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Michael O'Doherty: Mayor Slow sits in the back of his new Mercedes and pulls off his major U-turn

Look up the word hypocrite in the dictionary, and do you know what you'll find? A photo of our new Lord Mayor Andrew Montague, that's what.

He embodies everything you need to know about shameless, two-faced, preach-one-thing-and-practise-another rogues.

After years of anti-car campaigning, and trying to introduce absurdly low speed limits and extend pedestrian areas in an attempt to get drivers off the roads and on to bikes, pro-cycling nutter Andrew has just moved into his plush new home on Dawson Street.


And guess what's parked out the front? His Mayoral chariot -- a stonking new, top of the range Mercedes.

So has Andrew returned this gas-guzzler on the grounds that, while it is provided free of charge, the taxpayer pays for the enormous petrol and chauffeur bills, and to avail of it after his numerous anti-car initiatives would be the depths of hypocrisy?

Has he what? Instead, Andrew has suddenly realised that he has to use the car because he's 'obliged' to wear an enormous chain of office to functions, and it being so valuable, he couldn't possibly cycle around with it, as it would be both uncomfortable and a security risk. Much as he'd absolutely love to, of course...


Hang on a second, Mr Mayor. Businessmen cycle around with equally valuable documents, and wearing expensive suits, without any fuss -- why can't you just stash your ridiculous chain into the bike's hold-all, and put it on when you arrive at the function?

I'll tell you why -- because after years of bleating on about how evil car drivers are, Mayor Slow has suddenly realised that it's actually a rather comfortable way to travel, especially when it's raining, you've stuff to carry, or you want to arrive fresh. And hell, if you've a chauffeur as well... happy days.

And what's the betting that for the next 12 months, Andrew quietly parks his anti-car obsession, only to take it up again once the keys to his chariot have been taken back, and he returns to being another whingeing, small-minded city councillor?

So the next time he opens his mouth about how we should all get on our bikes, and stop using cars that congest the streets, destroy the environment and kill innocent bystanders, just picture Andrew swanning around in the back of his big Merc, lording it over his minions.

All the while wearing his own priceless, vulgar ceremonial chain. While pulling ours.

Time to hang up on the Healy-Raes

Listening to Jackie Healy-Rae this week, it struck me how much he strives to be like John B Keane's legendary character, the Bull McCabe, and falls so miserably short.

Asked on Tuesday if he would pay the infamous phone bill, Jackie responded "I will make no payment. Forget it now and mind your own business". These are lines you imagine coming straight from the Bull, before he goes on to defend his weak, slightly pathetic son.

Jackie claims that in begging TDs to vote for his son in Celebrities Go Wild, all he was doing was trying to raise money for worthy causes. Which is utter bollox. If he was so concerned about the charities, why didn't he just ask TDs to donate directly to People In Need?

Telephone voting is the most inefficient way to contribute, as out of every 60c that the call costs, less than half actually goes to the charity -- the rest is sucked up by the telecom provider, the company operating the lines, and VAT.


The campaign to win votes for his son Michael was indeed about needy causes -- the needy cause being Michael Healy-Rae, who needed his profile raised that he could one day follow in his father's grubby, gombeen footsteps.

And in explaining why he was finally stumping up the cash, Michael still refused to acknowledge anything underhand in the whole sordid affair. "I know this will not stop and it will take the media concentration away from what they should be concentrating on -- the enormous problems that we have in this country."

The truth, of course, is quite the opposite. The media have concentrated our minds on one of the most enormous problems we have in this country. It's called the Healy-Raes.

I'm tipping beautiful Laura for the big time

I've always liked Laura Whitmore, the gorgeous, talented and refreshingly low-key girl from Bray, who's been working as a presenter for MTV in London these past three years.

It now seems that her star is on the rise with her US parent company, as she was chosen to interview Bon Jovi for MTV New York when they were in the UK last weekend.

With the MTV Europe Music Awards taking place in Belfast this November, surely Laura would be the ideal person to present them, and take her career up a notch further? You heard it here first...

So why was Viper in Conrad's new joint?

CONRAD Gallagher received unwanted publicity from the fact that notorious debt collector Martin 'The Viper' Foley visited his new restaurant last week.

Some people suggested that he was collecting an outstanding debt from Gallagher, an allegation that the chef strongly denies.

"There are several people in the building that he could have been here to see," explained Conrad. While this is probably true, perhaps Conrad should reflect on what it also says.

After all, it's not exactly a great advertisement for the fledgling restaurant's clientele, is it?

A Lambo? It's too good for you, Brian

When I first read that Brian McFadden was driving a Lamborghini that was damaged in a collision with a lorry, my first instinct was "he owns a Lambo? Maybe I've misjudged him all along." Until I discovered, of course, that it was just borrowed from a friend...

So he's damaged a prized possession that's far too good for him, and that he won't be holding on to for much longer? Get used to it Brian -- we'll be describing Vogue in those exact terms any day now...