Michael O'Doherty: Mary, your waffle left me speechless
SOMEONE who won't be up for a scriptwriting IFTA next year is the person who penned President McAleese's speech at the event.
It started off sounding like an Enya album: "Even in the darkest of times we, the Irish, have the capacity to find the light...", before suggesting that the future prosperity of our country is in the hands of our artistic community.
"Our true wealth is here in this room," said the President, "in our talented storytellers, who I hope will soon have another story to tell of a crisis overcome through re-imagining our country, changing the narrative to the happier ending so beloved of cinema-goers." Er, hello?
Just one small request. If our future does depend on Irish film-makers, please don't put the people behind Perrier's Bounty -- total cost, €5m; total US box office, $880 -- in charge at the Department of Finance.
It's that kind of economics that got us into this mess in the first place.
Caroline, you looked like a million dollars
The IFTAs may fall short of being an 'Irish Oscars', but it does at least seem to have learned from its Hollywood counterpart.
Firstly, it's finally found a home becoming of the event, as the National Conference Centre provided a venue that made it look like a proper awards ceremony, and not a GAA dinner dance in the middle of nowhere.
And while our actors are more miss than hit when it comes to cracking Hollywood, they do at least seem to be picking up some style tips.
The likes of Jackie Lavin, Amy Huberman and Laura Whitmore were all resplendent in full-length gowns, but the biggest surprise of all came in the form of Miss Whatever Happened to her? -- a simply dazzling Caroline Morahan.
Her stuttering career in LA means she may be a long way off having earned a million dollars, but boy, she certainly looked it on Saturday night...
Preppy Brendan is tough as old boots
OFF The Rails presenter Brendan Courtney turned up at the weekend sporting a black eye, due to some moron punching him the previous night in an unprovoked, homophobic attack.
While it's hard to believe that such behaviour still exists in Ireland, almost as curious is Courtney's continued insistence on his unique 'preppy meets hipster' look, which involves trousers that are too short, socks that are too bright, and boots that aren't laced up. "I'm grand," Brendan said after his attack, "I'm made of tough boots."
Good to hear, Brendan. But could you please stop wearing them as well?
Poncey art will not solve our problems
As we teeter on the brink of financial collapse, do you know what this country needs most? An 'art collective' (ie. a poncey group of artists) placing a series of posters around Dublin designed to highlight "the importance of creativity in Irish life".
People such as Aaron Copeland -- nephew of famous tailor Louis -- think that satire is the cure for our problems, so they clog our lampposts with posters bearing slogans such as "Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret to inform you that Ireland has been cancelled." Truly brilliant stuff.
This group of twats call themselves Upstart. I can think of a better name -- Artsholes.