Gerry O'Carroll: Browne's tv snoozefest had me turn to Hawaii 5-0
WHAT a bore the big TV debate turned out to be. It was so bad I found myself watching Hawaii-Five-O over on Sky.
Yes, I'm guilty of a sell-out, but it was a hell of a lot better than watching Micheal Martin try to squirm out of the hole his government has plunged this country into.
Eamon Gilmore is a decent man, but he should have followed Enda Kenny and blacked the debate.
After all, the only winner was going to be Martin after Kenny pulled out. Gilmore's spinners should have told him that -- now instead Martin is being portrayed as the winner today.
Kenny came under fierce pressure all week to go on the debate, chaired by grumpy Vincent Browne.
Fair play to you Enda, you resisted all the thousands of words of the political scribes wrote and stuck to your guns.
If you display that type of steel in government, the country will be a better place.
And I can hardly blame you for not wanting to on telly with contrary old Vinnie.
If a panellist says white, Browne will bark back black -- or is that just his new hair colour? A friend tells me he has spotted Browne pumping iron in Westwood gym in Leopardstown in preparation for the debate. I'd have thought the sight of the cranky journo would be enough to clear the place of all the yummy mummies. Browne's old mucker, John Waters, also inhabits the place. That's it, cancel my membership immediately. One's a confused Christian and the other's just confused. The real winner last night was not Martin and it certainly wasn't Gilmore. No, it was Enda Kenny.
He had the courage of his convictions not to share a platform with a guy who used him for cheap TV laughs.
Bent cops are lower form of life than scrotes from who they take dirty drugs cash
WHAT'S worse than a scrote?
Simple. A bent cop.
Nothing smells worse or robs the force of morale than a cop on the take.
I've come across a few rogue cops in my time - and they all have the same personality. Vain, money hungry and constantly seeking attention.
Plus they're usually gamblers who've plunged themselves into debt.
And along comes a generous criminal anxious to see them right. Right!
Bent copper John O'Neill was one of the worst of his kind. He was passing on sensitive information to John Gilligan's drugs gang to keep them one step ahead of the law.
Good police work by Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey and his team investigating journalist Veronica Guerin's murder saw O'Neill convicted and thrown off the force.
What was upsetting at the time - 14 years ago - is that Hickey and his team of untouchables came across a number of other gardai who had dubious relationships with Gilligan and his thugs.
It's an unfortunate reality that every police force is going to have rotten apples.
I once worked with a garda who stole the key of an armoury where explosives were stored. He gave the key to the IRA and the explosives were used in bombs in mainland Britain.
On another occasion, a colleague was arrested for attempting to extort money from a food manufacturer by claiming he had poisoned items of produce in a specific supermarket.
The key is getting them and getting them off the force.
What worries me most of all right now is that garda morale is rock bottom. Officers have had their wages robbed by this cruel Universal Social Charge and by having to pay extra for their pensions.
A lot of good officers are in serious financial difficulties.
For a very small minority this will make them vulnerable to the advances of organised criminals.
What those cops have to realise is that sooner or later they are going to get turned over.
Scrotes offering them cash now will lean on them harder and harder.
Their lives will become unbearable - and then ultimately they are going to get caught and turfed off the force in ignominy.
Bent coppers are scum and deserve to do time - not in isolation in jail - but in the very same prison wing as the lowlives to whom they were selling information.
The news broken by the Herald this week that a uniformed cop in the division where I once served has been arrested for suspected corruption is shocking.
His story is a wake-up call for An Garda Siochana.
I was struck by the stark contrast between his apparently disgraceful story and one other case last week.
While one rogue cop was muddying the reputation of the force, a man in Donegal was on trial for the manslaughter of the brave garda Robbie McCallion who lost his life in the line of duty.
Garda McCallion was in pursuit of a stolen car when he made the sacrifice of his life and saved his colleague from death.
He was bringing honour to the uniform - a true blue hero.
The type of uniformed officer who has inspired the trust of the How different it was to the case of this renegade cop.
It's time for critics to lay off Stephen
The very mention of his name causes apoplexy among soccer fans, but I'm delighted to hear that there's another side to Stephen Ireland.
His devoted girlfriend Jessica has described him as a great father, loving partner, a real family man whose charity foundation supports a children's hospice. Doesn't this prove the criticism of Stephen should stop? If he decided to pull on the green jersey again, we'd all be delighted.
Feisty Blathnaid, get well soon
I'M a huge fan of Ireland's answer to the X Factor, our very own All Ireland Talent Show.
And so as I sat down to watch it last weekend I was disturbed to note that Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh didn't appear in the second half of the programme. Afterwards, I was saddened to hear that the feisty judge had been taken ill with stomach pains.
I have great regard for Blathnaid, a woman who has battled in a tough environment and has carved out her own niche in television.
Mind you, I thought she looked in the pink of health as I watched the show, proving that this consummate professional wasn't going to let illness get in the way of the performance.
She's truly a class act, and anyone watching would never have known that she was about to be whisked away to hospital. Thankfully, the news since then has been good and Blathnaid is on the mend. I'm hopeful that recovery will be swift and that she'll be back to light up the dreary TV screens next Sunday.