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Sinead Ryan: Well done Saoirse, but I've never felt so inadequate next to a 15-year-old...

Saoirse Ronan might not have won a gong at the Golden Globes, but she's already picked up the Critics' Choice award and looked absolutely stunning...not a bit like 15 in a fab dress.

With the Academy Awards nominations coming up soon, there's much buzz in Tinseltown that she's tipped for a statuette and, of course, she is an old hand at being a nominee after her performance in Atonement.

Her latest movie, The Lovely Bones, attracted much interest especially as Saoirse had the difficult role of a murdered girl, so it won't be a bit of a surprise if the Irish teen brings an Oscar home with her to Carlow.

Anyone else feeling a tad inadequate at the moment?

Life is so cheap now, I'll never knock at the door of a loud party again

Once or twice, especially when I had small children, I've intervened at loud parties late at night -- we all have.

A knock on the door, a plea to turn the music down a bit and a hope that everyone's having a good time accompanied by a nice smile usually does the trick.

After the weekend's appalling killing of Warren O'Connor though, I think I'll be having second thoughts next time there's a wild night locally.

It seems brave O'Connor -- a former soldier -- was helping a friend out, a mum who was worried about the party in the upstairs flat getting out of hand.

He went to tell them to put a sock in it and ended up with a bread knife in the chest for his trouble.

Has it really come to this? Is life so incredibly cheap now that it's not just gangland drug dealers who killers think justify an untimely end?

It's now completely innocent, good-natured young men like O'Connor who are doing a civic duty for their neighbours.

Most of us have become far more wary when we see trouble. I, for one, wouldn't stop a fight on the street, or intervene if someone has a weapon.

Fear

I hope I'd be brave enough to step in if someone was being robbed, but violence has become so ingrained in our society that most of us stay a million miles away from it lest we end up the injured party -- or worse.

We know from the news that having a gun or knife seems almost ordinary in some parts of the city.

Such fear erodes community spirit and neighbourliness even further and if you're genuinely in need of help, you might find that people walk past rather than stop. That's very sad and smacks of a society living on its nerves.

Alcohol and drugs have to take their fair share of the blame, but it's a pent-up anger that some, particularly young men, can't seem to cope with. It tips them over the edge and makes them think that walking away is no longer an option.

Nor, it seems, is an old-fashioned push or punch. These days someone is much more likely to end up dead after an argument than ever before.

Surely it's time we started addressing anger management seriously in our schools and teaching our boys other ways of dealing with conflict and arguments.

Miley's right. Twitter should be banned

Ricky Gervais has said it's "pointless". Miley Cyrus has called for it to be "banned from the universe". I'm inclined to agree.

After a mere month of tweeting, I'm completely bored already. There's nothing I can't write about at the drop of a hat because, basically, I'm an opinionated so and so, but I find myself twiddling my thumbs, tweeting. What to say? Who to say it to? It's so boring!

I'm "following" Kevin Spacey. He's really boring. I think he's a super actor but seriously -- "going to theatre"; "home from theatre"; "come to theatre" ... jeez -- get a life, Kev. Gave up on Stephen Fry after one day and four million contributions -- all boring. Someone told me Sarah Palin was a laugh but I think I'd kick my computer.

I'm giving it another week. Tops. What's the point?

Way to get the votes Enda, welch on your 5pc pay cut

YEAH, you see, if you're going to make a grand gesture it kinda rings hollow if you undo it later. Enda Kenny (right) has probably done more harm than good in reversing his much-lauded pay cut.

By asking for the 5pc back, which he made a public announcement to dock (much to the embarrassment of Richard Bruton and Kieran O'Donnell who were then forced to do the same) he has now instructed the bean counters in the Dail that well, he's finding it tough to manage on a hundred grand or so.

The other seven blueshirts have caved in too -- most notably loudmouth-in-residence Leo Varadkar.

Yes, yes lads -- it was a 'voluntary' pay cut, but still, the message to the rest of us who'll never know what a €100k salary looks like, is that you want us to do as you say, not do as you do. That's a surefire vote getter alright.

Brian's illness is a timely warning call. Get checked

SOME positive fallout has followed the news that Brian Lenihan is suffering from cancer: Calls to cancer helplines have risen substantially.

This is particularly important for men, who are notoriously poor at making and keeping medical appointments.

The Irish Cancer Society has said that calls to its helpline increased by 32pc in the week after news of the Minister's illness broke. They have put this down directly to the news.

Pancreatic cancer is notoriously asymptomatic and Mr Lenihan himself would not have known he had it except he was in hospital for a routine procedure. His diagnosis is a warning call to everyone.

The ICS helpline number is 1800 200 700.


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