Ian O'Doherty: 'Delaney is a product of Official Ireland, for whom a bit of plámásing can excuse a multitude of sins'
When they fall, it starts slowly. Then the process speeds up and before you know it, they're out.
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...
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...
So what is he? Is he the socially awkward, hoodie-wearing nerd who just happened to strike it lucky with Facebook?
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.
An interesting thing happened up North the other day.
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.
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.
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...
As the countdown to Brexit begins to look more like a ticking bomb than a ticking clock, it's no...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Like many people, I now watch The Simpsons with a mixture of sadness and a sort of subdued anger - sad that it has become so incredibly lame, and angry that it's still being made.
In AN alternate universe which is the stuff of many Irish nightmares, this country is currently girding its loins for the visit of Donald Trump, where he will be warmly greeted by our newly installed President Casey.
If last Friday's election taught us anything, it's that you should never underestimate the sheer, obdurate crankiness of the Irish people.
One of the more baffling elements of modern society has been the way we're all told that we're victims.
Every now and then a story comes along which is so odd, and just so... ignorant that you have to check to make sure someone isn't pulling your leg.
THIS time last week, Peter Casey was propping up the presidential polls and hovering between 1pc and 2pc.
For many of us growing up in the 1980s, Halloween was, as they say, a more innocent time.
One of the most common gripes heard from Irish politicians is their despair at the cynicism of the average voter.
One of the unfortunate but rather unavoidable consequences of growing older is that you often look around and think to yourself - the world is going mad, it's full of crazy people and things used to be much more sensible.
Okay, take a deep breath, gird your loins and just keep on trucking - only six more days to go.
Last Sunday provided perhaps the biggest TV event of the year so far - controversial, divisive, eagerly-awaited and eagerly-condemned in equal measure.
Well, happy birthday to #MeToo, you've come a long way in your first year.
For a variety of coincidental reasons, 2018 has been very much the year of remembering times past.
Well, that's that.
There is a very handy rule of thumb which suggests that if you give someone power they haven't earned, they will always, always abuse it.
Doesn't a decade fly when you're having fun?
THEY were scenes which seemed to belong in the Ukraine or Crimea.
It's fairly obvious at this stage that we're living through a time of unprecedented tumult - some of that is good. Much of it is very, very bad. What's worse, much of it is incredibly stupid.
I was slightly taken aback by this quote during the week, and I'm sure you can see why: "I have refused to see gender throughout my career. I have just operated as a person working in the industry. Maybe it's the bullish part of me, but I just keep on keeping on. I refuse to see those things and if I do see them, I just brush them aside and keep going. I believe that the best weapon you...
There are certain inescapable patterns in life — we don’t mean to follow them, it just happens that way.
There are certain inescapable patterns in life - we don't mean to follow them, it just happens that way.
It's often been said that the main difference between the far left and the far right is that the left usually has better music and that is true - given a choice between Billy Bragg and, say, Skrewdriver, I'd be with Bragg all the way.
One of the more baffling aspects of the contrary Irish nature is our inherited disdain for fish.
There are some things which we have happily consigned to the dust bin of history.
What a difference, um, 39 years makes, eh?
I can never figure out whether overprotective parents are that way inclined because they're genuinely worried for their brood, or because they are weak themselves. The problem with weak people is that they have an unfortunate habit of creating weak children, and thus the new generation of weaklings comes along and repeats the cycle.
It has already been dismissed in some circles as Northern Ireland For Dummies, but the Miriam O'Callaghan-presented The Long March (RTÉ One, Tuesday), which charted the emergence of the Northern Irish Civil Rights movement was always on a hiding to nothing.
There's something tremendously depressing about getting older.
Whoops, he just did it again. Again.
Isn't it odd how some people are only popular when they're victims?
If I'm perfectly honest, I don't have a lot of time for our President's brand of politics.
The 'Fight Club' author returns to form with this novel about an America fractured along the lines of identity politics
I went down to the west of Ireland last week for a variety of reasons, but most of them involved the wife telling me that I had to.
When I was a teenager, I had a bit of an obsession with Mary Whitehouse and her campaign group, the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association.
How does the old saying go again: the more things change, the more they stay the same?
Did you ever think you would see the day when nearly 10,000 Irish people would turn up at a concert venue just to look at a bunch of 'racists, bigots and Nazis' expound their toxic world view?
Well, it wasn't supposed to end like that, was it?
I must admit, I'm obviously not very good at being a traditional bloke.
It's a sad day indeed when you have to use a reality TV show to point out the absurdities of modern life. It's an even sadder day when the people watching the show are actually more awful than the contestants.
'All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing."
We've always been a cranky sort of people, happy to play the poor mouth and claim victimhood whenever something doesn't go our way.
I've never been one for remembering dates or anniversaries.
Bill Clinton has teamed up with one of the world's biggest-selling authors and created a strangley dated and far-fetched Washington romp.
Oh dear, he's at it again.
Steady there, Regina - stand back and take your fingers away from the socket.
There are times when it's hard to escape the impression that the universe is deliberately screwing with us.
Everyone loves a good royal wedding - even those who say they hate them.
They sure don't make pop stars like they used to.
If there's one thing politicians hate and fear more than anything else, it's the dreaded law of unintended consequences.
What goes on behind between consenting adults is their own business, is it not?
For obvious reasons, the last few weeks have seen various words and phrases tossed around with gay abandon.