Author Archives: Kevin Higgins

Sinn Fein’s newly-elected TDs on the plinth at Leinster House yesterday

The New Rising Will Not Be Available Later On The RTE iPlayer

(after Gil Scott Heron)

There will be no avoiding it, gobshite.
You will not be able to log on, click like and see both sides.
It will interrupt your plans for a gap year in Thailand,
or to skip out for a wank during the new Guinness ad.
The new rising will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.

Because it will not be suitable for children
or county councillors of diminutive stature who might find it
by accident on the internet while trying to hire
a hitwoman or a dominatrix in the greater Ballyseedy area,
or open an offshore account on the Aran Islands.

The new rising will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.
Will not be presented by Joe Duffy
in four parts with every possible intrusion
from people trying to sell you bits of Allied Irish Bank
or butter that’s more spreadable than Ebola.
The new rising will not show you pornographic clips
of Micheál Martin blowing the biggest tin whistle
in recent Irish history and leading a charge by Eamon
Dunphy, and all the assembled wise men of Aosdána
on the kitchens of the Shelbourne Hotel.

It will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer
or be brought to you by the Abbey Theatre
not Waking The Nation. It will not feature
guest appearances from Princess Grace of Monaco,
Graham Norton, and Bono’s old sunglasses.
The new rising will not give your Danny Healy Rae
blow up doll sex appeal. It will have no advice
on how to reduce the size of your moobs
overnight in the greater Cootehill
area by just dialling this number.
It will not try to sell you
travel insurance every time you buy
a bus ticket to anywhere in Sligo.

There will be no pictures of you, Mary Kennedy, and Daithi
Ó Sé pushing shopping trolleys around Supervalu
in aid of Children In Need, or trying to smuggle the body
of Ann Lovett onto a flight to Medjugorje
in aid of CURA. The new rising
will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.
Harry McGee’s haircut will not be able
to predict the result by midday the following day

based on reports in now from 43 constituencies.
And it will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.
There will be no pictures of well ironed Garda uniforms
dangling known subversives out high windows
in strict accordance with the law.
There will be no pictures of Joan
Burton and Katherine Zappone being run out of Jobstown
in the extreme discomfort of cars paid for by you.

Whether or not Louis Walsh dyes his
pubes will no longer be relevant. Nobody
will care if Paul finally gets to screw
everyone on Fair City, including
himself, because the small people
will be in the street turning on the sunshine.
And this will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.

To assist the re-education of those
who insist on just watching it on TV,
the Angelus immediately before the Six One News
will be replaced with smoking videos
of outgoing cabinet ministers
at length (and with great enthusiasm)
feasting on the more excitable parts
of Apple CEO Tim Cook.
For in the new jurisdiction
the powers that were will be made admit
their true religion, and then set free.

There will be no lowlights on the nine o’clock
news claiming there was hardly anyone there.
The theme song will not be written by Phil Coulter
or Dustin, nor be sung by Linda Martin, Westlife,
or Foster and Allen. And it will not be available later
on the RTE iPlayer.

It will not be right back
after a message from an actor in Killinaskully
you can’t quite name promising to kill
99% of known bacteria, including those
that’ll make Michael O’Leary’s ass eventually decompose.
The new rising will hand the Lewis sub-machine gun
to you, your increasingly discontented cat,
and your most eccentric auntie.

This rising will not be available later on the RTE iPlayer.
This rising will be live,
gobshite, live.

Kevin Higgins


Galway City Council has deferred a decision on whether to allocate an additional €2.5 million to the European Capital of Culture project.

City of Kultur, 2020

Welcomes you!
On our brochure’s colour cover,
a sheep with horns on it
stood in the middle of a small road
through the sort of no place –
all rushes and miserable little mountains –
people used to leap
on coffin ships to escape.

And for those with no interest in
locally sourced mutton,
the private sector will provide
ladies from Czech Republic
and sometimes Dubrovnik
who guarantee
happy conclusion
and for a little extra
will visit your vastly
priced Airbnb walk-in closet.

Our programme is loaded
with renowned sculptors,
parade makers, former lead-singers,
and tellers of old jokes
currently going
through their Feargal Sharkey
‘A Good Heart’ phase.

We signal our commitment
to emerging artists.
Our line-up features several
who are Bono in his
embarrassing English accent phase
and grateful to be anywhere
we care to put them.

Among our major sponsors:
no one we know of who made
their early millions from slavery
of the old fashioned sort;
though a few whose ancestors
made their seed capital loading
chattering skeletons aboard
the aforementioned coffin ships.

To those visiting our city
to partake in the coming jamboree
we say: enjoy!
Take up space. And have
what these days pass for
orgasms. Take care
when stepping over
that cardboard box
as there’s probably
someone living in it.

And if you think
you’ve been overcharged
for your cocaine, remember,
you, the consumer, have rights,
if no longer much in the way of
a nose, and can take a case
against your dealer
in the small claims court,
citing European law.

Kevin Higgins


Top pic:

Monday: City Council defers decision on €2.5m proposal for Galway 2020

Seven Point Manifesto for Irish General Election 2020

(after André Breton & Sean Canney)

We, as a party, cater for both
those who get it up
early every morning and those
who couldn’t be bothered.

Children under the age of eight
whose parents insist
on smoking in bed
will all be given fire extinguishers
so they can personally
put their parents out.

Your psychosexual malfunctions
are my policies.
We will make sure
there is sufficient
discreet parking
by Merlin Woods and at
Silver Strand
so you can do
what you want,
when you want,
to whom you want
for as long as it takes to reach
your version of mais oui!

The Angelus will no longer be broadcast,
replaced by one minute videos
of Shane Ross being tickled to death
by a variety of giant feathers.

Under our National Broadband
Peripheral Areas Plan
young black men will be piped
into the writhing minds
of mountain women
and elderly farmers
in the west Kerry Gaeltacht.

We will keep the pokey nose of government
out of people’s private business,
make it legal for tenants in arrears
under the age of twenty five
to pay their landlords quid pro quo,
as long as they use a recycled
plastic cup as protection.

The long term unemployed
and homeless people
who make themselves too fucking obvious
will be chased around
Malahide Cricket Ground
by seething greyhounds
who’ll be rewarded
with free Bloody Marys
and wild applause
at the club house

Kevin Higgins


Derry, Northern Ireland in October 2019

Tiocfaidh Do Lá

Dear great-uncle-in-law in Larne,
who secretly thinks people should cease picking on the poor
Duke of York. You punched the air so vigorously
the night Doris Johnson won his victory and proper
order was temporarily restored that your wife was about to
speed-dial the cardiologist when you finally drifted
on your latest new sofa to your recurring night fret: how will
the united Ireland the papers say all this
makes more or less inevitable
pay for my pension?

Short answer: it won’t. Though worry not,
there’ll be plenty of gainful work
for buck-eejits like you: painting road-signs in Irish
in the likes of the Shankill and Ballymoney with the giant
can of extreme green spray paint
that will be provided.

Your induction day task,
that first Monday morning, to daub
Liam of Oráiste* on the statue
of King Billy at Carrickfergus
under the bespectacled eye
of a trained Gaelgeoir, there to ensure
you restore – though a few centuries late – the fada
they stole off the ‘a’ in ‘orange’.

Kevin Higgins


* Gaelic translation of William of orange

Pic: Getty


Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary

For Michael O’Leary

(after Primo Levi)

You are everywhere and, when it matters, nowhere
oh Lord of this cancelled flight.
All across a continent the bodies pile up
at Ryanair help desks while you are home
talking to your horses who are grateful
they, at least, will never have to travel
Ryanair. I don’t want you taken to the termination chamber
some here are building for you, or pulled apart before
a jeering crowd by the four of your own racehorses
with the most unresolved anger management issues.
May you live to be a thousand years old
and spend your remaining nine hundred and forty two
years sweating in a queue to speak to a red faced girl
at a Ryanair help desk. Let your every night be Sunday
and it always be December. May you be late
to the death bed and cremation
of your favourite uncle and his remains
be delivered to you
while you’re still here in this queue,
in a clear plastic bag with a hole in it,
for which you will, naturally, be charged.
And when you open your mouth
and a complainy word shoots out
may the Chilean secret police instantly appear
and tell you with their eyes,
and their drooling Alsatians’ eyes,
to cut that out or your slug tongue
will no longer be yours to wiggle.
And when your time here is done
may you be peeled, tied,
and spread-eagled across your own help desk
and two fat blokes from Chipping Ongar
be paid to sprinkle pollen
all over you, and then release
the bees.

Kevin Higgins


BBC’s Mock the Week (top) and Have I Got News For You (above)

(inspired/provoked by UK-based comedians, who used to be edgy, savagely lampooning Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s British General Election campaign)

If you piss on the frail
red-petalled flower
just now nudging its way back up
from presumed extinction,
with your cynicism and your sneers;

the day of your funeral
I’ll pay a team of loudspeakers,
town criers, and dogs to howl
at the few mourners about
how useless you were
when it really mattered,
until it’s the one trait of yours
anyone remembers;

then call the Union of Worms, Death Beetles,
and Incinerator Operators out
on an official strike that will apply
only to you, so your sour carcass can sit
forever lodged in the world’s gut
as a warning to future others.

Kevin Higgins

Pics: BBC

Independent TD Noel Grealish (above) has been accused of “racism” for asking whether the Government is satisfied billions of euro being sent abroad from Ireland are not the proceeds of crime

Alternative Uses For Noel Grealish

(after György Petri)

Having spent most of this century saying so little
the Collected Speeches of Noel Grealish TD
could be transcribed on the back of a parking ticket
a friendly Sergeant expunged from the system,
you’ve now appointed yourself leader
of the Blame-The-Black-Guy-Party –
so when one of your constituents finds
wife (or husband) impaled on their
personal trainer or a crisp bag blows
into their garden from next door’s bin,
they’ll know whose fault it is,
even though it isn’t the black dude doing either
their bank account or spouse,
and it definitely wasn’t him who blew that Tayto bag
into number fifty seven’s azaleas.

In light of this, scientists suggest
you be pureed into a paste
which, with water added,
could be served in tiny droplets
as a protein drink to malnourished baby hedgehogs;
or that society employ
a butcher’s apprentice to detach
your suddenly wagging tongue and hand it over
to a witchdoctor flown in
from the Congo Republic
by the Department of Social Protection
to do with as he sees fit;
or that we have a visiting Polish granny
dice you into a traditional Cracow stew
wasting not so much as an eyelash
and feed you to the pike in the Corrib
to see if they can stomach you.

Kevin Higgins

Previously: “It’s Up To Him To Clarify His Intentions”


Iain Duncan Smith (right), former British Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is facing a severe challenge in his Chingford, Essex constituency from Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen (left) in the forthcoming UK General Election

Ode To Iain Duncan Smith
for Liam

Oh Minister for Worry and Work.
Your head is a perfect egg
waiting for the teaspoon
to come crashing down on it.

You’re on the side of hard working
arses who haven’t stopped to take
a wipe since Maggie were a lad,
men in white cars who know
there’s nothing up with the youth
of today that having pointless orders
screamed in their ears before
five in the morning wouldn’t quickly cure.

You’re delighted to this afternoon
announce that every home in Britain
whose curtains remain drawn after eleven a.m.
this coming Monday will receive
in the post a leaflet outlining the cheapest
possible methods of unassisted
suicide for the terminally work shy:
the advantages
to both themselves and the taxpayer
of a quiet razor blade
over jumping from footbridges
onto motorways
hardworking families are busy
driving up and down.

Kevin Higgins

Remainer Alliance targets Iain Duncan Smith for ‘unseating’ as Green candidate pulls out of election battle to give Labour clear run (MailOnline)

A tender to provide a Direct Provision centre at the Connemara Gateway Hotel in Oughterard, County Galway, has been withdrawn

Oughterard, a definition

Pronounced ewk-ter-árd.
See also: Little Rock, Smethwick,
Enoch, Port Elizabeth…
A good place to illegally ditch
old fridges, huge yellow couches,
detached wardrobe doors,
mattresses with the springs
poking out of them.
Locals will know why you’ve done it
and a few will privately accept your verdict.

The perfect location to toss
brimming colostomy bags
out the windows of speeding vehicles
in the hope some member of
the County Council will think
it’s free curry sauce and drown
their chips in the contents.

And the old lady in the charity shop
will snap your hand off
to take all the World War Two
Germany army helmets you have
because there’s some who blew through here recently
who like to put them on
while making right-handed
love to themselves
in front of the unforgiving mirror
with the overhead lights blazing
like their own private
torch-lit procession.

Kevin Higgins

Earlier: Free Tomorrow?

Yesterday: A Clear Plan

Previously: Withdrawn

Climate change activist Greta Thurnberg accused world leaders of stealing her childhood at a UN Climate Summit last week


(for Greta Thunberg)

Let surgical saw and a team of scalpels strip naked
the entrails of their hatred.
These are people who if they haven’t been fired
for lying, or don’t live mostly on gin,
at the very least can’t perform
basic bodily functions
without the help of nuclear strength coffee
and the kind of plunger traditionally used
to clear the pipes of obstreperous kitchen sinks.
Journalists whose greatest life achievement
is once being inappropriately groped
by a former Secretary of State for Defence.
People so sad, when the machine stops beeping,
their adult children will rush to book
foreign holidays to dodge the ew
of having to attend their funerals.
And what really gets the acid
of their compromise-times-failure multiplied
rising is your implacable yes
to that thing called tomorrow.

Kevin Higgins

Pic: Getty