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Friday 15 December 2017

Squawk and horror as the silly season gets off to an embarrassing flying start

In a week when the emotional downturn that followed the end of a fantastic World Cup really kicked in, there were at least a few bright moments to lift the spirits.

To be honest, my mood was hardly helped on Thursday morning when I got on the LUAS at the same stop as four Swedish chaps wearing tops indicating that they were supporters of AIK Stockholm and clearly on their way to Connolly Station to catch a train to Belfast where their team were playing Linfield in a Europa League qualifier.

Ah yes, a lovely sunny morning and you're off with your mates on a European away day. Really, Shamrock Rovers have to get their act together after the last two seasons.

eejits

Anyway, we also had politicians making eejits of themselves before they head off on that lovely two-month break. In the wake of Garthgate, there was the announcement that country 'n' western-related events were to be held across Dublin, prompting Tourism Minister Paschal Donohue and Minister of State for Tourism Michael Ring to pose wearing blue shirts (naturally) and cowboy hats (I seem to recall predicting something like this would happen only a fortnight ago) while sitting on bales of hay and pretending to play guitars.

As a piece of mullah-pleasing malarkey, this would have looked OTT in Father Ted. You might think, "do these people have no shame?", only to find yourself answering that of course they don't, they're politicians and that's what they do. Whenever the opportunity arises.

And, of course, we had the star turn of the week coming from the intellectual hotbed that is Seanad Eireann in the shape of Fianna Fail senator Ned O'Sullivan.

On the final day of proceedings before their well-deserved holliers, this Kerry native echoed his fellow senator Catherine Noone (of "I'm not anti-ice cream" fame) by declaring "I have nothing against pigeons" before going on to demand that new Environment Minister Alan Kelly do, er, something about the plague that is seagulls in Dublin.

In a tirade that wouldn't have sounded too far-fetched on Hall's Pictorial Weekly, the boul' Ned railed against the noise these creatures made and how they made living in his apartment complex down by the quays a nightmare.

According to the senator, these squawking Stukas weren't even actually seagulls any more, but rather dump gulls or even scavenger gulls.

"Seagulls have lost the run of themselves completely," said Ned, going on to describe horrific scenes where these avian anti-Christs would swoop from the skies and "dispossess children of their lollipops". The bastards!

In an interview with Newstalk's Jonathan Healy, he described scenarios that made Hitchcock's The Birds look like Pixar's For the Birds while the host - in a feat of broadcasting skill - managed not to laugh as Ned explained that growing up on the coast of Kerry he was familiar with seagulls, but these lads were a different ball of feathers altogether.

afraid

"Are you saying Kerry seagulls are different to Dublin seagulls?" enquired Healy (I can only imagine that the production team were on the floor with laughter) while Ned waffled on for all he was worth.

I'm no fan of these Laridae larrys, having seen the mess they make with the bins opposite Burdock's, but I couldn't help but feel that perhaps Ned was going off on one here.

Still, given that this week sees the release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in which creatures turn against humans, maybe we should be on our guard. After all, if the seagulls form an alliance with the gicknahs, we could really be in trouble. Be very afraid. And keep watching the skies.

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