Author Archives: Bodger

Last night.

During the first live TV presidential debate on RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live.

Did you stay up?

Did you stay awake?

Bunty Twuntington-McFuff, real name Norma Burke, disrupted the debate as former Dragon’s Den star and millionaire Peter Casey was talking about how money really isn’t an issue for him – regardless of the cost of his presidential bid.

It wasn’t clear what was said by Ms Burke, who later tweeted:

President Michael D Higgins said he couldn’t attend the debate due to prior presidential engagements while former Dragon’s Den star Sean Gallagher didn’t attend because Mr Higgins didn’t attend.

Along with Mr Casey, former Dragon’s Den star Gavin Duffy, Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ni Riada, and Senator Joan Freeman attended.

It can be watched in full here.


The Irish pop culture podcast devoted to Dracula.

Host Liam Geraghty writes:

In episode 3 of FANGS, I chat to the creator of Sesame Street’s Count Von Count, Norman Stiles…

…editor of The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies Dr. Dara Downey on Dracula’s journey onto the small screen…

…composer and massive nerd Vin McCreith looks at three video game adaptations of Bram Stoker’s novel…

…and composer Matthew Nolan talks about his upcoming original score for NYsferatu – an animated interpretation of the classic 1922 horror film Nosferatu, that gets its Irish premiere during the Bram Stoker Festival [across Dublin – October 26-29].


The Bram Stoker Festival

Irish Adventurer Derek Cullen (top) last week completed the Pacific Crest Trail – a 4,268km Trek from Mexico to Canada – the equivalent of 102 consecutive marathons or walking from Dublin to Cork 16.8 times.

Derek encountered bears, wolves and rattlesnakes through multiple deserts, mountain ranges and remote glacial landscapes on the mammoth hike.

Dubliner Derek said he took on this journey for his own happiness but cited mental health awareness as a major motivation for the adventure when he took questions (above) on Saturday in Manning Park at the border of Canada.

Derek sez:

“At first, I was mostly terrified of bears and rattlesnakes. But I encountered so many of them on this journey that it seemed pointless to keep on worrying about what might happen with them. I guess this is also a story about life – we spend too much time worrying about things that never happen”.

In fairness.

Microadventureworld (Facebook)

Ultimate responsibility for the very shabby treatment of the thousand or so ticketholders rests with RTÉ and The Late Late Show not the UK company they engaged and clearly did not properly brief.

Its [UK company’s] employees, while demonstrably out of their depth, were unfailingly polite. From observation, that could not be said of some RTÉ staff there on the night.

‘…The sense of entitlement and self-selecting ‘superiority’ so often attributed to RTÉ and its stars by its critics was also demonstrated by Mr Tubridy when – during an ad break – he sought to put an overexcited heckler in his place by telling him he was clearly his social inferior due to the fact that he was in the worst seats in the house, the gallery with most of the audience because he ‘clearly didn’t know the right people’.

A withering editorial in this morning’s London-based The Irish World newspaper apologising for its role in promoting last Friday’s shambolic Late Late Show London event.

The Irish World

Earlier: De Tuesday Papers

Saturday: Balls It Up There, Colette

This afternoon.

Merrrion Hotel, Merrion Street, Dublin 2

DUP leader Arlene Foster in Dublin for Brexit talks and what have you.



Earlier: A Limerick A Day

This afternoon.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the opening of the O’Devaney Gardens project in Dublin 7.

It will see the “development of just under 700 social, affordable and private homes on this site”.

Demolition work is e expected to be completed this week.

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Friday:The Lost Gardens


This afternoon.

Little Britain Street, Dublin 2

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy launches De Paul’s  2017 Annual Report in the homelessness charity’s hostel in the Rotunds

Good times.


The grounds of Galway City Hall where the remains of a homeless man was discovered

Gardaí were called to the scene after midday, where the man’s remains were located in an area covered with shrubbery a short distance from the main Galway City Council building.

It is understood the man was homeless and originally from the Galway area.

His body has been taken to University Hospital Galway, where a postmortem examination will be carried out.

Man’s body discovered in grounds of Galway City Hall (RTÉ)

At the Dublin office of Airbnb at the weekend

On Saturday.

Members of the Take Back The City action group took advantage of the Open House Dublin architectural festival – when the offices of Airbnb  on Hanover Quay were open to the public – and occupied them for about two hours.

The group explained:

“As of August 2018 there were 3,165 entire properties for rent on AirBnb in Dublin, compared to 1,329 properties available for longterm rent on

“This is at a time when there are over 1,350 families homeless in the greater Dublin region alone.

“In 2015, Airbnb lobbied the Irish Government to ensure profits made through Airbnb got a substantial tax break.

In 2017, there was a 63% increase in Airbnb usage across Ireland. During the same time period, homelessness in Ireland increased by 2,000 people.

“Our tenant support groups frequently hear from people who have been evicted on grounds of “significant renovations”, only to find their old homes subsequently rented out on Airbnb and other short-term letting platforms

“Airbnb appears to have rapidly colonised vast amounts of our city, locking people out of homes.

“The budget will accelerate this process, as it incentivises landlords to buy for let only and, as we all know, Airbnb gives you a much higher yield per property than just renting to long-term residents.

“Airbnb have exacerbated the housing crisis in Dublin and Ireland as a whole. A platform that markets convenience by “disruption” has delivered nothing but chaos to the people of our city.

“They have no place in our city – the city should serve the needs of all its people, not the needs of tech, finance and the tourism industry. Today was another strong showing of people power and civil disobedience – the only two tactics that can drive a solution to this crisis.

Take Back the City Demands:

1. All vacant land and property be taken by compulsory purchase order and put to social use as universal public housing.

2. All vacant land and property across the country be taken into public ownership and put to public and community use.

3. Tenant Security and Fair Rent: Ban all evictions, reduce and cap rent at 20% of the occupants income or at €300 per room per month.

“In addition to our original demands we are calling for:

“A total ban on whole properties being offered on Airbnb and similar short-term letting platforms in the city; regulation has failed in other cities, we need only to look at Amsterdam or Berlin to realise this.

“A total ban is the only way of reversing the effect of short-term letting on our crisis.”

Previously: More Airbnbs Than Rental Units (January 2017)

Pics: Take Back The City and Barney Doherty

Alan O’Reilly, of Carlow Weather, tweetz:

Another great day and the longer range weather charts want to keep us nice and settled into next weekend and beyond!


John Fitzpatrick, chairman of the boards of the American Ireland Funds and Kieran McLoughlin, who resigned as CEO of the funds last month, at a gala in San Francisco in 2015

On September 26 last.

Kieran McLoughlin stepped down from his position of chief executive officer of Ireland Funds, after 22 years of working with the organisation.

Around the same time, the fund’s chief operating officer Tim O’Leary also resigned.

On Friday,  John Fitzpatrick, chairman of the board of the Ireland Funds, confirmed that  legal action had begun relating to the alleged embezzlement of funds by an employee in the charity’s Dallas, Texas, office.

Ireland Funds is a philanthropic foundation founded by Tony O’Reilly in 1976 to support peace in Northern Ireland. It has reportedly raised $600 million for various causes across the island of Ireland.

The group’s board of directors include former president Mary McAleese, Public Relations executive Caroline Kennedy and members of senior management of KPMG, Paddy Power Betfair, AIB, An Post and ICON among others.

This morning, Aaron Rogan, in The Times Ireland edition, reports:

‘The chief executive of the Ireland Funds resigned after an audit prompted by the alleged embezzlement of up to $1 million was critical of governance at the philanthropic organisation, The Times understands.

Prominent supporters and board members have also raised concerns about the management of the fund under Kieran McLoughlin, who has remained at the organisation since announcing his resignation two weeks ago.

…The initial statement on Mr McLoughlin’s resignation did not give any reason for his departure…

….Mr McLoughlin has since said that he resigned because his contract was expiring and that the Dallas incident “crystallised” his decision.

It is now understood that Mr McLoughlin stood down after he was presented with findings of an independent report into the handling of the alleged embezzlement in Dallas.

It is understood that Mr McLoughlin only reported directly to John Fitzpatrick…’

Concerns raised about governance at Ireland Funds (The Times Ireland edition)

Previously: Kicking It Old School (Broadsheet, March 2013)