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Category: Affairs

HIGGINS UNHEADED

Michael D Higgins

HAS THE Oireachtas set itself on another collision course with the President? Despite the Dáil’s Business Committee, Ceann Comhairle, Taoiseach and Office of Attorney General all committing to change on foot of criticism from Michael D Higgins in Summer, the December bottleneck has once again appeared on the order papers at Leinster House. In a... Read more »

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CHARITY PAY DAY

Dee Forbes

MEMBERS OF the public who gave so generously during RTÉ Does Comic Relief last Summer may not have expected to see their donations used to rehabilitate the image of the charity sector. Ever eager to emphasise its own vital national importance, the cash strapped broadcaster tapped into a sense of community during the pandemic last... Read more »

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JENNY MCCARTHY’S NEXT SHOT

AS A side hustle to her photography business, broadcaster Martin King’s missus Jenny McCarthy has joined the ranks of minor celebs launching their own brands. McCarthy has made her name capturing the marriages and babies of celebs and influencers like Karen Koster, Glenda Gilson and Pippa O’Connor, which may provide her with a ready market... Read more »

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UNIONISM’S NEXT MOVE

Jim Allister

POLITICAL FALLOUT from the death of David Tweed has exposed the limits of Jim Allister’s ability to put space and moral certainty between himself and his Unionist rivals. The TUV leader, senior DUP figures and the Orange Order have all been criticised sharply for their tributes to a man remembered in the Irish Times sports... Read more »

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BOGGED DOWN

EVEN BY standards so wearily familiar the latest bid to continue commercial peat harvesting is a supremely impressive piece of political cynicism. With the Government scarcely home from a global climate summit, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have revealed their intention to permit one of the country’s most harmful practices to persist for up to... Read more »

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TOYING WITH FIONA O’LOUGHLIN

RTÉ BROADCASTER Joe Duffy may be deploying his pen to console Fiona O’Loughlin again after reactions to her call for a new bank holiday to coincide with the Late Late Toy Show ranged from amused to rather scornful. Being laughed at over trivial matters has upset sensitive Fianna Fáilers of late, and the Kildare senator... Read more »

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VLAD’S GULF PLÁMÁS

Leo Varadkar

AN TÁNAISTE’S tour of odious Gulf regimes this month passed without incident and not a whole lot of media scrutiny. A solitary report by Petula Martyn for RTE’s website at least sought comment from Enterprise Ireland’s Conor Fahy on human rights abuses in the Saudi kingdom and UAE but there was no mention in any... Read more »

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EU VS BIG TECH CONTINUES

Emily O'Reilly

EUROPEAN EFFORTS to put manners on Silicon Valley took a step closer this week as the Digital Markets Bill moved toward its final parliamentary vote. The internal markets committee on Monday voted by a majority to adopt the legislation which will impose a raft of stricter obligations on some of the internet’s largest players. Compromise... Read more »

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GRIPT BROUGHT IN FROM THE COLD

John Burns

CONCERN ABOUNDS in recent years about partisanship, “dark money”, the stoking of online outrage and so-called fake news fuelling dangerous problems. The Sunday Times is, at least, in safe hands judging by recent remarks from Nóirín Hegarty. In an interview published this month, the new editor at Rupert Murdoch’s Aawrish title told the Corporate Governance... Read more »

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“DEMONISING” THE VULTURES

BUSINESS POST hack Killian Woods noticed an interesting trend in housing coverage this week, starting with the opinion page in his own newspaper. A column on Sunday by Dan O’Brien cautions against “demonising” international investors as “vultures” and “cuckoos”. Woods points out that Matt Cooper in the Daily Mail earlier in the month makes this... Read more »

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SEAWEED SHOCK

THE IRISH Independent picture desk got itself in a tangle last week over the delicate problem of agri emissions. Young seaweed farmer Sinéad O’Brien was less than impressed to find her image used by the newspaper in what she describes as greenwashing. An article by Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries in the Indo’s farming supplement... Read more »

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NÓIRIN O’SULLIVAN’S REHABILITION

ALL IS well that ends well for Nóirín O’Sullivan, who appears to have patched things up with at least some sections of the media. Four months after the Disclosures Tribunal published its fourth interim report, the former Garda Commissioner was the subject of extensive coverage in the Irish Times over the weekend. Spread across two... Read more »

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SYMPROVING OONAGH O’HAGAN’S FINANCES

GREAT NEWS for Meaghers Pharmacy Group MD, Oonagh O’Hagan, who won the “Wellness Award” at VIP Publishing’s recent fangirling ‘Power of Women’ event. Speaking of power, a cursory glance at Meaghers’ website and blog and O’Hagan’s social media reveals a heavy push on Symprove, a food supplement Oonagh recommends as the “best food supplement for... Read more »

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O’GORMAN’S SENOR HURLING

RODERIC O’GORMAN cut a different figure this week, just a year on from his political baptism in the Mother and Baby Homes controversy. The rookie TD was blindsided in October 2020 as his caring and liberal image contrasted sharply with the realities of running a government department. Signs are now that O’Gorman has matured into... Read more »

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SHERIDAN BASHES THE BANKERS

RECENT EVENTS have prompted a reflection of sorts in the press this past fortnight. Efforts of the Quinn family to remove media coverage from search engines and the death of Seán FitzPatrick have put Anglo Irish Bank in the spotlight. In the Irish Times, Kathy Sheridan used the occasion to look beyond the pair’s misdeeds,... Read more »

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FINE GAEL’S MERCOSUR DANCE

WHAT A DELICATE choreography the Government must perform on the politically toxic Mercosur trade deal. On Morning Ireland earlier this month, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar assured beef farmers that Ireland will not ratify the agreement, on the basis that the Government are, apparently, “not satisfied” with the environmental protections contained in the proposed deal. Satisfaction, of... Read more »

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RYAN’S NEW PALS

ÉAMON RYAN was more than pleased with himself on the Glasgow stage as he rubbed shoulders with politicians at the COP26 summit. Friends of the Irish Environment had written to Ryan and foreign minister Simon Coveney in October suggesting that Ireland get on board with the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) ahead of its... Read more »

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JAY BOURKE’S MINTED CONNECTIONS

Jay Bourke

IT MUST be disheartening for Jay Bourke to find himself seeking approval from the High Court for an arrangement to write off debts of €12.5m, particularly as he is surrounded by people enjoying better financial outcomes. These include his father John Paget Bourke, former chairman of Irish Permanent, who owns 51% of its shares of... Read more »

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WEE DANIEL’S LAURELS

Daniel O'Donnell

DONEGAL CROONER Daniel O’Donnell has discussed “cutting down a bit”on his performing schedule, but he has certainly earned enough to allow himself to rest on his laurels. Despite having to cancel or postpone various concerts due to the pandemic, an entertainment company owned by Wee Daniel made a profit of €689,000 in 2020. D.O.D Promotions... Read more »

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PAT EGAN’S FEW QUID

WHILE CONCERT promoter Pat Egan told the Irish Times that he both makes and loses “a few quid,” his profits suggest that the music industry has been pretty kind to him. And now that he has secured a venue for shows covering the “nostalgia market,” the impresario’s books may be singing an even sweeter tune.... Read more »

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JACKIE LAVIN’S TURBULENCE

BUSINESSWOMAN JACKIE LAVIN and her son Gary Lavin (founder of the soft drinks company VitHit) will be hoping for a quieter new year, after both found themselves engaged in legal proceedings in recent months that generated column inches for thirsty hacks. The Circuit Civil Court heard allegations recently that Jackie swore and used abusive language... Read more »

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THE NEXT STEP ON TUAM

ON OCTOBER 12 this year, the Irish Times carried a column which suggested that a “barrage of negativity” has led some of those remaining in religious orders to conclude that “Ireland has become no country for old nuns.” The roots of any negativity were largely avoided, and the piece instead invoked the usual names one... Read more »

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COVENEY’S COMPASS? EU ARMY MARCHES ON

Simon Coveney

IF THE past twenty months had not already provided enough grounds for optimism, we can look forward to “the year of European defence” in 2022. The idea was proclaimed in a speech by European Council President Charles Michel last month and it reflects growing confidence among EU militarists that the momentum is firmly in their... Read more »

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MAIRÉAD RONAN’S CONSOLATION

THE UBIQUITOUS Mairéad Ronan described being unable to hug families taking part in Ireland’s Fittest Family as a “downer” in the Oirish Sun, but a glance at her finances should help to cheer her up. After two years of losses, Faro Productions Limited made a profit in 2020, although it’s small change compared to the... Read more »

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PAUL GALVIN’S STORYTELLING

AS THE spat between Paul Galvin and Davy Fitzgerald trundles inexorably onwards, the protagonists are ensuring their grumbling keeps the spotlight on their respective commercial endeavours. Which is good news for Galvin’s Go Dare Creative company, which had accumulated profits of €111,000 at the end of 2020. The former Kerry footballer has had a menswear... Read more »

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EVA ORSMOND’S WEIGHTY ISSUES

Eva Orsmond

IN HER tale of woe in the Sindo about the challenges of creating her Portuguese “health hotel,” Eva Orsmond didn’t mention that she had put her Ballsbridge clinic’s premises on the rental market. Or that Ectiva Health Products, a company owned by the stern Finnish doctor and husband Wyatt, took a mortgage out on the... Read more »

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SF ABORTION GAMBLE CONTINUES

“PARTITION WAS catastrophic” according to Mary Lou McDonald last Thursday afternoon as the Sinn Féin president berated Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael before her sizeable social media following. While branding her rivals’ attendance at the Armagh religious ceremony as “frankly incomprehensible”, her own party was once more taking a position on one side of the... Read more »

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SINN FEIN’S SUMS

Pearse Doherty

GIVEN THAT the budget traditionally forms the centrepiece of the political calendar, it is interesting to find the most perceptive analysis outside the well-resourced business pages and Dáil bun fights. A recent episode of the Week at Work podcast, hosted by trade unionists Dave Gibney and Michelle Byrne, examined the pre-budget submissions of parties on... Read more »

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TWITTING BARBARA SCULLY

HACK BARBARA Scully may not have expected the backlash she received for tweeting her annoyance to Cara Pharmacy Group over staff at her local pharmacy shutting up shop five minutes early on bank holiday Monday. CEO of Cara, Patrick McCormack, may have a lot on his plate as director of 22 companies, but he made... Read more »

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VIP’S RED INK REDUCTION AWARD

VIP PUBLISHING has been making much ado about the launch of its Power of Women and Stellar InstaStar Awards, but the real fanfare should be reserved for Michael O’Doherty’s glossy mag group finally reporting a profit. Having recorded an operating loss of over €¼m in 2019, the company made a profit of €96,000 in 2020,... Read more »

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TIKTOK’S POLITICAL DANCE

SOCIAL MEDIA upstart TikTok is the latest to express its unease as Europe bids to enforce greater responsibility on powerful tech companies. The video sharing platform had for a time avoided mega-controversy like Facebook, Twitter or Google, but that began to change last year. Western governments have been especially wary of TikTok as it was... Read more »

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LEON DIOP’S RISE

EARLIER IN the summer Goldhawk wondered if the landscape had changed a year on since the death of George Floyd. The corporate and media world had responded most benevolently to the events of 2020 with individuals, brands and sundry organisations pledging to “do better” on racial representation. This is not simply a question of crude... Read more »

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GLENDA GILSON’S ADVENTURES

GLENDA GILSON has joined the ranks of Virgin Media presenters exiting the station, and like Anna Daly and Matt Cooper, she informed fans that the decision to leave was hers. Gilson told her followers that it was “time for new adventures,” and her leaving comes as various staff and presenters have departed the station since... Read more »

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QUEEN NOT IN IC UNIT

Queen Elizabeth

DISAPPOINTMENT AT Queen Elizabeth’s absence from the Armagh event ‘marking’ the centenary of partition and the northern state would have been most keenly felt at the Irish Times. Its editorial team fought a Canute-like battle in the days leading up to the event to reverse the tide of public opinion behind President Higgins’s boycott of the service.

Then, Buck House, suddenly and with studied vagueness, announced that herself had “reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days”.

READ MORE »

PARTITION LIVE

sharon-ni-bheolain

RTÉ FAMOUSLY recognise a real ratings winner so there was little surprise on Wednesday when Sharon Ní Bheoláin announced that the national broadcaster will be covering live an event marking the partition of Ireland. Even the British Queen, with just a day’s notice, has decided against attendance, so legions of eager viewers will have to... Read more »

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SINDO’S NORTHERN ADVANCE

Eoghan Harris

LAUNCHING THE Northern Ireland edition of the Sindo was surely a smoother endeavour for editor Alan English now that Eoghan Harris is now longer a columnist. When Harris was dropped from the paper in May, taking his brand of full-on unionism with him, English described how the columnist “resented those who challenged his uncompromising views... Read more »

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