Brendan O'Connor: God, sport and the Rose of Tralee
Brendan O'ConnorThe question facing the nation now is how we are ever going to go back to dull reality again.
Brendan O'ConnorThe question facing the nation now is how we are ever going to go back to dull reality again.
Brendan O'Connor Sport is only an excuse to have the Olympics. The Olympics is not, of course, really about sport at all. It's about people who have never watched a rowing race, or hurdling, or gymnastics, or indeed beach volleyball, in their lives becoming consumed with it. It is about people who might actively avoid watching two women box the head off...
Brendan O'Connor A few years ago, on holidays in Portugal, I met a man. He was a startlingly good looking young man, piercing eyes and in great shape. He dressed extremely well too. I say I met him. I didn't really. My kids met him. That's how it is on holidays. You can spend a lifetime determinedly not getting involved with other people on holidays, but...
Brendan O'Connor In a funny way, one of the most impressive things about the O'Donovan brothers - and there are many things - is the fact that they did not, as they would say themselves, go on the beer last Friday night. You can be sure that plenty of people ended up on the beer to celebrate the victory of these two lads, who have, as the President said, caught...
Brendan O'Connor Albert Manifold is the CEO of CRH. CRH is the largest company on the Irish stock market.
Brendan O'Connor We have to order before 7.45pm because there’s an 80th birthday on in Dooley’s in Waterville. There’s a huge gang of them, enjoying steaks and seafood, many of them friends since school; there’s even local hero Mick O’Dwyer. It’s looking lively, and a guy is getting set up to play music. Naturally, I am related to some of them. Every...
Brendan O'Connor There's something wrong here isn't there? This doesn't feel as good as it should. It hasn't quite given us the closure we wanted.
Brendan O'Connor Do you not think we've had our fun now? Do you not think it's time to get a little bit serious? Do you not think these are serious times with serious challenges? Do you not think we need serious people to deal with it?
Brendan O'Connor When Nice carried out extensive counter-terrorism planning in advance of the Nice Carnival earlier this year, they planned for many different contingencies including nuclear attack, radiological, bacteriological and chemical attacks, even an attack from the sea. They did not plan for a lorry.
Brendan O'Connor This is not something that is happening to them. It is happening to all of us. We are all Nice. France is not, in truth, another country. France is the Europe of which we are a part.
Brendan O'Connor They've issued a stability warning about the Cliffs of Moher. Apparently, following recent landslides parts of the cliffs are unstable and could fall into the sea. People are being warned to stay on the official path and not to stray off it. The official path, they tell us metaphysically, is the inner path.
Brendan O'Connor 'E' started coming when Mary was about six months old. They leave you alone initially. They send you home and give you a bit of time to get used to things. Someone will have spoken to you about "linking in with the services", because your child will now be a "service user". But generally they give you time to learn to breathe again. And then, if...
Brendan O'Connor Of course, it's all obvious now. I even started remembering myself how I found something a bit off about Paul Kelly when I met him. Deeply sincere-seeming, but also seeming to be enjoying it all a bit too...
Brendan O’Connor At times you wonder if we have become inured to horror. The bodies were barely pulled out of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando when it all kicked off as to what got the credit for motivating Omar Mateen to go into this place in the early hours of Sunday morning and methodically gun down 50 or so of his fellow human beings.
Brendan O'Connor 'That's fine. That's grand." That's what Mary Elizabeth Donoghue of the Financial Regulator's office told Anglo's head of Capital Markets John Bowe when he explained to her how Anglo was window-dressing its balance sheet by getting a deposit from ILP and designing it to look like it had been put on deposit by an asset manager.
Brendan O’Connor Fat is in the air. Not surprisingly, it is largely in the air as a feminist issue. The leading lights of the fat-acceptance movement, the ones who get media coverage and write books, seem to be largely...
Brendan O'Connor What could have been arrogance was charm, what could have been smart aleckry was poetry, what could have been trash talk was defiant comedy, what could have been brutality and mere sport was grace and beauty.
Brendan O'Connor We are feeling snootier than ever about America these days. Looking down on the country that pretty much defines most of our lives in terms of cinema, TV, music, books, media and thought, is a big pastime with All Right Thinking People.
Brendan O'Connor The country was left reeling last week as not one, but two people actually did things. What added to the shock was that they just did them on the spot. There was no long period of review or reflection, no "kicking the can down the road". They just acted.
Brendan O'Connor No country for old men? Hardly. We can't get rid of them. How many times has Enda Kenny been down and out by now? And still people don't believe him when he issues a decree that he will be staying on for...
Brendan O'Connor There were a few common threads to the emails I got from parents - overwhelmingly mothers - after I brought up on the Late Late last week the issue of the shocking lack of speech and language therapy in...
Brendan O’Connor It feels like silly season, doesn't it? But it's not just the sunshine and the time of year. This feels like a silly season that could last anything up to three years. Hell, maybe even five.
Brendan O'Connor Now that Leo Varadkar has been moved out of Health, he's going to have more time on his hands, so he's agreed to write a weekly column of his musings on things for the Sunday Independent. Here is his first, and possibly only, column.
Brendan O'Conno Olivia O'Leary's intervention in the discussion on mental health in her radio column on RTE's Drivetime last week was a significant one and will perhaps have spoken to people who may have paid scant regard to the conversation up to now. There has been an admirable upsurge in the number of people talking openly about mental-health issues in...
Brendan O'Connor Details emerged last night of a top-secret document containing the real deal that was made between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Independents in order to form a government. It turns out to be very different from what our politicians have been claiming to have agreed publicly. Today we can exclusively reveal this document.
Brendan O'Connor We all know the little fat tear of a child. Most of the time, when little children are crying, they're not really crying, just wailing at you. But when you see that little fat tear roll down a baby's cheek you know it's serious.
Brendan O'Connor Miriam Gillick gave up a career in investment banking to look after her son Benjamin, who is nearly six. Benjamin's twin is a bright kid who is involved in sports and activities. Benjamin needs help even to play. He has cerebral palsy, is quadriplegic and can't speak. He uses a wheelchair and will need constant care for the rest of his life.
Brendan O'Connor News emerged this weekend that the two Healy-Rae brothers have begun talks about forming a government. Talks are said to be at a very tentative stage right now. The first meeting lasted just 18 minutes and was conducted on neutral ground halfway between Michael's farm and Danny's plant hire business.
Brendan O'Connor There was an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld where one of the characters, George, was trying to break up with a girl, Maura. But no matter how many different ways he tried to break up with her, she didn't accept his break-up. So he eventually gave in, shrugged his shoulders and continued going out with her.
Brendan O'Connor Here's something to think about. What happens if the middle classes lose faith in the system? Despite the huge levels of anger and disillusionment in this country, we remain, at heart, quite a conservative country. Most people still support the system. Despite the talk of a shift to the Left in the last election, people still voted...
Brendan O'Connor The vignettes emerging of our politicians right now are unflattering to say the least. Take the image of Leo Varadkar sitting across from Michael Healy-Rae idly texting on his phone while ostensibly getting on with the pressing business of forming a government. According to Niall O'Connor in the Irish Independent, Healy-Rae eventually called Leo...
Brendan O'Connor It is fitting, isn't it, that we can't agree what it was about, or what it achieved, or what its legacy is or how best to commemorate it.
Brendan O’Connor Getting older is boiled-frog syndrome. They turn the heat up so gradually you don't notice. You look at yourself every day and you look more or less the same as you did yesterday.
Brendan O'Connor It's all very well to go around in Ireland comparing yourself to Martin Luther King.
Brendan O'Connor You delude yourself more and more about age. I've decided people in their 30s are only kids. And 50 is actually quite a young age when you think about it. I tell myself that at 46 I'm about half way there. Which isn't too bad is it? I feel like I've been here forever, so the second half will feel like forever too. And that feeling that life is flying past...
Brendan O'Connor We are all agreed now that someone needs to step up to the plate. Little enough gets done here when there is a Government. We certainly can't afford to experiment with not having one.
Brendan O'Connor So the latest wheeze is that we should 'encourage' old people to leave their homes. Naturally, this is an idea floated by economists, those people who know the cost of everything and the humanity of nothing. We are all just numbers to economists.
Brendan O'Neill Like anthropologists studying some exotic tribe, Ireland's political observers have spent the past two weeks trying to work out what the hell Irish voters want.
Brendan O'Connor It didn't take them long to deliver chaos, did it? By Friday, the addition of snow into the mix seemed all too apt. We probably wouldn't have been too surprised if it started raining frogs.
Brendan O'Connor You'd have to feel sorry for poor Fine Gael. Apparently they lost the election because they fatally misjudged the mood of the people. Apparently the threat to give us back what was always referred to in dispatches as "the hated USC" was an insult to the Irish electorate.
Brendan o'Connor Conventional wisdom has it that there's nothing the Irish love more than a general election.
Brendan O'Connor It's hard to say how or why this election campaign became a presidential-style one. I have my own pet theory on it.
Brendan o'Connor While poll coverage tends to focus on the main headlines - the state of the parties etc, there is a lot of fascinating information buried in the detail and the breakdown of polls. Here are some of the interesting things we have found in our opinion polls over the course of this campaign that didn't make the headlines.
Brendan O’Connor Two shocking images in the past 10 days. Both with machine guns. First, two men entering a hotel in Dublin dressed as gardai, toting modified AK47s. They were, of course, only there to get their own.
Brendan O'Connor Love is when you know you are right but you bite your tongue anyway. What greater love could you show for anyone than to swallow it, to deny yourself the supreme pleasure of proving that you are right by virtue of a long legalistic argument that proves your point? But sometimes you need to just leave it be. Let them be happy rather...
Brendan O'Connor A lot of people mentioned the death of Terry Wogan to me in a sympathetic way. They said things like, "You must have been very sad to hear about poor Terry Wogan", as if I in particular was affected by poor old Terry's death, as if we were family, related through the national and international fraternity of chat.
Brendan O'Connor One of Enda Kenny's great strengths is the emotional intelligence he sometimes demonstrates at moments of national crisis or shock. He spoke beautifully last week about the deeply upsetting case of 'Grace', the young woman with an intellectual disability who was left to be allegedly brutally abused for over a decade after a decision had...
Brendan O'Connor You swear you'll never let yourself go. But you do. There was a time I wouldn't leave the house without gel in my hair or a baseball cap on. My hair au naturel is a white afro, and not in a good way (if it's not cultural misappropriation to say that). Indeed it's beyond kinky. It's just fuzz.
Brendan O'Connor If we learnt anything last week, it's that there is one certainty in life. And that is that you and me and everyone we know will always get screwed.
Brendan O'Connor A shock opinion poll today reveals that most people have had enough of the General Election campaign, even though it hasn't even started yet.
Brendan O'Connor It had been agreed it was better that the children did not see me in this state.
Billy Keane writes
Former Tánaiste reflects on Brexit and bemoans the rise of 'slogan' politics
I never really saw...