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Category: Affairs

UNA MULLALLY’S HIATUS

Una Mullally

IRISH TIMES columnist Una Mullally and nail bar owner Andrea Horan have decided to put the curious beast that is their podcast into hiatus. The news will probably come as a disappointment to the Patreon subscribers to their United Ireland podcast – all 215 of them – which the gals say is aimed at those... Read more »

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LUMBER BLUNDER

Pippa Hackett

RETICENCE at the Department of Agriculture has landed the mandarins in hot water with the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (OCEI). Eco-conscious members of the public who are not satisfied in dealing with the state’s traditional attitude to transparency may escalate an appeal to this body, which is currently headed by former Financial... Read more »

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ELECTIONS LOOM

Benjamin Netanyahu

A WEEK is a long time in politics, even for Benjamin Netanyahu, with polls suggesting now that a long-projected majority could be slipping away following Israel’s latest assault on Gaza. Bombing the Palestinians has traditionally marked the opening of Knesset electioneering, only for now the former prime minister finds himself in opposition watching his rivals... Read more »

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BRENDAN O’CARROLL’S BUKE

AFTER EXPERIENCING mixed fortunes with his businesses and media coverage in recent years, Brendan O’Carroll will be hoping for a jollier outcome in the coming months. The comedian’s autobiography Call Me Brown will be published by the Penguin imprint, Michael Joseph, in October. The PR whirl should also help to shift tickets for the three... Read more »

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WILL CEANN COMHAIRLE HOLD THE LINE ON TAIWAN?

HER MILITANT critics can take comfort that only the threat of even further war knocked Sabina Higgins off the main headlines. Before all this, it was Seán Ó Fearghaíl, another whose office is supposed to be above the political fray, that surprised many in Leinster House with a controversial letter of his own. Back in... Read more »

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LABHRÁS PLAYS ON

GOLDHAWK WAS cheered to see former Taoiseach Brian Cowen back in the papers as he was honoured by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) at the Fleadh Cheoil in Mullingar. Despite appearing in the all the press photographs during an awards presentation, it was surprising that former Fianna Fáil senator, Labhrás Ó Murchú, was not named in... Read more »

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SOUTH CHINA SEAS

ONE NEED not have studied Generals Sun Tzu or Custer to wonder if America’s provocation and China’s reaction are both in themselves signs of insecurity. With Democrats heading into difficult midterm elections, it was hardly surprising to see the congresswoman with America’s oldest and largest Chinese immigrant constituency touching down in Taipei last week. Washington... Read more »

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“ANTI PRAYER” SCARE

SOME GOOD news at last for Ireland’s anti-abortion activists with confirmation that chaplaincy services are set to continue as normal in the state’s health service. A graphic circulating online as well as remarks in the media from Danny Healy Rae TD this week left the impression that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly was in the process... Read more »

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LYNN RUANE’S CV

WITH SEANAD Éireann enjoying its summer break until September 14th, Lynn Ruane is using her free time to travel around the country in a campervan with colourful British actress, Miriam Margolyes. The unlikely pairing was put together by Kite Entertainment to front a two-part RTÉ One series documentary about Lady Gregory. The production company seems... Read more »

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2FM’S JNLR SPIN

Doireann Garrihy

THE NEWEST JNLR has given the indefatigable Dan Healy a fresh opportunity to praise 2FM Breakfast, presented by Doireann Garrihy, Donncha O’Callaghan and Carl Mullan. The show has increased by 9,000 listeners to 123,000, which the head of 2fm described as a “stunning result,” having previously rhapsodised that “the chemistry between Doireann, Donncha and Carl... Read more »

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IONA INTITUTE BEDS IN

David Quinn

GOLDHAWK was relieved to find David Quinn’s weekly column has so far escaped judgment day at the Sunday Times. With over half of Nóirín Hegarty’s full time staff heading for the exit, there remained some continuity in the opinion pages at the weekend, with the Iona Institute director calling for tighter limits on immigration. On... Read more »

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GREENS GOING NOWHERE

Eamon Ryan

MARTIN AND Varadkar cannot have been too fearful during what has been painted as gladiatorial negotiations on agricultural pollution. Initial reports now are that cabinet are expected to sign off a 25% emissions cut, with additional mitigation tacked on for added fudge. This is some ways short of the required action, but the old parties... Read more »

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CHARLIE MCCONALOGUE’S BEEF

Charlie McConalogue

WHEN CHARLIE McConalogue was unexpectedly elevated to cabinet at the expense of Dara Calleary, few predicted the emergence of that rare creature in Irish politics: a nationally minded government minister. While the bike-riding media above in Dublin sneer at rural parochialism, cometh McConalogue, a TD from the most historically deprived of all Irish counties who... Read more »

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IRISH PODCAST AWARDS’ PROMO

A VERITABLE orgy of backslapping and self-praise greeted the announcement of nominees for the Irish Podcast Awards 2022 (IPAs), the newest entrant to the already-crowded media awards calendar. British company Haymarket Media Group has swooped in to put on the awards ceremony, and it is also behind the British Podcast Awards and Australian Podcast Awards.... Read more »

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SUN SETTING ON MACGILL

IF THERE was any doubt about how the Irish political landscape has moved on in recent years, what of the near silence surrounding this year’s MacGill Summer School? Joe Mullholland’s annual event bills itself as “the foremost political and socio-economic discussion forum in Ireland”, and for a time the Glenties gabfest enjoyed an outsized place... Read more »

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PASCHAL DONOHOE’S WAR CHEST

Paschal Donohoe

ECONOMIC HISTORIAN Adam Tooze has emerged in recent years as one of the Anglosphere’s foremost celebrity intellectuals. Just as likely to be found in the left-leaning London Review of Books as he is at a crucible of globalism like the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Columbia University professor has amassed influence and admirers across... Read more »

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JENNIFER ZAMPARELLI’S HAIRY VENTURE

WHILE SHE may be one of the leading lights of RTÉ at present, Jennifer Zamparelli is making sure all of her curlers aren’t in one basket by investing in a new hair salon. After publicly fangirling over the haircuts she received at Oslo hair and beauty salon over the past year, the 2fm presenter is... Read more »

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COLIN HUNT’S PR BLUNDER

Colin Hunt

ON THE grand scale of Irish banking controversies, AIB’s decision to terminate cash and ATM services at 70 branches ranks somewhere down the lower orders, but, in purely public relations terms, the move can be counted as something of a spectacular. Chief Executive Colin Hunt’s operation is trapped between customer expectation and the bank it... Read more »

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HELEN DIXON’S VISITORS

Helen Dixon

WHILE THE headlines have not been encouraging for the hospitality sector in recent weeks, it seems that Ireland still counts some unique attractions for foreign visitors. The European Parliament’s committee for civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) has announced plans for a whistle-stop tour in September, which will see MEPs vent their frustration with... Read more »

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GEORGIE CRAWFORD’S GLOW UP

HAVING LEFT the world of radio behind, Georgie Crawford scored a small PR coup this week in the saturated podcast market. Getting the late RTÉ broadcaster Gerry Ryan’s daughter Bonnie to speak about life after his passing garnered column inches for Crawford, the former group head of entertainment at Spin 1038 and 98FM. The traction... Read more »

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EUROPE MARCHES ON

GOOD NEWS for Ireland’s armchair generals with a conversion of “historic” proportions underway in Brussels. Neither economic crisis or pandemic were enough to shake EU member states from their own individual interests, but at long last security concerns have unlocked a collective response without comparison. The European Commission on Tuesday announced a new instrument of... Read more »

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POLARISING PRESS

WHEN IT comes to promoting political extremism, the biggest Irish newspapers are hard to beat. The Irish Times took comfort where it could from May’s Assembly elections in an editorial that hailed “Silent middle finds its voice.” With nationalism on top and the DUP in free-fall, the newspaper followed the same line as Dublin’s government... Read more »

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SILENT COUP

IRISH COMMENTARY has not troubled itself with remarks last week from John Bolton, long time US Republican war hawk who most recently served as national security advisor to the Trump White House. Discussing the actions of Trump supporters in Washington on January 6 2021, Bolton casually admitted US involvement in the overthrow of foreign governments.... Read more »

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SINGING PAT KIELY’S TUNE

FORMER VIRGIN Media Television MD Pat Kiely’s content production company BiggerStage has been quick out of the blocks since it launched in 2021. It is currently co-producing the third season of the US version of Name That Tune with Fox Alternative Entertainment (FAE), the in-house unscripted studio of Fox Entertainment. One interesting strand of the... Read more »

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MCSHARRY AND O’CONNELL’S OPINIONS

VIRGIN MEDIA presenter Muireann O’Connell and former 2fm DJ Louise McSharry are in a neck and neck competition to garner the most headlines. Showbiz columnists and hacks with online space to fill regularly cover the women’s complaints over everything from their treatment by former employers to the material and gripes aired by RTÉ’s Liveline. You’d... Read more »

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COVENEY TO TAKE ON CHINA?

Simon Coveney

WHILE HISTORY tells us that it is folly to underestimate the Russians in any conflict, western powers have taken comfort from Putin’s failure to dispatch with Ukraine in short and decisive manner. Russia’s fading star has allowed attention to be focused elsewhere, and it will be interesting to see if Ireland’s armchairs generals in politics... Read more »

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LAURA WHITMORE MARCHES ON

THE BRITISH Army is taking full advantage of the current climate with recruitment efforts going into overdrive. Recently installed chief of staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders, claimed that this generation is facing its own “1937 moment” in a speech broadcast on Sky News. Further headlines have been generated by new blockbuster style advertising campaign featuring... Read more »

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HEANEY ‘CENSORED’

WITH MODERN universities increasingly obsessed with rankings, UCD will surely be alarmed to read a recent article in the Irish Times. Tara Street’s resident philosopher, Joe Humphreys, brings news that “free speech” is under threat at the college, at least if we are to believe the assessment of “United States-based non-partisan Foundation for Individual Rights... Read more »

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RTÉ AIR MILES

John Kilraine

OIREACHTAS MEMBERS picking over the sustainability of RTÉ has seemingly done little to encourage belt tightening at Montrose. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week published a report on the national broadcaster’s present and future finances, recommending that first and foremost it must wean itself off a reliance on state funding. Notable among the 25... Read more »

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BLUESHIRT CHILDS PLAY

leo Varadkar

STRUGGLING PARENTS and even a “squeezed middle” are unlikely to heed Fine Gael’s latest round of childcare bluster. “It starts now” read the banner behind Leo Varadkar as he launched the Government’s plan to tackle exorbitant early years costs. Not a moment too soon, one would think – only this was in 2017, when the... Read more »

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JP MCMANUS’S HOLE IN ONE

JP McManus

THE IRISH TIMES took a dim view of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in a June editorial, concluding that “golf has always been seen as a selfish sport. The defections of so many high-profile players would now also cast it as a greedy one, at odds with the very principle of equity at its core.”... Read more »

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AIRBNB’S LATEST PUSH

AIRBNB IS currently wining and dining “hosts” as the company bids to protect its presence in the Irish accommodation market. While Airbnb has long been a target of renters competing for meagre housing supply, criticism has also recently been voiced by others in the tourism business. The Restaurants Association and Vintners Federation both complain that... Read more »

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DRYING TUBRIDY’S TEARS

Ryan Tubridy

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy described to listeners this week how he wept while watching the new Elvis movie. His newly-filed accounts won’t help to dry his tears too much as they show that Tubs’ company Tuttle Productions Ltd made a profit of just €13,600 in 2021. Although this is a big improvement on 2020, when... Read more »

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CLARE DALY’S AMERICAN FRIENDS

Clare Daly

WHILE CLARE Daly and Mick Wallace have become persona non grata among Dublin’s respectable opinion formers, the pair have long found new alliances since becoming members of the European Parliament. The Irish duo have seen their profiles raise considerably in recent months and this week sees Daly in an interview published by the American Committee... Read more »

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DREW’S DU PLANTIER REVIEW

Drew Harris

IT OUGHT to be considered a misnomer to describe the murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier as a “cold case” given the attention that this investigation has received compared to others since 1996. The newspapers have nonetheless been given a fresh round of headlines this week following the announcement that An Garda Síochána is to... Read more »

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ROZ PURCELL’S BALLS

AS HER music promoter boyfriend Zach Desmond is gearing up to orchestrate the Longitude festival this weekend, Roz Purcell is preparing for the release of her new food range, Mafu Snax, and a new collection of her Hike Life clothing range. On the snacks front, the model-turned-influencer has teamed up with Monaghan food company, Nutri... Read more »

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