Ian O'Doherty: 'We are two months from a 'major national emergency' - er, perhaps it's time for the Government to level with us?'
Anyone who woke up on Sunday looking forward to the day would have been forgiven, after they...
Anyone who woke up on Sunday looking forward to the day would have been forgiven, after they...
Nature isn't the only thing to abhor a vacuum. Human curiosity drives us to find answers and we aren't happy when they remain elusive.
There are two ever present rules when it comes to weekend radio - you'll hear talk, lots of talk,...
Of all the political losers to have been thrown up by the bad ship Brexit, Sinn Féin is perhaps the most unlikely.
One of the great frustrations of our time is the increased hostility between men and women.
Forget about Maria, the real question now is how do we solve a problem like Lisa.
WITH Boris Johnson expected to win today's Tory leadership by a margin of anything up to 73pc-27pc, and then to be installed as the new British prime minister tomorrow, a casual observer would be forgiven for assuming that such a commanding victory is the sign of a party united behind its new leader.
We're now about three quarters of the way through Trump's first term as US president. As things stand, he looks a decent bet to grab a second term as well.
You don't have to be a fan of Stranger Things to know about the Upside Down - you just need to look around you.
As we move towards the final 100 days before the Halloween fright-night that is the October 31 Brexit deadline, the only light at the end of the tunnel is from a train full of rabid Brexiteers.
It's safe to say, without fear of exaggeration, that Europe is currently standing on the edge of a...
Here we go again.
One of the most comforting myths we sell ourselves is that we have become, as a people, far more tolerant, kind, mature and decent than the...
Every generation has its own scandals. After all, when historians look back at this period in time, the words 'HSE' will loom large.
When Boris Johnson first made the transition from columnist and general cad-about-town to serious...
If there's one issue that most people can agree on, it's surely the fact that none of us have enough money.
There are 86 days to go and the situation remains as clear as mud.
Even those of us who never had any interest in the royal family used to quite like Prince Harry.
If there's one thing that gets everyone's blood flowing, it's always the latest example of millennial madness.
It's good to talk. Readers may remember the old TV commercial for BT from the mid-1990s which featured Bob Hoskins exhorting consumers to pick up the phone and have a chat with each other.
As we approach next week's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, it's no surprise to see the TV schedules stuffed with documentaries and interviews marking the momentous event.
One hundred and fourteen days - that's 16 weeks and change - before we're hit by what could be the most calamitous wave in the State's history.
I first noticed it, I think, in 2008 on a flight to the States.
This has been a good week for nostalgia. If you're of that persuasion.
It's that time of the year when the parents and kids really start to fall out with each other.
The fuss created by Capuchin cleric Fr Tom Forde started off as a mildly amusing example of a priest going rogue in the pulpit, and quickly descended into farce.
Oh, the humanity! The horror! The untrammelled sexism! The appalling, erm, 'unconscious' racism! And did you see the sizeism on display?
If, as that most hoary of clichés goes, a week is indeed a long time in politics, then 500 days is an eternity.
When is a joke just a joke and when is it incitement to hatred and even incitement to violence?
This has been a brave week for underage rugby on the pitch, despite missing out on a semi-final in Argentina.
Traditionally, this is the time of year which marks the beginning of the so-called 'silly season'.
Well, I suppose it all began the summer before last.
In times of uncertainty, it's natural to look for both the bad news and the good. It is, of course, human nature to ask for the bad news first. In the wake of this weekend's European elections, we can safely say that, from an Irish perspective, the bad news is that there is no good news.
That noise you vaguely hear in the distance? That's the sound of Greta Thunberg laughing.
Politicians do love a good old moral panic and few moral panics are as consistently popular as those to do with porn.
So, that dude who chucked the milkshake at Nigel Farage - what a hero, right?
WITH the news that Donald Trump could touch down in Ireland in June, the preparations are already under way. Normally, the imminent arrival of an American president would involve senior politicians carefully crafting their welcoming statements and making sure they were invited to all the important functions.
I was late coming to Game Of Thrones.
If there was any surprise in the news that The Jeremy Kyle Show has been cancelled following the death of a recent participant, it was that it has taken this long for such a tragedy to happen.
To his supporters, he is a very modern Saint George, returning on his trusty steed to once again slay the dragon that is the EU.
There's no doubt that climate change and species death are the biggest issues facing the planet.
In many ways, horror movies are a drug and we horror buffs are the junkies. As one's tolerance for scares increases, you have to dig deeper to get your fix. It also, like sustained drug abuse, leads to a certain deadening of the senses.
In normal times, under stable conditions, few people would pay much attention to the local council elections in Northern Ireland.
You know the drill, we've all been there.
For many long-time, foreign observers of this country, the speed with which we became a modern, pluralist society is something which fascinates them.
As revolutionary events go, it was all very respectable. The Irish branch of Extinction Rebellion, the self-proclaimed radical environmental movement which virtually shut London down last week, did their own sit-in on O'Connell Bridge last Friday.
For people of a certain age, the last few days have provided a hellish flashback to a blood-splattered period we all thought was long behind us.
Every now and then, there comes a moment when you know you're watching something momentous.
It took 850 years to build, and two hours to destroy.
So, another week and another celebrity decides to leave Twitter in a huff.
When they fall, it starts slowly. Then the process speeds up and before you know it, they're out.
There are two, apparently contradictory, phenomena which occur when society is going through times of turmoil - horror and dystopian fiction enjoy a surge in popularity, and people also become more desperate for a good news story.
I had been planning on whisking herself to London for a surprise stay in the Dorchester Hotel, ideally in the Eisenhower Suite.
When footage first emerged last month of Irish woman Lisa Smith caught up in a refugee camp for so-called Isil brides on the Syrian/Iraqi border, most observers were surprised, but few were shocked.
So what is he? Is he the socially awkward, hoodie-wearing nerd who just happened to strike it lucky with Facebook?
As we look across the water to the greatest calamity in modern political history, a range of emotions spring to mind - bewilderment, scorn and downright contempt being the most prominent.
One of the great guilty pleasures of life is delving into conspiracy theories.
We live in a post-rational age.
'How has it comes to this?"
If cutting off your nose to spite your face ever becomes an Olympic sport, then we can look forward to increasing our usually abysmal medal count.
Like many things to have been thrown overboard in the wake of the Brexit vote two and a half years ago, the old adage that "a week is a long time in politics" now seems hopelessly naive.
To revoke or not to revoke?
There's a reasonable school of thought that if Joe Biden had run against Donald Trump in 2016, we would now be talking about President Biden and laughing at the chutzpah of a TV presenter thinking he could become president.
An interesting thing happened up North the other day.
I didn't realise that this week featured Ash Wednesday until the day itself. Normally Pancake Tuesday provides an obvious clue but I don't eat pancakes so the whole thing passed me by.
If there's one thing that remains a curse on human perception, it's "false pattern recognition".
When the so-called Momo craze began to capture the nation's imagination a few weeks ago, it became merely the latest in a long line of internet-related scare stories.
For several generations of revellers, Buck Whaley's was a popular Dublin nightclub until it was sold in 2017. It was also one of those clubs which frequently saw celebrities behaving badly and, given the origins of the club's name, that was entirely appropriate.
Most people tend to cross the street when they see rough-looking types or homeless beggars. It may not be particularly kind, but that's the way things are.
Everyone loves a good controversy. It gives us something to get our teeth into, allows us to demonstrate our moral credentials and makes everyone feel important.
There aren't many upsides to being in your 40s, particularly when you remain as immature and lacking in impulse control as you were in your 20s. Yet that's the grim position myself and some friends now find ourselves in.
As the countdown to Brexit begins to look more like a ticking bomb than a ticking clock, it's no surprise that all our attention has been focused on the astonishingly fractious and shambolic state of affairs between the various political leaders.
When people began to leave their homes in Europe to travel and fight for Isis in Syria, some questions began to be asked.
So what's the head count like this week?
Only 38 days to go. To the continuing amazement of those who clung to the forlorn hope that calm heads and political professionals would come together for the sake of the common good and thrash out some sort of agreement, we are now further away from any sort of rational compromise on Brexit than ever before.
It's fair to say that this Government is becoming increasingly unpopular with each passing day.
One of the more unusual stories to come out of the lunatic asylum that is America 2019 occurred recently with the alleged attack on Empire actor Jussie Smollett.
There was once a popular TV commercial for an insurance company which boasted the famous promise "we won't make a drama out of a crisis". Oh, to now have such clear heads at the tiller in this country, where it's becoming increasingly clear we have already left mere "crisis" behind and are heading full speed into a catastrophe.
One of the interesting aspects of the current cultural climate is that while people have become far more socially liberal than before, they've also become far more judgmental of others. It's hard to imagine that any rational, sane person thinks it's acceptable that someone's career can be ruined in the time it takes to send a single Tweet, or say something the baying mob doesn't like.
With RTÉ currently showing the wonderful German drama Deutschland '86, we're looking at the very recent, and quickly forgotten history of the Cold War and how close we came to Armageddon.
As the nation girds its loins and tries to figure out just how bad the next few post-Brexit months are going to be, the traditional Irish fear that our destiny is once more out of our hands has returned with a vengeance.
In recent years, so called 'Big History' books have created their own genre. On one level, this can probably be traced back to the globe-spanning success of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, which was published in 1988.
In times of revisionism, such as the one we're currently experiencing, all bets are off - and that can only be a good thing.
Another week, another litany of deaths on our roads. The crash in which four young men died in a single-car accident in Donegal on Sunday night brought the death toll to 10 for the last week.
I don't know if you've watched either of the documentaries which came out last week about the infamous Fyre Festival catastrophe.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave.
The birth of any nation is seldom smooth, and those first, tentative baby steps into independence are the most perilous of them all.
Ask most people if they like children, and you won't necessarily be able to predict the answer. Ask most people if they like animals, and you're much more likely to get a positive response.
Like many people, I grew up with a fairly visceral dislike for the Irish language.
It's unlikely that Sinn Féin's party motto is 'when in a hole, stop digging'.
Right, first up, the apology. I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry.
As we look on and tremble while the Tories continue to amaze us with the depths of their stupidity, it's understandable that we haven't been paying attention to developments elsewhere in the EU.
It's happened to all of us at one time or another - you witness a friend, colleague or loved one making a demonstrably bad decision, yet every time you try to rationalise with them, they stick their fingers in their ears and start humming to themselves until you walk away in exasperation.
Last year ended in a ridiculous controversy over 'problematic' songs and the new year has begun with a ridiculous controversy over 'problematic' jokes.
If there's one thing you can say about the Irish, it's that we're not short of strong opinions.
Well, it's that time of the year when we all try to peer into the crystal ball to see what's coming down the pipe for the next 12 months.
It was a year for anniversaries, centenaries and commemorations.
After a mild end to 2017 it looked as if we had escaped the worst of the predictions for a bad winter. How wrong we were.
These are testing times for Donald Trump. His staff are being interrogated, his former lawyer has been sentenced to jail, and the Mueller investigation into collusion with Russia is nearing its endgame, which could see him not just indicted, but arrested.
There has been acres of coverage devoted to the controversy surrounding both 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' and 'Fairytale of New York'.
Well, 10 days to go.
There's a famous story from the time 'Seinfeld' and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' creator Larry David worked as a writer on 'Saturday Night Live' in New York in the 1980s. Frustrated at the producers undermining him and leaving all his ideas on the cutting-room floor, he lost his temper one night, unleashed a volley of abuse at his boss and walked away from the show.
I must admit, I love Christmas.
Sometimes when you're trying to win an argument, change minds and, apparently, save the planet, you need to bring out the big guns.
The problem with hysteria is twofold. For starters, it's extremely infectious. Secondly, those who succumb to this most unfortunate condition seldom realise that they are being in any way hysterical. In fact, they tend to angrily deny any suggestion that maybe, just maybe, they are overreacting in quite a massive and extremely silly way.
It's one of those unfortunate quirks of sport that, just as Irish rugby reaches heights of optimism which are unprecedented in the history of the game, Irish football is intent on lurching from one crisis to the next.
It doesn't take much to make Irish people outraged, but then I suppose there's plenty to be outraged by.
So, it's a case of - nearly - farewell Joe, and thanks for the memories.
Did you know that when Collins dictionary recently added a bunch of new words to their latest edition, they were happy to include a racial slur?
Every generation rebels against the people who went before them and gives out about the people who come after them.
There is no doubt that America is now more polarised than ever before. That divide has been widened by the current mantra that anyone who votes for someone you don't like is not just guilty of having a different opinion, but is obviously both evil and morally inferior.
To tweet or not to tweet? That is the question.
There was a time when calling American politics the "greatest show on earth" was just a turn of phrase.
As has become our wont, this year's presidential campaign was a bruising and, some would say, farcical affair.