Brendan O'Connor: Is silencing Hook really the answer?
I'm not going to defend what George Hook said, and I'm certainly not going to argue that words don't matter. His comments about an alleged rape victim taking some blame for her attack were...
I'm not going to defend what George Hook said, and I'm certainly not going to argue that words don't matter. His comments about an alleged rape victim taking some blame for her attack were...
The glasses are becoming an issue. They are welded to my face these days. I have actually become convinced that what they assured me wouldn't happen has happened. Using the glasses as a...
I'm not going to defend what George Hook said, and I'm certainly not going to argue that words don't matter. His comments about an alleged rape victim taking some blame for her attack were wrong and they clearly caused a lot of hurt. Hook is aware of this himself. He has accepted he...
It's back-to-school time for politicians. The long crazy summer-school season - whereby those who can't function outside the political bubble can stay in it, but in a more 'fun' way, by listening to speeches by off-duty economists about what Willie Clancy would have thought of Brexit, before...
We all know that this whole technology thing isn't going to end well. Though we can be a bit selective about it. So, for example, on one hand, people are a bit suspicious about the public services card, which they reckon is part of a conspiracy for the Government to know our names, our PPS numbers, and whether we are entitled to the free travel. And we worry the Government might share this information with itself.
I was listening to uplifting self-helpy podcasts, with Americans, who sounded tanned and toothy, telling me how to feel better. I lulled myself to sleep with them at night, thinking they might have some secrets as to how I could snap out of my mood. But they were making me feel worse. Because before they got to the solutions, they kept talking about the problems, and in a really judgmental way. And I was usually asleep by the time they got to the solutions. I may as well have been trying to put myself to sleep listening to a tape that just repeated "You are a piece of sh*t".
We can all think of lots of reasons for ignoring homeless people. On the street, we can reason that we gave money to the last one we saw, or that they only want it for drink or drugs so we are doing them a favour by not giving them money. And don't they say we're not supposed to reward begging anyway?
It was a daring move. A city-break, with kids. So I was expecting fights, trauma, tantrums, tears, refusal to walk any further and so on. And that's just the adults.
I'm not one to moan but it hasn't been a good August, has it? From the start of the month there was an autumnal chill to the mornings. I know I'm not supposed to say it, but it has, let's face it, been actually cold in the mornings and the evenings. And sometimes, it's even been cold during the day.
If it hasn't been snapped up already, you might still be able to rent a bedsit in Kimmage for €1,200 a month. You can move in on Friday. The property is bijou, at about 16sq m, but it has a calm environment. You even get your linen changed weekly. There's parking, central heating, and internet, and all bills are included. And the property is tucked away in a beautiful garden.
In a way, it all came together with the three-minute short film/ad that dropped just a few days before the McGregor/Mayweather fight. It was the result of a deal Conor McGregor signed earlier this year with Beats by Dre headphones. A bit of background: the Dre in Beats by Dre is Dr Dre, one time member of NWA, the godfather of gangsta rap, the man who practically invented West...
I was looking at dead people on Las Ramblas presumably before their loved ones even knew they were dead. In my defence, I stopped looking once I realise what it was. Many people's...
Remember 2016? Innocent times. Back then, there was a theory that the last thing Donald Trump wanted was to be President of America.
It is widely accepted that we need to have a conversation about men and their limitations. And, thankfully, that conversation is happening. It has been widely accepted, for example, that if there had been more women in charge in areas like banking and finance and property, the financial crash would not have been as bad as it was. It is widely accepted that an overdose of testosterone, of a particular type of man, and not enough people with different perspectives and skills, caused the madness that led to the crash.
They say that if you put a frog into cold water and then gradually start heating up the water, the frog will just sit there and be boiled to death, whereas if you throw the frog straight into boiling water he will jump out. Not true, but a handy metaphor for where we find ourselves.
Have you heard anyone, apart from the odd nut, saying what a great idea Brexit is? Have you read one piece where top businessmen discuss the huge opportunities and riches that will flow from Brexit?
My, how things have changed. Traditionally, in ancient Ireland, at this time of year, we used to celebrate the feast of Willie. This was a time when all the politicians went strangely quiet, apart from the odd sighting of one in the bushes in Parknasilla or in a pub in Glenties with an economist, a historian, a lawyer, a feminist and an intellectual.
I've been wondering what the weight thing is really about for me. You know the way for entrepreneurs, the money is often not really about having money, it's about keeping score of what a winner they are? I wonder if there is an element with the weight thing of me keeping score, morally, self-esteem wise, of my health, of how well I am doing at denying that I am going to die.
Kenmare: Here in Kerry it's easy to see why the Healy-Raes thrive despite the appalled look on the faces of the Dublin chattering classes. This is a different Kingdom, where not only all politics is local, but everything is local.
There's an uneasy feeling around the place. It's almost like a perfect storm. A perfect storm of positivity. Not only is the sun shining, which traditionally causes Irish people to lose their marbles and completely forget who we are, but U2 are home, reinstated for now as the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world.
It would appear that U2 have snatched victory from the jaws of predicted defeat. The Joshua Tree tour is set to be the biggest tour of 2017. Twenty stadium dates in America took in well over €100m, with one million people coming to see the band. Millions more will see the band play and the tour is now going back to the US and South America in autumn.
For some reason it was particularly noticeable last week. They were gone. Who? That's the weird thing. We're not quite sure. But for some gilded class of people who make up much of the traffic and many of the goings-on around the place, summer is here and they have disappeared somewhere. Which is odd, because most of us are still here, still doing our jobs, still functioning throughout the summer. So who are these people and where have they gone?
When Dr Paddy Randles's nephew rang me last week to tell me his uncle had died, it took me a second, and then it all came back to me, the extraordinary story of Dr Paddy Randles.
Is it a distraction from policy? That is the question on the lips of people who are serious about politics. The socks, the Love Actually, even the jogging. Should our Taoiseach not be a more serious man? Like his idols, the men who presided over other great leaps forward, Lemass and Collins.
Fears the Irish people would protest at paying for rubbish were put to rest this weekend as the country suffered a collective nervous breakdown trying to buy tickets for Ed Sheeran. In scenes reminiscent of the G20 protests, they gathered at shops and online, determined that nothing would get in the way of them paying their money to see a guy busking, but in a stadium.
As we kick off our annual series of the best of Ireland, Brendan O'Connor puts out the call for the best ways to immerse yourself in nature in Ireland
Summer is, in many ways a fantasy of nostalgia for things that never happened.
On the longest day of the year someone told me it was the longest day of the year and it hit me rather hard for such an obvious piece of news. I think I had been thinking that the whole summer was still ahead. And suddenly you realise that things have peaked, and it's all downhill from here. Before I know it the mornings will get progressively darker and then we'll be into Christmas, and sure you might as well give up then.
My colleague Niamh Horan has been turning me on to some vaguely spiritual Ted Talks. I know, I know. That's not what you expected to hear is it? But in between arguing, Niamh and I share a taste for self-improvement, or healing your inner child, or whatever the current phrase is.
Leo Varadkar has admitted that, as a politician, he is a victim of prejudice. Indeed he admits that not every one in the LGBT community supports him or celebrated his election as Taoiseach. "In fact," he says, "some LGBT activists get quite annoyed when I don't agree with them on every other issue."
We're probably entitled to expect a little bit more than this from our politicians. A lot of us were certainly expecting a little bit more than this from the Varadkar era, what with a straight talker from a new generation getting the reins of power. This was supposed to be the real new politics.
The first major public inquiry of the Varadkar era has been established after the Government caved in last night and agreed to institute the Who's In Charge Now Commission of Inquiry 2017.
The strange thing is that, traditionally, people are thought not to like change. There is a whole industry based around helping people with the difficulty of change. Organisations pay millions to change consultants, and good corporate monkeys everywhere buy books with titles like Who Moved My Cheese?
The elder one asked me did I ever wish I knew what other people were thinking. She's been asking these kinds of questions a bit recently. Stuff about the origins of the universe and whatnot. So I thought it was one of those and answered it in the general sense. Basically saying that you might think you want to know what other people are thinking, but you don't really.
I'd be the first to admit I've been a bit lost since I gave up the diet. The Taylor Made Diet was more than just a diet. It was a way of life. There was something cultish about it. The delivery would come every two days - the kids would say "Dad. He's here!" and I would methodically take the stuff out of the bag to see what I was having for the next two days, and then put the cartons in my corner in the fridge, set apart from everyone else's food. No decisions about food. No shopping. No thinking. Eat the food.
For a couple of glorious hours on Dublin Bay yesterday the sun came out. And Dubliners came out to play along the shore. At Seapoint, the bathers were out.
This morning, somewhere in Castlebar: Fionnuala comes into the kitchen to find Enda looking through the newspapers. "Not much about me or my legacy here, Fionnuala."
I'm looking for a drink. Join the queue says you. But this is the bigger picture we're talking here. It's another one of those ageing things. Like the reading glasses and the wondering if you should start listening to jazz and doing the garden. So anyway for those of you who don't know, which was me until recently, drinking is an aspect of the midlife crisis. And I don't mean not being able to handle the devastation of a hangover any more. That's old news by now. This is a far more existential issue. What to drink?
Is there anything more terrifying, more traumatic than the idea of a child, a baby, in an "unresponsive state"?
Does all of this not make you a bit nervous? It was seemingly all over bar the shouting in 24 hours. Leo hadn't even officially popped his head up. His supporters - the choreographed, coordinated choirboys - had done it all for him. It was as if he was just watching, waiting, as the plan unfolded, as they came out at staggered intervals, each one taking him closer to the coronation. It seemed to show an utter disdain for the process that Fine Gael had put in place to choose a leader, to end it before that process really began.
Was Bob Dylan rubbish? That is the question raging after his recent concert in Dublin. As a witness to said concert, I think the answer is, it depends. What were you expecting anyway? The guy is 75. And he's Bob Dylan. And did nobody tell you that his concerts are not exactly a laugh a minute or a Greatest Hits set?
Trust is the glue that holds our society together. High levels of social and political trust lead to social cohesion and democratic stability. Ireland has seen a dramatic fall in trust for many of the institutions that traditionally held life together here - the Church, the media, the Garda, charities. In general, trust has been hugely eroded and displaced by the recent convulsions in the world - the online revolution, social media, fake news, Trump, Brexit, the rise of extremism and the increases in transparency which have laid bare corruption and incompetence across companies,...
The original plan was Hollywood. The young Kevin Linehan had two obsessions - music and movies. But he planned to make the movies his life's work. He was going to go to Hollywood and be a director.
As U2 kicked off their The Joshua Tree world tour in North America this weekend, Taoiseach and avid air guitar aficionado Enda Kenny has announced that, inspired by the band, he has decided to go Stateside again this summer for one final revisiting of past glories. Enda's All That You Can't Leave Behind US Tour will kick off in early June and take in several cities, but the Taoiseach is remaining coy about any further dates, or whether the tour will continue into Europe. "Enda played a few small venues in Europe recently, but there is talk he might like to go back to Europe and do some...
I like to have a little mini nervous breakdown after a run on TV ends. Not that I like to but I do, so I clearly choose it. So I must like it on some level. I don't want to belittle anyone having a real nervous breakdown. But this is my one and this is what I call it.
You wonder when the change comes, will it come suddenly - a tipping point, but a tipping point we've been building up to for years. How will the country change? Two ways, as the man said: gradually and then suddenly. And the sudden will hit us before we know it. The future is gathering out there. It's Leo and Macron standing together. It's the Citizens' Assembly; however it might have diverged in views from the country at large, it represents some kind of rump of new thinking. And the future is a younger generation who are unlike you and me and their parents; who are...
The build up to today's big event has been huge. It began with an announcement on State TV, which was followed up by daily reminders to the people. The people spoke of little else for a whole week. They are generally a hard-working people who are easily pleased, and, quaintly, they still believe what they are told by many of the instruments of the State. So even though they had been lied to before, they didn't question it when they were told it would be sunny on Sunday.
Jimmy was asleep as I was heading out to swim - a big bundle wrapped up in a sleeping bag - but by the time I came back he was awake, rubbing his eyes and looking out to sea, regarding the vast expanse of water and sky, king of all he surveyed. We chatted as I changed. He had seen the Cutting Edge a few nights before and thought it was gas with the three women, he said.
A shocking new national poll reveals people's true feelings about, among other things, Enda Kenny, the National Maternity Hospital, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney, Brexit, Trump, the Citizens' Assembly and a united Ireland. Indeed, on all these issues, 28pc of the population, across the board, chose the option, "Can we please just shut up about it now?"
This is Ireland. So it is perhaps not surprising that it came down to personalities. In one corner is Rhona Mahony, a feminist icon for Mna na hEireann, or a pushy, over-ambitious, self-regarding woman, depending on whom you listen to. In the other corner is Peter Boylan, an attention-seeking troublemaker or the only person left in Ireland with any integrity, with the calm and stillness of an experienced medic - again, depending on whom you listen to.
So now it looks as if the nuns, if indeed they are nuns at all, have gone off in a huff. Their attitude seems to be, "Well, if you want to be like that about giving us a maternity hospital, then we don't want it. We never asked for this maternity hospital anyway. So we're taking our land and we're going home."
At Mass last week the priest made an interesting point. He was saying that people have to have a reason for their faith now, an explanation for it, a story of why, if you will. What was interesting was his reasoning as to why the congregation needed a reason, a story to tell. It is, he said, because Catholicism is no longer the dominant ideology in Ireland. It didn't sound like he was saying it with regret. He was just stating a fact. It sounded like he had adjusted to this new reality and he was telling us, the congregation, that we needed to adjust to it too.
If the original Easter was happening now we probably wouldn't bother with the resurrection. We might do the crucifixion all right, because if there's one thing we like more than nailing ourselves to a cross, it's nailing someone else to a cross, particularly anyone with the gall to go against the grain and try and tell us a few home truths. But then we'd probably just shrug our shoulders, and figure, "Well. He's dead now. Nothing we can do about it." Fatalism. Literally.
Sometimes, something breaks through all the noise. There is a lot of noise these days. Too much media, too much information. Too many stories that require a reaction from us.
Signs you're getting older number 3,027. I now know the people in the chemist as well as I know the people in the supermarket. I would stop short of saying they greet me like a long lost friend. It's more like polite tolerance. But there's no doubt they aren't surprised to see me. Along with all the oul wans, I am a regular.
Easy now. Keep her steady there. And we were doing so well. We had learnt the biggest lesson EVER in caution, and the run of ourselves, and the losing thereof. And we have been quietly determined never to let it happen again. We even managed to ignore little telltale signs of recovery. We just kept our heads down and kept paying off our debts. The word boom, which used to be generally regarded as a good word, became a curse word in Ireland. We listened to naysayers and economists and the like with a reverent respect. Because experience had taught us the guy or gal with the...
'Maximum ridiculousness". That's where Alan Kelly reckons we've reached on the populism front in Ireland. Now let's face it. It could be more ridiculous. We haven't elected a Donald Trump. We haven't bounced ourselves into bouncing ourselves out of the EU. But what we have done, according to Kelly, is come to a place where no politician will do anything that could be perceived as being electorally damaging. And he could have a point.
I know I should feel good about my wife showing an interest in swimming in the sea. It's nice. It's something we can do together. And a marriage is always helped by common interests and wanting the same things and having similar aspirations, which we do in general.
There is something broken in our society. But then you don't need me to tell you that. Donald Trump tells us that. Brexit tells us that. The latest Edelman Ireland Trust Barometer tells us too.
I've basically got a used-car lot going out in the front garden. I'd say my neighbours are getting a bit concerned. They're probably calling me Arthur Daley behind my back. We had two ancient hulks out front, and now they've been joined by another, slightly less ancient one.
And people wonder why the Greens aren't a bigger political force in this country? Because the only time Irish people think about global warming is at times like this, when the sun comes out in March and suddenly, after what has been a grim few months, we get our summer mania on, cast off our vitamin D deficiency-led depression, and become, for a time, carefree.
There were certain reactions permitted last week. Others were not allowed. The permitted reaction to the death of Martin McGuinness was one of sympathy and respect. Unless you were a direct victim, or a relative of a direct victim of one of the many ingenious murders that McGuinness carried out in his day. Those people were allowed their say. And everyone politely nodded and understood that they felt the way they did. They would say that, wouldn't they? They're too close to it, too emotionally involved. They can't see straight about what a great man he was, because they are...
So it turns out I'm not the only one with a pain in my face. I mentioned here recently about the neuralgia or atypical odontalgia, or whatever it is that has had my gums and teeth on fire on and off for the last 20 years. And of course we all think we are individuals, but really, there is nothing unique about us. It turns out that face pain is some kind of modern-day plague. And thank you to everyone who wrote to me with the various things you and your loved ones have tried, and to tell me what worked and what doesn't work.
It is perhaps no surprise that the death of Eamonn Casey was almost treated as a moment of light relief after the few weeks we'd had in this country. Next to children buried in septic tanks, a white slavery operation and a baby trafficking racket, Casey seemed like the harmless face of the Church.
One day, when he was Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney was walking across St Stephen's Green when a total stranger walked up to him. Coveney presumed the man was going to say hello. Instead the man spat in his face and said something along the lines of, "I hate you and I hate what your government is doing to this country". Coveney nearly squares up again at the memory of it, and...
'Dear Family Members."
Of course I bring this on myself, with my oversharing, but seriously, people really feel they can comment on your body these days.
Brendan takes his family to an African-themed resort on Gran Canaria. How will their sunshine safari go?
I was summoned up to the elder one. She was in bed, crying. She told me she wished she didn't have a sister with special needs. She told me she loved Mary but she just wished sometimes that she didn't have special needs.
Like many of you, I initially put it down to Warren Beatty's legendary alleged vanity. It wasn't just the way he examined the card for a moment before passing it off ungallantly to Faye Dunaway so that she would be the one to make the wrong announcement. It was the way he then hogged the mike to explain, exactly and forensically, why it wasn't his fault. The Moonlight people had already been denied their moment in the sun, and now Beatty seemed to be compounding it by stealing their moment again to cover his ass.
Norwegian Air announced flights from Ireland to New York and Boston last week. The first tranche of 5,000 flights sold out in six hours. Norwegian Air thinks it's their fastest launch sale ever. Admittedly this first tranche were at a knock-down price, but still, we can only assume that a lot of them were sold to people who decided on impulse to take off to the US, or people who were thinking of a trip and took this opportunity to commit. There's no doubt that things like this give us the heebie-jeebies a bit. We still look back and laugh nervously at that era when Irish people would fly off to New...
For many there is almost an inevitability about Leo Varadkar becoming the next leader of Fine Gael and thus, all things being equal, the next taoiseach. Even Leo himself seems to feel that momentum. We have heard very little out of him about his actual ministerial job over the last few months, but we have heard many leader-style pronouncements out of him, about the direction of the party and the government. At times he seems to speak as the de facto leader of Fine Gael, or as if he in some way embodies the party.
Ireland 2021. The country has been laid waste to after Donald Trump caused nuclear Armageddon. Early in his second term, Trump unleashed the nukes on Russia to prove that he wasn't in bed with Putin. Indeed, Trump rode cowboy-style on the back of the first bomb to land on Moscow, shouting, "I told you it was fake news muthafuuuuaaaaaaargh!"
Is there anything worse than the week when you come back from holidays? You go off and get a little glimpse of that tent of blue we prisoners call the sky, and then suddenly you're back in the box wondering how you ended up here. People say you would go potty if you didn't have a job and that you'd get bored very quickly. I am convinced I am the exception to that rule.
As you get older your life becomes a series of compromises. If you have traditionally seen yourself as deviant, those compromises are more difficult. But equally, as you get older, and especially when you come into your forties, you also get more and more set in your deviance. So it's a balancing act. I think the trick is to give in on the little things that make life easier, and to keep up the fight in your head and your heart on the important stuff. Key to this is the ability to distinguish between what matters and what doesn't.
It's not easy being a dad these days. Back in the day, you came home in the evening after a hard day's work and you watched the news. That was the rule in most houses. Shush. Dad Is Watching The News.
Imagine this. Imagine if Donald Trump decided to detain all illegal immigrants in camps while he conducted extreme vetting on them. Imagine if he said those people might stay in those places, repurposed old holiday camps and other buildings, for up to a decade. Facilities would be minimal and the people would not be allowed to work but they would be given $1,000 a year to survive on. Twenty bucks a week.
Hello Washington. Good evening White House. I'm Enda Kenny and let me tell you it's been a long road for me to get here today with this precious shamrock. Shamrock is scarcer than lettuce this year and there were those who said we shouldn't waste it on you people.
It will go down in the history books as the week of the U-turn. Mary Lou McDonald started it on Tuesday when she announced that Sinn Fein was open for business and would be the best little party in Ireland to go into coalition with. Then Gerry U-turned with her, casually explaining that he never really bought into that whole notion of a left-wing government anyway.
There is a kind of madness in the air among the political classes worldwide. It's as if Donald Trump's unpredictable energy is contagious. Trump, seemingly adrift without an administration around him, conducted a neighbourhood spat with the president of Mexico on Twitter, while the former president of Mexico has been trolling Trump on Twitter about not paying for "that f**king wall".
Pain is black art, according to one of the handful of various dental specialists I've been seeing. And as much as I put it off I eventually had to go to a practitioner of the black arts. Imagine if you have a toothache for 20 years. That's pretty much where I'm at. And while there's been various work done by various guys, and while I've seen the tooth-grinding guy (bruxism, such a great word), we have not got to the bottom of it. It is atypical, they say. There is no pathology. Sometimes I suspect they are saying very gently that it is in my head. Sometimes I wonder whether it is in my head. Do I...
As Donald Trump began to speak, the sky turned black, darker than Hughie Maughan's cheeks. And as he spoke, a darkness settled over the whole world. A great moaning and wailing went up as he goose-stepped across the stage, laughing maniacally, thunder claps punctuating each point he made.
I should preface all this with the fact that I am not a medical professional so you should take everything I say here with a pinch of salt, and please do check with a doctor, or indeed Google, before you act on any of the information below.
Being on a diet is not dramatic in itself but the changes to your mindset can be a real eye opener. You get shaken out of your torpor. It's like you stop drinking the Kool-Aid and you suddenly see things with a new clarity.
Sinn Fein clearly feel they could do pretty well in a Northern election right now. According to the Shinners, the people need to have their say. Which makes you wonder if Sinn Fein have been following politics recently.
It is fair to say that at this stage in our obsession with talking about Donald Trump as if we matter, that we have become like a bunch of priests. We are high on our own sanctimonious finger-wagging. We surely reached some kind of peak tut-tuttage last Thursday when we managed to get indignant about the fact that he may have conflicts of interest around his business. We paraded various academics out in the media to tell us why Trump should sell off all his assets. (Factoid, the last outsider and scourge of the elite who became president, Jimmy Carter, didn't sell his peanut farm.
She got me a bicycle helmet for Christmas. This was like her buying a present for herself. It was a bit like a man buying a woman sexy lingerie. She wanted to see me in a bicycle helmet. I put it on and pranced around the room and she seemed happy. Of course if this was a fantasy life, she would have given me the helmet, got me to put it on, and then we would have walked outside to where there was a new bike with a bow wrapped around it. My real present.
Marian Finucane didn't ham it up too much. She casually said to the American ambassador that she believed Barack Obama had a message for the Irish. Yes, the ambassador told her. When he met with Obama last week, the last thing Obama said to the ambassador was: "Tell them I'm coming."
Thank God that's over, wouldn't you say? Of course, the real pity is that we can't just agree to pretend it never happened, strike it from the official record, chalk it down and move on. But the problem with 2016 is that all the crazy things humans did during the year will haunt us for years to come. We chose permanent solutions to temporary fits of pique.
There is a sense of unease as we hover between years, a sense of the world holding its breath briefly before being plunged back into a reality that increasingly distresses a lot of people. Some people are justifiably distressed by it all, others less so.
I have this myth that I am a great thwarted traveller. If I didn't have all these people and things holding me back I'd be off around the world, a carefree kind of a hippy, open to new cultures, new people and new things.
Joan Murphy did not get an obituary in this paper. And most of you will never have heard of her. But for many, primarily in Cork, the recent news of Joan Murphy's death will have been greeted with great sadness, but also with a warm smile, as they remembered this extraordinary woman.
The occupation of Apollo House could not have come at a better time. After the year we've all had, a bit of idealism warmed the cockles of our hearts at Christmas. From Trump to Brexit to new politics, we were stumbling out of 2016 feeling disillusioned, disenfranchised, even disgusted. And along came Glen Hansard and Home Sweet Home to reclaim something for the people, to remind us that this land is our land. And better still, they were reclaiming something from Nama/the banks/faceless receivers.
The worlds of tourism, archaeology, history, construction and Celtic mysticism have been rocked by the revelation that Newgrange may be a fraud.
There will be a lot of people quietly celebrating the acquittal of Bernadette Scully this weekend.
When you get to my age two things of note start happening to your contemporaries. They start to become CEOs and they start to die. The cruel irony is that the ones who get to be CEO are the guys who don't deserve it, and so are the ones who die.
There will be a lot of people quietly celebrating the acquittal of Bernadette Scully this weekend. There will be a lot of people still upset that the laws of the land are such that this woman had to undergo the pain of a trial. But equally we must accept that of course there had to be a trial, that society has to have boundaries and lines. But equally, thank God, justice was done in this very sad case.
As we approach the end of the first year of New Politics, most people still don't know what it means. The truth is it means whatever you want it to mean. Gerry Adams, for example, believes it is connected to his arse, hence his slogan "New Politics: My arse", replacing his previous slogan "Talking out of: My arse".
My past has been compressed. My memories have been flattened, made two-dimensional. The life, the oomph, has been taken out of them.
Gerry Adams feels betrayed by the Stack family. He feels they have breached his trust. Gerry thought they had a deal. While we must be careful here not to establish a hierarchy of victimhood, it is clear that Gerry, yet again, sees himself as the real victim here. Gerry is, of course, a man who has been plagued with victims all his life.
I have decided this week to go into politics. It's not the money that's attracting me, or the power as such. It's not the minor celebrity or the Dail bar. The truth of it is that I am a very petty man, with a lot of grudges and a lot of scores to settle.
Pilgrims have been flocking to Kilmallock in Limerick to see an apparition on the side of a house. The mysterious image, which appears to be Leo Varadkar, was first reported on Thursday night and since then people have been saying the Rosary at the site, lighting candles, and appealing to the apparition for salvation. St Leo of Varadkar, as he is known to the faithful, is the patron saint of South Dublin, gyms, the Electric Picnic, marriage equality and the media.
We change shape when we leave our family of origin. But then somehow, once a year, we decree that everyone should get back together with their family of origin and that we should all have to fit back into our previous shapes.
'The sooner you realise there's only one business left in the world - the money business, just ones and zeros - the better off you're gonna be."
It feels at times as if Enda Kenny is trying to stuff his diary so that when they come demanding his resignation he'll be able to point to a list of appointments well into the next decade and say it would be rude of him not to be there.
Obviously I knew logically that Garfunkel was not going to be there. It was very clearly billed as a Paul Simon gig. And let's face it, Artie recently called Paul an idiot and a jerk. Paul responded by saying that Garfunkel is a guy who is wrestling his demons and, "I don't know why he's mad at me, I really don't. He's mad at a lot of people".
Why is everyone so fit these days? OK, I'll rephrase. Why are so many people so fit these days?
You don't hear many people talking these days about how pleased they are with how rents are rising in Ireland. Residential rents have risen nearly 20pc in a year in some parts of the country and according to Daft.ie, rents are now a staggering 10pc above their previous peak in 2008.
So they finally broke the internet. For real. It seems many of you have suddenly realised that a lot of what you read on the internet may not be true. This is further confused in the world we live in by the fact that increasingly the things that feel like they are true are actually made up, and the things that feel like they are made up are actually true.
I'm worried I'm a bad person. Because I'm not as upset as everyone else around me seems to be about Donald Trump. I am trying to examine the reasons I am not.
There are memories tumbling out of the closet for so many of us this weekend. Because Leonard Cohen wasn't someone you just picked up by osmosis, or picked up through the radio, though maybe in latter years, as Hallelujah becomes destroyed by X Factor winners and vocal histrionics, he was.
Dear Mr Trump, let's be honest and upfront to start. Most people here have taken your election pretty badly. It would be fair to say they've taken it worse than they've ever taken our own election results.
Alcoholics have a saying, wherever you go, there you are. I assume that by this they mean that you can't run away from yourself or run away from your feelings by getting a change of scenery, or, as the alcoholics call it, doing a geographical.