. On numerous occasions, Mr Healy-Rae has caused uproar – particularly when launching vicious attacks on Government ministers who oppose his views on climate change, drink-driving laws and the growing problem of rampant rhododendrons.
“It always ceases to amaze me why dis shmart crowd of so-called journalists and proven lawyers above in Dublin be always bothering me fadder,” said Jackie Junior yesterday. “He has every right to defend himself agin dese nancy boyos dat have no respect for daycent rural traditions.”
Said Michael’s younger son, Kevin Junior: “De Healy-Raes has been keeping de country safe an’ sound for years, so dey should be allowed to deal wid people in der own way widout de press breathin’ down dere necks – do oo know what I mean?”
No 9: SHANE ROUTS THE FAIKERS – from the Book of Geriatrics
And at the time there were amongst the people a group known as the FAIkers who wielded great and who were led by a man called John. The FAIkers were long of tooth and rich of meal vouchers and great was the gnashing of teeth amongst all when their name was mentioned.
And when Holy Shane of Ross didst hear of the FAIkers and how they didst present themselves as God Almighty; great was his willingness to smite them for he believed he alone was the Saviour of all.
And going to them he didst point the finger and seeing their many cobwebs, he did sayeth, ‘Out! Be gone! Scram! Off before I bring in even more new legislation under Section 3, Paragraph B, subsection (iv) of the Failure to Move On Act 2001 BC!!” And turning to the leader John the Fattest Wallet, he didst stare hard and wag his finger. And great was John’s fear, for he knew the game was up. And a great sigh of hope was heard from the people throughout the land.
LEO’S CARBON CHEQUE GIVEAWAY
by Our Varadkar Giveaway Staff – Phil Front-Page
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar’s eco-friendly initiative aims to beat climate change by giving people who save energy “free cheques in the post” for good behaviour.
Speaking to reporters last night, Mr Varadkar insisted that there were very compelling reasons behind his latest plan. “This giveaway is less to do with revenue,” Mr Varadkar explained, “but is all about changing behaviour – particularly in the way that Irish people vote.”
The Fine Gael leader refuted accusations that the new proposals were designed to divert attention from Ireland’s abysmal ranking as the worst-performing EU member state in the latest Climate Change Performance Index.
“I can assure everyone that this is certainly not a blatant bribe and that we are on target to meet our commitments while developing large amounts of previously non-existent natural gas,” continued Vlad. “Indeed, the amount of Government hot air produced about conservation is so enormous that Ireland’s energy needs will safely be met for decades to come.”
STATE WILLING TO DEPLOY BONO
THE APPOINTMENT by Minister for Culture and Holy Communion Josepha Mad-one of a team of ‘Cultural Ambassadors’ is only the first move in a grand strategy by Leo Varadkar’s government to “dominate the globe using only the power of art and brassneckedness”.
The initial selection of five lesser-known personalities is understood to be a move to keep competing states off their guard so they believe they have nothing to fear from the cultural crusade. Said one insider: “The real worry for the likes of Trump, Putin and Jinping was that Bono would be unveiled by the minister. By holding him back for a future onslaught, Ireland has managed to deceive all the cultural competitors about the strength of our arsenal.”
Bono could be the least of the worries for the international community when Operation Global Ireland 2025 kicks off in earnest. It is understood than battalions of cultural ambassadors are to be mobilised on a first-strike basis, with Brendan O’Carroll set to spearhead the invasion. While many of the ambassadors are considered merely cannon fodder – celebrities from Dancing With The Stars, guests from The Ray D’Arcy Show and Baz Ashmawy – the big guns will be held back for the final push.
Although still unconfirmed, sources inside Government Buildings have suggested that, in the event of mutually assured cultural destruction, Ireland will deploy Jedward.
DONALD TRUMP’S NEW YEAR PREDICTIONS
2019 is going to be even more beautiful because it will be so special. That means I will be making a VERY big announcement. BIG. It’s currently so classified that people will have to wait a little longer before hearing about my top-secret plans to run for the presidency in 2020. I will also appoint Kanye West as Secretary of State, so the American people are gonna have even more money – especially rich people. Meanwhile, our friends in the Third World and Britainland will benefit as a valuable future market for our delicious chlorinated chicken, hormone-crazed hogs and assault rifles.
(That’s enough predictions – Ed.)
BREXIT LEXICON UPDATE
verb. to quake or shiver in the face of looming disaster. (N. Irish origin.) e.g. “The Prime Minister still believes that she may secure unwavering DUP support over the coming year.”
LOOK THIN AFTER CHRISTMAS!
AT THE start of another new year, after the usual glut of Christmas goodies, a lot of Irish newspapers start to slim down and look amazingly thin. Just how do they do it?
Now you can share their incredible secret by following the amazing ‘Get Really Lean in 2019 Plan’, as practised by all the country’s top newspapers.
Day One: Run enormous four-page spread accompanied by full-colour glamour pics of Vogue Williams, who reveals her exclusive tips about the benefits of detoxing in a bikini during January.
Day Two: Celebrities Kathryn Thomas and Rosanna Davison share their intensive poolside workout routines.
Day Three: How to look amazingly thin wearing skimpy clothes – with Jennifer Zamparelli and Evanna Lynch.
Day Four: More mouth-watering pics of curvy babes, Vogue, Kathryn, Jennifer, Evanna etc. Phworr!
Day Five: Springtime cookery series begins with eight-page centre pull-out section on Roz Purcell’s Perfect Easter Chocolate Gorge Fest
(That’s enough looking thin – Ed.)
FEAR GRIPS COUNTRY AS OLD MOORE’S ALMANAC PREDICTIONS REVEALED
- Ongoing tsunamis of Miriam O’Callaghan interviews on TV and radio
- Volcanic eruptions from Sinn Féin
- Massive avalanches of gibberish from the Healy-Raes
- John Delaney’s wages identified as fearsome black hole
- Incessant floods of Amy Huberman’s ‘work’ everywhere
- Famine of even half-effective solutions from Eoghan Murphy
- The Ray D’Arcy Show
- More Una Mullally columns
THOSE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Too many drivers amongst the rural chaps are thinking about alcohol when they get behind the wheel. I’ve resolved to eradicate this dangerous distraction in 2019 by rolling out roadside lie detectors. I will tackle this problem head on and at speed. – Minister for Dictating, Shane Pothole
I’m not yet sure what Leo has in mind for me. – Assistant to An Taoiseach Micheál Martin
I’m pretty much a perfect example to everyone as things stand, and everything I do is correct and efficient, so I’m really just resolved to remaining leader of Fine Gael and, by extension, Fianna Fáil for another year. Would you like a selfie with me? – Taoiseach Leo Smugadkar
As health minister, I realise the importance of exercise, and I’m more determined than ever to lead the country by example. So expect to see me running round in circles even more this year, as well as jumping from one new announcement to another and definitely doing a lot of skipping as well, especially unwelcome statistics. – Minister for Flus and Trolleys, Simon Useless
RTÉ WOMAN IN TRAUMATIC NEWS SHOCK!
Martina Fitzgerald “PAUL WHO?”
FOLLOWING THE surprise replacement (surely ‘shafting’ – Ed) of Martina Fitzgerald as political correspondent at Montrose last week, there has been uproar both inside and outside RTÉ. The appointment of the clearly male Paul Cunningham to the position has raised the spectre of sexism at the state broadcaster, given that it turns out Ms Fitzgerald is apparently the best journalist in the world.
Criticism of the move has come from the highest levels within RTÉ, with female chair Moya Doherty immediately contacting female director general Dee Forbes to enquire about the treatment of a high-profile woman at the station. According to sources close to the situation, Ms Forbes let Ms Doherty know that she would make sure the male bastion that is Montrose would be the subject of a root-and-branch review.
Highlighting the lack of women on RTÉ news programmes, Ms Forbes issued a statement to the station’s flagship news programme, RTÉ Six One, which was duly read out in harmony by the two anchors, Caitríona Perry and Keelin Shanley, who both wore the red and white garb familiar to viewers of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Joining the criticism about the absence of high-profile women in RTÉ, Miriam O’Callaghan noted, when fronting RTÉ’s flagship politics and current affairs TV programme, Prime Time, that she was disappointed at the “invisibility” of women at RTÉ.
And the tsunami of criticism did not stop there. On RTÉ’s flagship politics and current affairs radio programme, Morning Ireland, the show’s host, Rachel English, said she was dumbstruck by what had happened to Ms Fitzgerald, wondering “if any woman will ever get a chance to make a name for herself at RTÉ”. This comment was later reported on RTÉ’s flagship evening TV programme, the Nine O’Clock News, by the clearly shaken anchor, Sharon Ní Bheoláin.
When asked if RTÉ would continue to indulge in ‘open competitions’ in which a woman could lose out, a spokeswoman for the station said it was “too early to say exactly how this awful mess will be fixed”.
SIMON’S SIMPLE PLAN
By Corry Dore
In his latest move to reassure the Irish public, health minister Simon Harris has promised to “reduce crowding and offer faster diagnoses” of HSE scandals in the New Year.
The move follows complaints that scandals are being crammed alongside each other into hard-pressed news outlets. It was also claimed that some scandals have been lying dormant in the corridors of power for years.
Speaking at the opening of a new malpractice case yesterday, Simple Simon vowed to divert more resources to allow the delivery of “more press releases” in the short term, while insisting that all new scandals that presented would be “put to bed” as soon as a suitable photo opportunity presented itself.
ODE TO LILLIE’S
Farewell thee well
Not really a
I never went there
Unlike Jagger and Bono
Strutting their stuff
So I read in the Sindo
In Barry Ego’s
And I didn’t go to
Cos reading that sh*te
Was more than enough …
M T Glass
DUBLIN ACCOMMODATION CRISIS
Junior ministers protest over expenses
THE CRISIS surrounding Dublin’s hotel accommodation costs took a turn for the worst last night, with fears now rampant that some Fine Gael junior ministers may be reduced to availing of B&B accommodation. The grim news comes after rural ministers raised concerns that hotel costs were eating into their wages and could compromise their Cheltenham budgets.
The new twist was revealed after a taxi driver was reportedly asked by one of the affected politicians if B&Bs are “as bad as they say”. The politician was said to be “anxiously rubbing his neck”, which appeared to be “very hard”, throughout the exchange.
FG TDs say that some junior ministers could inevitably end up scouring sleazy online booking websites seeking deals on hotels outside Dublin 2 and 4.
“We urgently need to sort out this accommodation crisis before it becomes a national tragedy,” said a party spokesman.
BREXIT CHRISTMAS MENU
Peas (best before Good Friday 1998)
Chuck a l’orange
Cooked Goose with Belly-up of Pork
Off the Trolley
Irish Border Fudge
Fruits of Office (with added sweeteners)