Tuesday 19 June 2018

For bookies, an empty chair is not a good look 

The bookies were everywhere in RTE's coverage of Punchestown, as you'd expect. And the vicissitudes of their ancient trade were never better demonstrated than in the finish to the Growise Champion Novice Chase - in which jockey Paul Townend made the astounding error of bypassing the last fence, veering to the right while in the lead on Al Boum Photo, taking Finian's Oscar out of it as well, allowing The Storyteller to win in a ludicrously unexpected way.

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Alison Spittle stars in RTE comedy 'Nowhere Fast'

Television review: The Midlands Set are coming 

I'm always pleased to see my fellow Westmeath people doing well, especially when they're good, like Alison Spittle. Appearing on The Late Late Show to mark the success of her comedy series Nowhere Fast, she explained that she is from Ballymore, which I would have passed through many times on my way from Athlone to Mullingar, never imagining that one day these places might inspire a series about how maddening life can be there, compared to all the great things that happen in the Dublin media.

Cartoonist: Jim Cogan

Some of us would rather die than call ourselves the A-word 

As the comedian Sean Hughes was laid to rest in Islington last Monday, his brother Martin spoke of the many sacrifices which his parents, Terry and John, had made for them, adding that "my poor old dad continues to pay for it, remembered in every newspaper article this week as an alcoholic. One thing you can have for the record, is that our dad was definitely not an alcoholic. He only ever drank in company and to have the craic, and he never once drank at home."

Housing Minister Simon Coveney has some radical ideas about social housing

Television review: Coveney lights the class fuse 

There was a man from Cork on TV3s Agenda programme with David McWilliams last Sunday who had clearly formulated a view of society based on the issue of class. His political vision as he outlined it to McWilliams was saturated in this belief that we could transform our society in all sorts of good ways, if we could release ourselves from this ancient class system to which we adhere - a class system which is all the more inhibiting, because it is hardly even acknowledged.