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Tommy Tiernan now hosts a chat-show on RTE

Tommy Tiernan now hosts a chat-show on RTE

Tommy Tiernan now hosts a chat-show on RTE

It hardly took an eagle eye but sometimes letter writers to the newspapers put their finger on things us hacks either ignore or don't see.

Take the chat-show offerings on State broadcaster RTE in the past few weeks.

On Tommy Tiernan, who one of my colleagues has identified as "the future of television", the mystery guest was Vogue Williams. Now Tommy didn't have a clue who she was, but he and Vogue spent most of the time talking about On The Edge, her challenging RTE show.

Next up was The Late Late Show where we had Amy Huberman and Neil Morrissey talking about RTE's crisp new legal drama Striking Out. Ian Kehoe, who doubles as editor of the Sunday Business Post, talked about, well, his RTE show - The Great Irish Sell Off. We also met Caitriona Perry, talking about Trump, as she happens to be RTE's Washington correspondent. Then there were various participants talking about the RTE show Dancing with the Stars.

Oh, sorry, I forgot the panel - Rubberbandit Blindboy Boatclub, fresh from his recent RTE show, and Stefanie Preissner, fresh from writing her acclaimed show Can't Cope Won't Cope on RTE, with Michael Harding cast as a random non-RTE personage.

Then we get to Ray D'Arcy's chat show on the Saturday night - another bloke sitting in a studio interviewing guests. There were leaders from Operation Transformation, another RTE show, and it ended with Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, yet another RTE personality.

"Is public service broadcasting now defined as RTE people interviewing each other ad nauseam?" asked David FitzGerald, of Goatstown, Dublin, in a letter to The Irish Times.

Fair question.

*****

Mattress Mick, or Michael Flynn, and Dublin City councillor Mannix Flynn got into a royal scrap on Joe Duffy last week. Flynn, Mannix that is, said the homeless residents of Apollo House had been "duped and conned" by the activists and celebrities who were part of the Home Sweet Home campaign, also accusing them of "reckless exploitation".

Flynn, Mattress Mick that is, revealed that the group has €160,000 in cash contributions from the public, but didn't intend to spend the money putting up the homeless. Maybe some of it went on the fleet of taxis which ferried the homeless from Apollo House last Thursday!

Nor did Mattress Mick, when asked if he would take them into his Kincora Road home, in Clontarf, Dublin, think that he would be able to do that. Mattress Mick conceded that while he had a long-term interest in the homeless "not for very long" had he been actively involved in the issue.

Mannix accused the mattress celebrity of doing "a very stupid thing encouraging them to break a court order" and clearly someone took councillor Flynn's extremely good advice and they all decided to leave.

*****

So farewell then to double Olympian Frank Murphy, who passed away, aged 69, recently. Frank was a well-known 'character' in Scruffy Murphy's public house off Mount Street and was one of the participants who "bought" the Lottery in 1992 under the direction of Stefan Klincewicz, when they purchased almost every ticket combination - as a result of which the lottery had to change its system.

There were said to be 28 participants in the 'syndicate', although over the years it has taken on the legendary status of, "Who was in the GPO in 1916?".

Pat Hickey, who stood down as President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, slipped quietly in and out of the funeral Mass in Iona Road in Glasnevin and former champion runner Eamonn Coghlan was also among the congregation.

There was some consternation at the failure to play Finbar Furey's The Green Fields of France, which was Frank's favourite song, in the church but it was played later at Glasnevin Cemetery. Legendary tales of his exploits were told afterwards, but what was certain is that he was a lifelong member of Clonliffe Harriers and was European outdoor and indoor 1,500m silver medallist in 1969/70.

Although an election is about to take place for the Presidency of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Pat Hickey won't exactly go away, you know. We are told that because of his membership of the International Olympic Committee he will remain on the Olympic Council of Ireland executive council.

Should make for interesting times in the Olympic Council of Ireland offices in Howth.

*****

The saga of No 6 and No 8 Elgin Road, two down-at-heel Victorian properties in the heart of Dublin 4, appears to be coming to an end.

A "Sold" sign has now gone up on the two houses which were the property of Jim Reynolds, the Longford ballroom and hotel owner who bought them in 2006 and left them lying idle and decaying for the last decade.

The properties were the subject of litigation between the Reynolds' interests and Promontoria (Aran) Ltd. The case was settled, allowing the sale to go through.

Interestingly, a solicitor acting for Anne Reynolds, the wife of Jim Reynolds who died just a day before her husband in December, have taken out Letters of Administration to facilitate the "closing the sale of deceased interest in No 8".

The Israeli Embassy will also presumably be relieved because its feared secret service Mossad once used the vacant No 6 to acquire a false passport for one of its agents to engage in some dirty work with an unfriendly citizen in the Middle East who later wound up dead in Dubai.

The asking price for the two buildings was €3m - a good buy in Dublin's booming embassy belt.

Sunday Independent