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It was a bad week for Sinn Fein ...but a great week for the Republic of Ireland

In a week when mankind achieved one of its greatest feats of space exploration, landing a probe on a comet 320m miles away, it's bizarre to think that three local stories still managed to dominate the news.

While my deepest thoughts really were with Philae out in the distant reaches of our solar system, it was still hard not to be thoroughly engaged by what was going on in this little patch of cosmic dirt.

Yet again, Roy Keane provided his boss Martin O'Neill with another brilliant distraction as an altercation with a 'fan' in the team hotel in Portmarnock took all the focus off the actual game against Scotland.

Well done Roy.

The Mayfield martyr can always be relied upon to act in a totally selfless manner in the lead-up to a big fixture, whether it be by publicising one of his bukes or becoming embroiled in an incident after which you can be assured that the cameras gravitate towards him rather than those pesky players.

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Ah yes, Roy-Boy will always take a barrage of media attention for the team, what a solid soldier.

And sticking with the Hero of Saipan's part of the country (broadly speaking) we had the hugely entertaining episode involving Dolores O'Riordan and a traumatic Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon.

The fact that the plane had the temerity to land 90 minutes ahead of schedule may have impacted upon Dolores' demeanour but you'd still have to wonder how the hell she was allowed on the plane in the first place.

Anyone with experience of airport procedure in New York knows that you could be of the staunchest, sternest, strictest Presbyterian stripe and can still receive a grilling from Homeland Security.

So how someone got past at least layers of uniforms wearing a mask and behaving somewhat erratically is beyond me.

In the end though my sympathies lie with the gardai in Limerick.

It must be bad enough having to deal with the fallout from one of the bloodiest gang feuds in the country but what if, as was reported, Dolores O'Riordan was singing away in one of your cells for the best part of three hours?

That's truly beyond the beyond.

Which, as is so often the case these days, leads us to my very good friends the Shinners.

It's been a fabulous seven days for those on Sinn Fein-IRA watch.

First off we had their glorious leader Gerry Adams making his wee 'joke' about the IRA holding the editor of a national newspaper at gunpoint in the '20s, which his devoted followers pointed out was merely an example of the great man's boundless wit.

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Those same deluded sheep, lest we forget, were up in arms only days previously following Gregory Campbell's 'curry my yogurt' riff, which they reckoned wasn't funny at all, at all.

Oh yes, in the great future of their minds Sinn Fein-IRA will decide what's funny and what isn't. Won't that be great?

On a more serious note their performance in the special Dail debate on the IRA's treatment of sexual abuse cases really showed their true colours.

Any pretence to their being a proper political party was shown up for the sham it is.

Adams, as you'd expect, mangled facts as he does his vowels to muddy the details that a terrorist organisation of which he was a senior member (which, startlingly, he still denies) shipped rapists to this side of the border without informing the authorities.

A bad week for Sinn Fein-IRA...a great week for the Republic of Ireland.


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