The May miracle that injects €44.6m into creaking economy
Help! Sunday communion
Help! Sunday communion
APPLE is the sexiest company on planet Earth. Its tax affairs are in the spotlight both because of Apple's sheer size, and also because political posturing against semiconductor companies would fall flat in the media.
WHAT do Franklin D Roosevelt, Barack Obama, John Lennon, Mahatma Gandhi, Maria Sharapova and Natalie Portman have in common – apart from being successful, famous and stars in their fields? They are all only children.
WITH just 25 women TDs in the Dail, it's perhaps unfair to expect the debate on the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill to be more feminised than it has been to date. Fortunately, women are well represented in the medical professionals informing the committee hearings. But female TDs with liberal credentials appear reluctant to speak up. Conservative women have no such qualms.
I decided to tune into the Eurovision the other night and took great pleasure in informing my rather elitist younger brother, who would be appalled by such a thought.
N ATIONAL politics is all about spin, about message management, about pushing through big-ticket items that often have little to do with the lives of the country's citizens. For example, on the order of business in the Dail today was the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill. Important, yes, but it won't get your bins collected.
ALAN Shatter has landed himself in a right mess and it's entirely of his own making. Tempting as it might be to cite Albert Reynolds's line about how, in politics, you trip up over the little hurdles, it doesn't even apply here.
Since Alan Shatter stewarded through the Dail the pardon for (and apologies to) those Irish soldiers who had joined the Allies during World War II, the question of our neutrality in 1939-45 has again been raised in the public realm.
Cringe. The annual Eurovision Song Contest post-mortem is under way, and it is even more depressing this year given our dismal performance in Malmo on Saturday night. Oh the pain of coming 'Paddy last'.
There have not been many great days for Cavan senior football teams in recent times but yesterday was certainly one of them.
GOT a tracker? Stay put, don't move, even if you need to relocate.
A FEW weeks ago, when some TDs allegedly felt threatened by excommunication over abortion, Rev Eoin De Bhaldraithe, of the Cistercian Abbey at Moone, wrote a lucid letter to the Irish Times, explaining why those who voted for abortion – as distinct from those who directly carried one out – were not liable for excommunication.
I was listening last Thursday morning to the BBC's flagship news programme, Today, when I lost my rag and began shouting at the radio about pusillanimity.
'What the xxxx," asked the wag on Twitter, "is Sir Alec Guinness doing at the Dail's Public Accounts Committee?"
Last week, Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, couldn't stop himself from behaving peculiarly. If we had a Taoiseach who cared about such matters, the minister would be in deep trouble. As it is, I doubt his behaviour will have any comeback.
WHEN did the last person in receipt of an American Civil War pension die? Bear in mind that the American Civil War ended in 1865. The answer to the question is 2001. The recipient was the widow of a civil war veteran. He was very old when she married him in the 1920s and she was very young. She inherited his veterans' pension after he died.
JOHN McGuinness, the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, has long been happy to be portrayed as the Steve Silvermint of Irish politics: the cool, clean hero tackling waste, excess, mismanagement and inefficiency in the public sector; a straight talker who pulled no punches and avoided no toes that required stepping on.
You know what, I'm sick of it. I'm just bloody sick of it. No, I'm not referring to the bankers who drove us to ruin. Or the voracious speculators who gambled against the house and now want us to cover their losses.
AS Croke Park II gets a reboot, with optimism advancing gingerly that a deal might be struck, here is a question that perplexes me: who is safeguarding the taxpayers' interests?
EU Fishery policy has been aptly described as the "apportioning of misery". The experts believe that two-thirds of EU waters are over-fished, too many boats chase too few fish, and the industry is in retreat, with huge job losses in fishery intensive economies like Spain.
ABOUT 10 years ago, I shared a radio studio on the late-lamented Sam Smyth programme with Mary Hanafin when she was a junior minister responsible for children – a brief that encompassed the departments of Education, Justice and Social Protection.
The news that Michael O'Leary will stay at the helm of Ryanair for another five years has provoked a predictable response in some circles – a bizarrely ungrateful mixture of scorn and contempt for both the man and his incredible aviation success story.
LIFE is short. Tragically for some, life is far too short. Donal Walsh only got 16 years on this earth, but the impact he made in this short space of time was phenomenal.
Abortion is once more back at its rightful place of destroying the national conversation and Irish politicians are worried that they are faced with the ultimate ecclesiastical red card – excommunication from the Catholic Church, if they vote for the proposed Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
AFTER so much controversy about the rights of the unborn, it was timely to see the body politic turn its attention to born children this week. Not for the first time, the plight of children in trouble with the law and in need of detention or protection rose to the top of the agenda. This time it was Ms Justice Ann Ryan who made it her business and ours to point out that she had nowhere to place juveniles in need of detention and rehabilitation following sentence.
THE space elevator is a science-fiction standard. Like teleporters, laser guns and green-skinned ladies with a twinkle in their eyes, space elevators are part of the sci-fi cannon.
KEVIN McAleer's three-part series Our Friends in the North finished on RTE last Monday. The films followed the personal journey of the famous Tyrone stand-up comic, who comes from a Catholic nationalist background, to find out more about the culture and traditions of his near neighbours, the Ulster-Scots Presbyterians. It was one of the best things I have seen on television for some time.
IT'S not all bad news. Sometimes, it's like the country is on a downward spiral into permanent stagnation. But, occasionally there's some really good news. For instance, have you heard that Goldman Sachs, the controversial cabal of international bankers, is pulling out of the International Financial Services Centre? Reliable sources say Goldman Sachs doesn't want to do business in this country anymore. Whoopee!
THE smell of pork is in the air – that most delicious of dishes when politicians hand out cash to those they hope will assist them, or those who frighten them most.
I RARELY meet bank directors these days. David Duffy, the 10- grand-a-week boss at AIB refuses to return my calls. I spot distant Bank of Ireland directors, like Richie Boucher, high on the platform at their AGMs.
Royal watchers are in a bit of a frenzy over Queen Elizabeth's future. Might she be planning to abdicate?
WHILE audiences in Dublin have been cheering the theatrical celebration of Tom Barry's 'Guerilla Days in Ireland' (mis-spelt, of course), in Belfast a bomb from so-called republican dissidents nearly killed three police officers. The failure to realise the connection between a celebration of 'good' violence in the past and 'bad' violence today has long been a chronic condition in Irish life. Whereas the myth of republican violence takes merely artistic form in some souls, in others it serves as a moral authoriser, like a virus that affects its hosts in different ways. Actual violence is always a consequence of this myth.
When I was growing up, it seemed like every neighbour would snitch on you if they caught you doing something you shouldn't be doing.
A group of naturalists were researching in the barest Australian desert when they came upon a tree so rare that the species was thought extinct, with a local resting under the shade of its branches.
FINANCIAL realities must be faced. There, I've said it. Please don't throw rotten fruit. People with millstone debts can't adopt a Mr Micawber approach, living in the expectation that "something will turn up".
It was his man who thieved our pockets in the end, his man whose late strike deflected so wickedly to give Lansdowne the feel of a puckered balloon.
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They don't make 'em like they used to
44-year-old Jennifer Aniston strips to her undies in new movie
Why do we regard only children as demanding, spoilt and selfish?
Will it be as good as the much-loved original?
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