Thursday 27 October 2016

Beware a scribe's curse

Published 04/11/2007 | 00:00

Fifth Column is going to be far more careful about what he writes.

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When we saw a most discombobulated Harry McGee recently, initially we thought the Examiner's top political correspondent might have been unimpressed by our gentle chiding last week about the level of body armour he wears when cycling.

However, as it turns out the voluble hack needed all of the body armour -- the bicycle clips, helmets, arm and knee pads sported by our Green hero -- for as Harry turned into Leinster House last week, our man was almost flattened by a passing car.

Luckily, as they say in Thomas the Tank Engine, 'nobody was hurt' though one wretched Daily Mail hack was heard to howl in some horror when McGee said the driver had been given four penalty points for his carelessness.

Happily, the Fifth does have one positive suggestion. McGee should contact Fine Gael's Terence Flanagan, who raised the issue of the need for lessons in cycle-craft for children last week. With a bit of pleading, Terence might call for journalists to sign up for the cycle-craft lessons too.

As for the Fifth, though we were initially somewhat nervous about our evolution into the journalistic equivalent of the curse of Tutankhamun's tomb, after giving it some thought, our new status has become curiously attractive.

Bertie, the Bull, the Cabinet, finger-wagging Fintan, the Mahon tribunal, Q&A and the rest of our cast of legal and political villains would be wise to behave themselves around us (what was that, Taoiseach? We'd be delighted to accept a Seanad nomination), for if they're not careful, they too will fall foul of the curse of Fifth Column.

John Drennan

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