Sunday, June 30, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.


One Sunday morning, after a night of debauchery, I awoke with my usual foggy head and parched mouth. But in addition to these familiar foes I noticed a numbness in my right hand. Hmm, I thought, what was I up to at all? As the day progressed the pain progressed until I was left with no choice but to go to A & E. The prognosis? A fractured scaphoid. The cause? To this day I still don't know. I sent texts to friends querying the previous night's activities, but they were just as nonplussed as I. A good night had clearly been had by all.

I viewed this as an occupational hazard, all part of the experience. If I had known where the injury had occurred it would served merely as anecdotal evidence, “Yeah I fell in the Comeragh and busted me hand” I'd laugh as I proudly showed off my cast. What a hero. The proprietor of the establishment would have laughed along with me, offering a pint for my troubles. But Ireland is a different country now. We're just like all the others, eager to grab a quick buck for as little effort as possible. We jokingly shout “Claim, claim” any time someone even so much as skids in our local Tesco. But Ms Ciara O'Connell was far from joking when she brought her case of misadventure to the High Court.

Back in 2006 Ms O'Connell was doing her thang on the dance floor of Copper Face Jack's when she, and the gentleman accompanying her, took quite the tumble. Such was the force of their fall that Ms O'Connell ended up fracturing her arm. Ooh nasty. Still at least you'll get lots of cute guys signing your cast eh Ciara? Wha?! Ya mad yoke. But she didn't see it like that. It wasn't her fault. Despite the fact that she'd been dancing backwards in a style reminiscent of Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing it wasn't her fault. Despite the fact that people all over the world go arse over tit while incapacitated from alcohol Ms O'Connell saw hers as a special case. So whose fault was it? Why Copper Face Jacks' of course. The dance floor was wet. Shock horror. A place where everyone is drinking has a wet dance floor. Whatever the fuck next.

Thankfully Ms O'Connell didn't win her case. Imagine if she had. The courts would be full of sheepish drunks brandishing their various injuries and screaming for justice. The few pubs remaining in the country would be shut down within weeks. There are not many things in Ireland which remain sacred but the outcome of this hearing has reaffirmed my faith in at least one doctrine: we get drunk, we make a fool of ourselves, we fall on our arses, and we laugh about it. Amen to that.


There can't be many sports that I enjoy less than Gaelic Football. It's like someone took the worst elements from football and the worst elements from rugby and made a sport out of it, painfully dull stuff. But in spite of my antipathy towards the game I still hold a deep admiration for those who play it, and that of course extends to the hurlers too. Performing in front of thousands in attendance and many more viewing at home on a weekly basis these men (and women) do it all for the pride of their county. They get up for work on a Monday morning just the same as those who pay to watch them. I'm sure they are remunerated in other ways but both codes are staunchly amateur and all the better for it.

But it is important that we don't take these sportsmen for granted. Yes they do it for the love of the game but even that love has a limit. How do you feel on a Friday evening after a hard week of work? Do you feel like playing a vitally important game, one which may shape your county's fortunes for the rest of the year? Probably not. Like most people you feel like flaking out in the front of the TV and laughing at Graham Norton's smutty double entendres. And I'm sure the gaelic footballers of Carlow and Laois were exactly the same. How could they be expected to prepare both physically and mentally for such a big game when they're stuck in work? And more to the point what impact does this have on their work? Oh I'm gonna take it a bit easy today boss, big game tonight y'know.

Can you imagine the GAA pushing a Kilkenny game to a Friday night, or worse still a Dublin one? Of course not, there'd be fuckin' outcry. But because it's little ole' Laois and Carlow they can get away with it, sure it's not like they're going to be winning the All-Ireland or anything is it? This flagrant disregard for the player's welfare is inexcusable and gives those kids considering a career in a better paid vocation just one more excuse not to bother with the local sports.


I quite enjoyed The Voice, the Irish version that is. Have you ever watched the abomination that is the English show? Fuck me. Jessie J, some jumped up little twerp from The Script and the geriatric Tom Jones dreaming of the days when he swam in women's underwear for a living. Programmes like this are all about the judges and on this occasion, for a change, Ireland have easily bested their cross-channel neighbours. However when it comes to presenters, well that's a different matter. We have the nasal, whiny Kathryn Thomas who grows more and more like a dried prune with every passing year, and the Brits have Holly Willoughby. Now I'm not one of the thousands of men who worship the very ground Ms Willoughby walks upon but I can definitely see the attraction; blonde, brassy, big boobs, what's not to like?

Well 139 viewers of last weekend's edition of the show found something to grumble about. Their complaint? Holly's breasts were on display. They were? Where can I find a video? Quick! But no it appears they were being facetious. Her breasts weren't actually out for all to see, they were just clamouring for attention in a particularly low-cut dress. Purely for research purposes (ahem) I had a look at some pictures of Holly in the aforementioned dress, and if anything you can't see enough of her tits! Clearly I'm joking, television has already become sexualised enough, it's almost a relief to watch something without scantily clad ladies and provocative dancing.

But being so offended by a woman expressing her femininity that you feel compelled to contact the BBC and complain? There are far more things worthy of complaint than the sight of Holly Willoughby's barely concealed chest. The sight of Jessie J dishing out advice to singers infinitely more talented than her, that's what people should be complaining about.


I have previously gone on record as saying I fully endorse the notion of same-sex couples adopting children and starting a family. There are enough unhappy children in the world to go round and many of these unfortunate souls would prosper in the kind of loving, caring environment that these prospective parents could offer. Who cares if you have two Daddies or two Mammies, it doesn't really matter so long as they love you. But two parents is enough for any children, a line should definitely be drawn there. However in the future there may be some kids unlucky enough to have three of the fuckers.

In an attempt to prevent hereditary diseases such as muscular dystrophy, epilepsy and heart problems being passed down from parent to child British scientists have created a technique which may enable babiesto be created using the DNA of three different people. Confused? I was. The technique involves the merging of two embryos taking only the healthy parts from each. The mother's already fertilised egg is combined with that of another woman thus eradicating the risk of passing on these potentially life-threatening ailments. My view? We can't play God on things like this. Yes the notion of having a child free from the risks of genetic illnesses is a fine one but surely the ability to procreate is one of the finest gifts to be bestowed on mankind? Why tamper with this? If your child ends up with your fucked up genes then so be it. That's certainly more preferable than explaining to him or her that they are 45% Daddy 45% Mammy and 10% some random healthy lady who gave us a loan of her embryo. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.


Barack Obama credentials as US president are often questioned, but one thing in no doubt is his skill as a public speaker. He's a fantastic orator and if he walked the walk like he talked the talk he would go down as one of the greatest presidents ever. This week it was us lucky Irish he was addressing with that silver tongue, or to be exact a select gathering in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. He said all the right things and had the audience eating out of his hand, he even made a little joke about the 'craic', oh Barack you're such a card. And as soon as he'd finished the fawning began; it was as if Jesus himself had risen from the dead (again) and turned a pint of Guinness into a keg of the stuff.

How naive are we? Yes it's a good thing that Obama supports the peace process and hopes relations between the US and little ol' Ireland continue to prosper, but we don't need to sound so grateful. Chances are that speech was written for him by a member of his staff who specialises in such fare. I'm sure Barack gave it the once-over before he committed to airing it in front of thousands of people, but these missives are essentially empty rhetoric designed to please the easily pleased, ie; us. It was the same thing when it was discovered his ancestry could be traced back to Moneygall in County Offaly, we practically creamed ourselves. The same way we did when Tom Cruise announced something similar. It's embarrassing.

I might not agree with Clare Daly's assessment of Obama as a 'war criminal' but she was pretty much on point with everything else she said. Here we are the poor, thick Irish gazing lovingly up at our master just praying for a pat on the head, they respond in kind and we wag our tails appreciatively. I'm not saying we should make light of the Obamas visit but a little perspective is in order. A blow-by-blow account of Michelle and her daughter's holiday is not newsworthy, and it definitely doesn't warrant a front-page headline. But then you are reminded that this is the age of the celebrity. Who cares why they're famous? They're famous and that's all that matters. Never mind that her husband was here on important political business, she's going for lunch with Bono for fuck sake, there's your story right there!


Don't make a scene”, how many times have you heard that one? You're knee deep in the mother and father of all arguments but your main concern is avoiding embarrassment, save it 'til we get home then we can puck the heads off each other. Sadly Nigella was too busy choking to warn Charles about making a scene. And he made such a scene that they were plastered all over the papers the next day. Worse still he was brought in for questioning and ended up being formally cautioned by the police. Should have settled for a crafty kick in the shins pal, no one would have noticed (insert compulsory comment about not condoning domestic violence here).

But has this incident set a new precedent? We already know that celebs daren't break wind in public for fear of the media cottoning onto it but now it appears that the tabloids have cast themselves in the role of watchdogs. Hundreds of thousands of women suffer at the hands of abusive spouses but none are fortunate enough – or unfortunate depending on how you look at it – to have the act captured on camera. Instead they suffer in silence afraid to go to the authorities for fear of reprisals. If only they were famous and had the paparazzi tracking their every move. Then they could rest easy.


There's nothing quite like a celebrity death to get the recreational griefers out in force. They take to the Internet in their droves all battling for supremacy; he meant the most to me, I'm the most affected by it, oh it's so sad. So sad in fact that you can do nothing but post banal drivel about the deceased instead of mourning their passing like a normal person. But occasionally even a cynical cunt like me has to hold his hands up and say “this is shocking and despite the fact I never met this person I am genuinely saddened by their passing.” And that's how I felt when I learned that, at the tender age of 51, James Gandolfini had breathed his last. But who was I mourning? James Gandolfini? Or Tony Soprano?

The answer is probably a bit of both. Actor and character are intrinsically linked and for the vast majority of people Gandolfini is Tony Soprano and always will be. I heard one commentator liken Gandolfini's passing as akin to Marlon Brando's for a certain generation. I'd go along with that, he was that good. So good that I'd have no hesitation in comparing him to any of the 'all-time greats'; Pacino, De Niro, Olivier, Nicholson, whomever you care to mention, Gandolfini was up there with the very best. But his legacy lies elsewhere. Before the Sopranos television drama was a rather tepid affair, you had the odd hit show here and there but everything paled in comparison to life on the big screen. Then David Chase's masterpiece came along and it changed the medium completely. High production values, incredible storytelling, magnificent acting, this was better than any film and best of all it was on every week. Look at TV drama now, we spend half our lives consuming our favourite shows and the other half recommending them to our friends. Top actors, huge budgets, massive audiences, it's big business. And none of it would have been possible without the Sopranos, and therefore none of it would have been possible without James Gandolfini.


I often wonder if Newcastle United were put on this earth for our amusement, and then I remember that no that's actually Liverpool. But them Geordies run them close. If it's not good ole Kev telling us he'd love it or obese blokes going topless in December then it's invariably something else. The most recent episode of insanity saw this massive (sic) club relegated to the Championship despite having the bestest fans in the whole world. Oh how we laughed at their plight, well I did anyway. But then they came back and instead of struggling like everyone expected them to they did quite well. So well in fact that they gave their manager an eight year contract. Hmm can you see where this is going?

They reverted to type last season and narrowly avoided relegation, so clearly what was needed was some reinforcements, someone to bolster the squad and help push the magpies up the table. What? What's that you say, a 20-goal a season centre forward? Nah let's get a senile old man and make him director of football, that'll sort it. Now I like Joe Kinnear and at one point I even hoped he might get the Ireland job. But that was a long time ago. He's had health problems since and as Fergie recently proved you should endeavour to get out of this game while you still can. But even though he apparently speaks to him every week it seems that Joe isn't going to follow Sir Alex's lead. Instead he's going to ensure that Newcastle remain everyone's favourite joke club and keep the tabloids happy from now until the start of the season. Aboy Joe.


Everyone hates exams, and if you say otherwise then you're either a weirdo or just too clever for your own good. All that memorising and rote learning, not for me thank you very much. Continuous assessment that's the way to go. But for now we're stuck with the old-fashioned way; entering a hall and regurgitating the stuff you've spent half the night reading and re-reading. Oh if only I had someone to go in and do the exam for me, like a really brainy mother for example. But although my mother is clever enough in her own right when it comes to exams I think I'd rather take my chances and go in myself.

But one French girl had more faith in her old mammy then I ever would. Such was her confidence in mother dearest that it was decided the elder of the two would sit herdaughter's exam on her behalf. She even went as far as kitting her out accordingly in Converse, jeans and lots of make-up, off ya go mammy they won't suspect a thing. Sadly this ingenuous ruse was quickly rumbled and the 52 year old, eager learner was escorted out of the building and straight to the nearest police station. Why the girl couldn't have opted for the traditional 'write your answers on your arm and cover it up with your sleeves' technique I'll never know. But they both now face prosecution with the likelihood being the daughter will never even get the opportunity to sit her exams. Quite the result I would have thought.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.

It's not been a great week for interesting news stories to be honest. We've had politicians quibbling over whether their spouses should be allowed accompany them on business trips, the G8 summit and the abortion debate rumbling on, and on, and on. So in light of this uneventful week I'm going to ruminate on a few of the stories which had me chortling quietly to myself over the past seven days.

Ya two-faced bitch

I don't like cats, they're sneaky, selfish little fuckers and they can't be trusted. Big cats are fine, they're beautiful to look at and have earned the right to be a bit moody. But house-cats? No thanks. I'm a dog person, simple as that. So when I saw pictures of Duecy, a little kitten born in Amity, Oregon, I recoiled in horror. A cat with two faces. My worst nightmare. And then I watched the video, Jesus fucking Christ. Born with a rare genetic disorder Deucy was not expected to live very long and so it was thus. She died within a week. Excuse me if I don't lament her passing. I can safely say this short clip is one of the most terrifying things I have ever witnessed. Horror film maker's take note.

Non-refundable items

All this week Newstalk have been running a debate on the issue of prostitution in Ireland. Should it be decriminalised? Who should be targeted? Is it the punters who are to blame? And so on. Several experts in the field, including both working-girls and their customers, were interviewed on the subject with the end result being no one really knows what we should do. I live just around the corner from what I like to think of as Limerick's red-light district so I have a unique insight into this sordid business. But the truth of the matter is, it's not sordid. Not from where I'm looking anyway.

One of the benefits of legalising prostitution would be the regulation of it's industry. In theory this would mean no more human trafficking, safer working environments and less risk of STIs. Perhaps we could even tax the workers and make a few bob out of it. But amid all this discussion one thing was continually overlooked, the quality of the service provided. These girls don't come cheap y'know – or so I've heard anyway. You've got to make sure you get enough ahem, bang for your buck. Any transaction involves value for money and if you're not satisfied with your product then you're well within your rights to complain, to the police if needs be. Just like this fella did.

I think I'm turning Japanese

What it is about the Japanese and weird sexual fetishes? What is it about the Japanese and weirdness full stop? They're just a bonkers nation. Think of Takeshi's Castle, Tartan Asia Extreme and any number of peculiar videos located in the darkest corners of the Internet. Perhaps it's their excessive politeness and shiny clean cities which drives them to such odd behaviour when behind closed doors. All that pressure to be nice and tidy comes lifting off their shoulders and with it any sense of normality.

But even by their standards 'worming' is a little bit freaky. What the fuck is worming? Well if you must know it's the act of licking another person's eyeball. Bet you wish you hadn't asked now. Apparently this is display of affection and not a new torture technique like I first thought. Hmm I can feel my trousers a' tingling just thinking about it. As if the thought of having a big soggy tongue run all over your retina wasn't bad enough it appears that there's health risks too. A sudden spike in conjunctivitis and eye-chlamydia (wtf) has been attributed to the popularity of worming among Japan's younger citizens. Try explaining that to a new beau.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.

Mine's a pint 

I've never really understood the value of advertising. Like the dim-witted consumer I am I'm probably not even aware of the subliminal messages being flashed into my brain during my every waking minute, oh look an ad about meat, mmm I'd love a burger now. But when it comes to alcohol I'm acutely aware of the powers of product placement. There's nothing quite so tempting as a picture of a frothy pint, you envisage it sliding coolly down your throat as the busty barmaid looks on lasciviously, the possibilities are endless. We all love drink and it doesn't take much to convince us that getting rat-arsed would be a great idea, even if it is 7.30 on a Monday evening. So why the furore about alcohol companies sponsoring major sporting events?

The official line is that exposing young people to these brands from an early age engenders a dangerous familiarity with the ole boozy woozy. So by the year 2020 there will no more Heineken Cup and no more Amstel (seriously who drinks that shit) adverts during Champions League coverage. I guess it was only a matter of time really, the cigarette companies have been pushed to the sidelines in terms of advertising and now to be a smoker is to be a social pariah. But drinking is different, isn't it? Not according to the powers that be. They have decided that the rise in binge drinking among the current generation can be partly attributed to the ubiquity of alcohol sponsorships. So on that basis it's fair to say that the rise in childhood obesity can be in some way explained by the big golden M of McDonalds which is never far from the screen during most sporting occasions. So why haven't they faced censorship?

Down and dirty

Eeeww TMI Michael!” we shrieked as we imagined that silver head bobbing up and down between the former Ms Zeta-Jones' thighs. “You mucky bugger, at your age!” Personally I think Douglas was just trying to prove he'd still got it by divulging tales of his sexual prowess, I imagine that once you reach his age (68) you spend most of your time talking about 'that fine young thing I gave it to back in the day'. By attributing his mouth cancer to cunnilingus Michael Douglas gave every man in the world the opportunity to say “sorry love not tonight” and I'm sure he was the curse of many a lesbian get together over the past few days.

But no sooner had he spoken then his words were being questioned by experts in the field. Doctors were quick to quash links between HPV (human papilloma virus) and cancer, and they went as far to say that virtually ever sexually active person alive will have at some point contracted the quite harmless HPV. However more interestingly they went on to say that in terms of HPV “performing cunnilingus (oral sex on a woman) is more risky that performing fellatio (oral sex on a man).” So there you have it ladies in bold print and there's nothing you can do about it. We'd really like to but you know, the doctors said it's dangerous and that so we better not. Now in the meantime while you're down there eh? There's a good girl.

Not tonight lads

One group of people who hopefully have never had HPV are the collective clergy of Ireland. Those poor saps who gave themselves to Jesus at a young age must be wondering if it was all worth it. And surprise, surprise their numbers are dwindling; a vocation which requires a lifetime of celibacy is in danger of becoming extinct, who would have thought it? Thus the calls for a change in the system are becoming louder and louder. Let them marry they say, it's the only way we'll save the Catholic church. And they're right, of course they are. Who among us would have a problem with a priest getting his end away with missus priest after a hard day of massing? I certainly wouldn't. Priests that are getting some = happier priests.

But knowing the Catholic church like we do this proposal will remain just that for many years to come. The Pope and his buddies will dilly dally while bishops, cardinals and priests drop like flies. By the time they finally make up their mind there will only be a handful left, and all of them will be told old to even countenance the prospect of popping their cherry at such an advanced stage of life. Here's a chance for the church to do something good, to brighten up their image, and by Christ if there was ever an organisation that needed some good press it's the Catholic church.

Obama is watching you

So Barack Obama spends his evening wanking over your Facebook pictures, did you know that? Sure he's the most powerful man in the world, he can do what he likes. And when he's not doing that he's reading your emails and plotting how to kill your family. Again this comes with the job so it's okay. Without full disclosure it's difficult to ascertain just how intrusive this 'government surveillance' is. I seriously doubt that anyone within the halls of the White House has any interest in the mundane minutiae of the general public, but in order to track down their targets they may have impinged on thousands of civilian's privacy.

Obama calls it a 'trade-off'. A necessary part of the war on terror. And for once I'm inclined to agree with him. It's not like the US government are installing cameras in your bedroom and watching you undress. They're not looking right at you through your webcam. They're simply monitoring the Internet for signs of the kind of behaviour which has already led to the death of thousands. And besides as long as you're behaving yourself then you've got nothing to worry about have you?


Stephen Fry is my favourite gay man. What's great about Ste is that he doesn't allow his sexuality to define him, his outlook is simple 'Yes I'm gay, but there is so much more to me than that'. So unlike many of his celebrity colleagues you get none of the camp histrionics, none of the smutty double entendres, just an intelligent bloke who's great at what he does. The fact he's a fellow mental health sufferer helps too, awareness of this illness is at an all time high but there are still too few people in the public eye willing to speak out.

So what Fry did this week was quite remarkable. It's one thing to admit you suffer from depression, anxiety or panic attacks but quite another to do what he did. For a man of his stature, a man so admired by so many, to come out and say that he tried to take his own life does more for suicide awareness than a thousand campaigns. Suicidal people often talk of the isolation they experience and how worthless they feel. But here's this witty, charming TV presenter and he's in the exact same boat as you. Thankfully I have never been as low as to feel suicidal but were I ever in that position I think I would take solace, however slight, in the fact that a man as great as Stephen Fry has been in precisely the same predicament. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.


Everyone is talking about Prime Time's investigation so I feel duty bound to join in. Just one problem though, I didn't watch the programme. At the time of it's airing my Twitter feed became inundated with #PT related tweets but I just shrugged it off and presumed it would be old news by the morning. However when the story spilled over into the next day and the following one and the one after that I figured that I should really sit down and watch the programme. The RTÉ Player was practically begging for me to watch it. But still I didn't. Because to be honest I'd heard enough. The second-hand sound bytes and angry Facebook updates told me all I needed to know.

What I found more interesting was the debate that followed, and in particular the belief that having run-for-profit organisations looking after our children was always going to end in tears (pardon the phrase). In other countries childcare is run by the state and funded by taxes. Workers in the sector are remunerated accordingly, unlike in Ireland where some childminders get little more than the minimum wage. The cost of running an organisation such as this would undoubtedly be high and the spike in tax rates would cause yet more consternation among our already disgruntled population. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, and subsequently all contribute to, is the well-being of our children.


Men are perverts. We know this you know this, so what's the problem? We can't help it, we're obsessed. We are obsessed by the female form and given the chance we would shag each and every one of ye until our balls ran dry. That's just how we are. You may look at us in disgust and admonish our fiendish behaviour but do you think we enjoy being like this? It's not easy you know, in truth it's something of a burden. All day every day we see forbidden fruits that we just long to pluck from the tree and gleefully devour, but we can't. Instead we ogle and leer like the disgusting little pervs we are. Well most of us do anyway.

It's bad enough seeing fine young fillies cavorting round our streets in next to nothing, but when a global superstar starts shaking her rear end right in front of your face what's a man to do? Why grab a handful of course. Or better still give it a cheeky slap. Right? But Beyonce didn't see it like that when an overeager Dane spanked her like the naughty girl she is. Instead she threatened to have the saucy Scandinavian escorted out of the gig for his over-zealous behaviour. Any man reading this story would surely sympathise with the phantom fondler though, put in his position any one of us would have done the same. It's just a natural reaction. And anyway Beyonce didn't have him kicked out, and you know what that means? She enjoyed it. Because she's a pervert too. Just like all women are. Ye just hide it better.


There are certain things in which we Irish lag way behind; infrastructure, health services, a working government. But every now and again we found ourselves ahead of the game, forerunners if you will. Remember the smoking ban? We were the first country to bring that in and now it's enforced everywhere. Go on little Ireland leading the way wha? There was plenty of grumbling at the time but now we're congratulated for our prescience and other, more, powerful countries have followed our lead. Feels good don't it? And we're at it again now, not quite first this time around, but not far off it.

Sadly it's another kick in the stones for the smokers, but no one smokes any more so who gives a fuck. But if you happen to wake up one morning and think to yourself “Hmm I think I'd like to chug on some poisonous fumes and increase my risk of lung cancer” you're not going to look half as cool as you'd hoped. Yeah you'll still look like Paul Newman as you lean against the gazebo wistfully staring at the couple of ould wans fogging Superkings, but you won't be able to show off your brand any more. By the start of next year all cigarette packaging will look the same, so whether you're a Marlboro man, a Rothmans rogue or a John Players playa it won't matter a jot. You'll just be another smoker, another feckin' eejit wasting hundreds of Euro on your life-shortening habit. Who knows maybe this will be the final nail in the coffin for an industry which has, and continues to, claim thousands of lives every year.


Ireland is an incredibly racist country. You may have a different opinion and you would be entitled to it, but you'd be wrong. Sure, the more enlightened of us know better than to judge someone by the colour of their skin but racism is rife in this country. Why don't we hear more about it then? Simply because most incidents of racial abuse go unreported. However when Úna-Minh Kavanagh was racially abused and then assaulted in a busy Dublin street on Thursday afternoon she felt compelled to speak out. Ms Kavanagh, who was born in Vietnam but has lived all her life in Ireland, was attacked by a group of youths who took exception to her heritage. Her ordeal lasted no more than a matter of seconds but in that time she was branded a 'chink' and then spat at by these charming young gents.

In her subsequent interviews she spoke of the humiliation and degradation she felt at being treated this way. But she also alluded to a lifetime of racial abuse. And like it or not this is the norm in Ireland. Some people may attempt to justify their actions by pointing to those who come to this country for the sole purpose of availing of our generous welfare system. But even that is no excuse. Perhaps you could call refugees in our country disingenuous but who can blame them? The guilt lies in the hands of a government who were totally unprepared for such an influx. There is a lot of anger in our country at this moment in time. We have become embittered by our circumstances. But instead of lashing out at those different to us we should be taking a closer look at ourselves. Because ultimately it is we who will determine whether this country climbs out of the hole it is currently in.


Any time I hear a story concerning drugs and young people being submitted to hospital I always find myself more than a little disconcerted. As someone who it's fair to say dabbled, and in one instance spent a night under medical supervision, I can empathise with the two girls who are currently in a Drogheda hospital. The cause of their visit is as of yet unconfirmed but it is being linked to a contaminated batch of cannabis in the North-East region. Toxicology reports may prove otherwise but it appears that the drug was mixed with a synthetic substance which led to both women falling seriously ill. We can only hope that they pull through and in the process refrain from further drug consumption as a result.

In the immediate aftermath of this story, and I'm talking immediate, a familiar head popped above the parapet: Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Anyone with even a passing interest in politics will recognise that name. Mr Flanagan's ultimate aim as a TD is to pass the legislation of cannabis in this country. A noble cause I'm sure you'll agree. Whether the drug should be legalised or not is a debate for another day. But what should be debated is why Ming took to the airwaves on Friday morning. Riding on the coat-tails of these girl's misfortune he underlined his desire to see the drug decriminalised. He pointed to the fact that under a regulatory system a disaster like this would never have occurred. He accused his opposing panelist of dodging the issue and proceeding to shout down the presenter. He made a complete idiot of himself. And all the while those two girls lay in intensive care fighting for their lives. There's a time and place for such discussions, sadly Mr Flanagan neither understood, nor seemed to care, about that.


I don't really drink milk, I'll have it on my cereal but that's about it. Which is just as well really because at this rate we won't know where it's coming from. Cows, goats, dogs, C-list celebrities, who knows? Myleene Klass, the mildly attractive, former talent show star turned musical genius believes that her own bosom brew bears comparison to anything the humble cow could produce. She is so confident about it's quality that she feeds it to her friends, whether they like it or not. Hmm, I wouldn't mind getting closer to Myleene's mammaries, but her milk? Nah you're grand thanks.

Even more concerning is the notion among some circles that a mother's milk is a cure for all that ails. This has led to online milk banks where visitors can order it by the gallon. It is said to help numerous medical conditions but then again doesn't everything? A couple of years ago it was Manuka honey, then it was green tea and now it's milk from another human being. I'm not sure where this is going, but if anyone thinks I'm donating any of my bodily fluids for some sick kid with meningitis they can form an orderly queue outside. Alternatively they could just call round Myleene's, who knows what she'll give ya.