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Monday 11 December 2017

Michael O'Doherty: Stop giving us ammo to label you parochial cute hoor, Michael

Michael Healy-Rae
Michael Healy-Rae
The Script
Emma Waldron

At the risk of suggesting some kind of anti-rural bias, may I first explain that this is not a concerted campaign.

But if TDs from outside The Pale want to stop being branded as small-minded, parochial gombeens, espousing beliefs that last held sway in the Dark Ages, perhaps they should stop giving people the ammunition to label them as such?

Last week, it was Michael Lowry's turn to remind us once again of his own unique idiocy, suggesting to the Taoiseach that Valerie O'Reilly being "not bad looking" was somehow relevant to her getting a seat on the board of the National Transport Agency.

Lowry, predictably, later focused on the fact that the note may have been leaked by a member of the Labour party, rather than address his own stupidity for writing it.

He described the move, without a trace of irony, as "a new low" for politics.

In the court of gombeens, however, Lowry is these days but a lowly courtier, as the wearing of the royal pyjamas is the property of the Healy-Rae family.

Two years ago Danny, a local councillor in Kerry, suggested that the drink-driving laws should be relaxed in his county.

He reckoned that the distance that his constituents had to travel to pubs meant that it should be ok for them to have "two or three pints" before driving home.

In the drinkin' and shootin' outpost that is South Kerry, however, the gun-related issues are the ambit of his Independent TD brother Michael, who this week re-iterated his considered views on how to deal with crime in his locality.

While his brother rages about the scarcity of pubs, Michael's beef is about the lack of gardai, especially bearing in mind the increase in burglaries of isolated homes.

While one must have sympathy for a situation which needs to be addressed by the authorities, Healy-Rae's thinly-veiled support for vigilante-type behaviour beggars belief.

"That [burglar] has to get it into their head," articulated Healy-Rae, "that maybe some day they'll go home in a box...do you think I'd feel sorry for any criminal that might be threatened or come to harm? I would most certainly not," he said.

Michael considers this part of a wider problem of the demise of rural Ireland.

"We've over 1,000 post offices and we could lose 500 of those," he bemoaned, on top of the numbers of garda stations and pubs which, he said, are declining and threatening to become extinct.

Now, if only we could say the same thing about the Lowrys and Healy-Raes.

Hotel hikes its prices for Croker gig ... it's a script that's sadly predictable

A hotel on Dublin's northside, the Charleville Lodge, has advertised a campaign on its Facebook page, offering guests 50pc off their room bill if they turn up with their Water Charges Application Form made into the shape of a paper airplane.

You might think that it's a harmless bit of publicity for a socially-aware establishment, concerned about the difficulty that its customers have in making ends meet, and doing its bit to help wherever it can. Then again, you might not.

Consider, first of all, the offer itself. Whether they like it or not the hotel is encouraging people to break the law. Having got the desired publicity out of the offer, it is not the hotel that the courts will ultimately come chasing for money, it's the guest themselves.

Just as interestingly, the Charleville Lodge seems like it's not averse to wringing every last cent it can out of the public when it suits their own requirements.

SHOOTS

A double room this summer is currently priced at €118 online, except on the night of Saturday June 20, when the price curiously shoots up to €227. How could this be?

Well, just like every hotel within a five-mile radius of Croke Park, it celebrates the announcement of an upcoming concert there by doubling its prices.

With The Script playing Croker that night they know that the average punter will have no choice but to fork out for a room as the gigs don't finish much before 11pm.

With news of two Bruce Springsteen concerts in the same venue this summer, the Charleville Lodge is no doubt licking its lips at the chance to fleece the ordinary people of Ireland, about whom it cares so much, once again.

Just like so many hotels in Dublin city centre, its message is quite clear. It's not ok to rip off the public, unless of course its them doing the ripping-off.

Women hold key ... if they're not too busy

For women under 30, it seems to be one or the other - either a job, or a relationship. Nadia Forde is famously too busy to find a boyfriend, while former Miss Ireland, Emma Waldron, revealed this week that she is "perfectly content as I am, building my empire. There is someone I like, but right now but I haven't the time".

On the other hand, RTE Two's Diana Bunici has packed in her job and moved to London so that she can spend time with her new boyfriend, Kodaline's Steve Garrigan. Either way, something is going to have to give, because it seems we're heading towards having no working women, or the end of the human race. Neither of which, to be honest, is ideal.

Ray D'Arcy started off his return to RTE radio with a complaint about the price of soup in the canteen. Coming in at €1.02, Ray raised a quizzical eyebrow to this bizarre price, which forces people to carry around coppers, rather than just rounding it down to €1. On the basis that a bowl of soup costs a minimum of €2.50 in most cafés in Dublin, why exactly is it so cheap in RTE?

One would have thought that, in paying for their already generous salaries - the average RTE staff member's salary in 2012 was €55k - why on earth should the taxpayer also have to subsidise their lunch?

 

 

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