People are talking: Go easy on the truth, Saoirse, you'll frighten US tourists
SOMEONE needs to have a word with Saoirse Ronan. After her appearance on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show this week, it's clear that she speaks for us now in America.
Saoirse didn't wait for an official appointment. She just assumed the role. Forget the annual Journey of the Eejits to the White House for Patrick's Day. Our acting Taoiseach is known as Enda Who? in the States. It's Saoirse they listen to now.
Which is why someone needs to have a word. On The Tonight Show, she told Jimmy Fallon, and therefore most of America, about an Irish lock-in. That, unfortunately, included the news that pubs here close at a sensible hour. Americans come here on the understanding that they can head out at night and watch us drinking ourselves to death. They don't need to know that those few people who still drink in pubs are kicked out before midnight.
Any notion that we're not the mad beer swillers they have seen on documentaries like Ryan's Daughter and The Commitments, and there is every chance the Yanks will head somewhere else.
The sons of Erin are no longer Rising at Easter
One hundred Easters ago, the 1916 Rising was just about to get under way. It couldn't happen these days, because the Post Office no longer opens early on bank holidays ("foiled again, lads!") and if anyone did stand on the steps of the GPO reading a proclamation, we'd just assume it was another of those nutters with rosary beads banging on about the end times.
Besides, there's much more to do on long weekends than there was back then, which is why most of us will be spending this Easter Monday lying on the sofa, eating the last of the chocolate eggs and watching Alvin And The Chipmunks on TV, rather than blowing up O'Connell Street.
If an insurrection did happen now, of course, we wouldn't need to make the same effort to get involved. We could follow the action on Twitter instead, as Patrick Pearse tries to get the hashtag #bloodsacrifice trending and James Connolly unfriends all the people on Facebook who refuse to give the Rising a "like". All has changed, changed utterly.
Paul Daniels' final trick was his best - showing us how to go out in style
The passing of Paul Daniels recently came as another shock, one we hardly needed after the deaths of Wogan and Bowie. You half hoped it was some brilliant magic trick that he'd engineered to put upstarts like David Copperfield in their place.
As fellow eighties legend Danny Baker pointed out, you had to love a man who billed one of his tours: "Back… in spite of public demand."
But the shock of Paul's death was ameliorated slightly by the cheering news that the magician had what might be one of the finest last days ever enjoyed by a human being.
In his own inimitable words: "You'll like this... not a lot, but you'll like it."
First, he had the lovely Debbie McGee by his side, which somehow makes us believe in TV love again (we're still struggling to deal with the fact that the Golden Girls didn't go to each other's funerals).
But secondly, there was the genius of the way Paul spent his time.
"Minutes before he slipped into that sleep, he was smiling at me and joking and singing Beatles songs," Debbie said.
"His favourite ice cream was Magnums - we had a lot of Magnums.
"We watched Bradley Walsh on 'The Chase' every day at 5pm."
Ice cream and the Beatles with some classic daytime TV thrown in? We just can't think of a finer way to go.