Author Archives: Admin


This morning.

Anon writes:

I was walking to work this morning and noticed a purse lying behind the railings on Great Strand Street [Dublin 1]. There are quite a few cards in the wallet and one sticking out that very clearly look like an IADT [Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology] student card… Maybe you can help the owner find it. I could also see the top of a driver’s license. I couldn’t reach it as it is behind locked railing but I’m sure the owner could reach it somehow. Approx location here.


UPDATE: Owner located (see comments)

Result, in fairness.


The National Ploughing Championships 2016 in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly


Frilly Keane writes:

Ya see, it was all going grand ‘till last Sunday morning, when I was walking the doggie, and lapping up all the colours and buntings and flags along the route.

Now, where I live, there has always been a single Mayhoo flag, a proper one, with a wall mounted fitting en’all. It always came out for the Connaught Final (if), likewise for the AI. It’s the same in my house; the flags come out for the weekend of. Whatever one it is.

But this year we wondered where our Mayhoo neighbour was, then on Saturday the Mayhoo supporter walked past the house, so. That was that. He wasn’t dead or anything. Anyone in the Crumlin Village area will know of this lone Mayhoo flag flyer.

So anyway back to Sunday morning, with the dog; met some of the regulars in the park, lads getting the dogs out early before the match stuff. All dolled up themselves.  All set. It went like this; The Hooch’s daddy btw:

“a few scoops in the club first … so wha d’ya think “x”

“Great day for football, no winds, soft and boggy, Mayhoo ‘ll like that”

“Ah yeah, bleedin’ muckers, ahh it’ll be bad t’watch…. D’dubs ‘ll will win by 15 points …handy…”

“have ye seen Mayhoo play this year” “nah”

“Well I tink it’ll be a lot tighter than handy now”

“D’ya ting…. Ah’nah… D’Dubs ‘ll cream ‘em, Mayo’ll be in a jock in de’ final 10 minutes”
… Come on you bhoys in Blue… Ye know the rest

Now, if it was Cork playing, I’d be in a jock meself with the funny tummy, and too nervous and jumpy for walking the dog, so I thought, fair play t’them and kinda wished t’was me heading off to Jones Road; sur’ there’s always next year.

Anyway, where am I going with all this? Well.

Ye; Dubs/ Big City types are very reluctant to look beyond the M50 other than to sneer. That’s no secret I suppose. But all this needs t’be said again. So here it goes.

When it comes to Football the only side Dubs mention or care to get to know are the Kerry crowd. When it comes to hurling, ye re well able t’look beyond the M50 for players, mentors and managers, funny that.

What happened by half three on Sunday shut ye up, kinda, but t’was more like a wtf happened daze. It didn’t last since ye broke out’ve it by Tuesday, and the opening day of the Ploughing Championships.

Ye couldn’t help yereselves. And a quick “ploughing” search here will show ye what I mean, and it goes back, as far as 2010 and the very start of the gaff. But what ye didn’t do was wonder ‘how the fuck do they do it?’

I’m told that this year Anna May filled 1580 exhibition stands indoor and outdoor. Anyone care to guess what Anna May charges for a sqm of field?

Whatever it was this year I betcha t’would make your gob smack, and I betcha’ tis healthier, far healthier, than what Dublin Event Planners and their Skinny Pants get for the RDS.

But of course there’s going to be difference, loike it’s Dublin 4, with the Starbucks and Noodles and Penthouse Suites, and Transport and Roads with Tarmac. NotZoned for Agri use fields in rural Ireland.

So 283,000 wellie wearers stumped up and stumped through the muck in Screggan this year, that’s 283,000 that travelled by car, van, trailer and shuttle buses to the fields of midland Ireland.

Not Ballsbridge or Spencer Dock. Rural Ireland. With its funny accents, grubby clothes, pot holes, flooding, silly hats, muckie boots, and their Hang Sangwichs.

So here I’m thinking of the other Paddy, the one who likes to tell us about his life on the farm whenever he gets a chance, the one who throws a tantrum about Wiffy and Hotels and Transport. Yet; all he was prepared to learn from Anna May and the NPA was that Hay bales make good seating.

You’d be hard pressed to find Wiffy in Screggan lemme tell ye; but it didn’t stop the biggest Ag gig in Europe.

“Ireland doesn’t stop at d’Rid Cow Roudybout” those Healy Raes provide comedy fodder for this gaff like no other pair of TDs.

So, ya know, keep laughing.

Cause its stopping ye looking too close.



Frilly keane’s column appears here every Friday morning. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane


A sugar tax to ‘tackle obesity’ is among proposals being considered by the government

Further to renewed calls today for a  tax on ‘sugar sweetened’ drinks.

Eamon Delaney, at the  Hibernia Forum writes:

The Sugar tax proposal is yet another nanny state measure which benefits politicians and the tax collector but doesn’t address the problem it says it does. This ineffective measure uses a sledgehammer inflationary approach and focuses on the wrong area.

We absolutely need to address the growing problem of obesity but this should be done through education, more exercise, less car dependency etc and not just by singling out one product for a punitive financial penalty..

The reality is that sugar taxes don’t reduce obesity and are regressive…

…The obesity problem requires a multi-faceted approach

Soft drinks companies have been active on this issue. In Ireland they say they have increased their marketing spend on no and low sugar options by 80% over the last five years, are not marketing and advertising any beverages to children under 12s, and say they are committed to reformulation

The beverage industry is leading on addressing obesity through a mix of effective measures. Reformulation of sugar sweetened beverages in Ireland has already resulted in a 10% reduction in energy – 15% when the shift towards low and no calorie drinks is included.

They are also reviewing their marketing practices to ensure advertising in a responsible manner, including increasing public awareness on consumption and nutrition.

In fairness, they are committed to doing more, including continuing to accelerate their low calories beverages; aggressive reformulation of their products; and introducing new products with reduced calories.

While obesity rates are rising in Ireland, between 2000 and 2012 the sales of sugar sweetened beverages fell by 21% (sparkling sugar sweetened beverages fell by 28% in the same period).

So what is this about? Why would a sugar tax change this?

Sugared per caps have dropped by 28% since 2003, while lights/waters have grown from 25.7% to 31.9%

With sparkling soft drinks contributing just 3% of total calorie intake in the Irish diet, a tax would be both ineffective in helping to combat obesity and unfair to consumers who would face additional costs.

Lastly we should remember two things:

1. That there’s already a tax on sugary drinks, vat at 23%, and

2. Vat was increased from 21% to 23% and it had no effect on demand for those sugary drinks.



Fight Obesity Through Education And Exercise, Not With Another Tax (Eamon Delaney, Hibernia Forum)



From top: Irish language protest at government buildings; Dan Boyle

The author hails our first language and gives Little Irelanders a tongue lashing.

Dan Boyle writes:

Two curious events have occurred in recent weeks that question our understanding of what we mean when we think of Irish culture.

The first event happened in Cork, although I say that with no sense of pride. Here, a bar owner/restaurateur (an affable man, quite popular in these parts) dismissed an employee for addressing customers in the Irish language.

His argument was that he wouldn’t expect his Polish employees to address his customers in their native language. English being the language of the hospitality industry, the lingua franca, so to speak.

In this our friend is wrong. As honourable and poetic as the Polish language is, its use isn’t, like Irish, protected by our Constitution.

The second event saw a GAA referee in Galway insist that players from a Gaeltacht team stop speaking to each in Irish lest they would be insulting him. You would wonder what the protocol for this would be for international soccer games?

Those who have made it thus far into my entreaty may have noticed that I’m writing this in English. Having been born in the US I had the option of not taking the subject of Irish up at all when becoming part of the education system here. I choose to try to catch up, reaching no further than a passable standard.

Again not something I take a great deal of pride in. My father was a native speaker. That said his Donegal dialect, in its intonation and delivery, sounded to me like a very foreign language!

My Mam did her Ardteistiméireachta as Gaeilge. Her Irish was Munster Irish, the RP version of the language. It’s a wonder my parents could communicate at all.

Immersion in the language did not happen for us while we lived in the States. I was grateful though that my parents did disabuse us of the notion that the Erin Go Bragh version of Ireland, so beloved of many in Irish America, was not an Ireland we were a part of.

I could have continued with our shared indifference towards our national language if it hadn’t been for my recent sojourn in Wales.

I was really impressed with how the Welsh have made their language a living language. From what I could see this has been because of the emphasis on spoken language, as opposed to the defeatist emphasis on grammar in how Irish is taught.

It was expected that all election material there had to be bilingual. Making my efforts at proofreading quite pathetic.

Most of the interactions the Welsh have with their language are seen to be positive. There it is seen, not only as an important cultural icon for them, but also something that assists in the learning of other languages.

It has made me want to acquire some cúpla focal eile, despite the behaviour of Little Irelanders wanting us to be otherwise.

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle