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MOD on Monday: Shame on you Robbie for siding with 'corporate' trade and their wallets


Cairenn Smyth and her daughter Ava (16 months) pictured outside Belluccis Italian Restaurant at Ballsbridge yesterday.

Cairenn Smyth and her daughter Ava (16 months) pictured outside Belluccis Italian Restaurant at Ballsbridge yesterday.

Sean Haughey

Sean Haughey

Michael Lowry

Michael Lowry


Cairenn Smyth and her daughter Ava (16 months) pictured outside Belluccis Italian Restaurant at Ballsbridge yesterday.

I've known Robbie Fox for many years, an immensely likeable, smart businessman, who at one stage was the king of Dublin nightlife, courtesy of his club Renards.

One of the attractions of that celebrity haunt was the strict door policy, whereby people would be let in simply because Robbie liked the look of you. If you were turned away, ironically enough, it encouraged you to come back, hoping to be one of the chosen ones next time.

The world has changed in the last 10 years, however, and our obsession with celebrities, wealthy builders and bankers, has waned.


But perhaps Robbie needs to be reminded of this because, judging by an incident at his restaurant in Ballsbridge last week, he still thinks it's 2005.

Caireann Smyth turned up to Belucci's at lunchtime with her 15-month-old daughter in a buggy, only to be informed that she wasn't allowed in between 12 and 2pm.

"Nobody can afford to be refusing people from their business, but the problem we have here is that at lunchtime between, it's very, very corporate," Robbie later explained.

What makes matters worse is the reality of who these "corporate" people that are being accommodated are, as Robbie explained that he doesn't allow children into his restaurant because it might disturb the other "corporate" diners.

Belucci's, you see, is next door to AIB Bank Centre, so presumably the bankers are still doing business over expensive lunches, just like they were doing 10 years ago, just before the Irish taxpayer had to step in and bail them out to the tune of billions.

Jumping to Robbie's defence were chefs Derry Clarke, Isaac Allen and Dylan McGrath, and the astute reader may notice what they all have in common.

Clarke, owner of L'Ecrivain, commented: "Problems do arise with kids. It's dangerous. Kids just go riot and there are hot plates, glasses, it's an obstacle course." Which, following Derry's logic, means that kids should be banned from all shops and supermarkets too.

Firstly, perhaps if a female chef's opinion had been sought, there wouldn't have been such widespread support for Robbie Fox's stance.

Secondly, it boils down to these chefs and patrons all defending their policy based on "knowing their clientele" which, for the benefit of the reader, I'll translate into English.


All this bleating about "knowing your customers" is simply another way of saying "knowing your bigger-spending customers". Businessmen spend more money than mothers and children, full stop.

So shame on you, Robbie, for assuming that this young child was going to be disruptive, without any proof whatsoever to base it on.

Shame on you, even if you had such proof, for embarrassing a mother in this way.

But shame on you, most of all, for taking the side of bankers, the cause of so much pain in this country, simply because their expense accounts line your pockets better than a mother and child.


Liars like Charlie can still be good dads 

How disappointing it was to read the words of Sean Haughey, son of the late Taoiseach Charlie, who criticised RTE's recent drama about this father.

Sean's complaint was that it chose to focus on how politicians saw him, rather than revealing Charlie to be the kind, warm, generous father that he was to his children.

"I don't think it captured my father's personality at all," said Sean. "He came across as a very unlikeable character that was power-hungry, and that's all that made him tick.

"For me, I knew a completely different person - someone kind, compassionate, caring, emotional and fun."

In so doing, Sean joins the ample rogues' gallery of family members who take to the airwaves to complain about the portrayal of a crook, insisting that the media have got it wrong, as he was a lovely dad/good son/decent husband, etc, etc.

Charles Haughey was a thief, fraudster and liar, who stole €250k that was supposed to pay for his colleague Brian Lenihan's liver transplant, and used it to fund his own lavish lifestyle.

He abused his position, and legitimised a practice of political corruption that is still going on today.

Sure, he may also have been a good father, but it's a fact which, when considered by anyone outside of his immediate family, deserves only the following comment - so what?

If looks could kill Michael ...

It's good to see that old-school machismo isn't confined to the restaurant trade, with the news of an attempted intervention this week by that most appalling of gombeen politicians, Michael Lowry.

Michael, no doubt considering Enda Kenny's attempt to increase the number of female deputies in his party to be simply a ruse to have a bit of eye candy dotted around the Dail, tried to get a friend a job on the National Transport Agency by slipping the Taoiseach a note, containing the following words: "Taoiseach, would you please consider re-appointing Valerie O'Reilly to the board of the NTA. A woman, bright, intelligent and not bad looking either!"

Put it away, Michael. It's old, wrinkly, and nowhere near as powerful as it once was. Come to think of it, a bit like yourself.

IIn Liam Neeson-related news comes the announcement that the Ballymena Bombshell is the top action movie star in the world, with all his movies from 2014 raking in nearly $1bn at the box office.

The oeuvre that has helped propel him to these heights include The Lego Movie, Non Stop, A Million Ways to Die in the West and Nut Job.

There is, of course, one tiny question left unanswered by these bald figures, and it's the following.

For such a talented actor, why he is appearing in such unutterable sh**e?