Saturday 23 November 2019

Quotes of the week

This week's news in quotes.

"You never have to explain why you drink. You always have to explain why you don't. If alcohol didn't exist, and it was discovered, I don't think there's a government in the world that would allow it."

- Alastair Campbell, former spin doctor to Tony Blair.

"My feeling was that Clare was a social team. I know that some of them were taking even harder stuff than drink . . . if you are doing stuff like that, you are wasting your time. We teased it out. We decided we were going to stand up and draw a line under it and say 'No'."

- Davy Fitzgerald, All-Ireland winning Clare hurling manager.

"So why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? Why's there more police protection ... now? Why's the garbage being picked up more regularly now? We been here."

- Spike Lee, film director, on the gentrification of Harlem in New York where he grew up.

"It is no picnic. I'd rather be at home on a Saturday night with a beer watching 'Match of the Day' than going out to some reception. We are often acting as janitors for embassies. It can be hard work. People need to know what it is like to look after an embassy abroad."

- David Cooney, secretary general, Department of Foreign Affairs.

"I've often said it's the fallacy of fools in politics to look for credit. This is a work in progress. We're not going to grade ourselves. Obviously in the spring of 2016 all grades will be known."

- Taoiseach Enda Kenny

"Let me summarise the Taoiseach and Tanaiste's speech – blah, blah, blah, blah, mumble, mumble – success, what a load of bullshit."

- Richard Boyd Barrett TD on the "Government's priorities for the year ahead".

"Portraying the Pope as a kind of Superman, a type of star, seems offensive. The Pope is a man who laughs, cries, sleeps tranquilly and has friends like everyone. A normal person. Sigmund Freud said behind every idealisation, there is aggression."

- Pope Francis.

"Julia Roberts 44, Sharon Stone 52, Julianne Moore 53. They all get huge contracts, but I can't accept them right now. I've turned you into a kept man. And there was I thinking I'd married a guy with a salary."

- Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, joking with her husband, the former French president in 2011, as revealed on tape last week.

"The Oireachtas is the symbol of our democratic life and one that all women can feel ownership over. (But) Irish society is built by men for men. Ireland's low representation of women in politics is a symptom of a society which has excluded women."

- Joan Burton, Minister for Social Affairs.

"We have all been touched by evil."

- Father of one of the two girls raped by a man given two life sentences last week.

"We should tackle the poisonous myth that Irish is an obstacle to the acquisition of any other language. In my own experience, those who hold that idea would only be happy with a monoglot entirely English-speaking republic."

- President Michael D Higgins.

"I admire and respect the courage and resilience of the Irish people. Families have made big sacrifices. But Ireland has shown it can be done. The European Commission has always been on the side of Ireland, one could even say one of your best friends."

- Jose Manuel Barroso, EU Commission president.

"Just because somebody made an allegation that was true once, doesn't mean that every allegation they make is true."

- Leo Varadkar, Transport Minister, on whistleblowers' allegations.

"I have a particular understanding of the reforming zeal of which the minister is possessed ... and I also acutely understand the particular challenges he faces. The minister is often misunderstood and, strange as it may seem, despite recent events, I remain an enthusiastic supporter of the minister in his programme of reform."

- Oliver Connolly, former Confidential Recipient, on Alan Shatter, the man who sacked him.

"What cannot be done is for Russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles recognised around the world. Now is the time for them to consider whether they can serve their interests in a way that resorts to diplomacy as opposed to force."

- Barack Obama on the Ukraine crisis.

Sunday Independent

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