Wednesday 22 November 2017

Plenty of negative feedback for megaphone hecklers

Heckling through a megaphone
Heckling through a megaphone
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

This week's conferences may have been a PR nightmare for teachers, but it has given a boost to those in the megaphone business.

Shouting through his loud hailer while Ruairi Quinn spoke, Andrew Phelan showed that there are alternatives to Twitter for getting your message across. The PE teacher was taken aback by the fuss he created.

Could companies cash in on this craze for amplified heckling? A-Z Hire in Dublin this week advertised a loud hailer "ideal for protests" for €22-a-day.

A spokesman told me: "This is a good time for us with elections coming up."

Meanwhile, at the conferences, the two main second-level teaching unions, the TUI and ASTI, announced a possible merger.

Given some of the acrimony between teachers in recent days, the first item on the agenda could be a split.

So what will become of David Moyes now that he has received his marching orders from Manchester United?

Apparently, things came to a head when he accused his pampered stars of playing like girls.

After Ruairi Quinn's contretemps over girls and maths, Moyes might be well advised to avoid speaking to any teachers' conferences.


Good week

Social Welfare probes

Investigators uncovered social welfare recipients who are sitting on six-figure sums in a major crackdown. They found one financial whiz on jobseeker’s allowance who had savings and investments worth €400,000.

Instead of demonising this chap, the permanently in-the-red Government might be better off asking him for financial tips.


It was reported that Fine Gael had issued a special guide for election canvassers. Party workers are advised to call to houses between 7pm and 9pm, but to avoid televised sports events and blockbuster episodes of TV soap operas. Why don’t canvassers talk about Shattergate? That’s as good as any soap.

Bad week

Beer drinkers

Attention Nobel Prize judges. Boffins in Britain have discovered that drinking three-and-a-half pints of beer a day makes people fat.

The study concluded that, after drinking that amount, boozers reach a tipping point, or tippling point, and won’t stop eating.

Cheers! I’ll have the kebabs.

Brian Boru

A historian revealed the traditional story of the Battle of Clontarf, where Brian Boru battled Vikings, may have been fiction, lifted from Greek legend.

A Cambridge professor found similarities between the medieval text Cogadh Gaedhel and the Siege of Troy. Some aul monk copied and pasted it. What a disgrace.



“He was truly a poet for all the world.”

— Paul Simon at the unveiling of a tapestry dedicated to Seamus Heaney at Dublin Airport


Headline of the Week


— Nigeria Daily News. Now if he had just spoken English



News spread of the engagement of Tommy Bowe and former Miss Wales Lucy Whitehouse (below), and not all the women of Ireland were happy: @Lorrrrrrrrraine Tommy Bowe's engaged. Might as well stop washing

And then of course there was the fuss over the departure of David Moyes from Manchester United: @Donal_Power Can't believe David Moyes was FIRST item on RTÉ News today. He was football manager of a club in an English city. Has someone lost the plot?

@juneshannon *stands up in bus stating I don't know who David Moynes, Ryan Giggs or Manchester Rovers are*

Should one teacher be in detention over his behaviour at his union conference?

@anniewestdotcom Megaphone man *I've nothing to apologise to the Minister about* Well apart from dangling your preposition, tut tut #asti

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