Barbara McCarthy: 'If you find chocolate ducks racist, you must be quacked'
You can't help but throw your head back and laugh. This was the week chocolate was racist.
You can't help but throw your head back and laugh. This was the week chocolate was racist.
In these heady times of peak Brexit hysteria, and Cuban Missile Crisis panic, you'd think it is impossible to pile any more angst onto Irish-...
When Bono speaks, we disagree. At the annual gathering of global elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the U2 frontman said...
There's a scene in the film version of Umberto Eco's classic historical murder mystery 'The Name of the Rose', which stars Sean Connery and F Murray Abraham, in which a monk self-flagellates - an...
'I have lots of fire in my belly, and ambition in my soul, but why this struggle? Why am I living in my mam's house? Why am I not reaching milestones...
Oh, how time flies. Through collective amnesia, pathological altruism, faux do-goodery and a nauseating need to impress global outsiders, we've managed to convince ourselves that 2018's Ireland is better than 2004 Ireland.
When I was in a liquor store not far from Thousand Oaks, California, a few months back, a guy came up to the counter with his shirt half over his head and what I perceived as a gun protruding underneath it. I'm slightly (insanely) paranoid, so I ran out with my daughter in her pram, leaving my purchases on the counter, and legged it across the street. My daughter was wondering why...
'Women of Ireland. I call upon thee to down tools from November 13 for the rest of the year." Stick it up to the patriarchy as from this day the 14pc pay gap, which is measured by the median earnings of full-time wage and salaried workers and doesn't differentiate really important factors, such as education, occupation, experience, dangerous work, long hours and other factors, comes into...
I'm something of an anti-festive dissident grinch, so I'll be glad to see the back of Halloween.
EVER eyed up your motherin-law’s detached period home? Sitting on an acre in a leafy suburb? Lofted hall features, a graceful original staircase – whatever about the potential out the back.
I was trying to make friends and influence people on social media this past week, but then I realised I'm too irreverent and silly to gain a large following. My online presence is not pursuant to...
I've been watching 'stars' I've never heard of gather on the red carpet at the glamorous Cannes Film Festival these past days and I'm glad I gave this year a miss.
I was contemplating getting blue armpit hair implants and taking a day off work to support my sisters in their quest to have abortions at home, but, unfortunately, I'm a single parent and I...
I'm over the Obamas. Eight long years of tedious Oscar acceptance speech rhetoric has amounted to a fat load of hot air.
I was reading with great interest yet another article containing "new evidence" suggesting that women should start having children in their 20s.
It's impossible to imagine, but in 2010 you could walk down the street without wearing headphones. The human right to be offended was merely a glint in the eye of a yet-to-be-triggered weaponised feminist.
In the days leading up to Christmas, there's not a dry eye in arrivals halls in airports across the country as family and friends return from abroad.
I was in the pub with my daughter over the weekend enjoying my Christmas pint. I had spent the afternoon at the playground and stuck my head in the door on the way home.
Christmas markets in mainland Europe are fairytales of magic and wonder. Wooden carvings, tastefully decorated trees, beautifully hand-crafted carousels for children, homemade angels, a scent of spice and gingerbread, glorious food and drink. It's like stepping into Christmas itself.
The 'recovery' is in full swing so, as champions of splurge, Irish people will no doubt spend money accordingly this Christmas. International studies indicate that Irish people spend more at Christmas than other Europeans or Americans. In 2015, mummypages.ie revealed that the average Irish parent spends €254 on presents per child, while 16pc spend up to €600 on each child.
Emma Mhic Mhathúna was looking forward to making her children's dreams come true by bringing them to the 'Late Late Toy Show' in December. Instead they're living their worst nightmare watching their mother being buried this week - condemned to death after receiving two incorrect smear test results.
The clock is ticking and soon the abortion referendum will be on our doorsteps. Literally. It's going to be intense. All the loons will be out - the middle-aged pro-choicers who have never been pregnant or gotten laid since the 1990s telling you babies before 12 weeks are 'just a bunch of cells' or limes or grapes or whatever term they want to use to describe them.
'Just don't go back," a new Irish friend in South Africa insisted when I mentioned how long I was planning to stay in Cape Town. "You can't. You can do extraordinary things here."
Eamonn Campbell died last week and it's bloody sad. It's not just sad because he was a genius guitar player, distinguished record producer and arranger, merchant of craic, and generous guy loved by everyone - literally, it was also because he could connect with people.
I was very flattered when Sam Shepard asked a friend could he be introduced to me on Wexford Street one night some years back.
I won't be joining the #repealthe8th-ers at the pro-choice march in Dublin on Saturday because I'd feel like a phony. I'm not a card-carrying, jumper-wearing member of the 'pro-abortion' lobby and I'm finding myself less so as each day passes.
In my lifetime, I've been flashed at seven times. Unsavoury highlights include missing a plane because of a man revealing himself to me en route to the airport and being exposed at twice in one day - once from a guy inside a car, then a few hours later in the middle of the baths in Budapest.
'It was like the final scene of El Cid mixed with Downton Abbey," Mark Leslie said of his 'Uncle Jack's' "stunning" funeral at his home in Castle Leslie, Monaghan last week.
When I heard about the case of the 21-year-old who received a three-month suspended sentence after procuring abortion drugs online, I felt worse for the baby than for her. Reading about her flatmate coming upon a fully formed baby with 'fingers, little toes' in a bin was difficult to digest. The woman admitted to feeling sick and damaged mentally, as did I.
After almost 1000 days behind bars, Michaella McCollum finally walked out of her Peruvian 'hell hole' prison last week. The famously dusty, smoggy air outside Ancon Dos maximum security facility, an hour north of Lima - which has been her home for over two years - must have tasted sweeter than ever.
Since the Normans first landed on Irish shores in 1169, the Irish landscape has been peppered with over 4,000 castles. Throughout the generations, many fell foul to dry rot, some were taken over by hotel groups, while others are still inhabited by the families who built them or who have occupied them for centuries. Our reporter went to visit some of Ireland's finest castles, whose owners...
The 98-year-old World War II veteran Sir John Leslie was shocked when he found out he would be appointed a chevalier (knight) of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France's highest medal.
An acquaintance recently expressed his disgust when I informed him that I would be baptising my child, despite the fact I haven't darkened the door of a church in years.
A recent US survey suggests that 95pc of women who had abortions didn't regret them three years later. Research shows that the women, who came from diverse backgrounds and were closely monitored by the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, felt they made the right choice.
Some years back, I saw a wedding photo on social media of a girl I met at a festival in the Nevada desert. It grabbed my attention because it was of her, her husband and their new wife.
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were remembered in two high-profile funerals in Australia this weekend. They were the two 'kingpins' of the 'Bali 9' heroin smugglers who recently met their death by firing squad in a small courtyard on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan off the coast of Java, Indonesia.
I couldn't be happier to see the back of Jeremy Clarkson after BBC director general Tony Hall took the decision to end Clarkson's BBC career "with great regret."
Last week, President Michael D Higgins signed legislation enforcing the plan to make Ireland the first country in the EU to introduce plain cigarette packaging, 11 years after we became the first country to ban smoking in public places.
"Its awful. Losing your seat. It's a very public humiliation," former TD Liz O'Donnell informed Ryan Tubridy about the despair politicians feel when they get voted out, during an interview on the Late Late Show.
It's great news all-round on the jobs front this week. With the latest instalment of its 'Action Plan for Jobs,' the Government promises 10,000 jobs in the IFSC over the next five years. Meanwhile, global management consulting firm Accenture announced 250 new positions by the end of the summer.
A survey out this week states that 32pc of women in their 30s are postponing having children due to monetary factors. Yet despite the high creche fees, which stand at almost €594 in Dublin and €379 nationally per month, coupled with unfavourable maternity entitlements, we still have the second-highest birth rate in Europe - standing at 1.99 children per woman.
According to Eurostat, Europe's statistic agency, property prices in Ireland increased by 15pc last year compared with the Eurozone average of 2.3pc. The figures come as the ECB prepares to introduce a minimum deposit of 20pc on mortgages to reduce the risk of a second and more potent bubble bursting in our faces.
The annual dry January will soon be drawing to a close and those who are still booze-free can happily pat themselves on the back for displaying discipline and abstinence in the face of temptation.
Ireland in 2015 is a progressive, democratic place where we enjoy all sorts of freedoms which eluded generations before us. Yet despite the fact that many of us haven't darkened the door of a Catholic Church in years, we are still blighted by Catholic guilt.
Over the next few days, hundreds of thousands of people who came home for Christmas to warm embraces, tears of joy and Irish breakfasts will be leaving our shores again to continue life elsewhere. In their absence, the day-to-day humdrum continues without them, peppered with life changing events like births, marriages and deaths.
Despite enduring corporate greed, unemployment, abuse, financial faux pas and political screw-ups, we've still managed to maintain an impressive level of cheer in Ireland in the past year. As the season to be jolly is upon is, it's a good time to be thankful for all the good things we have in Ireland.
'People die on streets all the time. Ever since people have been living on the streets, they've been dying on the streets," a homeless friend told me recently.
'It's a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people," goes a line in 'The Great Gatsby', but I can't imagine F Scott Fitzgerald was referring to Christmas party time in Ireland when he made such a bold statement. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to be sober amongst the severely inebriated.
'Well tonight, thank God it's him, instead of you," critics said this week, after Bono suffered a terrible fall from his bike in New York and had to undergo five hours of facial re-constructive surgery.
When I was watching the 25-year celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate last night, I wished so much I could have been there. My favourite DJ of all time - Paul Kalkbrenner - was playing to a delighted, if freezing-cold, crowd. There were fireworks, emotions and - most beautifully of all - the launch of 8,000 balloons into the night sky. For several days, these made...
'Throw them in the river" and "Burn the cockroaches" were some of the messages left on the Waterford-based Facebook page Get Them Out Of Town, last week.
"You could spend an entire season in Meribel and probably still not ski every slope."
'I'm pulling my hair out. My husband hasn't worked in years, he stays up all night and doesn't want to leave the house by day. He had a great career 10 years ago, but now he hates people, is above most jobs, and is too stuck up to eat a €1.29 frozen pizza from a German discount store," says an utterly fed up 'Martina,' who works all hours to keep the family afloat. "I have to pay rent, bills, buy groceries, uniforms and things for school for the kids. I've reached my limit."
Thanks to a new direct flight from Dublin to San Francisco, the mesmerising Pacific Coast Highway road trip has never been easier. Here we namecheck our top 25 pitstops on the San Fran - LA leg of the journey.
By the sounds of things, Silicon Valley has become the land of milk and honey for Irish companies. Venture capitalist investment in the tiny area south of San Francisco which is just 50km long and 25km wide surpassed €25 billion since 2009 and reached almost €4 billion in the first quarter of 2014, up 67pc on 2013.
'When I came back after the weekend last week two people were dead, but nobody cares because they're homeless," Dennis Morris from Outreach, a joint programme run by the Simon Community and Focus Ireland, informs me. "They were only in their 30s."
Almost exactly a year to the day after her highly-publicised €1.7m cocaine bust at Lima airport in Peru, Michaella McCollum Connolly from Dungannon in Co Tyrone has been granted repatriation from Peru to the North. Her lawyer, Kevin Winters, said the transfer would happen before October, but the exact date was unknown.
'Lots of people in my family are dead. I left my home and I don't know what to do," said a Guinean ebola refugee last week." Claiming over 730 lives and infecting over 1,300 people, the world's biggest outbreak of ebola is creeping across West Africa. Despite a recent lull, the pandemic is now worse than ever.
Looking through property sites these days is distressing at best. It reminds me of my weeks spent flat hunting in London many years ago, where I'd go to view a 'modern studio with a mezzanine and open plan kitchen' only to despair when I was lead into a bedsit, where the sink doubled up as a shower and the bed was sandwiched between two chairs you'd normally see by the side of a road. That'll be €800 a month please.
A beautiful sunny day and hundreds of thousands of fans screaming 'All you need is Löw' greeted the World Cup winners when they arrived in Berlin on a specially customised Mercedes truck yesterday.
It's not difficult to work out who I'll be supporting in tonight's World Cup final in Brazil between Germany and Argentina. Though I don't think my paraphernalia and accidental German footwear do my delight at my team reaching the World Cup final any justice. Despite this being the fifth time Germany have been in a final in my lifetime, I've experienced the sweetness of victory only once.
In June 2012 I read that Morgan Schreurs had been arrested in Croatia after a pan-European search by Interpol. He had murdered a 26-year-old mother of two in Belgium in cold blood in 1999 and went on the run for 13 years - five of which were spent in Ireland. I was completely shocked.
TEN months after being caught with €1.5m worth of cocaine between them, drug mules Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid have left Virgin di Fatima prison in the suburbs of Lima to sit out the rest of their 6.8 year sentence in Ancon Dos, or Ancon 2, a maximum-security facility two hours drive away in the desert north of the metropolis.
FORMULA One racing is providing a lucrative business for one well-connected Irish entrepreneur. Racing ace Eddie Irvine's sister Sonia, is behind the exclusive Amber Lounge, which is the ultimate party spot at this weekend's iconic Monaco F1 Grand Prix.
Leonardo Di Caprio says Cannes is simply an "insane place", while Jane Campion, president of the Palme D'Or jury this year says it's "mythical and exciting, where amazing things can happen".
'Innovation in California is at its absolute peak right now," said Bill Gates in a recent article in 'Rolling Stone' magazine. Last year, there were 25,000 start-ups in Silicon Valley, most of which he branded "silly". Nonetheless, venture capitalists invested some €10bn to help them grow.
'THIS time next year we want to be on the shelves of Wal-Mart across the US," says Marissa Carter, creator of Cocoa Brown, the top-selling Irish fake tan.
THE IRISH have never been short of popularity in the US so it came as no surprise that the Oscar Wilde bash hosted by US Ireland Alliance was one of the hottest in town.
IF THE gays think they have it hard, try being a tranny for the day, says 28-year-old Roisin, who adds that she knew from the age of seven that she was trapped in the wrong body. "I can relate to how Panti and people from the gay and lesbian community feel about the effects of homophobia, but in terms of abuse you can step it up a few notches if you can't tick the male or female box. I've...
Before I visited the Peru Two recently, I had been to see one of the two major women's prisons, and made inquiries about the other. One of these will undoubtedly be their new 'home' for the foreseeable future.
As a half-German national and Formula 1 fan since childhood, hearing about Michael Schumacher's terrible skiing accident last Sunday triggered a deep and genuine concern.
WE may have been spared an early winter, but retailers across Ireland could experience a Siberian front this Christmas. A frosty Budget, which will see a hike in VAT to 23 per cent, will curb spending among a frightened public while an increase in internet shopping will have shop owners shaking in their boots.
There was a time when a property worth €25,000 was dinner party talk -- if it was in outer Bulgaria. Next week, UK auctioneers Allsop host their fourth auction at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, selling 112 properties for up to 75 per cent below peak prices to mostly cash buyers. But where are the biggest bargains?
Things are looking rosy on the cosmetics market, but that's not a good thing according to the 'Lipstick Effect,' which proves that when make-up sales are up, the economy is down.
Having a pint straight after your Weetabix is turning off Irish rugby fans. The pub industry could be missing out on as much as €100m because the Rugby World Cup games are taking place at an unholy hour, according to industry sources.
From April 30 many herbal products will begin to disappear from the shelves of Ireland's 300 herbal outlets following an EU directive which will regulate medicinal herbs in the same way as pharmaceutical products.
My agenda for going to college was simple: I'd nothing else to do. Going to work full time was not an option. I didn't want to. When I filled out my CAO form aged 17 I put Germanic Languages as my second choice. Medicine was my first, but considering I didn't have any sciences it was poor one. So Germanic Languages in Trinity College it was.