Faithful Retainer



Ah here.

Denis O’Brien and spokesman.

By Mick Flavin


When Denis O’Brien, the Irish media billionaire, owned a stake in this newspaper [The London Independent], he came in to the architecturally esteemed building we inhabit in London to meet then-editor in chief, Simon Kelner.

Most first-time visitors to Northcliffe House look up at the vast, six-storey, glass- roofed atrium, past the waterfall, tropical plants and, at the time, feng shui garden, and gawp, impressed.

But not Mr O’Brien. He merely took one look and said: “That’s a f***ing waste of space, isn’t it?”

Denis O’Brien: ‘Rottweiler’ grits his teeth for another fight (Jim Armitage,

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25 thoughts on “Faithful Retainer

  1. Mr. T.

    ““That’s a f***ing waste of space, isn’t it?””

    Designers get the same reaction from every culture-less suit who tend who inhabit the Irish business community.

    They think money equals class but they look cheaper the more money they acquire.

    1. Panty Christ

      I’ve a great idea. Let’s build a six star hotel in Leitrim with all the trimmings and two helipads. We will call in the lesser visited Leitrim deluxe resort. The people will flock.

    2. bisted

      …suggest you take a look at what has been built (and demolished) in Dublin over the past 50 years…the ‘designers’ would appear a bigger problem than the suits…

      1. Bacchus

        Designers were never a problem, “developers” were. Developers can be recognised by their ill-fitting suits.

        1. ahjayzis


          I deal with developers every day, the initial concept bears only a familial similarity to the developer’s consented after he’s forced it through a few dozen value-engineering workshops.

          They have people measure balconies to make sure they’re no more than 10mm over the absolute bare regulatory minimum depth and area.

          It’s why robust standards are so important and need to be pushed through and enforced, because these cutthroats will squeeze every cent from every square metre while protesting it should be ‘left to the market’.

    3. ahjayzis

      Explains the re-purposed ISIS flags he uses for trousers.

      The more I hear of this guy the more I realise he’s everything wrong with the world.

  2. Mani

    Lovely stuff Mick.

    Of course, you realise the only gigs you’ll be getting now is playing the jacks of pubs that Nerney wouldn’t sh1te in.

  3. italia'90

    Hah! The Mount Juliet Mafia.

    The Sopranos learned everything they know from these unwise guys.

    ROI Rip

  4. brownbull

    actually Denis has a pretty good track record as a patron of contemporary Irish architecture, not that it gives him a free pass or anything

      1. Kieran NYC


        Used always keep an eye out for it on the bus to Cork. Was kinda cool seeing the big rolls of paper before they got dirty Indo all over them.

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