| -1.2°C Dublin

Women's rights activists make some noise ... with not a single amp in sight

The Sun must have had a rare old time this week after the announcement at the Page 3 Girl would be no more, prompting all manner of frenzied debate across the media.

There were, naturally, articles proclaiming this as great victory for the non-objectification of women while others, many former Page 3 Girls among them, saw its removal as political correctness gone mad.

Certainly, when all manner of graphic sexual content is merely a couple of mouse clicks away, a photo of a topless woman seems almost quaint by comparison, but still the arguments raged back and forth.


One Fine Gael councillor landed himself in hot water for using the term 'feminazi' (God, are we back in the 1970s?) in a tweet which was later taken down and, presumably, he was packed off to bed without his supper while women's rights activists (who, of course, had never bought The Sun in their lives) had their day in, ahem, the sun.

In the end, that's all it was: a day. Having drummed up the kind of publicity a media organisation can only dream about, they promptly responded to "the demands of our readers" and reinstated the Page 3 Girl on Thursday. Job done, maximum mischief achieved and a jolly good time was had by all.

Meanwhile, councillors in Dublin missed a big chance to sort out a major city centre problem on Monday night when they failed to ban buskers from using amplification. I've made my views on this quite clear in the past, but surely a 'no amps, no drums' rule was an open-goal scenario for the DCC.

Perhaps their decision would have been different had they been, as I was, in Henry Street just after 10am on the day of their meeting.

There was no escaping the truly forlorn and tortuous sound of a chap disembowelling David Gray's version of Soft Cell's Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, a song which wouldn't be everyone's cup of Joe at the best of times.

To hear it ripped apart tunelessly - and amped-up, naturally - when there's still sleep in your eyes was simply horrendous.

I feel too for the workers in offices and shops beside these merchants, most of whom have a repertoire of, at best, three or four tunes which they bash out all day long.

In fact, it would be quite interesting should someone who works as say, a doorman or front-of-house security and is subjected to such irritation all day long banged in a complaint to the council on the grounds that their workplace is being made intolerable due to noise levels.

After all, most of us, mercifully, don't have to work with some bloke belting out Fisherman's Blues for hours at a time.

Just a thought.

Heading up the road we discovered this week that the water supply in parts of Monaghan and Louth isn't in good shape at all due to pollution from illegal fuel dumps making its way into rivers and reservoirs.


South Armagh, that bastion of law-abiding activity, is where the chemicals are coming from and our old friends 'former IRA men' are, of course, behind the racket.

One would imagine therefore that there'd be uproar from local public representatives about these retired terrorists but still-active criminals polluting such a vital utility, which supplies the population of Dundalk and surrounding areas.

Indeed, there were calls from several parties for this situation to be sorted out but, strangely enough, not a peep out of the Sinn Fein TD for Louth, our good chum Gerry Adams.

Then again, given what we know, how on earth would Gerry Adams possibly know anyone in the IRA to have a word with them about potentially poisoning his constituents?