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Michael O'Doherty: You ain't half hot mum - and so tweet too

I'm delighted that Miriam O'Callaghan has been voted Ireland's hottest mother.

And, regardless of the crass manner in which the accolade has been bandied around as 'Ireland's number one MILF', she is truly deserving.

The mother of eight comfortably pipped fellow beauties Victoria Smurfit and Yvonne Keating to the yummy mummy title.

She won 53pc of the votes cast online during a poll conducted by a greeting card company, to tie in with their promotional efforts in the lead up to Mother's Day.


The single most important skill, according to the poll, is the ability to multi-task which, as a busy TV presenter and devoted mum, is something that Miriam obviously excels in.

TV host, documentary-maker, stylish gal about town, and devoted tweeter ... she's got it all.

After the storm over the MILF tag (look it up, guys, if you don't know), she even managed not to take offence, tweeting last night to the offending parties: "pls don't worry as I know no offence was intended".

Congrats, Miriam.

Ryanair's crass culture of sneering is alive and well

I can think of only one thing worse than Michael O'Leary -- and that's someone who wants to be just like him.

But if statements issued by Ryanair in recent days are anything to go by, then the company's head of communications, Stephen McNamara, is that very man.

Commenting on a report by respected consumer magazine Which?, which criticised Ryanair for its credit and debit card fees -- €12 per return ticket -- Ryanair issued a statement that pathetically split hairs about the particular surcharge.

"Before making 'super-duper' complaints, the clueless clowns at Which? should at least get their facts right. Ryanair does not levy credit card or debit card payment surcharges. Even our Administration Fee is avoidable by paying with MasterCard prepaid," the statement said.

The only surprise is that these insulting pronouncements were not made by O'Leary himself -- because it looks like McNamara is the new tosser in town. And perhaps the oft-mooted plans for O'Leary to retire are drawing near, because McNamara seems to auditioning for Bootboy in Chief at the airline.


In that short extract, McNamara reveals how he has embraced the culture of sneering and bullshit so comprehensively laid down by O'Leary over the past two decades -- the crass, insulting reference to "clueless clowns", and the laughable way in which McNamara attempts to claim that their administration charge is not simply an extra booking fee.

Then yesterday, Ryanair announced a €2 levy on all tickets, which it claims is a direct outcome of the compensation it has had to pay out to customers as refunds and free meals due to disruptions cancelled flights -- the Icelandic ash cloud being the major offender. Which translated into any normal person's terms would be money they have paid out in return for offering that thing which Ryanair simply don't seem to understand -- decent customer service.

I'm not sure of the circumstances under which McNamara has been thrust to the fore -- perhaps O'Leary held an X Factor-style competition to see who could best embody all that is bad about him -- the arrogance, the fondness for insulting the intelligence of the media, the airlines regulators and Ryanair's own customers, and the regularity with which he distorts the truth to his company's advantage.

Of course, it's a tough task, as O'Leary didn't become a loathsome spinner of bullshit overnight. But judging by his performance yesterday, McNamara has made a very good start.

O'Leary must be so proud of his Mini Me...