herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Irish Water, angel therapy and the drip, drip, drip of a Sinn Fein implosion...

In a week when the Ebola virus spread its tentacles to New York and the utter fiasco that is Irish Water looks more ludicrous and stupid by the day - 'bonuses' being earned for work not yet done is a new one, even on me - you really had to look around for some stories to lighten the mood.

Across the water we had a classic in the form of former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read recording a song in praise of the growing right-wing political party, Ukip. Now, Mr. Read is absolutely entitled to support whichever legitimate politcal party he chooses and concoct whatever musical treats amuse him, but the man who was responsible for Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax being banned from the Beeb, ensuring maximum publicity and a huge chart-topper as a result, may have slipped up here.

merit

Regardless of the merits of his song (which was utter rubbish, by the way), setting it to a calypso rhythm and singing a lyric about 'too many illegal immigrants' in a cod-Jamaican accent was something of an error in judgement.

Back closer to home there was the revelation that Positive Action, a support group for Hepatitis C sufferers. had spent an enormous sum of taxpayers' money on items which appear to be, shall we say, somewhat frivolous. The notion of a group spending over €600 on booze at a conference on liver disease is one for Have I Got news For You but some of their other extravagances boggled the mind.

It is quite possible that somewhere in the realm of 'alternative medicine' (I'd be a big fan of actual medicine myself) there could well be the odd remedy which might provide some relief. However, the idea that 'emotional freedom techniques', 'thought field therapy' and 'angel cards therapy' are anything other than New Age quackery designed to part gullible eejits from their money seems unassailable.

I know that the angel racket does fantastic business - hell, you can probably even attend courses in this spoofery - but forking out public money for this blatant charlatanism is a bit much. Oh, and as for paying €550 for someone to attend a 'Dancing the Spiral' course - spare me.

Someone who wasn't spared this week was, of course, our old friend Gerry Adams, president of the increasingly jumpy Sinn Fein. The revelation by Mairia Cahill that she'd been raped by a prominent IRA member and been obliged to attend a kangaroo court where she was confronted by her attacker to assess the 'body language' between them was a potential game-chamger for Adams who, as we all know, was never a member of the IRA - nosireebob.

We expect lies and obfuscation to pour from the mouth of the TD from Louth but what really surprised me was that people were actually surprised that the IRA could behave in such a callous manner.

kidnappers

Lest we forget, this organisation has the deaths of more than 1700 people on its hands. It contained murderers, bombers, extortionists, kidnappers and thieves of every stripe, so for anyone to think that it would have anything remotely resembling a moral compass when it came to matters of sexual abuse strikes me as alarmingly naive.

Adams has a murky enough track record when it comes to the follow-up of wrongdoing in this area but even his most loyal lieutenants must surely be squirming at what transpired this week.

Even Mary Lou McDonald - who normally looks like a besotted teenager when sat next to her beloved leader - seemed distinctly ill-at-ease in the Dail when Enda Kenny rounded on the SF president during the week. Still, we'd do well to remember that a bad week for Gerry Adams is a good week for the Republic of Ireland.

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