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My Week: Colm O'Gorman


Colm O'Gorman Photo: Naomi Gaffey

Colm O'Gorman Photo: Naomi Gaffey

Colm O'Gorman Photo: Naomi Gaffey

Monday: Waking up is a stressful time in the O'Gorman household. There is always a risk I might find myself reading something in the morning newspapers that disagrees with my "right-on" principles.

How do I know if something is racist, misogynist, or homophobic? Simple. It is if I say it is.

Some tell me I should just get used to it, but I don't see why I have to. Being this ostentatiously touchy got me the job as executive director of Amnesty Ireland, and the salary's huge, so it's all good.

It even got me an invite on to Claire Byrne Live recently, where I had the chance to point out with exaggerated patience and courtesy verging on passive aggressiveness why I am right about everything, and anyone who disagrees with me is a raving lunatic.

A raving right-wing lunatic, what's more, which is the worst sort of raving lunatic you can be.

The day is spent gearing up for my first appearance on Celebrity MasterChef. Before anyone criticises me, it was recorded when I was on leave, and the result has been a closely guarded secret since, partly because we're all professionals who wouldn't dream of giving the game away, but mainly because no one gives a rat's ass who won anyway.

I find being a public figure quite a strain, so I try to cope with it by being on TV and radio as often as possible so that I build up immunity to the trauma.

In the evening, I pour myself a glass of red wine and settle down to watch the show. I get the whole country talking with my modern take on a traditional Sunday lunch. "It's gas!" I tweet, adding a smiley emoji for effect. "Seriously, what am I like, though?"

I'm just a laid-back, average guy. There are no airs and graces on me. I prove it by posting my recipe for duck with smoked nectarine and mango sauce on my new food blog.

I also do a lot more tweeting. You may have noticed.

Tweets: 118. Virtues signalled: Too many to say.

TUESDAY: I retweet a picture of a cat taking a selfie with two dogs. I also talk a bit about Ibrahim Halawa, who is in jail in Egypt, because helping people who've been unjustly imprisoned abroad is all part of the day job.

The cooking's just my little sideline. Speaking of which, what dessert recipe should I post this weekend - the orange and cranberry brioche bread and butter pudding, or the hazelnut and apple crumble with garam masala ice-cream?

I ask my 28,000 followers for advice. I often wonder if I spend too long on Twitter.

Only kidding. I'm usually too busy tweeting to wonder.

Fantastic news, anyway. Barack Obama has ordered the early release of former US soldier Chelsea Manning, who leaked half-a-million security documents that ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda.

Isn't it funny how so many people who spent the entire US presidential campaign complaining about Russian leaks of Hillary Clinton's emails are totally behind the leak of other messages which got intelligence agents hideously murdered?

What people don't realise is that because Manning is transgender that automatically makes her a victim, so any criticism of what she did is pure bigotry.

Tweets: 80. Votes won for the PDs in Wexford in 2007: Never you mind, haters.

WEDNESDAY: Today, I retweet a video of a teenager in Dublin playing Britney Spears's Hit Me Baby One More Time on a ukelele, because that's what being a social justice warrior is all about.

I'm used to being criticised by people who don't understand my work. It's almost as bad as that time a few years ago when two members of People Before Profit put down a motion at our annual conference to reduce my salary, then followed PBP tradition by not getting anyone else to back them.

All that matters is that my husband and children are right behind me. They're so proud of who I am and what I do. And so am I.

Number of tweets: Disgracefully few, but there's only so many times you can retweet messages saying "Colm, you're great" before you start looking a bit desperate for affirmation.

THURSDAY: I can't believe it. There's another article in the newspapers that I don't agree with. That makes two this year. It's an epidemic.

Worse is to come with news that Michael Flatley has agreed to perform at the inauguration of President Trump. I retweet a message from someone congratulating the person who bought the domain name collosalbellend.com and redirected it to the dancer's website, because, as I said in a tweet on Tuesday, "I generally find that a bit of respect is conducive to constructive dialogue".

That's totally not a contradiction, by the way. I checked with Fintan O'Toole and he agrees with me, so I'm clearly above reproach.

Tweets: On fire. Liberal credentials: On fleek.

FRIDAY: It should really be a duvet day, as I feel so upset by Trump's inauguration, but I drag myself out of bed by thinking of the good that I can do. Fascism won't defeat itself, you know. I've even written an article for the day that's in it, urging people to "resist" and "fight" the growing tide of extremism which resulted in millions of folk voting in a free election for the candidate that they most wanted to win.

I switch on the TV and watch the tragedy unfolding. It's so upsetting I can barely bring myself to tweet, but I bravely force my fingers to the phone to have a fight with a user called @irishonthepiss who has a grand total of 23 followers. Every stupid spat on social media helps. Probably.

Members of the global alt-right movement thwarted this week: Hardly any, but let's pretend it was loads.

*As imagined by Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent