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Category: Affairs

JIMMY MENTON’S MEDICAL RECORD

James Menton

LESS THAN 24 hours before cabinet proceeded to approve an unaltered agreement of ownership and governance at the proposed new National Maternity Hospital, St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG) finally faced questions at the Oireachtas Health Committee on Monday. Judging by the sparks that continued to fly during the following day’s leader’s questions, the contributions from... Read more »

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KREMLIN TORIES

Boris Johnson

THAT THE British property market, media and many of its high profile sporting corporates exist today as extensions of oligarchy – English, Australian, American, Arab, Russian or otherwise – has been well documented down the years but Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has made it much more difficult to conceal that even the Conservative Party, gasp,... Read more »

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BONO VOX

Bono

THE RELEASE of Bono’s memoir is “likely to be one of the big publishing events of the year” according to one Indo scribe and it will certainly be interesting to see how the U2 singer’s own efforts are received in comparison to the last serious book on the subject. Harry Browne’s 2013 polemic, The Frontman:... Read more »

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DONNELLY TRIES TO CLOSE THE DEAL

Stephen Donnelly

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has been most impatient as the opposition continue to ask unhelpful questions about the proposed new National Maternity Hospital. While leaders’ questions has been fraught on the topic, down in Committee Room 4 at least, it falls to Stephen Donnelly to put a more gentle face on efforts to push this arrangement... Read more »

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MEDIAHUIS’S CLEAN SWEEP

Peter Vandermeersch

GREAT NEWS for Mediahuis at the Travel Extra travel journalism awards this year, as it swept the board in all five of the print category awards. Its regular contributor, Catherine Murphy, also won the overall travel journalist of the year. The country’s largest newspaper group will have been mollified by the gongs, considering it was... Read more »

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A SHARED HEALTH SERVICE?

The confidence-and-supply deal reflected Micheál Martin’s lack of belief in his party’s ability to take on FG in a general election.

WITH THE attention of the international media focused briefly on Assembly elections, the Dublin Government has been keen to stress that a border poll remains in the distance despite a nationalist victory. Three senior figures, Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, have each responded to the outcome by insisting voters have signalled that their... Read more »

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ELLEN COYNE’S HARD MEDICINE

Ellen Coyne

IRISH INDEPENDENT hack Ellen Coyne often appears as someone in conflict with a previous version of herself. It was greeted with considerable surprise in 2020 when the feminist firebrand announced that her debut book was to be a memoir centred on personal Catholic faith. This dichotomy certainly generated some welcome intrigue for publishers Gill, though... Read more »

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: LIAM KENNEDY

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A chara dhíl,

Goldhawk must have developed a squint. I did indeed write that the Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s should not be conflated with the Irish experience almost a century earlier. But this had absolutely nothing to do with President Zelenskyy’s address to Dáil Éireann, as wildly suggested by your scribe. It had everything to do with Paul Gillespie’s column in the Irish Times a few days earlier, drawing a superficial parallel between great famines in Ukraine and Ireland.

READ MORE »

PADDY COSGRAVE’S BRAZILIAN HEADACHE

PADDY COSGRAVE’S battle against corruption and cronyism in Ireland continues apace. But will Brazil be next on the list of targets or will he keep his head down? The Twitter outpourings of the mouthy moneybags over the last few days feature plenty of his trademark ‘observations’. He has opined on subjects from the An Bord... Read more »

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AIRBNB’S REFUGEE SPIN

READERS WILL have noticed a great deal of variety in the deluge of headlines regarding accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, with everything from military barracks to modular housing being floated as potential solutions. The reason for this, Goldhawk understands, is that panic has gripped the departments responsible for housing and integration, and indeed the Taoiseach’s office,... Read more »

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SINN FÉIN BOGGED DOWN

Pearse Doherty

WITH NORTHERN ASSEMBLY polling this week, Sinn Féin is campaigning on the line that “this election is about the future, about the next generation and what we can achieve if we work together.” Elsewhere, it is not just that Sinn Féin are indistinguishable from their Government rivals on the turf cutting issue, but the party’s... Read more »

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MALCOLM BYRNE’S MEDIA

MEDIA DEBATES in Leinster House reliably provide an insight into the preoccupations of Oireachtas members, and the passage of the Online Safety and Media Regulations Bill will give TDs and Senators plenty of opportunity to vent their frustrations with political coverage. With a new Coimisiún set to replace the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Fianna Fáil’s... Read more »

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BRIAN DOWLING’S TURN

WITH HIS husband, Arthur Gourounlian, recently installed as a judge on RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars, Brian Dowling is the latest personality to find himself hosting Ireland AM. The former Big Brother winner also recently filled in on The Six O’Clock Show, continuing Virgin Media’s puzzling strategy of shoving a rotating cast of faces front... Read more »

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STEPHEN DONNELLY’S LAST LAP

IS STEPHEN Donnelly’s effort to reassert himself a sign that political survival is not written off just yet? According to the Irish Examiner, the health minister intervened after his junior, Anne Rabbitte, was reportedly prevented by HSE officials from holding one to one meetings with local service managers. Rabbitte says that she sought monthly “on the... Read more »

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SINDO’S POWER STRUGGLE

THE NEWS that Fran Power is departing the Sindo has come as a surprise to the denizens of Talbot Towers, coming a mere year 18 months after the launch of the supplement she edits. Hacks are now speculating about who might replace the outgoing editor of People & Culture, with suggestions like Barry Ego and... Read more »

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IRISH TIMES ‘RIGHT WING CHIC’

irish-times

WHILE RARELY original it can be illuminating at least to read what commentary from the international media (strictly anglophone) is reproduced for Irish audiences. Goldhawk frequently finds that some bright idea from the Economist, Spectator, Financial Times, etc, will appear a week or two later in the domestic opinion pages or weekend supplements, re-jigged and... Read more »

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MARY LOU VS RTÉ

Mary Lou McDonald

“EVERYBODY IS entitled to their good name” Micheál Martin told the Dáil last year as he played down the extraordinary duration that two investigations under his department (IBRC est. 2015, NAMA est. 2017) are taking to reach their conclusions. Sitting in the same spot this week, An Taoiseach was overheard making a curt remark about... Read more »

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WHAT NOW FOR THIS UNHAPPY PAIR?

Happy Pear Twins

IT MAKES a change for the Happy Pear twins to take a pasting in the media, considering they normally get acres of free and flattering coverage when flogging their latest course/cookbook/food product or café. If criticism this week of their claim that people can reduce the risk of cancer through diet has an effect on... Read more »

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IRELAND’S TROPHY BECOMES MUSK’S PLAYTHING

Elon Musk

WITH THE stroke of a $44bn deal, the dynamic of Ireland’s relationship with plutocrat Elon Musk is likely to change significantly. Loss-making Twitter is not among the major contributors to corporation tax revenue, and, with less than 200 staff at its European HQ in Dublin, the company’s jobs’ footprint is dwarfed by the thousands employed... Read more »

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HEGARTY’S DIGITAL HEADACHE

Nóirín Hegarty

AS SHE readies the troops for implementing the paper’s new digital-first strategy, Sunday Times editor Nóirín Hegarty is facing the biggest challenge of her six-month tenure to date. Naturally the decision to publish stories online in the week leading up to the appearance of said content in print on Sunday has left a cohort of... Read more »

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SHARON KEOGAN’S ‘FREE SPEECH’

Sharon Keogan

“WE HAVE suffered far too often from groupthink in this country” argues Daniel McConnell, who casts himself as the Irish Examiner’s answer to Voltaire. Groupthink certainly abounds, as McConnell is just one of a number of writers who have framed Sharon Keogan’s performance at the Oireachtas Committee on Surrogacy simplistically as a question of free... Read more »

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TEN YEAR MENTAL REFORM

A “WATERSHED” was how Mary Butler hailed a Dáil debate in February, concluding that “fifty-one deputies, which is a lot, came to speak about the important issue of youth mental health.” An impressive turn out in Leinster House for sure, only that Fianna Fáil’s Minister of State for Mental Health was putting a neat gloss... Read more »

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MEDIA CAUGHT OUT

Fionnan Sheahan

AN IRISH Times opinion poll revealing that an overwhelming majority of voters still stand by neutrality has been greeted with dismay if not contempt among the political media. Wherever it is the public have received their commitment to a path that rejects militarisation, it has certainly not come from either the press or leading politicians.... Read more »

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WAS IT FOR THIS?

Michael D Higgins

BEYOND DEALING with the catastrophic fallout from Ukraine, influential elements here and abroad have been greatly emboldened by the opportunity to mould public minds toward a new era of militarism. It is with great regret then that, according to at least one opinion poll, a major shift in thinking remains elusive. That war in Europe... Read more »

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LISA CHAMBERS’ CONFERENCE

Lisa Chambers

MNÁ NA hÉireann will no doubt be thrilled to finally receive the attention of Fianna Fáil. Late last month what was once the “natural party of government” during most of the state’s existence proclaimed that “historically, women’s health has not been a priority and we feel strongly that this has to change.” Fancy that. Lisa... Read more »

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TURF AT THE TOP

Eamon Ryan

DAVID MCCOURT’S National Broadband Ireland is under pressure to get a move on after serious criticism from the Public Accounts Committee last week. With less than 10,000 of over half a million target premises connected so far, the Dáil’s spending watchdog is the latest to question if the state is getting value for money from... Read more »

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JACK KENNEDY’S SWANSONG

JACK KENNEDY has certainly had a colourful tenure as editor of Trinity News, and shows no let up as the conclusion of his stint at the helm of the student rag approaches. Among those he publicly accused of having “blood on their hands” in the wake of the recent double murder in Sligo were the... Read more »

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IRISH TIMES TAKES ON ZELENSKYY

THE FORCES of revisionism are nothing if not vigilant, maintaining watch even as the headlines are dominated by war, inflation and climate crisis. The Irish Times resumed its campaign against Republicanism on Wednesday with a column from historian Liam Kennedy, who argues that the Ukrainian famine of the early 1930s should not be conflated with... Read more »

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WATT NEXT?

Robert Watt

WHAT AN intriguing battle royale permeates the highest levels of Ireland’s health service. It seems forgotten now that it was Simon Harris and his failure to get on top of this portfolio that effectively sank the executive led by Leo Varadkar. Micheál Martin today has his own issues and personalities to face down. With the... Read more »

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JENNIFER ZAMPARELLI’S RTÉ ADVANTAGE

WITH VARIOUS hosting gigs on the go, Jennifer Zamparelli’s star continues to rise at RTÉ, and her bank account is waltzing upwards in response. As well as hosting her three-hour weekday radio show on 2fm, the Dubliner has just finished hosting Dancing with the Stars and is about to begin the quiz show Home Advantage.... Read more »

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MICK O’TOOLE TAKES AIM

MICK O’TOOLE, the Irish Daily Star’s hard charging crime corr and Manchester City fan in residence, took two notable stands this week. The first was on the question of a garda press conference about the US government’s decision to impose sanctions on the three most senior members of the Kinahan gang in conjunction with the... Read more »

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GOOD EUROPEANS?

Clare Daly

MUCH OF the commentary surrounding Clare Daly and Mick Wallace betrays a lack of understanding about the European Union apparatus. It certainly underlines the sorry state of how EU affairs have long been covered. Perhaps it’s because Ireland has, erm, only ever sent its highest calibre of politician to early retirement in Brussels that people... Read more »

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ZELENSKYY’S ADDRESS

THERE WAS no sign of the usual ornamentation as Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Oireachtas on Wednesday morning. The Ukrainian president dispensed with quotes from Yeats or Heaney and got straight down to outlining the damage which he said had been done by Russian forces the night before. To have a foreign head of state speak... Read more »

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BOYD BARRETT MEETS THE CATWALK

MANY OBSERVERS were flabbergasted this week when Richard Boyd Barrett received the endorsement of top model, Bella Hadid. The VOGUE cover star could be considered among the pinnacle of global celebrity, and shared two People Before Profit posts with her 50.8 million Instagram followers. By contrast, the socialist TD for Dún Laoghaire is now one... Read more »

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CJ STANDER’S DAMP SQUIB

IT LOOKS like the BBQ-ing equipment business venture he founded with fellow South African rugby players Leon Jordaan and Darin Claasen didn’t quite ignite a passion in CJ Stander. Although the FireBoks business was launched in a blaze of publicity in January 2021, former Ireland and Munster player Stander resigned as director and sold his... Read more »

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MAYORS WITH MANDATES?

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DUBLIN CHAMBER of Commerce is most optimistic in suggesting that a new role of Minister for Dublin be created. The organisation’s President, Vincent Harrison, opines that a cabinet place should be reserved for the interests of the capital city in the event that plans for a directly elected mayor continue to stall. Aside from likely... Read more »

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