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Category: Affairs

PROFILE: MICHEÁL MARTIN

Micheál Martin

SUDDENLY, after three years of being widely mocked as Leo Varadkar’s pussycat and pilloried by his own members for refusing to fight the Blueshirts, Micheál Martin appears to be vindicated. The polls are beginning to show Fianna Fáil edging ahead of Fine Gael and a real poll – the local elections – reflected that lead.... Read more »

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YOUNG BLOODS: SEÁN MCLOUGHLIN

Sean McLoughlin

Millionaire Internet entrepreneur Seán McLoughlin (29), better known to his fans as Jacksepticeye, appears to be one of the most successful young Irish businessmen of recent times. Thanks to his YouTube channel, the Offaly man has built a global brand with a monstrous reach that most traditional businesses could only dream of. Exactly how did... Read more »

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BIG PHIL’S PAYBACK FROM LEO

Phil Hogan

THE ANGST-RIDDEN debate on the EU deal with South American trading block Mercosur is one thing, and it may be that the government can minimise the fall-out among its farming base over time. But the re-appointment as EU commissioner of Big Phil Hogan is another matter and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has scored another own goal... Read more »

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SARAH O’SHEA’S FOOTBALL SKILLS

Sarah O'Shea

IF ALL goes according to plan on July 20, then the subsequent annual general meeting of the FAI could see a brand new 12-person board elected, including four independent directors and with a significantly enhanced gender balance. This explains why the name of legal eagle and sports consultant Sarah O’Shea has now surfaced as a... Read more »

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PROFILE: ENDA O’COINEEN

Enda O'Coineen

EYEBROWS WERE raised last weekend when Enda O’Coineen’s name was linked to a possible acquisition of the RTÉ Guide. But the deal makes sense; the Galway man is beefing up the Sunday Business Post for a possible flotation – in Sweden – and the profitable RTÉ Guide would make the business a more attractive proposition.... Read more »

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YOUNG BLOOD: JAMES GEOGHEGAN

James Geoghegan

Last month’s Dublin City Council elections saw the electoral debut of prodigious Fine Gaeler James Geoghegan (34), who marked the occasion by taking a seat with a massive vote in the Pembroke electoral area. With his D4 elocution and impressive CV, the posh politico and barrister is the stuff that Blueshirt dreams are made of,... Read more »

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FIANNA FAIL’S ELECTION BEEF

Micheál Martin

FIANNA FAIL’s claims that the Mercosur Deal – a trade deal between the EU and a host of South American countries – signals a potential “death knell” for the Irish beef industry is further evidence that the party are moving from the posture of ‘mature opposition’ and toward a combative election footing. The mood among... Read more »

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HELEN DIXON IN ISRAEL

THERE WILL be further questions about the nature of Helen Dixon’s watchdog status following a recent speech at Tel Aviv University. The Irish Data Protection Commissioner was in Israel on Thursday to deliver a keynote lecture during ‘Cyber Week’, a joint initiative of the Israeli university, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s office.... Read more »

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KATE O’CONNELL AND MARIA BAILEY

THE SPECIAL relationship between VBFs Fine Gael TDs Maria Bailey and Kate O’Connell appears to have been challenged due to the unfortunate misunderstanding and media sensationalism generated by Bailey’s compo claim. In the week leading up to that motorway pile-up interview that Bailey gave to RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke, researchers for Newstalk’s The Pat Kenny Show... Read more »

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SIMON COVENEY’S OPTICS

THE TÁNAISTE and foreign minister, Simon Coveney, hinted in the Dáil last November that he had an indirect input into the master plan for the Middle East being presented in Bahrain by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, last week. Covetous referred to his “good relationship” with Jason Greenblatt, Kushner’s point man on the initiative, when... Read more »

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FOOL’S GOLD

Surprisingly, there still seems to be parts of Ireland’s natural environment that have yet to be exploited for monetary gain. But fear not – the government is determined to put a stop to this shameful waste of resources. That much is clear from the wording of scores of new prospecting licences being handed out like... Read more »

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HERMANN KELLY VS SINN FÉIN

Hermann Kelly

His poor performance in May’s European elections is in the rearview mirror but, for bombastic Irexiteer Hermann Kelly, a hangover could be on the way. Kelly is facing the prospect of a libel action by Sinn Féin advisor Mark Moloney, who says the Irish Freedom Party and its leader defamed him in a series of... Read more »

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GENDER NEUTRAL ‘PANIC’

Percival - Gender neutral

THE ANNUAL school uniform panic came a few months early this year with the news that a primary school in Wicklow will introduce a ‘gender neutral policy’ from September. That St Brigid’s in Greystones will allow students to wear the uniform they wish is not so much a remarkable story in itself.  The Department of... Read more »

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FRANCES FITZGERALD’S PRIDE

FRANCES FITZGERALD was to the front on Thursday as the Oireachtas launched an LGBT group for members and staff at Leinster House. With Dublin Pride this weekend, the former justice minister was, as always, keen to capitalise on cuddly liberal credentials, but her time in charge tells a very different story. With homosexuality still remaining... Read more »

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VARADKAR TO BAIL OUT BAILEY?

Leo Varadkar

LEO VARADKAR is again exhibiting a recently observed trait of indecision and prevarication, this time in the Maria Bailey ‘compo’ controversy. This characteristic is at odds with the firm, leadership image so carefully cultivated in his leadership campaign. There is hardly a member of the Fine Gael party (and certainly not in cabinet) that doesn’t... Read more »

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SOC DEMS TARGET EIGHT DÁIL SEATS

Gary Gannon

THE MEDIA’s new political love objects are the Greens, but the Soc Dems are also feeling some love, as illustrated by a recent Irish Times article on their general election prospects headlined, “Soc Dems… next leap forward”. Party handlers told the IT they are targeting six new seats to add to those of dual leaders... Read more »

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LYRA McKEE EXPOSÉ

Lyra McKee

LYRA McKEE’S posthumous book, Angels with Blue Faces, focuses on the November 1981 IRA killing of firebrand Ulster Unionist MP Reverend Robert Bradford, which she implies was linked to the Kincora boys home scandal and also led to Bradford being set up by British intelligence. McKee’s book accurately states that Bradford had taken an interest... Read more »

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HACKS ‘BLOOD’ FEUD

Jeremy Corbyn

TWO PROMINENT Irish post holders in the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have become embroiled in the offensive against British Labour Party Palestinian supporters and have targeted an elderly Muslim woman on the NUJ (UK & Ireland) national executive. The thrust of the British Labour and media campaign against Palestinian supporters is that any criticism... Read more »

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VLAD TO EUROPE?

Leo Varadkar

WITH TOP JOBS at the European Commission, Council and Central Bank to fill, readers of the Financial Times may have been surprised to see Leo Varadkar’s name in the mix. A post-election impasse in Brussels reportedly has European Parliament groupings looking for compromise candidates and the paper claims that Vlad is among the “options discussed... Read more »

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FINE GAEL’S ARBITRARY OFFER

WITH STRIKE action underway by 10,000 support staff at 38 hospitals around the country, Government has again reiterated its ‘offer’ of arbitration. This is despite heated exchanges in the Dáil last week, when Leo Varadkar was accused of a “fundamental misunderstanding” of the role of the Labour Court. The spectre of public sector pay represents... Read more »

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DUBLIN PRIDE’S PRICE

Jed Dowling

THIS WEEKEND sees the annual Dublin Pride march organised by Jed Dowling’s Dublin LGBTQ Pride company and it promises to be the most corporate to date. Not everyone is dancing with joy. A visit to the Dublin Pride website leaves the visitor in little doubt as to the increased corporate input into the annual shindig,... Read more »

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FG DINNER DONORS

Charlie Flanagan

A CERTAIN apprehension spread across the bluer membership of the Law Library this week as they perceived that their civil war enemies were gathering intelligence on who spent €600 (senior counsel) or €400 (junior) each at the Fine Gael fundraiser in Suesey Street restaurant last Friday night. The fear is that the names, if secured,... Read more »

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‘IRISH TIMES’ RUSSIAN SCARE

THE increasingly hysterical tone of the Anglo-American Russian scare campaign was evident in a story splashed across the front page of the Irish Times this week headlined, “Russians posted ‘fake news’ about Northern Ireland”. Inside there were further details in a longer article under the headline, “Russians ‘faked Foster email to sow divisions’”. The recent... Read more »

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MATTIE MCGRATH’S PHOTO OP

DEMONSTRATORS at Leinster House were buoyed yesterday when Mattie McGrath TD arrived at the gates to chat with protesters and even have his photograph taken holding their banner. Crowds had gathered to keep a vigil as TDs inside debated the Protection of Employee Tips Bill. Despite government objections, the legislation received cross party support and... Read more »

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NO ROOM AT THE INN FOR TOYOKO

AN AGREEMENT signed by ruling parties on Dublin City Council will come as bitter news for Toyoko Inn International, whose plans to develop a hotel on the site of a former Magdalene laundry on Dublin’s Sean McDermott Street are slipping away. Having backed a motion to prevent the sale of the site last September, councillors... Read more »

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IRISH FREEDOM PARTY FINALLY REGISTERS

Hermann Kelly

JUST A FEW weeks after elections and Goldhawk sees that the ‘Irish Freedom Party’ have finally managed to register as an official political party. The two Irexiteer candidates were, they say, forced to run as independents in May while alleging that the Oireachtas Registrar had given the them “the run around” in efforts to register... Read more »

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HOWLIN’S LAWS

BRENDAN HOWLIN was first out of the traps in the Dáil this week calling for the Online Safety Bill to be expedited in wake of circumstances surrounding the Ana Kriegel case. Both Howlin and Micheál Martin want to see an office of a digital safety commissioner established and beefing up restrictions on how children access... Read more »

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GREEN TIPS

THE GREENS will no doubt be delighted that both An Taoiseach and Social Protection Minister, Regina Doherty, cited the party’s submission to the Low Pay Commission in the Dáil yesterday as the government outlined its opposition to stricter legislation on service industry tips.   The Low Pay Commission report states that: “The Green Party argued... Read more »

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PAUL BEW’S MANIFESTO

PAUL BEW has made an intervention into the Tory leadership race by penning a ‘manifesto’ to solve the Brexit impasse. In a document published by the thinktank, UK Policy Exchange, the QUB historian and peer – who was close to David Trimble in the 90s and friendly with the Workers Party in the 80s –... Read more »

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MICHAEL NOONAN & MAJELLA MOYNIHAN

Noonan: progressive

PRESSURE IS growing on Michael Noonan to clarify his own involvement in the Majella Moynihan scandal. Noonan was minister for justice in the 1980s when the news broke that proceedings were taken against Moynihan. The case was first raised in 1985, when Noonan was questioned in the Dáil by Proinsias De Rossa and the Fine... Read more »

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FINE GAEL’S ADOPTION DOUBLESPEAK

Charlie Flanagan

BOTH Government and gardaí are apologetic this week following an RTÉ radio documentary about the case of Majella Moynihan. Garda management took disciplinary proceedings against Moynihan in 1984 when she became pregnant outside of wedlock and the then recruit was, she says, forced to give the child up for adoption. Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan... Read more »

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DREW HARRIS’S GONG

Drew Harris

The AWARD of a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) to Garda commissioner Drew Harris brought zero adverse comment in the Irish media, but it raises questions nonetheless. Firstly, there is the extraordinary ‘Glenanne gang’ ruling against Harris at Belfast High Court in July 2017.

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DRUMCONDRA MAFIA RIP

Bertie Ahern

FIANNA FÁIL’S local election success in north Dublin was not replicated by voters in the rare auld North Inner City (NIC) area, where its three candidates came 11th (Imran Khurshid), 14th (Denise McMorrow) and 16th (Brian Mohan, FF constituency chairman). But FF’s Dublin Central Dáil candidate, Mary Fitzpatrick, is unconcerned, partly because she topped the... Read more »

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SF’S NATALIE TREACY’S RANT

SPARE A thought for Natalie Treacy, the Fingal Councillor and Chair of Dublin Sinn Féin who has not taken the party’s election result all too well. As one Sinn Féin office was described as “like a wake-house” in the days following the count, Treacy published a “rant” on The Pensive Quill website, in which she... Read more »

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LEO VARADKAR: GAY ICON?

CONGRATULATIONS are in order for Leo Varadkar who has been named a #RainbowIcon by Gay Community News magazine (GCN). Vlad finds himself in the company of seasoned campaigners like Nell McCafferty, Dr Lydia Foy and Panti Bliss but reaction to An Taoiseach’s inclusion has been decidedly sceptical. After online commenters left a long list of... Read more »

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LEGAL AMBUSH FOR IAN BAILEY?

Ian Bailey

IAN BAILEY’S predictable conviction, in absentia, by a vengeful French judicial system will proceed to the more difficult process of a third attempt to extradite him to France to serve his 25-year sentence. The Supreme Court has so far been vigilant in defence of Bailey’s rights, mindful perhaps of the manner in which sections of... Read more »

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