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Category: Affairs

LIVELINE LEFT BEHIND

Joe Duffy

WITH FEAR and loathing long the dominant mood in budget stricken RTÉ, the opportunity to rally around Liveline has provided a brief moment of unity in an organisation otherwise characterised by ego battles and jealous anxiety over where the axe might fall. This is at least the impression left by some media reports on the... Read more »

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BLUESHIRT BUDGET BLUES

FINE GAEL will need to draw deep in its reserves of brazenness as Paschal Donohoe navigates not just the so-called cost of living crisis but the contradictions of his own party. The Government is presently trying to manage expectations, with senior figures insisting that there will be no new measures until budget day and that... Read more »

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CRONA BYRNE’S COMPLAINTS

GAYBO’S DAUGHTER Crona Byrne has been given much airtime over the past two years to broadcast her complaints over the travails faced by the childcare industry, describing at one point how she felt like a “punch bag” during the pandemic. Byrne is owner of Anacron Ltd, the company behind childcare facilities in Ballina, Tipperary, which,... Read more »

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RECYCLED PR

GOOD NEWS is hard come by on the climate front, so Goldhawk was interested to read that Ireland has suddenly become best in class at recycling. Glowing highlights from Repak’s annual report are published this week by RTÉ, the Irish Times and The Journal, each with head-turning claims like “Ireland hits recycling targets for 24th... Read more »

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FF AND FG BANISHED FROM THE ÁRAS?

Michael D Higgins

LOST IN recriminations over the President’s latest impromptu state of the nation is a deeper sense of existential dread stalking the old order. Even the most ardent government cheerleaders, not to mention the ideological foes Higgins accumulated down the years, all concede ruefully that a majority will readily concur with his assessment of Irish housing... Read more »

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ST AND SINDO SHENANIGANS

If Sunday Times Ireland editor Nóirín Hegarty was disappointed to lose hack Mark Tighe to the Sindo, she has recovered some ground by nabbing pol corr Aoife Moore from the Examiner.

Moore’s arrival into the Aawrish edition of the Sunday Times should generate plenty of interest, considering she recently initiated defamation proceedings in the High Court against two former columnists from its biggest rival, the Sindo.

These are Gwen Halley and her husband, former senator Eoghan Harris, who operated pseudonymous Twitter accounts that Moore claims defamed her.

There’s more change afoot at the Sindo as Indo features ed, Liz Kearney, is moving to the Sunday paper.

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PAT RABBITTE’S PREDICTIONS

IT LOOKS like a case of seller’s remorse for Pat Rabbitte, who laments the energy challenges currently facing the Government and consumers. The former Labour Party leader reminds Business Post readers that he predicted a risk of the state “sleepwalking” into a crisis in a column twelve months ago, but his crystal ball was of... Read more »

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COMMEMORATING COSTELLO

Charlie Flanagan

GOLDHAWK IS reassured to see the Blueshirt order regain control of its history after a brief concession to the old foe. While Fine Gael is usually the last Irish political party associated with graveside oration, Senator Barry Ward has arranged for party faithful to gather at Deansgrange Cemetery each June to honour former Taoiseach, John... Read more »

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BANKING ON THE BUDGET

Paschal Donohoe

EXTRAORDINARY TIMES might call for extraordinary measures, but not so at the Department of Finance, as ministers and mandarins prepare to marshal their way through what is now called the “annual budgetary process”. For months now Government politicians have appeared in media broadcasts with little comfort to offer publicly beyond assurances that all will be... Read more »

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MCWAFFLE’S DALKEY BOOK FEST VOLUNTEERS

A TROUPE of volunteers is gearing up to work for free this weekend at Dalkey Book Festival, which received €40,000 in funding from the Arts Council this year and is sponsored by Zurich Insurance.

Attendees pay €15 entry to each event and fans can also donate to support the festival, which was set up by economist David McWilliams and his missus Sian Smyth in 2010.

Dalkey Book Festival Services Ltd made a profit in 2019 of €33,000, reducing accumulated losses to less than a grand. While it may not be keen on paying the volunteers who man everything from front of house to merchandise and production, it paid rent of €7,500 that year to Iconic Media, a media company owned by McWaffle.

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EURO JIM’S RELEVANCE

Jim O'Callaghan

JIM O’CALLAGHAN posed as a most distinguished statesman in a recent opinion column when he called for a harder line in dealing with Brexit. Humility is hardly a value Jim is renowned for, being not just a rookie TD seeking to lead his party at the earliest opportunity but one who turned down a lowly... Read more »

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MICHEÁL MARCHES ON

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.

WHILE NATO is laden still with political risk, an EU defence pact and Irish participation is considered a done deal. In this domestic context, the former is now being used to sweeten the latter pill. The mature debate on Irish neutrality rumbles on, led by the most responsible and considerate political leaders. Micheál Martin says... Read more »

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NEVEN MAGUIRE’S GOODWILL

Neven Maguire

AFFABLE CHEF Neven Maguire brought his brand of goodwill to the Phoenix Park last weekend, when he gave a cookery demonstration at gardening and food event Bloom. Speaking of goodwill, accounts show that the Maguire’s company Lucon Ltd made a loss of €209,000 in 2020, because the value of “goodwill” was amortised from €1,086,000 to... Read more »

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RAY D’ARCY’S DOSH

Ray Darcy

NOW THAT RTÉ is “developing ideas” to replace Claire Byrne Live, will Ray D’Arcy finally be given a new TV programme? After his primetime Saturday night show was pulled at the end of 2019, D’Arcy’s TV time was reduced to a six-week run of The Den in November 2020 on RTÉ One. While he earned... Read more »

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CLAIRE BYRNE’S END

Claire Byrne

GOLDHAWK SHUDDERS to think who among RTÉ’s “star talent” is next to receive their own current affairs vehicle following the demise of Claire Byrne Live. There was little left to scrape in the bottom of this particular barrel but the sudden departure poses a challenge for even the renowned efficiency at Montrose, which has less than... Read more »

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TV REVIEW: BRAINSTORM (RTE ONE)

BRAINSTORM declared itself to be a “new series about new thinking” – so it’s clearly not going to be a documentary about RTE commissioning editors. Rather, it’s part of the Montrose’s so-called ‘Brainstorm initiative’, a strand of ‘content’ that in typical RTE fashion is a somewhat nebulous mishmash of science-themed programming. Its most recent manifestation,... Read more »

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JOHN BURNS VS THE PHOENIX

John Burns

STANDARDS HAVE fallen at The Phoenix if we are to believe the musings of Sunday Times journalist, John Burns. Goldhawk’s crimes amount to a failure to fall in behind efforts to undermine Ireland’s policy of neutrality and this magazine’s scrutiny of how the campaign of militarism has played out elsewhere in the Irish media.

As a frequent subject in our pages, a wounded John Burns might be forgiven for holding professional, even personal, animus toward the humble Phoenix, but our critic has the good grace to dress up any potential injury as a defence of the Irish Times – the newspaper which exhibited signs of extreme anguish when its own opinion polling last month revealed that voters remain unmoved in their attitude to war despite its best efforts.

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MADIGAN’S BACK TO SCHOOL BLUES

Josepha Madigan

GOLDHAWK IS flummoxed by Government plans to hive off some children into what are being called “special education centres.” With a long-anticipated shortage of classroom places looming this September, it is envisioned that some of those with intellectual disabilities are to be denied the opportunity of “mainstream” learning alongside their own peers, and will be... Read more »

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ELECTORAL REFORM

Darragh O'Brien

IT IS interesting to consider the impetus fuelling some elements of the current zeal for political reform in Leinster House. The Government plans to overhaul the Electoral Acts, beefing up the law to reflect new challenges posed by the current political age. An amendment bill published by minister Darragh O’Brien seeks to regulate online advertising,... Read more »

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PAUL STENSON’S MOVE

Paul Stenson

OUTRAGE MERCHANT Paul Stenson caused a predictable stir at the height of the pandemic by taking aim at those claiming Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP) for “sitting on their arses at home and living off taxpayers’ money.” Surprisingly, given this perspective, the Charleville Lodge Hotel, which is fronted by the loudmouth himself and home to his... Read more »

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GREEN GRENADES?

REBEL GREEN Party TDs Neasa Hourigan and Patrick Costello are taking an interesting gamble in choosing to break ranks on the maternity hospital, expending whatever remaining leverage they might have on environmental concerns. With Mary Lou McDonald’s surplus expected to bring in a running mate in Dublin North Central, it is unlikely that both Neasa... Read more »

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SHELL GAMES

“CONTRARY TO Shell’s public expressions around Net Zero, they are not winding down on oil and gas, but planning to explore and extract much more”, so says Caroline Dennett, a senior safety consultant who publicly ended an eleven year relationship with the company this week. In a video posted on Linkedin that calls upon 1,400... Read more »

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CHASING DIARMUID GAVIN

WITH A new book out next week, fans can expect to see the green-fingered Diarmuid Gavin popping up all over the place on the PR trail. Clients hoping he will transform their gardens may be reassured that good things come to those who wait, if an account given by Francine Cunningham, wife of Mediahuis publisher... Read more »

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FILM REVIEW: AN CAILÍN CIÚIN

ALL OVER this country, in housing estates and country lanes, there are houses that are unkempt and seem—by comparison with their neighbours—anachronistic. The paintwork is peeling, the hedges ‘leggy’ and sprawling, their gardens littered with broken things. Colm Bairéad’s An Cailín Ciúin – an adaptation of Claire Keegan’s internationally critically acclaimed novella Foster – begins... Read more »

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GOVERNMENT’S TEST RESULTS

WHAT WILL it take for the Government to face up to its responsibilities on medical laboratory testing? Following unparalleled scrutiny of the state’s lab capacity on foot of a cancer screening scandal and a global pandemic, this week sees frontline workers striking over pay parity and what the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association (MLSA) say is... Read more »

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NO ROOM AT THE INN

WITH SUMMER upon us, the hospitality sector is facing pressures old and new. Though never short of complaints to fill media space, it seems that not all challenges emanate from outside the tourism business. The Restaurants Association and Vintners Federation are the latest to hit out at Airbnb, claiming that the dearth of accommodation is... Read more »

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MYSTERY FIANNA FÁIL ROBOTS

Micheál Martin

PITY TO see a cloud left hanging over Fianna Fáil’s efforts to win the information war after Stephen Donnelly’s social media was turbo charged by robots. The minister, his party and the Department of Health have asked Twitter to investigate after a video from Donnelly’s account was shared hundreds of times in a matter of... Read more »

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PULLING THE PLUG ON PIPPA TV

WITH PIPPA O’Connor’s entry into the alcohol market generating plenty of fuss and puff pieces, it’s a good time for one of her much-talked-about projects – Pippa TV – to quietly slither off into the ether. While the TV channel aimed to be a hub for “female-focused storytelling and film-making,” the company behind it, Bopoc... Read more »

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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 Mediahuis Awards

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

article default

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.

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