Saturday 20 October 2018

Sarah Carey

Political colleagues: Former justice minister Alan Shatter (right) pictured with Taoiseach Enda Kenny outside Leinster House in March 2011 Photo: Laura Hutton/

Why we should care about what happened to Shatter 

Something quite bizarre and unexpected happened last week that took me completely by surprise. Forget about Donald Trump: I turned out to be right. That never happens. When Senior Counsel Sean Guerin issued a government report wordily entitled A Review of the Action Taken by An Garda Siochana Pertaining to Certain Allegations Made by Sergeant Maurice McCabe in May 2014, Alan Shatter was forced to resign. Guerin criticised him to the point that Taoiseach Enda Kenny, weary of a stream of apparent scandals emerging from the Department of Justice, informed the besieged...

'Even as I resent the judgements people might make because they know these things about me, so do I realise that's precisely the reason I like going to Mass: it's one of the few places where I don't feel judged.'

My dirty little secret: why I go to Mass 

There was a great laugh in Newstalk this week because Sean Moncrieff was hosting a nude outside broadcast. There were even more laughs when I reminded colleagues I'd visited a nudist colony last year and got the old kit off. And it's weird, I feel more comfortable talking about taking my clothes off than talking about going to Mass. What does the nudist stuff say about me? That I'm a liberal with a sense of humour? What does going to Mass say? That I'm one of Them. And you don't want to be one of Them, do you?

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Aylan Kurdi

We can't turn our faces away from victims of war 

When awful pictures of war and famine and death appear on the news, I have to turn off the telly straight away. I can't cope with it. My husband says I'm wrong. He says even if it's upsetting, the least you can do is bear witness. I plead that my precious feelings won't relieve the pain and misery of a victim one iota. In fact, wallowing in sympathy for victims, whilst doing nothing constructive to relieve their suffering, is self-indulgent. But he usually has the remote control and I end up leaving the room.

IGNORED: Insiders refused to listen to then ESRI economist Richard Tol, who advised on how to structure rates so that there were good allowances for families. Photo: Will Oliver

Irish Water was an inside job, stupid - so start over 

Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign strategist James Carville came up with the famous "It's the economy, stupid" line; launching not just Clinton's presidential campaign but an electoral cliche. It's behind the Taoiseach's repeated assurances that there'll be no election until 2016. The longer he waits, the more jobs there'll be, and the more votes to go with them. Employed people will vote for political stability and economic growth, not headbangers, stupid.

Sarah Carey

Getting naked to feel free 

A few weeks ago, we were staying at one of those brilliant French campsites. It had fantastic facilities, including a "balneo" - a kind of walled garden, laid out in classical Roman style. It was stone-tiled, with columns, hot tubs, cool pools and nice planting. It was for over-16s only and, until one o'clock each day, clothes were banned. As soon as I saw the sign, I knew it would be professionally remiss of me not to see what the nudists were up to. For the purposes of journalistic enquiry, I'd have to strip.

Kevin Denny

Doctors not joining scheme leave families stranded 

My mother reared us to believe that wasting a doctor's time was evidence of poor character. Even though this policy resulted in my giving birth at home unexpectedly because I didn't want to raise the alarm unnecessarily, it's hard to shake off the policies one is taught as a child. After all, this is a woman who apologised for making a fuss when she phoned the Doctor-On-Call when my father was on the floor clutching his chest in the throes of a heart attack.

Sarah Carey. Photo: Kip Carroll

New Year Resolutions: Can't beat the geeks? join them 

On August 1, 2012, in less than 45 minutes, a global financial services company called Knight Capital lost $440m on the stock exchange. Like many other similar companies, it was heavily reliant on automatic high-frequency trading - a computer-driven system that has displaced those guys you see in weird jackets on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. That day, the software went mad and the humans watched in horror as it lost Knight Capital $10m a minute. It destroyed the company.

Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams at the 'Get Equal' march, looking for gay civil marriage rights in Ireland, in support of Vogue's sister Amber, who is gay.

Gay marriage debate is polarised - but the victors are setting the tone 

I process things slowly. That I'll admit. So it wasn't until I was interviewing Kieran Rose, from the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, (GLEN) on Newstalk last weekend, that the penny finally dropped. We were discussing recent rulings made by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) against RTE and Newstalk. Rose began to talk about a Prime Time show on RTE in 1993 when homosexuality was being decriminalised. (Can you believe that was only 1993?).

First Person: Deciding to go for... The Lesser Knife 

'It's the little things." Isn't that what they say? It was a little thing that provided a key moment of self-revelation almost 10 years ago. We'd just moved into our new house. I had a 14-month-old, and a six-week-old baby. I was breastfeeding joyfully and had a granite-topped island unit. Could life get any better? Making a sandwich one day in my flash, new German kitchen, I opened the cutlery drawer, gleaming with recently unpacked wedding cutlery.