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Councillors get their man...




Inspired by boredom or some grim fascination, I watched the recent presentations of the would-be presidents on the Roscommon County Council website.   

  Sean Gallagher made the most polished speech, but his contribution was a bit too slick for my liking.

  Tulsk man John Groarke was quickly labelled a ‘joke figure’ when he appeared on the national scene over recent weeks. I found his contribution sincere, interesting and relevant. I was also impressed with Senator Joan Freeman, probably the best speaker on the day.

  One by one they came to the podium, nine candidates in search of a nomination by Roscommon councillors (a person going the ‘local authority route’ needs the support of four councils to gain a nomination to contest October’s Presidential election).

  Most of them probably knew they had little chance – but they soldiered on.

  On Monday last, five days after the wannabees had their say, Roscommon councillors gave their verdict. Of fifteen votes cast, three went for Senator Freeman; two for the outspoken journalist Gemma O’Doherty, and ten for the nearly man of 2011, Sean Gallagher.

  And so, partly because of a good leg-up from Roscommon councillors, Sean Gallagher officially became a Presidential candidate (again) this week.

  I don’t consider myself to be a great fan of Mr. Gallagher’s, but he and Senator Freeman and probably Gavin Duffy are likely to put it up to President Higgins over the coming weeks, even if the incumbent remains a safe bet – at this juncture at least – to be returned.

  And, a question: Why do we invest this power in councillors (and Oireachtas members)? Surely anyone who wants to get on a ballot paper should have that option?


Identity crisis


Anyone can make a mistake (see ‘Trump, the American voters’, etc.,) but really, these emails that whizz into our office from ‘PR types’ who clearly know nothing about Roscommon…

  I’ve written before in this column about the cheery PR person who rings the People office and says stuff like: “Hi, our client is launching a wonderful product in Monaghan…er…is that near you?”

  Fast-forward to this week…and I’d advise readers who are involved in promoting tourism in Roscommon to look away now!

  We received a press release from a PR company informing us that Minister Griffin has launched the Irish Tourism Industry Awards…

  …and, the email/press release breathlessly informed us, “submissions for Galway are now open on www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie”.  


You can’t fool me…There ain’t no Setanta Clause!


This is anything but funny. I spent twenty years stubbornly refusing to get Sky Sports, then when I did, well…

  First, I discovered Sky Sports wasn’t showing the golf major that was underway when I signed up (the PGA). Then I discovered just how many soccer games channels like Setanta have. I am not a subscriber (yet) to Setanta Sports. You could say that I was unaware of the existence of the Setanta Claus. 

  A pun which gives me a great opportunity to remind readers of the enduring brilliance of the Marx Brothers.

  In ‘A Night at the Opera’, Groucho (as Driftwood) is going through a legal document with Chico (as Fiorello).

Fiorello: Hey, wait, wait. What does this say here, this thing here?

Driftwood: Oh, that? Oh, that’s the usual clause that’s in every contract. That just says, uh, it says, uh, if any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.

Fiorello: Well, I don’t know...

Driftwood: It’s all right. That’s, that’s in every contract. That’s, that’s what they call a sanity clause.

Fiorello: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! You can’t fool me. There ain’t no Sanity Clause!


Fake TV


PH with a wry take on tv…

The Apprentice (American version, repeats late at night)

Channel-hopping before calling it a night – unable to take any more of Terry Prone on the Tonight Show – I was suddenly faced with an old episode of the American version of ‘The Apprentice’.

  Watching it now is slightly fascinating, given what became of the arrogant ‘star’. (Readers may be aware that Donald Trump, host of The Apprentice, has gone on to become a low-key President of the United States).

  I could only watch five minutes of it, part-fascinated, part-shaking head in ongoing bemusement.

  One of Mr. Trump’s key advisors was the comedian Joan Rivers, now deceased. Quite what she would have said if she’d known her colleague would go on to occupy the White House is anyone’s guess.

  On this old episode, Trump actually appeared to listen more than he does now, though the pleas of both non-performing would-be apprentices ultimately fell on deaf ears, as he fired both of them. 

  “You wrote the jingle…you’re fired!”

  “You were project leader…you’re fired!”

  I am aware that we have three ‘stars’ of Dragons’ Den currently bidding to be President of Ireland, but it was still a novelty to watch old footage of a reality show host knowing (as we do now) that he would one day go on to rule the world.

  It’s just made me a little uneasy about the next time I see Nicky Byrne hosting ‘Dancing with the Stars’…

Ireland’s Fittest Family (Thursdays, RTE 1, 7.25 pm)

Obsessed families annoy their relations and friends by getting to appear on an utterly pointless programme, with a national audience expected to take/feign an interest.

  Each team has a celebrity leader who tries to give the impression that they care about the outcome, that a win here would somehow satisfy their sporting hunger. Yeah, like Davy Fitzgerald twists and turns in bed at night over this…

  If we, the viewers, had any energy left after our daily grind, most of us would reach for the remote control…

  (I don’t watch it).

Don’t tell the Bride (Wednesdays, E4) 

The episode we always see: Bride forfeits control of upcoming wedding in return for some short-term tv fame. Groom, careful to appear gormless/funny, appears to be making a complete hash of planning the wedding, ably assisted by ‘hilarious’ friends.

  Cut to scenes of chaos, chirpily explained by annoying Voiceover Lady. Groom and friends decide to host wedding reception in barn/hayshed/on a boat/, with bride collected on a tractor/motorbike and all guests turning up dressed as cowboys. Bride pretends to be shocked, then says “it’s different, but I actually love it”. Bride’s mother (privately mortified) says she never thought the groom had it in him.  

  The episode we’d all like to see: Bride tells groom he’s a pure eejit and storms off, leaving camera crew and producers open-mouthed and Voiceover Lady lost for words…

  (I don’t watch it).



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