Paul Healy’s Week

Thursday/all week

In the great tradition regarding our response to such matters in this country, people got very excited about the fabulous weather of recent days. Very, very excited. In Ireland, we don’t get excited that often or that easily, but we do love talk of a heatwave.

By the weekend before last, the rumours were…well, rife (rife, a word rarely used, mostly accompanied by ‘with’ and before ‘rumours’ and ‘speculation’). The very thought of a really warm spell of weather sustained people for a few days. Personally, at one stage I began to doubt the very confident forecasts.

Thankfully by Thursday, the hot weather began to break through. That’s when people got very excited. From Friday onwards, we were all fully engaged in the ‘Temperature tracking’ game that we play. This is when the real value of having a car manifests itself. It’s all very well to say ‘It’s meant to be 27 degrees later today’ or ‘It’s 25 degrees now and it’s still only morning’, but for real Heatwave Hysteria, you need to be able to reference the misleading but irresistible temperature on the dashboard of your car.

Studies have shown (okay, maybe there haven’t been studies done) that (most) radio DJs were born annoyingly cheerful. Last weekend, our friends in radio-land went into a frenzy. Every time I turned the radio on in the hope of hearing some great summertime hit from decades ago, I had to put up with some ridiculously cheerful DJ appealing to listeners to ring in with weather updates from whatever part of the country they were in. Some DJs spent much of their show calling out temperature readings from cars…as in ‘Wow! Colin says it’s 31 degrees in Moate. Sharon’s been in touch, it’s 36 degrees in Westport! Lovely text from Ben in Blanchardstown. It’s 34 degrees on his dashboard and Ben’s just bought an ice cream! Lucky Ben! You guys are crazy! Keep them coming!’

Of course we all play the ‘Quote the temperature on the dashboard’ card. If you’re visiting a house during a heatwave and your host comments on the glorious weather, you have the advantage of having just disembarked from a car. So if they say ‘It was 25 degrees earlier’ all you have to do is respond: ‘It was 29 degrees in the car on the way over’. Of course this show of superiority could affect your chances of being offered tea/coffee or a soothing drink.

Apparently the reason the temperature in your car is generally misrepresentative (by 2/3 degrees) of the actual temperature outside has something to do with the proximity of the thermistor to the front of the vehicle. (Er…“This location makes the instrument’s measurements sensitive to reradiated heat from the road surface” – source: Google).

Anyways, it was a wonderful weekend, and the good weather is continuing into this week. I thought it was wonderful anyway. I mean, it was 29 degrees in our car at one stage! If only I’d thought of firing off a photo of our dashboard to a DJ…



Lots of (unintentional) humour in the Sunday Independent, where Deputy Marc MacSharry (not promoted by Micheál Martin), Deputy Barry Cowen (sacked by Micheál Martin) and Deputy Willie O’Dea (not offered a seat at Cabinet by Micheál Martin) all generously offer their view on the crisis facing Fianna Fáil, currently led by…er…Micheál Martin.

It’s the usual self-important guff disguised as inspired leadership. The big news is that Marc MacSharry has escalated his habit of talking about himself in the third person.

Today, amusingly, he spares reporter Hugh O’Connell the task of posing too many questions, Marc helpfully commenting: “Is Marc MacSharry a racist? Absolutely not. Does Marc MacSharry abhor the Holocaust, Nazism, fascism, communism and all that went with all of that? Of course I do”.

Later, he says his critics “can’t stand Marc MacSharry or Marc MacSharry’s politics”.

Until today, I thought Micheál Martin had nothing to fear from arch-critic Marc, but with so many Marc MacSharrys suddenly around, now I’m not so sure.


Later on Sunday

Yes (or yeah, yeah, yeah), just as Gay Byrne missed out on managing The Beatles, and George Best missed the dramatic closing minutes of the 1999 Champions League Final, I didn’t see Limerick v Tipperary in the hurling today. ‘Cos I was watching the golf.

It was a thriller about which the Twitter brigade are raving. Tip-top Tipp led by ten at half-time, but Limerick staged a great comeback and won by five. There was much teasing of RTE pundit Henry Shefflin, who apparently declared in studio at half-time that it was all over. Personally, I wouldn’t even joke at Shefflin’s expense; if I met him I’d probably just concentrate on getting my bowing technique right. He was a decent player, and may just know a bit more about hurling than the Hindsight Heroes on Twitter!

I caught up with the hurling highlights on The Sunday Game. As for the golf, Collin Morikawa won the British Open in style. A new force in the game, cool Collin didn’t have a score higher than a four on any of the 18 holes of his final round. How is that possible? Defending champion Shane Lowry had a fine tournament. Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth is really buzzing again. He’ll be in the majors’ winning enclosure again soon. I’m sure keen golfer Henry Shefflin would agree with that prediction!



(Boris the isolationist: A new series)

Carrie: Are you really serious about Freedom Day, darling?

Boris: Absolutely!

Carrie: You’re going to open up England…it’s quite the gamble…

Boris: Onwards and upwards!

Carrie: Knowing you, you’ll be down the local holding a great British ale aloft in front of the cameras, leading the multitudes back to freedom…

Boris: One must do one’s duty!

(Monday morning)

Carrie: Darling, I’ve left a cup of tea outside the bedroom door. If you need anything over the next ten days, just ring the bell…



In households around the country: ‘Love this weather! Isn’t it glorious? If we had this weather every summer, sure you’d never leave Ireland. I’m finally getting to wear those summer clothes too. Oh it’s lovely to wake up in the morning with the sun shining, and to sit out late in the garden at night…another barbeque this evening?’



In households around the country: ‘I can’t take any more of this heat! The dog is on her last legs. It’s impossible to sleep at night. We might as well put the duvets on eBay! And I’ve nothing to wear! Open all the windows? We need to take the windows out! I like a bit of sunshine myself, but it’s too hot! I mean, a few days of it is grand, but…’