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Gerry O'Carroll: Rosanna and Glenda star in the Ex Factor

Aren't we lucky that in these times of doom and gloom we are treated to juicy details of the 'Rumble in Ranelagh' and the 'Battle of the Beauty Queens' to distract us from our woes?

I'm referring of course to the much-publicised break-up of tycoon Johnny Ronan and the gorgeous Xpose presenter Glenda Gilson, followed swiftly by Mr Ronan's Moroccan sojourn with the stunning Rosanna Davison.

Yes, the ageing developer certainly knows how to party.

The only problem is that Rosanna appears to have forgotten that hard and fast break-up rule, that you should never socialise with your friend's ex-boyfriend. Sure, her spur of the moment jaunt to Marrakesh was an innocent one, but it won't have helped her friendship with Glenda.

Much like the rest of you, I'll be keeping a close ear to the grapevine in the coming days to see when these two lovely ladies will next be coming face to face, and we'll all be waiting with bated breath to see if it's a case of perfect skin and hair flying.

What more proof do you need, Mr Ahern, to remove gangland trials from juries?

I SINCERELY hope you can hear those alarm bells ringing now, Minister Ahern. In what must be the most deeply disturbing development of recent years, details of the jury members who served in the trial of gangland criminal Brian Rattigan have been discovered in the apartment of his girlfriend, Natasha McEnroe.

Back in February 2009, Rattigan stood trial for the 2001 murder of Declan Gavin, yet it ended with a hung jury.

But justice finally caught up with him just before Christmas when he was found guilty of the murder in a retrial. Rattigan is clearly a man capable of violence, and so it was with a sense of dread that I read of the discovery of jury details pertaining to his first trial, including names, addresses and phone numbers.


Surely this is proof, if ever it was needed, that Justice Minister Dermot Ahern should insist on gangland trials being held in the Special Criminal Courts.

I’ve been saying it for long enough, but this latest revelation is simply the last straw. In all my years as a police officer, I have never heard of such a blatant breach of one of the most important processes in our legal system.

It would appear that gangland crime has penetrated into the very heart of our judicial system. Serious questions must be asked as to how Rattigan’s girlfriend had in her possession details which are part of the most sensitive and confidential areas of the courts system. Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy has launched an immediate inquiry.

However, I believe Minister Ahern should be seizing upon this opportunity to take immediate action and ensure that the appropriate measures to deal with gangland trials are put in place.

He’ll certainly have enough time to devote to it, seeing as he’s currently busy directing gardai to investigate reporters on this newspaper in relation to the leaking of letters written by former Green Junior Minister Trevor Sargent.

It beggars belief that gardai could be removed from vital duties and directed towards an investigation into a newspaper which revealed a story that was in the public interest. Minister, you’d be well advised to halt this witch hunt and let officers continue with the war against organised crime.

It would be more in your line to direct your attentions to discovering how details of jury members came to be in the possession of the girlfriend of a convicted murderer.

Where is the raft of legislation you introduced last July which promised to combat organised crime ? There hasn’t been one prosecution taken against gang members with this new anti-gang legislation.

Over the past number of years, we’ve seen trials collapse because witnesses have been intimidated and threatened, or have been forced to flee the country for their own safety. We’ve also seen gang members coming into courts in an attempt to intimidate juries.

I fear that after the latest discovery, prospective jurors will be reluctant to serve, and who can blame them? This news will send shivers down the spines of law-abiding citizens. Minister, surely you don’t need more evidence that gangland crime can no longer be dealt with by a judge and jury.

Rosanna certainly has some fences to mend with her erstwhile friend Glenda. While her jaunt with Johnny was just a bit of fun, it was a case of public humiliation for Glenda who was busy licking her wounds at home.

Of course, the chattering classes won't have failed to notice that Johnny Ronan, a man whose company is deeply in hock to NAMA, chooses to cool down after public tiffs by sunning himself in the sizzling climes of Morocco.

While the rest of the country is mired in mortgage woes and unemployment, isn't it great to see that he has so little to worry about that he can easily escape the burdens of the recession?

Mind you, there'll be no recession talk this weekend when Glenda pulls out the gladrags and high heels for the hotly-contested style awards.

The Herald today reveals that Rosanna will be giving the evening a miss, nipping in only for the red carpet pics and then flying off. So the glitterati will miss any tete a tete between the pair.

But Dublin's a small town, and the models will meet eventually. Will there be a cat fight? Or will it simply be a case of model behaviour?

It’s still playtime for ‘Fun Minister’

HE has had a fun-filled few years as our ‘Minister for Fun’, but it seems the good times aren’t over yet for the retiring Sports Minister Martin Cullen.

He bows out of office with a severance payout of almost €79,000, a €60,000-a-year ministerial pension and a TD pension worth €46,500.

This sort of money is obscene, and would be unjustified even if we weren’t in the grip of an economic crisis. There’s also a shocking irony as it comes when the Government is proposing to raise the retirement age to 68.

It’s nauseating that a man who spent a few years in the Dail can retire and live like a prince. I must say that I’m genuinely sorry to hear he is being forced to retire on health grounds, and I wish him well in his recovery.

But on a political level, I feel his departure is no loss. I never admired him as a minister, and he has shown during his time in office that he is not averse to the finer things in life.

Now he’s safely out the door before he can be humiliated with a demotion from the Cabinet, and has a wad of money to soften his landing.

As he leaves, it would be nice to be able to list his achievements in office, but sadly, I can’t find any.