Author Archives: Frilly Keane

In January, Conor Skehan (above) chairman of the Housing Agency suggested some people were “gaming the system” by declaring themselves homeless ahead of others on council house waiting lists.

Frilly Keane writes;

Usually, with this lark anyway, when something starts to itch, I sometimes live with it to let the more serious columnists have a go first; you know the ones you’re obliged to pay more attention ta ‘cause they get invited to things.

Well they’ve had since the New Year, so I’m taking it back; Gaming the System.

I quiet like the expression btw, and Gamer too. I should put it on my twitter profile if I remember, ‘might help me sound more Millennial maybe, and less WordStar.

But I am a Gamer.

You’ll probably remember that Gaming the System was utilised by Housing Agency Chair Conor Skehan to describe Housing List’ers.

There’s no denying it was a cruelly one-sided, callous and intentionally demeaning remark, but he wasn’t incorrect.

Social Housing is not just the Housing agency and those on the Lists, you can include Local Authorities themselves, Lenders, Voluntary Housing Associations, Tusla/HSE, various Religious Institutions, Charities and Trusts, and a city Green of Government Departments; ara’ ye get it.
And they all Game the System too.

From Budgeting to Funding to Spending, all requiring policies, procedures, measuring, monitoring and reporting; so too do Grant Applications, of every colour and source.

Like it’s not all about getting announcements into the Spin Unit. Any pretext to get more in via allocation of funding and manpower is engaged; consultants to review the consultants reports.

Any angle that gets in more money for less work, anything that promises them more control with less responsibility, any opportunity to get bigger with less accountability, and any chance where they can pay themselves above the extraordinary with no recourse; that’s hardcore level Gaming; like lads with the special seats n’ expensive head gear.

Minister Zappone when she opted to travel a different route to work to ensure the max expense allowance, and the many more on their way to Leinster House and its Departments, just as it’s no different with their Quango colleagues either.

Shur’ even when they run out of top gigs when it starts to get crowed at the top of all these Departments, Semis and Quangos, they just go off and create a new one. Tis like the lift to the top floor, only so many of them can squeeze in a once, so they make more room.

I myself know plenty within the Establishment, since that’s we’re calling them now, who are more efficient and knowledgeable about the full range of entitlements, allowances and benefits available; like uncertified sick days, lunch allowances and un-vouched expenses, than they are about their roles and responsibilities; Gaming the System features at all levels and they’re shameless about it.

Even Nóirin, like applying for her pension the same week she qualified for the full Commissioner was a coincidence? She even did it when on a month’s holiday…. All-star gamer stuff there, I wouldn’t be surprised if she ends up getting a medal.

Anyone remember seeing a local very backbench TD’s poster up here promising help with Hospital Waiting Lists? I think it was for cataract operations? There you go – Gaming the System.

A local councillor having a word and sorting a bitta Planning Permission? Or getting a word put in to have a Medical Card issued? Or the bould Lowry getting his legal expenses paid for work that now is legally classified as corrupt.

And it’s not just the public sector themselves, their retirees and their pals. Nor is it Politicians of every shade and rank either.

What about getting the child christened to get them into the local school? Yep, that too, welcome to the Game.

Anyone ever hold off on December invoicing, sales orders or depositing a cheque until the following January/ year? I have. We’re gamers.

Anyone ever have a mouthful of Pick n’ Mix before the weigh-in? I have.

What about chancing your arm by going into the schoolboys’ gate or getting a juvenile ticket? Ha. Don’t ya know it.

Here’s one. Anyone put up a wall or knock one down, throw in an attic extension, convert something, add another space onto the gaff; wait the 5 years and apply for retention? Well, someone reading this has.

Anyone apply for the exemption from Irish in the Leaving Cert? Gaming the system.

College Grants, Fees? Anyone omit the other part-time job? Or enhanced their medical condition, or have a field set aside for forestry?

Al’right I’ll stop there.

But here’s the thing about Conor Skehan and the attitude of the Housing Agency Exec, who ultimately reports to a Senior Government Minister/Ministers. They are the very last group of people that should use the expression Gaming the System as if it was a disease spread by rats.

Our current Taoiseach is a man with only a third of the Fine Gael Membership supporting vote. The very same man who accused Social Welfare (apparent) Cheaters of Cheating us all. The Gamer Himself sits right there @campaignforLeo Top Scorer.

Every Fine Gael Minister is Gaming, and indeed every Fine Gael Deputy is Gaming the System, with lives provided by Fianna Fáil.

I won’t deny that every word here is fit for the same blender. But do not allow anyone accuse those in need of Social Housing or any other assistance, of Gaming the System without reminding yourselves that we’re all no different from each other.

We may all have different walks in life and play at different Levels and from different settings.

But never again allow anyone be accused of Gaming the System, and not feel offended yourself.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane


Griff Rhys Jones with host Sandi Toksvig in The Great British Bake Off Celebrity Special

The Great British Bake-Off Celebrity Special in aid of stand up for Cancer continued this week.

Frilly Keane was watching.

She writes:


Last week ( I signed off with a mention that this week’s line up would be worth making an effort for. And in one of those very rare FrillBit Broadsheet occasions, I was actually right; better than that, I was even more righter than right.

It was like Taxi mashed in with Dads Army, that lovely blend of burst out laughing dotting occasionally along an evenly toned cosy smile.

At one point, just before the technical tea towel got lifted, I actually had my head on the ironing board (yeah I was doing a bit – JR is now crying with pride) laughing; remember when Lee Mack thought he’d be handy at the technical ‘cause it’s probably building something with cutlery?

The challenges were good, The Hollywood was on form in a nice cheesie self-deprecating but still the boss way. Pruella; I know!!! Like how I didn’t think of it before since Ms De’Ville is my favourite Disney Character, wasn’t overshadowed by the comedy pros, not even for a second …

….actually that was it, everyone on this week’s one, including all the bakes had equal billing.
I even learnt things; like what a Blondie is, I just thought brownie with white chocolate, and since I don’t touch the stuff I never bothered. Or that Lee Mack and Noel Fielding were flat mates one time, is anyone surprised by that? Me neither.

I suppose it’s fair to say that like the others in this celebrity run, the worst in the tent have actually been the best. Lord Hewer, Roisin Gaw’help us, and yer man McVitie from Chelsea, and Roisin even got flowers, but lads, they’re all only walking behind Lee Mack.

I know he got it together in the Showstopper, but Jesus t’night, in that signature when he wasn’t dillydallying, he was juggling, meeting a cooking apple for the first time, or injuring himself, so there was only going to be one outcome; raw cakes.

And he wasn’t performing either, it was all genuine. He is the Dad tasked with the dinner of fishfingers and potato waffles when yer off on a hen night; they’re not fed till half-nine and you come home to a zoo… ( you know who you are, ye all know one. The same lad that has ta’ move all the furniture out of the house before he can hoover.

I even enjoyed Joe Lysett, who tbf, kept is act and his camp innuendo’ing in the support slot to his baking, and his Mum’s truffles.

But I did find myself wondering will he be Norton’s successor. I think so, and he can bake, a bit, like enough to be able to attempt anything presented in a recipe. But that’s all you need. And you could tell Mel was handy enough too.

I’d go so far as to say Mel and I are probably similar bakers, the kind that don’t fret about it but could be accomplished if we tried harder, yet handy enough to get away with it. And she was so me last night, like if the camera and the Hollywood were in my kitchen here, I’d be the same; rattled about a feckin’ tray bake.

Griff was no stranger to the mixer either was he? Speaking of mixers, ffs, Lee Mack getting the cord wrapped up in the whizzers and leaving it like a flowing garden hose across the floor; Bake-Down stuff. Like total mad Mack Dad and not a bit’ve it contrived for the telly.

Anyway Griff put together some serious concoctions in his Showstopper . A bit like his beard, and himself and Pruella got their own little fanzone going on.

On the baking; Rough Puff is one of my favourite things to do from scratch, and remember what I said about The Hollywood’s recipes, follow them like you would a prescription for a new born, and you’ll do right, so here’s his Roughed Puff and fill it as you like.

Finally, onto the Showstopper; Secret Passion Cake – shur’ it could be anything at all. But it did get me wondering, what would you bake? If I ever get me act together around BakeSheet I might take that a bit further. So start tinking lads, you might get a call-up.

Next week Aishling Bea will be wearing the green jersey. Also in the tent with be Alan Carr, who I suspect might be a bit’ve a Mammy’s bhoy like Lysett and be handy enough. Also Teri Hatcher and Kadeena Cox, who I don’t know, and I know Google would tell me if I ask, but ya know, I’d rather meet them in the Tent first.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Jamie Laing in the Great british Bake-Off celebrity special

On Tuesday night.

Made In Chelsea‘s Jamie Laing took to the Great British Bake Off tent with comedian Tim Minchin, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and singer Ella Eyre in aid of Stand Up To Cancer.

Frilly Keane was watching.

Frilly writes:

That’s about the only news from last nights Bake-Off; The worst cake ever in the Tent appeared last night; “disgusting”, was the verdict from The Hollywood and Prue’s was spat into a bin.

Jamie, who I wouldn’t have known at all, but Google tells me he’s inheriting McVities Bikkies, so that’s something more than the rest of us I suppose. And he’s from the Cast of MIC; Missing in Chelsea on the Telly is what I’ve opted for instead of clicking the hyperlink.

Overall it was a bit too heavy on the meh for me, although according to Channel 4 it was the most watched show they’ve had so far this year. I dunno. Maybe this lad Jamie and the singer, Ella Eyre  are bigger than Countdown.

Ella, who I, and I know I’m not the only one here btw, wouldn’t have known from an Atomic Kitten to a Little Minx, or from Ellie Goulding to Emeli Sande; but we do now.

That Pineapple was a proper showstopper () wasn’t it? I would have given her Star Baker just for that, and d’ye know why; because it could have been in the main competition playoffs it was that spectacular. Pineapple and Coconut has always done well in the tent with the top flight bakers, anyone remember this and look where Sophie ended up.

I was expecting more from Tim Minchin if I’m honest, more hahas as well as better bakes; although he did look gutted when his showstopper formed a meringue slide. I wasn’t altogether disappointed as he wasn’t cocky, deliberately shyte or irritating.

Before I get to the Star Baker, the Tartan Tory  can I just give a shout out for the Showstopper Bake last night; everyone can do this. And with a handful of ingredients. Also, the oven doesn’t need to be too hot either so if you have smallies dying to try their first bake, this could be it.

For your base try Marshmallow Crispy putty; this is a great recipe if there are helpers of the unhelpful kind under your feet because the proportions are all equal. No messing with spoon types or scales.

Star baker; its that big Tory cheesie grin that stopped me from connecting I think. Not even the yellow belly connection worked; like why have an Ode to Wexford and not have Purple and Yellow mentioned.

Ah. I can’t begrudge and bemoan too much, that Dark Chocolate and Orange in the Signature is totally up my bakesheet. Loaf cakes would be the staple for me I think, and I only eat Dark Chocolate anyway. So, I’ll have to plug it again I think.

The Technical isn’t a bad recipe if you’re arsed with biscuits, and in all fairness, Viennese mightn’t be a bad bikkie to give time to since Prue’s recipe is doable enough although I wouldn’t expect us all to pick the same nozzle to correspond accurately to the “medium star nozzle” she prescribes.

Since I already meh’ed earlier, I might as well meh again. Noel’s shurt. Totally meh. It was like sumting you’d get at a beginner’s pottery class; Please don’t fade Noel.

Before I go, when I was plucking up Prue’s Tiramisu Bikkie link, I also came across this  from Rob  Season 2 who was back for the New Years Day Revival.

OK, Italian meringue isn’t for everyone, like it’s a skill level jobbie as well as needing some fancy kit. But tinker around with it and let us know how it pans out.

So, meh till next week when we have what I think might be an even bigger viewer number; Joe Lysett, Griff Rhys Jonesie, Lee Mack and Northern Lass Mel Sykes.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Countdown presenter Nick Hewer on  this week’s Celebrity Bake-off

Sleb Bake-off continued this week.

Frilly Keane was watching.

She writes:

Sorry tis a day late lads, I was off getting me bits done for Paddy’s weekend so I was caught for time.

No time wasting so first things first; no disputing the winner ah’tall.

It was one of those rare Bake-Off occasions that the Star Baker was top bun in all three bakes. On a side note, I found the lad, Perri Kiely, the big haired dancing cutie a daycent sort who clearly took every ounce of pleasure he could from the experience, from being in the tent, to getting the handshake to winning the technical etc.

The sort that doesn’t pretend they never heard of Bake Off and is handy enough to know the difference between plain and self-raising; but wouldn’t fret if his pastry wasn’t flaky enough.

He’s a proud and an as long as I like it type of baker. In fact t’wouldn’t surprise me to learn he was one’ah the real Kiely’s (although having been in school with Mattie’s eldest I doubt it since none’ve ‘em were over 5 feet and weren’t the fittest or most athletic.)

Having said that Ricky the Rockstar ()) took it all very seriously and fancy didn’t he? Feckin’ Seaweed Scones and Anchovy Butter, shur’ that’s Masterchef carry on. Although I will have ta’ get me hands on that Choux recipe – more about that in a sec.

Then there was Dagenham Stace. I always had a bitta’ve soft spot for Stacy as I remember being told she was from the Avenues. A series of terraces in Dagenham I know well as my grandparents lived on 3rd Avenue, and subsequently my Aunty Dee, who btw could burn cream crackers and curdle packet gravy if she was left anywhere near a cooker.

But Christ those eyelashes were as off putting as the blinding bleached teeth. Pure Dagenham Barking Romford I know, but I was waiting for The Hollywood to find one of the eyelashes in her bakes.

Yet still there is something very genuine about her and I would love the lemonade and blueberry scone recipe myself. And she’s not the worst with a spatula and la-di-dah mixer.

So, Posh Nick. Like, what’s left to say since Tuesday night since you’d swear he won the main gig with all the chatter? Well I’ll give it a go, I think it’s unfair to consider him the useless one in the bake off tent because he has actually never done anything in a Kitchen, and probably never turned on an oven in his life.

I also have to respect the fact that he kept going, and actually put something in front of Pru n’ Paul, nor did he flap or throw a wobbler once; unlike the Paddy that time with the melted Ice Cream.

The boss here was skitting laughing at him, I wasn’t meself now although his wryness wasn’t tedious, but I was surprised he was as immaculate at the final judging as when he arrived into in.

Shurt n’ Tie with an apron, the only other time I’ve seen that was Mark D’Arcy in Bridget Jones. Never the twain…please, Mark D’Arcy should be a protected UNESCO sum’ting.

So Choux got the better of Lord Nick Hewer. I don’t feel so bad meself now. But I made a promise here the other night; when the new kitchen is in Cork’embouche will be the Champagne off the side of it.

The Hollywood’s Devil Food cake  isn’t a bad recipe if anyone wants to give it a lash. Vanilla Paste is about the only thing you might have to search carefully for as it wouldn’t be an Spar/ Aldi/Lidl thing normally. I’m not a fan of only Chocolate but I know most people love Chocolate Cake, and one fact about all his recipes, if you follow it exactly – and I mean chemical explosives exactly, it’s supposed to work.

See ye next week

Happy Paddy’s.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

The Great British Bake=Off Celebrity edition featuring Martin Kemp (back left), Harry Hill (centre), Bill Turnbull (front) and  Rosin Conaty (back right)

The Great British Bake-off returned last night for Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer.

Guess who was watching?

Frilly Keane writes:

Ye won’t believe what I did last night when I got in; t’was just after 8 and I was hopping about missing Celebrity Bake-Off and couldn’t find it on. Yep, I was all over the BBCs, the plus ones, HDs the lot, and after all my talk about Channel 4 n’all. It must be this early onset I keep hearing about.

Anyway, the main things first, I got to it, and set the box to record the season; and I laughed. Laughed, sniggered and laughed some more. OK not at the end bit with poor oul’ Bill Turnbull [the BBC Breakfast presenter shared with viwewers that he had been diagnosed with cancer].

I didn’t know of him ‘till last night, and I’m sure most of ye didn’t either, but I was as charmed as anyone to whom he might be a more familiar face with. All the best Bill.

Poor oul’ Roisin Conaty, she was the worst by a long ways, but was also one of the best; she did get a handshake after all so who cares about burnt pancakes and silly sieves.

Martin Kemp, for Jaysus sake, twitter is still drooling over him. But seriously, a 50-odd year old man wearing white pants around the kitchen – please, this is one of those things that the expression Face Palm is made for.

Shur’ of course he didn’t know his butter cream from his sponge batter. Showy pants no so showy baker. And here’s the thing, you could almost smell the buns flopping with his talk about baking at home with the kids. The producers got him right; all hairdo no showstopper.

Harry Hill, and this is absolutely the truth; I never gave him any attention before beyond his appearance on whatever game show I just happen to land on.

Like I knew who he was, and about his high shirt collars and biros, and I knew he was a doctor, but I didn’t realise how funny he actually is. And it was over cake that I connected with him enough to want to go to a show of his, and even ask for a selfie if I got the chance.

Who could possibly describe and present a Camilla Parker Bowles fantasy island getaway biscuit showstopper any better? And that finishing touch, the Union Jack beach towel; that’s a Palm D’Or Golden Globe Fringe Fizzy Water winner just there on its own.

Alongside his attitude to baking biscuits which is the same as my own ; too much intensive faffing around for something you barely have to notice to put inside your mouth, I think we treat cake the same.

We can both bake, but don’t take too serious to need a sugar thermometer or have a proving drawer fitted. I also suspect he’s not too pushed about getting in shop bought either.

Looking back now again, I think it was the way he suggested his hand to The Hollywood for the shake. The elegant and comedic timing of his effort was worth one all on its own. But shur’ doesn’t matter, Dr Harry Hill Very Funny Man won Celebrity Bake Off anyway.

Thoughts; well I enjoyed this Celebrity one more than any of the others before, and will definitely be printing off Paul’s crepes  for the tin of recipes to try out whenever.

And coming up over the next four weeks, and who might of interest to ye is Aisling Bea, and next week Clongowes old boy Nick Hewer will be wearing a shurt n’tie in the Bake Off Tent. I meself will be looking forward to seeing Tim Minchin, I have a suspicion he’s going to be worth paying attention to.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter: @frillykeane

Pic: Channel 4


Dark Secrets: The Inside Story of Joanne Hayes and the Kerry Babies‘ (published by The Kerryman, 1985) by Gerard Colleran and Michael O’Regan (edited by Gerard O’Regan).

Frilly Keane writes:

I started watching a thing called Designated Survivor, I’m still not sure why I persisted beyond the second or third episode, it’s a bit too much like that Scandal thing with Fitz and Olivia.

It could well be that I’m taking some shallow and nasty comfort in Keifer Sutherland not aging as well as say, one of his exes. But I came across a line in it, ridiculous as it is now going to read, but, here goes:

“I believe our Country is only as strong as our journalists. I expect you to keep us honest.“

And all I could think about was that book [Dark Secrets: The Inside Story of Joanne Hayes and the Kerry Babies‘ (published by The Kerryman, 1985) by Gerard Colleran and Michael O’Regan (edited by Gerard O’Regan], Ger Colleran on Sean O’Rourke, and Michael O’Regan on Marian Finucane..

We were once again introduced to Joanne Hayes, Judge Kevin Lynch, The Kerry Babies tribunal and the Heavy Gang – who instead of being investigated themselves got to sit back while Kevin Lynch promoted Joanne’s anatomy, sex life, and menstrual cycle as more persuasive than evidence crushing the superfeckyougirlundation theory that Gerry O’Carroll still insists on.

Joanne Hayes was mentioned in our mainstream more times in the last month than any member of that Elite Murder Squad. Or even the Justice Minister of the day; Michael Noonan.

Mr Colleran’s first utterance on Sean O’Rourke was “be nice to me.” Before they drove on into the Kerry Babies Case and the Lynch Tribunal; of which Mr Colleran was heard telling the country was “a travesty of Justice from start to end.”

I haven’t read Dark Secrets by the way, well not beyond what was hosted here. But for anyone who has can I ask the question; where in that book does it discuss “elaborate confessions” and “contrived confessions”?

Instead of panning a searchlight over the entire investigation and the Lynch Tribunal to make it visible for the world, they let whom they now liberally refer to as “The Establishment” off the hook.

They allowed the truth to be obscured for profit and professional gain.

I can say that without fear of being taken down or threatened in the way these overly familiar media luvvies do; do you know why? In their own words:

“We couldn’t say things that needed to be said at the time the report came out…”

“It was a whitewash from start to finish..”

“led astray….”

“failure of the State …”

“we were all complicit in that…”

Here we have two local lads, with Colleran himself now back home with the swagger of a middle child after making good in the big city, lapping it up around the Montrose Radio Centre like they’re the Kingdom’s own Woodward & Bernstein.

Put yourself back into that room in Tralee and imagine sitting where Joanne was sitting; now think about the fact that her story was used for personal and financial gain by two men from Kerry; Ger Colleran & Michael O’Regan.

That is called self-interest; not Journalism. Neither gentleman should ever be a cheerleader for Free Speech and Freedom of the Press since they sold that right all those years ago.

On Broadsheet on the Telly there a few weeks ago, Neil Improv fella’s sister, a grown married woman admitted she never heard of the Kerry Babies until this latest reoxygenation. I’m almost offended by that, but maybe I’m jealous.

I did my leaving cert in 1985 – I can see more clearly now why I just wasn’t in the humour to think beyond the following weekend. For years since I relied on the recession and the probability I was heading off meself anyway for that indifference towards my own future.

I also realised lately that I’ve never really shaken off the institutional abuse and the inequality I grew up to be accustomed to.

But those who are only learning about what it was like, and I am only waking up myself the more I look back and the more I extract from the new bandwagon; there were others. Look into Eileen Flynn and familiarise yourself with the legal term “norms of behaviour.”

Incidentally, it wasn’t just the Church that were sacking female employees for having children, the Gardaí themselves were quick to fire any Ban Garda who had a baby without being married. And all this going on here while we were dancing to Duran Duran, U2, Madonna, A-Ha, A-House, Wham, Feed the World ……… doesn’t seem that long ago now does it?

But thank you Nell. Without you we might still be wondering what really happened, and we may never have known about the deception and betrayal perpetrated between the Gardaí, the Catholic Church (Cura) and St Catherine’s hospital.

You’ve also led to a whole new generation, and indeed future generations only knowing the truth. I am not going to pretend life has been kind to you in recent years, but I promise you – this is your legacy girl. Stand tall.

And from my teenage-self Nell; thank you for enabling me to dispute every official line that came my way about Joanne Hayes, The Kerry Babies and The Lynch Tribunal.

Thank you for helping me know I wasn’t some wild child anarchist reacting for the sake of it.

Thank you for letting me know that crying for Ann Lovett was the decent reaction to have and not fear that it could so easily have been any one of us.

I knew a girl that slashed her wrists, I knew girls that were thrown out of the only homes they ever knew, and one the night she went into labour, I also knew girls that went themselves and never came back.

There really were days when I could have begged the Red Cross to come in and save us all; but I knew then Nell, you won’t go down quietly. You had our backs. You were our voice. Thank You. A bit late. But Thank you.

For any Journalist to support a line of thought that is not their own is a fraud. They risk our democracy, and the citizen is their victim.

So there it is, “I believe our country is only as strong as our journalists. I expect you to keep us honest.“

See what happens when I watch too much telly? Blame my teenage crush on Kiefer.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. On this rare occasion, owing to unforeseen circumstances, it appears on the second Friday. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Previously: Throwing The Book At Them


2017 was a funny year for me on Broadsheet; I started it off in a bitta’ve mood and ended it deciding to return weekly; in as much as I can.

But I wonder if it was like that for all of us really; those of us above the grey line and those of us below. (I count myself as a tenant of both those locations in case ye’re confused.) Trolling went from its more commonly understood, blaggarding, messing and organised messaging to actually become vengeful, spiteful and shifty. Truth be told, and whether ye like it or not, I’m none the worse for it. Well OK, maybe I’ve every intention of going a bit boulder because of it.

The Broadsheet Bake Sheet came and proved so well it was as if wild yeast logged in and created its own avatar. And I promise so much more for 2018, so ye bin’ warned.

It was also the start of Broadsheet-on-the-Telly, the Shurt Index, the Shift, and the killing fields of the Broadsheet Chat-Pit. Memes came and went and is somewhere in-waiting again I have no doubt.

But for me the Broadsheet Year Ending 2017 was all about the Brave-Hearts.

In 2017 we lost one of our own, and in contradiction to the work she loved and the professional standards she fought and defended shamelessly for, her death was more observed here for the walkouts and fallouts than the circumstances and facts around her tragic demise, and largely by those who never even met Dara Quigley.

Secrecy in institutional powers continues to be one of the biggest crimes in this State, and I have no intention of turning a blind eye to this one or any of the others. But one thing I know absolutely and for sure now, because qualified and knowing people I trust told me so, Dara Quigley would have put that link up herself and would have had murder if Broadsheet refused.

I know this isn’t the last time I am going to mention Dara Quigley again, nor will it be the last time I am going to insist that nobody should be denied access to truth and facts, no matter how personal or unpleasant.

On Broadsheet, and everywhere else on the Internet, Social Media, and in the Mainstream – it’s bloody easy to join up in the outrage, it’s not so easy to swim against it.

But my friend and chat-pit comrade Janet didn’t think twice about baring all and diving in herself. Before putting herself on a train to Dundalk with an armful of homemade posters, she came here to us first, to the Broadsheet commentariat.

She trusted us with the most private and intimate parts of her life. Janet didn’t consider anyone of us anonymous cowards or trolls, nor did she once fear backlash or negative responses from any one of us; whether we are known above the line or below.

She knew what she was doing when she sought out our help in her hunt for Will. The most remarkable thing about her reaching out to Broadsheet is that Janet knew full well what the response might be, and yet still didn’t look back when she boarded that train in Connolly Station. She was fearless – because she didn’t know what the outcome would be or who would know all about it.

I can say this because I know Janet, and she knows me. I’ll admit I was cross with her for going up to D‘dalk on her own for what on the face of it all could have been a drag hunt over the Cooley.

Yet I’m so proud of her; she didn’t fear backlash from a Border community nor did she fear bad news. But just as importantly, for me as a Broadsheet inbred, she didn’t fear any one of you reading her story or hearing what you had to say.

And neither did Broken-Hearted when he came here too. He didn’t know what to expect or what he could cope with hearing, but yet he still put it all in front of us. He didn’t fear trolls or anonymous cowards either.

There is a very important point in his follow up post  that I think we all need reminding of “but what is the best way of getting impartial advice than getting a bunch of commentators on the net to do it!” That is what I love and trust about the internet the most. The truth will always, albeit eventually, surface somewhere.

Oh yeah, I happen to know Broken-Hearted too btw. And I can tell ye he’s fully recovered; but still wants to settle down, get married, get a mortgage, get a family, whatever yer having yerself.

So like Janet, Broken-Hearted was all about the Happy Ever After too; whatever it took.

So, what about 2018?  I hope it’s a bumper year for Brave-Hearts.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

From top: World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville; Former Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan and former Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald

Frilly Keane writes:

November is an awful month, it’s always dark, everyone is fed up and pissed off with Christmas pulling up ahead of the Toy Show; even the weather doesn’t know what to do in November.

I’ve also known it as the Month of the Holy Souls (in Purgatory supposedly, yeah I looked that bit up.) I remember a late uncle always going off the drink for the month to serve some penance for them. His words btw.

Anyway, I think it’s worth taking a look at this penance carryon since a few things I brought to yere attention, or at least tried to, over the year of Frill-Bits somehow knitted together this month; especially one.

It is not to plug an I told ye so about Noirin O’Sullivan; it’s getting a pin into this Frill-Bit because I want to repeat a particular opinion within it. We are not safe.

November has been choc-a-block with Garda smearing campaigns and the collusions and the collisions within, the Dept. of Justice, its Ministers former and present and their emails, from Tribunals to Investigations, to who said what to who, where when and how.

I’d rather a dose of the shingles than try and get me head around the lot’ve it to be honest. It may seem like it all came to an end with talks of a Winter Solstice election and resignations; but let’s not fool ourselves anymore, We are not safe.

When that original Frill-Bit went up it was just before Dara Quigley died in circumstances so thick with Garda maltreatment and misconduct they might have just smothered her altogether. Their cruelty towards a fellow citizen was so barefaced and unabashed that they even supported it with their own raw footage.

Thanks in part to Broadsheet (although few thanked themat the time) we were allowed to witness what they did to Dara. But we simply cannot just leave it at that, and expect tribunal timelines and Government fallouts to be the reaction. We cannot just leave all this evidence that proves that Citizens are not safe or protected in the jurisdiction of An Garda Síochána until we ensure our policing is radically changed.

By not doing so we are guilty of collaborating with the act of desertion of their Vocation; “The Mission of An Garda Síochána is Working with Communities to Protect and Serve.”

I wouldn’t even bother looking at the top. They’re not worth investing in and they’ll just result in a costlier write-off to the taxpayer when they retire anyway.

I’d go straight to the bottom, or the start if you like; Templemore. Shut the gaff down and turn it into an Emergency Reception & Orientation Centre. This is already a Dept. of Justice & Equality function, so it just came to mind easily. I’m sure it has other far more suitable uses ye’d love to tell me about.

Send new recruits to The Curragh or Haulbowlin or Pat’s instead – anywhere but a facility grown out of rancid seeds whose putrid spread is now so out of control that not even its own produce is safe from it.

And here’s the bould’ Noirin O’Sullivan again in a Frill-Bit mention she got during her holidays about Gender Quotas.  Thankfully the carry on of Frances & Noirin still doesn’t change my mind. While the revelations infuriate me and disgust me, they don’t embarrass me; I still swear that your credentials, ability, and capacity to do the job, any job, is all that matters. I still insist equality is one of our most important rights as Irish citizens, and yet probably the one that is most underrated and undervalued.

Therefore, it is my pleasure to introduce a wonderful example of a woman being measured and tested under the same criteria and conditions as her male colleagues; Joy Neville.

Joy was recently announced as 2017 Referee of the Year by the World Rugby Awards crowd. Unfortunately, I can’t provide any statistics of male: female international referees in any sport but I’m sure someone else can. In the meantime,

Joy deserves more than just congratulations from the likes of me; but all I have to offer is thanks and immense pride for someone like myself who just gets on with it and proves us right.

Just to satisfy the curiosity I know most of ye are now itching to scratch, the last Paddy to get a World Rugby Award was Declan Kidney in ‘09. Yes BOD too, in ‘08; Try of the Year.

Before I tog out into my Toy Show onesie and eat my Advent calendar, I just want to bring last month’s Frill-Bit back to the surface, and submit to a bitta Blind Eye carryon meself.

Given the amount of bloggarding I do and how long I’ve been at it, through all sorts of regimes and formats, it was only to be expected that someone, another Broadsheet Author as it happens, would get upset with my sometimes-feckless careless attitude to t’internet forums.

I am not making excuses nor am I looking for contrition for what is only fair to call my freestyle, and sometimes mocking, shyte talk.

I admit I provoke and stir the worst out’ve other commenteers, and I thrive on it, and I do so knowing that many are not like that. I apologise for that and I will be mindful of that behaviour in future.

November really is the month of purgatory and therefore penance must be served, so have at it lads.

And for ye’re own penance; 12 Frills of Christmas starts in 2 weeks.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Tom Humphries

“It’s not a great thing in the current editorial climate for a columnist to lack certainty. Seeing both sides of the issue is a crippling form of paralysis in a environment where the pace is set by bloggers and chat-room tyrants, those lucky creatures who have never felt a second or third thought tugging at their sleeve.”

Tom Humphries. The Locker Room, Irish Times, 2008

That was in November 2008. I’m not going to provide the link to the full Locker Room article, but the quote currently sits on a thread on a an old GAA chat forum that hosts over 1500 posts.


The above is being applied as an example of how the established media and their household names treated those of us that populated this now very efficient super-highway from when it was still a scruffy slow-going boreen.

We [those on the chat forums] had our stuff lifted and cogged, while being called names like tyrants and keyboard warriors.

During all those forums, threads and posts, I don’t know of any authentic Chat-Room Comrade that went legal to shut someone up or have commentary removed that did not suit; there was plenty posturing, leg cocking and threats to Moderators, a bitta’ blagguarding at matches here n’there, (like a bucket of slurry traveling from Galway to the CBS Car Park in Thurles) but that was the real fun of those days.

Because nobody was really to know then that there were two victims and 16,000 texts, or that something far more sinister was going on behind the need to use the Irish Times Locker Room to cover his real interest in underage camogie; I’m not going to poke in to it again.


The subject of that particular Locker Room was the second Cork Strike. (The one led by Donal Óg Cusack, and the then GPA by association).

Tom Humphries used the Irish Times, to represent, promote and shout out Donal Óg’s agenda, and wholly on behalf of, and for the benefit of Donal Óg  He took sides, and to add to his denying the primary principle of a Journalist, he was also engaged by Donal Óg in a private sub-contracting capacity as a ghost-writer.

Not his employer, his editor nor a single colleague dared mention his hypocrisy, or question his exposure to conflict and influence, or that as a consequence he has brought their profession into disrepute.

Likewise, from his own peers in the sports writers fraternity specifically the GAA writers; not one dared criticise the Irish Times and their Sports Section referring to non-striking Inter-County hurlers as “Spotty Imposters.” Or even the GPA for refusing membership to these players.

That is a Double Standard that continues today. It’s the blind eye.

Back then there was them, the established Print and Broadcast Media and Us – the t’internet “the pyjama people.”

Actually, I remember an All-Ireland winning Manager calling ‘me’ “a coward and a very depressed individual who must be one of Corks worst losers.” As shur we all thought it was funny at the time. We were the Puck Rockers and getting picked out like that was like cracking a bottle of Champagne off the bow of pirate ship call the Anarchy.

Today we are all steadily balanced between Mainstream Media and Social Media; and the likes of me are no longer the tyrants. But professional scepticism, Independence and transparency has never been more important.

Never before has it become more important to disclose the credentials and possible partialities and self-interests of any commentator or expert presented to the public in either medium or format.

In the era of Fake News and a more dominant ownership controlled media, the citizen has to be advised fully to the ethos and business interests of anyone being presented as an Expert, or presenting themselves as such. That includes paid staff Journalists, pundits and columnists.

There was a notorious blind eye event here on our own doorstep witnessed by those same people and organisations, including us Tyrants, that was allowed off to be forgotten about.

I am talking about a former Ireland Captain and Lions player, who is now to be seen regularly sitting behind a TV studio sports desk or pictured as a correspondent in the print media.

With all due respect to him, his family, his fans, his employers even that ape Hook; the media – be it social or Mainstream, that includes me and all of you, and our hosts here; we simply cannot dare to question a randy, narcissistic Theatre Director for their carry on and leave this and all the others behind and out of the spot light.

That makes us all complicit in the Double Standards and cover ups that take years before there is any contrition or truth realised.

I think there are enough of us that know better than to believe the insincere waffle from RTÉ and Marian [Finucane] and the likes, while pretending to have discussions between sides who clearly have pockets filled with conflicts.

Let’s boycott the papers for not reporting the news in full. Let’s question every single utterance from commentators and experts being put in front of us, and have them empty those pockets of conflicts out in front of us.

Let’s do more than just tell them that our eyes are wide open; lets prove it.

Only then can they all be convinced that they can no longer rely on the Blind Eye that greased their operational and professional Double Standards, and cushioned their failures for all those years.

There can be no friends or an assumed loyalty more important than Truth and Justice.

This is a new World Order lads; Get used to it and get yere houses in order.

Frilly Keane’s column usually appears here on the first Friday of every month. Follow Frilly on Twitter: @frillykeane

Bake Off 2017 winner Sophie Faldo flanked by Prue Leith (left) and Paul Hollywood

The Great British Bake Off final took place on Channel 4 last night.

Frilly Keane writes:

Of all the episodes to have a giant Ah FFS ahead of it.

While I was fortunate to un-folly all Bake-Off updates and news after oven-door gate I managed to keep meself ignorant of Prue Leith’s yeah-right accidental spoiler.

So when the GBBO’17 winner was announced I was still hoping for Kate. Yet when t’was Sophie that got the engraved Cake Stand my immediate response was that it was a boring decision by Paul and Prue. There was a distinct fed-up’ness about it.

They went with Steady as She went, rather than the plucky last burst from the outsider, and explained themselves off by saying Sophie wasn’t as experienced as the other two and had achieved so much over the 10 weeks.

But it was just too plain and easy a decision for me. Maybe if we’d known her fella was Irish I might be more exited. Or may t’was just the Honey in her Showstopper. I curdle on the mention of the stuff.

There there was Steven, who was nowhere near that finish line so maybe the Hollywood just wasn’t arsed giving it too much attention in the end. Christ he was over and back to that freezer like they were cooling rods he was checking in case of a meltdown.

Either way, I’m more interested in the Final Show and how Bake Off got on overall following its move to C4 rather than the winner.

The 1st Final back then in 2010 required a Full Tea Party that had the bakers produce everything from bread to fancies, slices, sangwiches and of course presentation, so it was a solid and thorough all-round test to separate those very first Finalists, but all three from Signature to Showstopper in the last night’s final, was collectively the best full two-day finalist trials of any Bake-Off season we’ve had.

The Mini-Loaves in the Signature were genius, and Kate well won that round. Her Curry Buns  get a fancy name of Chala Breads but the skill level is set to Easy. How could you not try and give’em a lash and get Jaggery  with it?

And Stephen’s Fancy Knot ones, are totally up my street because they have Cinnamon, but I definitely would need full diagrams and plenty goes to get that knot thing right; so it’s no surprise that that the skill level par is Challenging. But fair dues to him they did look the business.

The Technical was all about Confectioners Craft. It was brilliant to watch and fair play to all three. If only Kate had’a finished them all … She pretty much forfeited that round to the other two. Fine icing and finishing is a skill that I never got a chance to get any handle on. But maybe when I collect my 6-figure pension and since I‘ll still be young enough …. Ha! I’m as likely to start appearing in Porno flicks.

That Showstopper, an Entremet, was just the best final showdown for all us home-bakers, simply because we can all try one out at home ourselves, regardless of skill level and to our own recipes and tastes; you might even include all the family and guests in the different layers and finishes.

Merange, Sponge, Moouse, Jelly, Ganache Bavarois – which could easily translate as shop bought sponges, Eaton Mess, Instant Whip, jelly and custard. Seriously tho’, it could well go on and be my Christmas Day afters centrepiece using some Christmassy bakes already done anyway. (Probably not this year but definitely next year if I’m still about.)

My final thoughts go to the Season overall and its move to Channel 4. OK last night’s final didn’t reach the BBC’s 15 million the year Nadiya wiped them all out.

But two things that must be considered along with that value. Prue’s big trap, and the spread of streaming and Netflix/ Amazon etc onto the Domestic Television viewing landscapes and all our front rooms.

But give Channel 4 their due, their Great Big Gamble paid off. The only thing that really changed was the line-up, the format remained intact and didn’t even suffer from the ad-breaks. We really did get our full 60 minutes each episode.

I can’t see them changing anything about the line up, but I would love to see guest judges in on some of the segments, particularly former Bake Off finalists.

Two final thoughts for the Final Final Frill-Bake:

My tip for future success is Bread Week Champion Julia Chernogorova  And I’m going to miss those singing cakes.

Frilly Keane can be followed on Twitter @frillykeane