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Category: Affairs

MAGIC MILITARY TREE

Simon Coveney

HOW QUICKLY the mood has changed with the most responsible voices in politics and media all baying for massive increases in government spending. When it comes military matters, it seems that the guardians of fiscal prudence can conjure up a magic money tree of their own. When the Commission on the Future of the Defence... Read more »

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STRATEGIC FAILURE

ACRES OF media space has now been dedicated to calls for a “mature debate on Irish neutrality,” but this occupation of the opinion pages and airwaves has not been matched in reporting the actual developments. Last November, The Phoenix flagged EU plans to endorse a new defence strategy, a white paper dubbed Strategic Compass. At the time,... Read more »

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TURBULENCE PREDICTED AT DUBLIN

LIKE SO many corporate twitter accounts, the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has cottoned on to the fact that the people who live on Twitter want companies not merely to be purveyors of goods and services at a reasonable price, but also to display their ethical and moral credentials – and the more woke the better.... Read more »

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VERONA MURPHY TARGETED BY THE FAR-RIGHT

GOLDHAWK WAS alarmed on examining Verona Murphy’s library during an episode of The Week in Politics. While Paschal Donohoe is reviewing books and Eoin Ó Broin is busy writing them, the adoption of Zoom has given public figures a further opportunity to show off their reading habits as they beam in from the office. On... Read more »

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DR DOIREANN’S NEW PILLS

WHILE THE vitamin supplementation market may appear to be already overcrowded, Cork-based GP Doireann O’Leary is taking a tilt at it with the launch of her own range of pills. Her new supplements are being distributed by Sundrelle, which distributes Cocoa Brown fake tan and a range of beauty products by Suzanne Jackson. It was... Read more »

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NÓIRÍN O’SULLIVAN AND THE IRISH TIMES

THE REHABILITATION of Nóirín O’Sullivan shows no sign of abating with another round of generous coverage in the Irish Times. In her first interview since resigning in 2017, the former Garda Commissioner was the subject of extensive and sympathetic human interest reporting in November, with O’Sullivan recast as a civilian; posing for new photographs and... Read more »

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JON WILLIAMS’ FOREIGN LEGION

IT IS a dark time for press freedom with paranoid central government starving the national broadcaster of revenue, opening its chequebook only in furtherance of the state’s own agenda. No, not the megalomaniacal impulses of autocratic bogeymen, but an extraordinary development that the Irish government is planning to bankroll foreign affairs journalism on RTÉ and... Read more »

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NORMALISING NAZISM?

NEWS GATHERING presents its own obvious challenges in wartime, especially when budgets are already squeezed and reporting is conducted far from the action. It is still difficult, however, to account for some of the coverage recently received by elements of the coalition resisting Russian invasion. RTÉ News, which is once again running adverts promoting itself... Read more »

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LABOUR PAINS

Ivana Bacik

SIGNS ARE that the decommissioning of AK-47 is just the latest example of questionable judgment inside the Labour Party. In ditching Alan Kelly as leader not only has the parliamentary party responded to a clamour that did not exist anywhere outside of perhaps the plotters’ own egos, but the removal of the Tipperary TD has... Read more »

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POLITICAL AIRBRUSHING

Hugh O'Connell

THOSE DASTARDLY Shinners are up to their old tricks again, deleting years’ worth of old press releases from the party website. This scoop from Hugh O’Connell is by all accounts the latest instance of the Independent’s singular focus missing the wider target. Colleague Philip Ryan had a most impressive run last year, breaking lurid exposés... Read more »

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EU SOLIDARITY?

Fionnan Sheahan

GOLDHAWK can only marvel at the manipulation encountered in what is otherwise presented as a “mature debate on neutrality.” Across the press and broadcast media the public are implored to abandon the principle on grounds of morality, maturity, security, humanity, Christianity, and, failing that, there is always recourse to invective toward anyone not on board... Read more »

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MARTIN’S WELCOME

Micheál Martin

HAVING ONE over on the English response to a refugee crisis may not be the most difficult thing in the world these days but Micheál Martin has been praised for striking the right pose during a television interview on Sunday. Faced with some loaded questions from BBC host Sophie Raworth, An Taoiseach emphasised humanitarianism over... Read more »

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MCSHARRY VS WHITMORE

Laura Whitmore

PROVING THAT you can definitely have too much of a good thing, three new offerings by media “personalities” have entered the already overcrowded podcast scene. First out of the traps in the quest to capture earholes and sponsorship is axed 2fm presenter Louise McSharry. Her new weekly pod, Catch Up with Louise McSharry, is pitched... Read more »

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SUN VS MIRROR TWEET-OFF

A COMPETITION of sorts has developed between the Oirish Sun and Mirror’s websites to see how many headlines can be published around RTÉ viewers’ tweets. The hacks at both sites clearly feel that watchers of everything churned out by RTÉ deserve their own article, especially ones where they are apparently “all saying the same thing.”... Read more »

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HELEN MCENTEE’S NEW FINE GAEL

EFFORTS TO talk Helen McEntee into leadership contention have picked up a steady pace though Goldhawk has admittedly struggled to locate the substance beneath some of more extravagant claims made by admirers in recent weeks. The Meath TD’s career has endured only one major political test to date, when she dutifully took the flack for... Read more »

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JOHN BOYNE’S CONTRADICTIONS

IT IS with great irony that author John Boyne returns to mine his most successful work for a second time. The novelist has spent recent years in the cultural wars, generating oodles of publicity for himself following tangles with the online mob. Boyne’s headline-grabbing crusades have however seen him caught in a number of contradictions.... Read more »

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STRANGE CASE OF THE SEANAD PAINTING

Mark Daly

LET IT never be said that Irish politicians do not appreciate life’s cultural pursuits. Seanad Éireann has doubled as an art gallery this past year, displaying a scene from the Easter Rising. The painting by artist Sinead Guckian depicts the moment when Pearse surrendered in 1916 and crucially, prominence is given to Elizabeth O’Farrell, who... Read more »

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GERMANY’S BIG SHIFT?

LIBERAL COMMENTORS as well as financial markets have been beside themselves in recent days following Olaf Scholz’s move to increase German militarisation. Berlin correspondent Derek Scally described the chancellor’s Bundestag speech last Sunday as a “tour de force”, and, in typical Irish Times fashion the announcement of a new €100 billion defence fund is welcomed... Read more »

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DISHARMONIOUS TIMES AT RTE AND THE IT

BOTH THE Irish Times and RTÉ have managed to strike discordant notes with Irish musicians this week. The Paper of Record annoyed the musos by headlining an article about Catherine Martin’s basic income scheme for artists with the question, “Money for nothing?” Then the national broadcaster was accused of not abiding by its own rules... Read more »

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VLAD’S ARMY

HAVING MARCHED his own political party to disaster in consecutive elections, Leo Varadkar is surely the last politician Ireland would follow onto the battlefield. Napoleon Bonaparte was famously inclined toward lucky generals more so than competent ones yet having been rescued only by the outbreak of a pandemic, it is debatable whether the current Fine... Read more »

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FLOURISHING INTO THE SEANAD?

FOR MAUREEN Gaffney, the Seanad by-election will test just how much mileage remains for a breed of politics that flourished during the last decade. The celebrity shrink, entrepreneur and business consultant has not been so ubiquitous in recent years, but an ideology she championed has been absorbed seamlessly into how media, industry and policy makers... Read more »

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VALERIE ROE’S SPIN

VALERIE ROE has built up quite the profile since she swapped casting her eye over partygoers trying to get into Lillie’s Bordello for the world of public relations. While Goldhawk’s favourite PR maven recently declared herself “honoured” to be featured as one of “Ireland’s leading women in business 2022” in RSVP Magazine, a closer look... Read more »

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APOSTATES WALLACE AND DALY?

CLARE DALY and Mick Wallace have been rounded on this week for failing to support a European Parliament resolution condemning Russian aggression. Or rather, this is only as far as the majority of domestic and even some European commentary ventured on the subject. It is more accurate to report that the MEPs for Dublin and... Read more »

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CLAIRE BYRNE HESITATES

FEARFUL Ukrainians might be forgiven presently for not living up to the high standards expected on RTÉ. Viewers were miffed on Monday night after Claire Byrne apologised following a live contribution from one Lesia Vasylenko in Kiev. The opposition MP’s monologue featuring Russian “vermin” and tales of dead bodies piled on the road proved a... Read more »

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ANDREW DEEKS’ FOREIGN FRONTS

Andrew Deeks

THERE WAS a time when University College Dublin would have been in the vanguard of opposing Russian aggression, but today the college is increasingly straining to define and balance its aspirations as “Ireland’s Global University”. UCD President, Andrew Deeks, has already spent recent months battling some of his own staff, who are concerned about the... Read more »

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MEDIAHUIS OUT IN THE COLD

TWELVE MONTHS since a new regime took over at Marconi House, Newstalk now finds itself in bed with the Irish Times. Relations between the newspaper and broadcaster had previously been strained, with Irish Times journalists “banned” from appearing on Communicorp stations following a sexism row. Over the course of nearly four years, there had been,... Read more »

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RÓISÍN INGLE’S GOLDEN CIRCLE

Róisín Ingle

THE LATE Late Show rarely finds itself in the position of playing second-fiddle to other shows, but it put aside the usual exclusivity demands to have Irish Times hack Notions Ingle on its Marian Keyes tribute. Less than two weeks after Notions joined her mother Ann on Tommy Tiernan’s sofa, she took her hero-worshipping of... Read more »

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BROWN THOMAS’S DRIP DRAMA

THE NEW €12m Brown Thomas store at Dundrum Town Centre has been launched with predictable hyperbole, but the inclusion of an IV station has certainly needled the medical community. Outraged Irish GPs and nutritionists were acting as if fashion-buying director Shelly Corkery was personally hooking the store’s well-heeled customers to intravenous vitamin drips while they... Read more »

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PAUL TWEED’S GOOD NEWS

Paul Tweed

LEGAL EAGLE Paul Tweed is usually not shy about giving his opinion on the latest developments in the world of libel and defamation but, after commenting on an assorted range of issues this month, he did not find time to give his expected tuppenceworth on a most significant court ruling, one with which he must... Read more »

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2 JOHNNIES WHACKED

“VIRULENTLY SEXIST” was probably not the sort the reviews RTÉ were seeking in the current climate. 2FM’s effort to promote the arrival of The 2 Johnnies went down about as well as the station’s ratings just days after the Tipperary duo took over the drive time slot. A video montage of puerile gags published on... Read more »

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LEADER’S QUESTIONS

Micheál Martin

DÁIL SCENES have truly reached a nadir when even the press gallery turns its back on political pantomime. Polcorrs reacted with dismay on Wednesday as Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald traded insults across the chamber. “Leader’s Questions would make you despair for this island”, tweeted Examiner hack Aoife Moore, who continued, “I want decent... Read more »

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THALIA HEFFERNAN FILLS THE TANK

NOT EVEN the humble chicken fillet roll is safe from the clutches of fossil fuel greenwashing. With petrol consumption entering its twilight years, Irish forecourt retailer Applegreen hopes to tempt customers back with an alternative take on a deli counter favourite. A promotional video from Donegal brand Plant-It Foods sees fashion model Thalia Heffernan filling... Read more »

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CLAIRE BYRNE AND THE SHINNERS

Claire Byrne

WHILE THE excitable Claire Byrne Live often appears as if it’s broadcasting from another planet, it would be more correct to say that, politically, it is just another Irish show struggling to come to terms with the country as it is today. This week’s effort dedicated an entire evening to a single political party, asking... Read more »

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LIVELINE LASHED

Joe Duffy

HAVING NO truck with vested interests, fearless Joe Duffy is not afraid to take on even the Irish language mafia. This is, at least, the image that the Liveline host would wish to present, but Aodhán Ó Deá, Director of Development at Conradh na Gaeilge (CnaG), had a rather different experience. “I was invited on... Read more »

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SLAYING PEACHYLEAN’S AMBITIONS

SHARON KEEGAN is certainly adept at talking up her athleisure brand Peachylean, which she claims “will be the No1 female empowerment brand across the globe in the next five years.” The founder and CEO secured £100,000 (€115,000) investment from investors Touker Suleyman, Sarah Davies and Tej Lalvani on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den in September 2020.... Read more »

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SEANAD SISTERHOOD SNUBBED

Roisin Garvey

TOO CONSERVATIVE for the Left, too liberal for conservatives, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has scarcely pleased anyone since its foundation in 1973. The new political climate in recent years has seen further complaints about failing to reflect diversity, for embracing the notorious unpaid Jobbridge internship scheme or for taking a position on... Read more »

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