Sunday 23 October 2016

Rear View: Attacks on Hugh are a bit stilted

Published 13/12/2015 | 02:30

Former Fine Gael Councillor Hugh McElvaney
Former Fine Gael Councillor Hugh McElvaney

Hugh McElvaney, the Monaghan councillor who was secretly filmed by RTÉ asking for £10,000 in exchange for help to secure planning permission, certainly performed the comedy turn of the week.

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He told Nina, a journalist posing as a wind-farm executive, that if the plan was successful, he expected "loads of money".

But McElvaney - a four-time mayor of Monaghan - claimed he knew it was a sting and he was simply "taking the p*** out of RTÉ" by playing along. "I lured her into my trap," he said.

Indeed McElvaney, with his lavish promises, ostentatious jewellery and spiv-like demeanour, cut such a preposterous figure that one was almost tempted to believe that he was having RTÉ on.

Or perhaps we misjudge him, and he is a prophet unheralded in his own country. On one occasion some years ago, when he was warned that land proposed for rezoning outside Ballybay was in a floodplain, he suggested that houses could be "built on stilts".

If only we had listened to this architectural wisdom, we wouldn't have had such problems this week.

Teresa as popular as Pope

Teresa Mannion's frantic delivery of news on Storm Desmond seems to have turned her into a star. Her shouted pleas to motorists not to make unnecessary journeys went viral, and there were even dance remixes. Her reporting style was in stark contrast to urbane figures such as the BBC newsman John Simpson, who talks calmly, as if he is quaffing a good port at home, even when bombs and bullets fly around him.

Suddenly, after her broadcast, Teresa was the centre of attention, and she said she had to pose for 100 selfies in Ballina later in the week. At this rate she will be as popular as the Pope.

Pauline McLynn reveals her early days in comedy

Pauline McLynn, who played the role of Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, revealed this week how she cut her teeth in comedy. She entertained her mother with impressions of her teachers. "One time I made her laugh so hard, she did a bit of a sick on her cardie." And so a life in showbiz beckoned.

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