LEO’S ROYAL BABY RAGE
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar is believed to be “incandescent with rage” over the royal baby’s media coverage.
The Fine Gael leader expressed annoyance to advisers at the child’s ability to dominate the news cycle without any real effort.
Varadkar was forced to engage in a bout of pathetic grandstanding with some equally desperate Fianna Fáil politicians in an effort to generate some cheap publicity.
A source close to the Dublin West TD claimed the babe in arms was deliberately hogging the headlines and trying to overshadow Leo.
“Everyone knows Leo is a big baby at heart and so the arrival of a bundle of joy has clearly touched a nerve. Prince Louis already has a Wikipedia page and his list of achievements is far more impressive than anything Leo has done in office,” he said.
THIS WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES
REFERENDUM POLL: PUBLIC EVENLY SPLIT
The latest opinion polls show the public neck and neck on the upcoming 8th Amendment referendum. Exactly 50% of those polled were pro-choice and wanted to decide for themselves whether or not they should stay in their local pub and avoid being canvassed at home. The other half were in favour of retaining the status quo and remaining in the bar until closing time.
BREXIT: NEW CROSSING PLAN
Britain’s Brexit Minister David Davis has proposed a new crossing system for dealing with the Irish Border issue. “The interim strategy is to cross our fingers and pray that the whole sorry mess will somehow sort itself out in the long term – presumably after the DUP pull the plug,” he explained. “This sensitive approach is fully in keeping with our established practice of doing absolutely nothing and hoping for the best.”
SEÁN CANNEY FAVOURITES
Favourite film: Trading Places
Favourite song: Mess Around, Ray Charles
Favourite TV show: Deal Or No Deal
Favourite exercise: Jumping ship
Favourite food: Crumbs
Favourite musician: Tom Petty
Favourite hobby: Coin collecting
Favourite shape: Obtuse
Favourite actor: Henry Cavill
Favourite animal: Grouse
SCOUTING IRELAND LEXICON UPDATE
- Canoeing – Deep water challenge to stay afloat somehow while up a very unsavoury creek without a paddle.
- Treasure hunt – Hoping to get a few quid from Minister Zappone.
- Backtracking – Not meeting those scary Oireachtas scout leaders after all.
- Cookery challenge – Finding the most creative ways to make a dog’s dinner of everything
- Jamboree – Huge gathering of hacks and photographers outside the front door
Uproar over Kilkenny cultural centre
FANATIC: Cult leader Cody in one of his frenzies of religious devotion
RESIDENTS in Kilkenny have expressed grave concerns over plans to construct a deeply controversial cultural centre in the county.
Many worry the hub could encourage young people in the area to get sucked into a life of ideological rigidity and fanatical levels of obedience.
The cult-like group refer to themselves as hurlers and are led by their secretive and deeply uncharismatic leader, Brian Cody.
Cody has being known to spew hysterical levels of hatred towards non-believers who occupy the disputed lands of Tipperary and Wexford.
One local woman who didn’t wished to be named worries about what would happen if the proposal was approved by the local authority.
“Cody claims to be the only path to redemption and has been untouchable over the last 20 years. Any attempt to question his authority is usually dealt with in a swift and brutal manner. I think giving into his demands is dangerous and counterproductive,” she said.
INM data breach by the numbers
56 – Unpublished Paul Kimmage articles about Paul Kimmage
92 – Spiked Rosanna Davison photo shoots
1400 – Joe Brolly eulogies for Tyrone footballers
3000 – Meghan Markle profiles
5000 – Barry Egan tributes to Bono
81000 – Contradictory Eoghan Harris opinion pieces
1.5million – Brendan O’Connor scoops on Norah Casey’s new mascara
That newstalk valuation in full
Goldhawk breaks down Communicorp’s whopping €34m price-tag for Newstalk
- Chris Donoghue’s hair gel bill: €3m
- Large collection of clichés and resignations: €4m
- 10 mixing desks: €14m
- Cost of teaching Paul Williams about current affairs: €10m
- Motley crew of jaded, uninspiring presenters cowering in a corner: €3m
- One sensitive owner: Priceless
Reader’s Question: I’m told Israel is warm at this time of year and is very welcoming. Would you recommend it?
Mícheál Mac Donncha: I’ve just returned from visiting the region as part of my research into the ancient practice of cage-rattling which remains very popular in both Israel and the north to this day.
To be honest, I’d describe Israel as way too hot for comfort at the moment. Even the locals seem unable to cope with conditions and this probably explains why I found them not just unhelpful, but downright argumentative. Awful spellers too.
Happily I did encounter some very hospitable individuals only a stone’s throw from the border, however.
Topical Words – Compiled by Dick Shunery
An occasional service to readers offering selected meanings of certain words that have suddenly become newsworthy
1. (noun) Food that is given to farm animals – and journalists!
(Is that last bit true? – Ed).
2. (noun) People or things that are useful for the stated purpose. Denis O’Brien continues to provide great fodder for journalists.
(Ah, I geddit now. -Ed).
3. (noun) How a priest is addressed in certain parts of rural Ireland.
“Bless me, Fodder….”
In our next issue:- DATA INTERROGATION
Why I’m not running
By Muhreeum O’Callaghan
MANY of you will by now have read at your breakfast table or received texts from family and friends that I have decided, this time, not to run for president of our wonderful little country.
It is not a decision lightly made. Truly I have been humbled and a little embarrassed these past few years by the number of people – many with tears in their eyes – who have approached me at so many charity events and hospital visits to urge me to run for president.
Particularly I recall the man who rose from his wheelchair and walked home after shaking my hand.
Astonishingly, even as war loomed in Syria, as the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement dawned and the number of patients on hospital trolleys continued to rise, people from all corners of Dublin 4 still approached me to repeat the request.
Yet deep down I knew I did not want the job just yet.
Once I had decided not to run I realised that the longer I waited to announce my decision the more crushing would be the disappointment for everyone.
It is out of respect for the wonderful Irish people and for Michael D Higgins, who I consider to be a dear friend and a wonderful ambassador for the country that I now confirm my absence from next year’s contest. Thank you all.
(No – thank you Miriam! Our supplements will always be here for you if you change your mind – Ed)
Good Friday Agreement Anniversary Filler
By All Hacks
IT’S ALL too easy to become cynical about the political impasse in the north, but even a hard-bitten commentator like myself was forced to shed a tear yesterday.
Yes, I have to admit that the floodgates opened when my editor asked me to write a 1,000 words by lunchtime on the 20th anniversary of the 1998 agreement.
I was immediately overwhelmed by a powerful surge of emotion as I recalled those distant scenes at Stormont Castle when all the main players – Mitchell, Blair, Ahern – faced the world’s media.
Was there ever such an unforgettable symbol of a bright new dawn for peace in our time?
As the tears cascaded down my cheeks, I thought of all the selfless architects of the crucial agreement who had single-handedly ended the Troubles – Clinton, Adams, Bono – courageously posing for the cameras for weeks on end.
No wonder that even a seasoned reporter such as myself wanted to join in with all my colleagues in this mass outpouring of complete drivel (Surely an epoch-making development?– Ed.)
What FIANNA FÁIL VOTERS want
After a Sunday Times survey revealed Fianna Fáil voters prefer male candidates, we take a look at some of those other Fianna Fáil voter preferences:
- Big strong arms (to carry brown envelopes)
- A deep voice (for speaking out the side of his mouth)
- Several senior county medals
- Has an uncle who can sort out that little planning problem
- So intelligent that his bushy eyebrows meet in the middle
- Access to the Galway tent
INM data rumours and me
By Barry Ego
AS dramatic details emerge of an alleged data breach at Independent News & Media, the state’s watchdogs have claimed that sensational emails have been doing the rounds belonging to prominent journalists – or “persons of interest”. Quelle surprise! Of course they’re of interest – they work for the Sindo!
As I said to Bono over cocktails in Lillie’s last night, INM has been at the very forefront of pioneering press freedom in this little country. But what is at stake now is a principle of the utmost importance – our right to publish glossy pics of scantily-dressed models to sell more copies of the soaraway Life magazine.
But say what you like, and I usually do, not all my closest friends in media circles are fabulously rich and famous, don’t you know. We work for a living and that’s why the lovely Pippa O’Connor agrees with me that we simply hate it when our privacy is invaded.
Which is why we’re all in a strop at the thought of persons unknown rummaging through the ultra-private blow-drying updates I regularly receive from gorgeous Rosanna Davison. Still, as Niamh Horan says, the really important thing is that the super Sindo is back in the news again – and so am I!
(This is awful. Keep it coming! – Ed)
Those Syrian air strike targets
- Martin Callinan’s version of events
- Jim Daly’s ministerial car
- Miriam O’Callaghan’s presidential hopes
- Michael Oliver’s house
- Manchester City’s dream
- James Comey’s publisher
At Your Service – RTÉ 2: Sunday, 8.30pm Fussy little men with way too much time on their hands decide to go through a struggling media company with a fine toothcomb to see what secrets lie inside (allegedly).
National Treasures – RTÉ: Saturday, 6.30pm This week John Creedon meets celebrity solicitor Gerald Kean who has in his possession information which ended up costing the national broadcaster well over €180,000.
THOSE GEMS OF IRELAND’S HIDDEN HEARTLANDS
Carrig-on Cowen: Sleepy backwater where everything can be deferred until tomorrow as you idle among the beer gardens surrounded by such unforgettable scenery as the Mountain of Debt and the Tide of Emigration.
Ballymingflanagan: Often referred to as ‘just a bit Irish” because of its tiresome efforts to present itself as of “European” importance, this seldom-regarded hamlet is just the place to rest your joints while inhaling the sweet aroma of freshly cut turf.
Paulwilliamstown: This quaint little wasteland welcomes all visitors unless you happen to be some filthy, low-life scumbag intent on pushing drugs and fivers… (That’s’ enough hidden gems for now _Ed)
Letters I wish Id sent
AS PART of the Letters I Wish I’d Sent series, assistant editor of the Sunday Independent Brendan O’Connor puts into words a letter he wishes he’d sent to himself many years ago.
ow are you? Can’t believe Twink and Linda Martin agreed to appear on this week’s show. Tubridy must be bricking it.
Anyway, the reason I’m writing is to remind you to delete cookies from your server. No, not the sweet crumbly treats – we had enough problems with those lol – but the cookies on your internet history.
I know it sounds paranoid but in the future a bunch of serious nosey parkers will want to find out all about your online habits as well as some of your colleagues’.
So seriously delete everything. If you think you are being too cautious, don’t worry, you’re not.
Oh yeah! You might want to tone down all the accolades about Bertie. Things take a bit of a turn for the worse around 2008. Turns out he couldn’t find the betting slips.
Take care and remember no one will ever love you as much as I do.
Those Referendum Posters in full
Paddy Jackson’s job prospects
- Fill in shock jock
- Syrian rugby team coach
- DUP MP
- Sunday Independent columnist
- Data Protection Commissioner
- Kevin Sharkey’s presidential campaign manager
- Conor McGregor’s sparring partner
EIR REDUNDANCIES ‘WON’T AFFECT BROADBAND ROLLOUT’
By Mal Ware
COMMUNICATIONS firm Eir executives have said plans to deliver high speed broadband to 300,000 businesses and upgrade the system across rural Ireland will “remain unaltered” despite a voluntary redundancy package that will cut its workforce by 750.
An Eir executive reassured the public today, saying: “There’s nothing to fear. The lad we have doing all that stuff is not going anywhere. And anyway he doesn’t come up for retirement until September!
“He’s out there even as we speak with a shovel, a bag of wires and a map. We remain as committed as ever.”
Efforts to e-mail Business, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys for a comment failed as she was out of coverage opening a new digital hub deep inside rural Kilkenny.
Boris: Bombs away!
Britain’s Foreign Secretary tells it like it isn’t
QUADRUPLE CRIPES! What a busy week with all this bombing hoo-ha happening in Syria or wherever. Which means non-stop round-the-clock pressure for poor old Bozza.
Let’s face it, the whole Middle East desert business is all a tad complex, but the MI6 chaps in the know reckon that it’s high time to snuggle up with the Americans again. I mean, we can’t have Johnny Native and these other war-monger chappies resorting to all sorts of awful military-style weapons against their own citizens.
So we’ve jolly well given this Assad rotter a stiff warning that these dastardly chemical weapon thingies are completely off limits. Which all means that if Assad fails to keep attacking his own people in an ethical fashion, then President Donald will be forced to wipe out Syria with the flick of a switch in the usual ethical way that we do these things in the West.
Hey presto! World peace at a stroke and it’s a win-win situation. Bojo suddenly more popular than ever. And that means the Bozmeister is very likely to pop up as boss man at Number 10 in seconds flat. Toodle pip!
Conor McGregor’s favourites
Favourite film: Escape from New York
Favourite song: Walking on Broken Glass, Annie Lennox
Favourite TV show: Arrested Development
Favourite band: The Trashmen
Favourite chocolate: Double Decker
Favourite accessory: Cuffs
Favourite holiday: Rikers Island
Favourite clothing: Jumpsuit
Favourite food: Porridge
Favourite exercise: Throwing shade
THIS WEEK’S MOST READ STORIES
GOLFER LOSES AGAIN
A FAMOUS golfer struggled in the final round of a golfing competition in Augusta, Georgia. An eye-witness said: “From what I could gather, the golfer who lost wore a pale blue v-neck sweater and did not play very well on the final day.
The American golfer who won the tournament wore a bright red v-neck sweater and played much better.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN SYRIA?
We have no idea.
- Correspondents who also don’t know what’s happening 3-7
- Photographs of bombed-out buildings 8-15
- Trump warns Assad: “Kill People Properly” 16-17
DUP leader ‘denies allegations’
By Our Political Staff – Phil Pockets
ARLENE FOSTER, who was minister in charge of the department that set up the renewable heat incentive scheme, has strenuously denied all allegations that she was involved in the botched green energy project.
Giving evidence in Belfast yesterday at the public inquiry into RHI, the DUP leader blamed any unforeseen oversights on government officials, civil servants and her team of highly-paid special advisers – none of whom she recalled ever meeting.
“At no time was I ever made aware of the manifest flaws in this clearly defective cash-for-ash scheme,” said Mrs Foster. “So that explains why everybody else – except me – was entirely responsible for the complete debacle.”
The former First Minister repeatedly stated she had no recollection of being warned about RHI’s escalating costs and that she had been focusing on more important political matters at the time. “This is another convincing reason why I am definitely not responsible,” she said. “After all, I was working tirelessly on decommissioning the Stormont Assembly and putting the peace process permanently beyond use.”
Spot the Difference
|CONOR McGREGOR||RORY McILROY|
|Major embarrassment||Masters embarrassment|
|Lost to Mayweather||Lost fairweather fans|
|Pulled a stroke||Takes too many strokes|
|Pulled a stroke||Stuck in bunker|
|Threw trash cans||Threw away victory|
|Has no UFC belts||Has no green jacket|
|Hybrid sports star||Hybrid nationality|
|Worth millions||Disappointed millions|
Miriam’s tribute to Winnie
PRIME TIME host Miriam O’Callaghan has paid tribute to Winnie Mandela who was laid to rest recently.
The RTÉ presenter said she was deeply moved by the plight of the ANC activist who many had predicted was destined for the top job in South African politics.
“It’s genuinely heartbreaking to think that a woman who was regarded as mother of the nation was denied the opportunity to even contest a presidential election,” she said.
O’Callaghan also claimed Mandela’s former husband, Nelson, should have stood aside from the presidency much sooner than he did.
“A combination of bad timing and a stubborn old man refusing to give way to a much more likeable and charismatic woman resulted in Winnie Mandela having to forsake her birthright. I wouldn’t like to see something like this happen again,” she added.
Leo doesn’t trust Sinn Féin
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has reiterated his opposition to working with Sinn Féin. The Fine Gael leader ruled out any prospect of a coalition between the two parties in the immediate future. Speaking to the media at a charity sock launch in Leinster House the Dublin West TD said he didn’t wish to join forces with republicans.
“Sinn Féin have demonstrated time again that they can’t be trusted to guarantee me a workable majority in the Dáil. As a result I believe they are completely unsuitable for government until after the next election at least,” he said.
FFs Micheál Martin welcomed the Taoiseach’s comments and said he too was wary of engagement with Mary Lou McDonald’s party this side of a poll.
“I agree completely with Leo about the threat posed by Sinn Féin. It is absolutely vital they be prevented from forming a government that doesn’t include myself as Taoiseach,” he added.
Doctor in the House
The Easter recess is over and the Eoin O’Duffy Memorial Infirmary is returning to full operations, in more ways than one. Hospital master Leo Varadkar prepares for a delicate procedure on a visiting American, with the help of a committee of assistant surgeons.
Varadkar: What’s this guy’s name again?
Surgeon Timmy Dooley: Kaplan, I think. But we just call him Mr Facebook – it’s easier to remember
Varadkar: Okay, Mr Facebook. We need to carry out a small probe of your interior. It may involve some “scraping” of data, as you call it in the States.
Facebook: Will it hurt?
Dooley: We certainly hope so.
Facebook: (panicking): What?
Surgeon Lawless (James): The gloves are off, pal.
Varadkar: Put the gloves back on, Lawless, you’re not in Kildare, or whatever bog you came from, now. (To Facebook, handing him a document) We need to sign this consent form, sir. Preferably without reading it first.
Facebook (studying form in horror): But it says here you reserve the right to share some or all of my organs with third parties?
Varadkar: Gosh – does it?
Facebook: Yes. I’m not signing that!
Dooley (to Varadkar): I told you we should have made the small print smaller.
Varadkar (taking form back): Okay, maybe we’ll try again later when the anaesthetic has kicked in. For now, let’s operate.
Facebook: Before the anaesthetic takes effect?
Varadkar: Don’t worry – you won’t feel more than slight discomfort. Isn’t that right, Nurse Naughton?
Hildegarde Naughton: Yes, we’re famously gentle on Americans who invest billions in our hospital.
Varadkar: The truth is, we just need to make you squirm a little – for public relations purposes. And we don’t need you to sign for that. (He produces another consent form). Your boss Mr Zuckerberg has already given us the go-ahead.
Elsewhere in the hospital, later. During an inspection of wards with Dr Harris, the hospital master is pleasantly surprised by the lack of overcrowding.
Varadkar: According to the hospital newspaper, there were 26 people on trolleys here yesterday. Now I see only three?
Harris: Well, you know what the press is like – they always exaggerate. But there’s an ebb and flow to these things anyway. Yesterday might have been unusually high.
Varadkar: And yet the same thing happened the last time I was here. The paper had reported 27 on trolleys then. There were only two when I arrived.
Harris: Well, it is the Our Lady of Lourdes ward. You’d expect some miraculous recoveries.
Varadkar: May I be candid with you, Dr Harris? (He looks him in the eye). I’m hearing there’s a phenomenon known as the “Leo dip”. It means that whenever people hear I’m about to visit a ward, the number of patients on trolleys there drops mysteriously. How do you explain that?
Harris (looking shifty): Er, it could be that you yourself have supernatural powers?
Varadkar: Right. And how exactly would they work
Harris: In some cases, hearing of your approach, people on trolleys may undergo otherwise inexplicable recoveries. Or if they’re really sick, the beds available might suddenly multiply.
Varadkar: Hmmm When you put it like that, it seems plausible. Keep up the good work, everybody. I’ll be back for another surprise visit this time next week.
A hospital corridor, later. During a walk and talk with his deputy master, Simon Coveney, Dr Varadkar notices a familiar figure lurking.
Varadkar: Don’t look now, but see that old, dishevelled guy near the coffee machine, talking to a TV camera? He’s been all over the place recently – who the hell is he?
Coveney: He’s Bertie something, claims he’s a former master, back when this place was run by the Order of St Luke’s.
Varadkar: What’s he doing here this week?
Coveney: It’s the 20th anniversary of some historic operation he claims to have overseen, apparently. Somebody’s doing a documentary on it.
Varadkar: Let’s eavesdrop. (He stops by the coffee machine, ordering a skinny half-caff flat white).
Ahern: …And of course dere was a lotta of setbacks along de way. I lost me patience a few times, I can tell ye, ha, ha. Aldough I covered it up well. But finally de whole ting came togedder. Den we took Articles Two and Tree out. De rest was histry.
Varadkar (walking away with coffee): Did he really say he lost patients and covered it up?
Coveney: That’s what I heard too. He seemed to find it funny.
Varadkar: If I thought for a moment it was true, I’d report him to the medical council. But he’s clearly just an old fantasist.
Coveney: Probably. I mean, not to be snobbish about it, but he doesn’t exactly sound like one of us.
Varadkar: No. Not that we sound the same, Simon – you’ve got one of those regional accents, obviously. And yet somehow it’s almost as posh as mine.
Varadkar: I’m sure he’s harmless enough, but still. (To nearby security man) Keep an eye on that old guy over at the coffee machine, will you? Don’t let him near any of the places we keep drugs or money.
INM moots data mining
INDEPENDENT News and Media has announced plans to diversify its business operations over the coming months.
The corporate media giant wants to enter into the highly lucrative field of natural resources and data mining in particular. The move comes hot on the heels of a decision to dig for info at the offices of the Irish Independent, which critics say could still turn out to be costly.
Not everyone is happy about the new approach and some have urged the company to exercise caution. The Irish Independent’s editor-in-chief Stephen Rae has claimed the paper’s USP could be damaged by the move.
“Everyone knows how good the Indo is at flinging mud and hoping it sticks. I hope this obsession with finding dirt won’t undermine our day-to-day activities,” he said.
Aussie Captain denies Simon-tampering
AUSTRALIAN cricket captain Steve Smith has denied tampering with Simon Coveney’s balls.
The Tánaiste and part-time circus performer had spent months trying to keep the items up in the air while simultaneously checking to see which way the wind was blowing.
But disaster struck when he yet again tripped up over his oversized shoes and the Corkman’s attempts to continue juggling were brought to an abrupt end.
Speaking to journalists in Sydney the blubbering batsman Smith vowed to clear his name. “Juggling is something you would normally associate with clowns and while I admire Simon’s dexterity I can confirm that I played no part whatsoever in deflating his balls or causing him to fall flat on his face,” he said.
Shane Ross’s dog’s dinner
Three canny canines give their reaction
Leo – Owned by Mr E. U. Brussels
“Hard to judge”
Mick – Owned by Mr M Wallace of Wexford.
“Dinner at Ross’s place? I wouldn’t bother me arse getting all dressed up for that.”
Brendan Howling – Owned by Mr B Howlin of Wexford.
“Why was I not invited to that dinner? Don’t forget me!”
This week attorney general and faithful companion Séamus Woulfhound delivers his verdict on the latest dog food to hit the shelves.
As Ireland’s best known expert on canine nutrition I cannot say how appalled I am at the depreciating quality of dog’s dinners coming on the market these days!
Take this new ‘Shane’s Dog Dinner’ that I was asked to judge yesterday.
Never seen such indigestible rubbish! Stank to the high heavens of old cod and tripe, riddled with hard cheese, hoary old chestnuts and so many bones to pick it would choke an entire kennel! No wonder I was growling all day long.
Take it from me — if you want man’s best friend to wag his tail at you, give him his Chums or his Pals every day of the week. Woof! Woof!
Simon Coveney’s guide to politics
Abortion Referendum Bill
The original proposal has been clarified and involves reassuring protocols allowing a lot more time for consideration of this crucial issue.This has given me additional time to assess the impact on my future career prospects – so, in fact, my sudden u-turn was not an embarrassing u-turn at all.
Brexit Border negotiations
It’s all really complicated, but that’s great because I love learning new things like how all these mystery EU tariffs work.The border issue is incredibly complex and impossible to understand, but my new friend Mr Juncker has promised me that he’ll take care of everything.
Expelling Russian diplomats
It’s critical that we show solidarity with our UK allies, but also vital to recognize that security matters are totally hush-hush.We walk a delicate tightrope between the right of ex-spies to live in Salisbury and the right of Russian agents to bump them off using deadly nerve gas.
Avoiding embarrassing gaffes
Politics means being in the public eye, so important government ministers like me have to be terribly careful and check first with the Taoiseach and consult with advisers or local taxi-drivers before saying anything ridiculous that will leave egg all over my face.Whoops!
THAT FIANNA FÁIL RESHUFFLE IN FULL
- Spokesperson on Greystones: Stephen Donnelly
- Spokesperson on hand-wringing: Barry Cowen
- Spokesperson on conspiracy theories: Niall Collins
- Spokesperson for Coppers: Jack Chambers
- Spokesperson on disgruntled TDs: Darragh O’Brien
- Spokesperson on hard borders: Lisa Chambers
- Spokesperson on regime change: Michael McGrath
- Spokesperson on dog’s dinners: Jim O’Callaghan
Leo stands by Ireland’s neutrality
TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has reiterated that Ireland remains “fully neutral” on the international stage, despite his decision to expel a Russian diplomat.
Speaking on a leisurely plane-spotting trip to Shannon, the Taoiseach insisted, “As I recently advised Donald as we watched the moon rise above Washington together, we are neither for nor against our wonderful, close friends in the US, UK and Europe whom we trust and admire totally.
And equally we are neither for nor against those shady looking despotic types with their scarred cheeks, hairy palms, close-knit eyebrows and boxes of Novichokolates, who’d knife you for a mackerel and whose nationality we needn’t mention!
I hope that clarifies our precise position now and forever. Why is that man in the orange suit waving his fist at me on the way to his flight?”
Hardy Bucks, Sunday 10.35pm – Comedy about four twenty-somethings who unexpectedly find themselves temporarily in trouble with the law. In this week’s episode Paddy, Stuart, Rory and Blane decide to get back on the dating scene.
Catastrophe, Thursday, 9.00pm – Sitcom about an ageing politician (Micheál) whose brief affair with a dashing Indian doctor turns into a disastrous, full-blown relationship which he can’t escape from.