Tag Archives: frilly keane

Frilly Keane writes:

For years I’d heard of a thing called the 4th Estate, usually on the telly and in fillums like, where its mention would be treated like it was a sacred place, and only occupied by greats and gods with things like Peabody and Pulitzer in their bios.

The special people that get books written about them and Hollywood greenlights over their biopics. People who we know immediately just by their surnames; Amanpour, Adie, Bernstein, Cronkite, Fisk, Guerin, Murrow, Pilger, Woodward, and whatever ye’re having yerselves – see that? in abc order. Here’s anudder one; The Post.

This 4th Estate sort’a intrigued me in a vague way but lately it got a bit under my skin because of this latest module in the Disclosures Tribunal

Anyway, during the hot spell there, while trying to look busy when I was dossing off, I started googling scantily on the phone.

And as it turns out this 4th Estate is quite interesting, historically I mean, in that it has a bitta’ve tale to tell for itself.

European, naturally, in origin, and grew as a spur off a set up titled “Estates of the Realm”; basically, a caste system for Western Europe. Church, Royalty and the likes of meself, the Commoners. Them and Us.

And to keep everyone in their rightful Realm, lawyers were needed, so along came the 3rd Estate to facilitate the independent liaison between us and them. Naturally Lawyers need money and we know how that goes, and it was the same in Medieval times as it is today.

So along comes Edmund Burke, who during a debate (1787) about opening the Commons to the newspapers and journals of the day, addressed the new arrivals to the viewing galleries as the 4th Estate.

A hundred years later, pretty much, that Burke 4th Estate was now firmly rooted as the Realm of Journalists. This is proofed when the great observer himself, Oscar Wilde, stamped their permanent occupation of the 4th Estate with;

“But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

One of our own said that 127 years ago. And instead of Us, the Commoners, it was the other two realms, Church and by now Big Business, Money and Power lured the 4th and bought them, bribed them, pampered them and fattened them.

So here we all are now, along with Broadsheet, discovering, planting and growing, what has easily become the 5th Estate. But here everyone can walk talk, or not, with the same swagger and access as anyone else who holds membership of another realm.

Here in the 5th the realms are one and the same; the older realms and their acquisition, the 4th, can be identified by their behaviour since this is the open ground and there is nowhere to hide. We are all occupants, blue tick or not, of this feral yet democratic open free-for-all 5th Estate.

It is the survival of the fittest, yet the minority and weaker get to leave their prints and say we were here and this was our story.

Here We are not polarised by the other Realms, because the internet cannot isolate itself into any corner, singular side or argument. Here, although the other Realms and particularly the former Grand 4th Estate will still try and choose our facts for Us, it is here in this 5th Estate, that

We, the forgotten realm of commoners get to choose the facts we believe. Here We get to decide what news we believe. It is here that our decisions will now be take place and our opinions formed.

The most vulnerable thing in Ireland now is our democracy. That is not an overstatement or a wild call-to-arms.

Nothing is more important to us Citizens, yeah, Citizens. Citizens Vote, customers take surveys and give feedback, so that’s that one out of the way, but why the fúck anyone needed reminding I’ll put down to the heat.

I’ve said here again and again , yet ye still wait to hear it from a mainstream veering or need to see the limps from mainstream tagging in. Giving out the wrong information, or even none at all, does not allow the Irish Citizen to make good decisions about its future.

In that 127 years since Wilde declared We are dominated by Journalism, that Blind Eye, that Bias, that Special Interests and their Influence, have put Kerry Babies, Mother and Baby Homes, Institutional Abuse, Institutional Failures, Endemic Corruption, Bail-Outs and Gombeenism into our History and National Profile.

And the bodies left in the carnage are not just in septic tanks waiting for Us to demand the truth and remedy the failures. We still do not own the majority of our schools or our Hospitals ffs.

The former 4th Estate needs to allow itself be burned into ruins so that it can only be re-built from new foundations.

To protect its Independence into the future and keep it free from Influence it needs to establish walls and safeguards so deep that it can never be bought and compromised again, and like here in the 5th, only the fittest will be allowed survive there.  It needs to prove itself.

It needs to reclaim the vocation of Journalism, while the other Realms, including the 5th btw, need to let it rebuild and repent. We need to let it make good. Let them prove they have replaced smear campaigns and self Interest by giving us all the facts.

Let the 4th Estate come back and prove they are capable of being that intermediary between the realms.

There is nothing more important to our Country than a well-informed Citizen. So let’s future proof the gaff.

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

Celebrations in Dublin Castle during the Eighth Amendment referendum count last Saturday

Frilly Keane writes:

I’m not going to go back over last weekend, or the campaign so stay where ya’are. But what I do want to revisit is us, The Everyday People.

You know a Republic is not just a form of government; the word itself, Republic, originates from sum’ting ancient, and probably obsolete, but it makes more sense to me because I can so easily identify with it in a way I can’t with Government. Try this one on; Republic = a Group with a common equality among its members.

I was there on Saturday. I wasn’t crying or cheering or leaping about or climbing onta anyone’s shoulders; nor was I doing any grand “I told ya so” jigs. I didn’t even get pissed. I think I clapped alright.

While I was hashtagging Independence Day all through Saturday night, it is only now in the last few days, in the light of the pro-life reactions and responses, that I realised what we, The Everyday People actually did last Friday.

On Friday last, We the Everyday People formed our own Republic.

Leo called May 25  “a quiet Revolution” while an Anon from the other side said it was  “A Tragedy of Historic Proportions.” (source: RTÉs Joe Little btw.) There was nothing quiet or tragic about it.

The only tragedy I’m prepared to recognise is that all those girls and their babies, from Tuam to Bessborough, from laundries to illegal adoptions, were just born too soon. Ann Lovett was born too soon. Savita got pregnant too soon.

They all never got to live in or witness our Republic. And while I’m here, let’s stop being polite about illegal adoptions, Magdalene Laundries and institutional abuse and neglect. Call it all out for what it all is: white slavery, human trafficking, neglect, abuse, epidemic paedophilia, mass manslaughter, dumping of bodies, and decades of deception, fraud and evasion.

How can any already-named institution or religious order claim charitable status if fraud, evasion and practices that now qualify as money laundering was pervasive policy and widely practiced?

They exploited vulnerable women, who they bullied and terrorised with false threats of eternal damnation and the like, took their babies, those that survived were sold and those that didn’t were dumped like fish bones.

They spread fear and turned a profit on it while growing and strengthening their grip on this Country. I remember bits from primary school Catechism; and something about God-giving Adam free will, and he used it. No-one questions his right to choose.

The outcome of last Friday should not just be a busy Summer for our TDs and the legislation that we’ve waited 50 years for; and while Mary Lou might have hung on to the ‘North Next’ placards, let’s just call it as it is for starters; Mary Lou is the Leader of our new Republic, but ‘North Next’ will have ta’ wait a bit or at least share the top-table.

Let’s get another referendum tabled; The 36th Amendment; Remove Article 44.01 (the one that mentions homage and God almighty.) While not a Constitutional expert, or even a mere legal know-it-all, I’m prepared to say that the preamble, which opens the Irish Constitution can just be deleted before the OPW knock-off for the silly season.

It opens with the following:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,

We, the people of Éire, humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial ….

But first things first; lets revisit this again too Tell me, anyone, why can’t this be done next week under daily Standing Orders of the House, or sum’ting like that?

Here’s the thing, if we want to keep ownership of our new-born Republic, we need to firmly prove to those that called Yes voters sinners in need of a good absolution, that May 25, 2018, Independence Day, was no one-off, and that we, the Everyday People are going nowhere.

Tiocfidh has well and firmly Tháinig’ed

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



Campaigners from the Life Institute erect posters urging a No vote outside Leinster House yesterday

Frilly Keane writes:

I really thought I was going to be doing a full length Frill the viii feature for the May issue; but d’ye know what – I just got fed up with it, and for a while there I thought I was just worn down by it all; like I’m a solid Tá anyway. I’ve long had my fill of the same ignorant prejudice and brimstone messaging.

The posters and other antics the no-siders say they know nothing about is just an eye-roller at this stage; which is what happened when I was administering a shandy curer that came with a beermat like this. On a beermat – with feckin’ eyelashes n’all. So it just made sense that I would be browned off.

Then, in the last week or so, an inkling began to fester; am I just existing and only here to serve them. The well-fed, the contented, the sorted, the sheltered sets of various Jobs-for-the-boys and their relations and the handshaking intertwined cabals they all share membership of.

The expression fake news props up our daily dialogue like it was always there but it’s not fake. There is nothing mock or pseudo about what they let us in on; it’s all deliberate, intentionally contrived and professionally controlled by these cabals.

What they can’t bury under confidentiality clauses and non-disclosure agreements, they inter in National Archives like sealed casks that can’t be opened until a century turns; the intention being that aging the truth will mellow out the aftertaste, while Integrity and ethical behaviour are treated like disposable tissues.

The establishment and its leading cabals are running this country as if there is a particular Statutory Instrument in existence dedicated to protecting their individual special interests, and that transparency and truth can be redacted to suit, only be shared on a need-to-know among the handpicked few; or when their injunction applications fail. But even then, it’s all been well spiked by the protection of this special Statutory Instrument.

Spiked News is what they give us when they want to have their own way, take the piss and ensure their own interests, the equivalent of a paint job, like at the Project Arts Centre. Throw a bitta paint over it there, lads.

And it’s their way of keeping the upper-hand over the likes of me. And d’ye know what lads, that’s ye too most likely. Us, the everyday people.

On May 25, once again I will be voting on the right to choose, and what has been happening besides time passing since the first time.

They told us three decades ago there would never be another Ann Lovett, yet here on this very site, a No-Sider pretty much referred to current day Ann Lovetts as “Savita’s with no money”. Also three decades ago, the Lynch Tribunal did such a savage paint job that Joanne Hayes only got her apology this year.

More health care scandals and more foster care Scandals. More homeless, Less houses. They said our banks would behave better, and our politicians would clear out corruption – who was the chair of what and where that held a fundraiser for and got the other lad his next gig.

If we thought we’d seen it all with RTÉ pay-packs, INM Data hacks or no-Side quacks; look at what we have learned in the last few weeks about the real goings on at decision making levels. It’s scary even if you are not one of those who needs regular cervical smears or will ever need a termination.

Repealing the 8th Amendment is the last chance we, the everyday people have, to deliver a significant message to the Cabal’esque set-Up of this Country before the next General Election, which, believe it or not, won’t be for a while. This Government and their confidence suppliers won’t venture near our doors until there’s a good 40 shades of paint weathering them from Us.

Them with their Jobs and Directorships for the boys and their connections. Them with their insider corrupted deals and pats-on-the-back, their no-comeback pensions and titles, and no-fault failures that they get to top-up and repeat again and again.

Jesus Christ, they wouldn’t nor couldn’t even decide about disclosing test results to terminally ill cancer patients; yet sorted out the OK to commence a paid Directorship. Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements my Rebel Arse.

I don’t care how deeply rooted No-Siders are about their position or how sincere their faith really is, they too are parties to the cabal structure; and vice versa. They all suit each other. Like if they all really believed human life begins at conception child benefit would be paid 9 months earlier.

Repealing the 8th Amendment is not a Women’s issue. This is now about us standing-up and taking back control of the decision making in this country, get the vote out and turn a landslide victory into a mudslide that takes all the rotten wood and vermin with it.

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


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

Advertorials in the news pages of The Leitirim Observer (above) and The Leinster Leader (top).

Frilly Keane writes:

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.

I said that the last time I was here although I’m not sure anyone recognised how actually useful it is to breath it in an’ out – for any Journalist to support a line of thought that is not their own is a fraud – every so often.

Especially lately.

The story of the week running alongside the National Bread Alert has been the Campaign for Leo Unit and their advertorials.

I’ve no problem with the nonsense that comes out of this well stocked Unit btw. But I am very uncomfortable with this arrangement for pretend’ie reporting from an industry that is known for demanding ‘freedpm of the press’.

This well-funded unit, by offering payment to get these promos presented as actual news and given news desk treatment and oversight creates collusion. And any publication that followed the instructions and conditions of accepting the Advertorial from the Campaign for Leo Strategic Unit FOR MONEY has in fact got themselves co-opted into the Campaign for Leo.

I don’t care how many departments, tenders and external providers come between Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael, The SCU etc and these newspapers. R€ward was offered, and they ate it up.

The fact is money controls the truth in this country, and shur’ we all know it, and I’m sick of always seeing it, but tis’ this Advertorial dressed up as legitimate reporting thing that has tipped me over past boiling.

Over the last few weeks we’ve all now established that this Strategic Communications Unit set out a marketing campaign that was designed to look like news.

I’m not sure they realise the damage they are capable of doing; designing ads to look like real hard news and co-opting journalists to endorse it as their own.
What happened to wanting to report truth facts and news. In other words, we are being played by Marketing & PR people who have already bought out the press.

In equal disgust is Fianna Fáil, I am certain that they get the benefit of the Communications Unit too. The Campaign for Leo Dept strikes me as having all lot prominence and access to the Government, and in particular the Taoiseach.

So, we may have to accept this Unit as establishment from now on. In which case, since they have already bought out some members of the press with advertising Income, who are the remaining unbiased and Independent voices left; besides me own like.

That Beast from the East saved the Fine Fáil joint venture (aka shared arse) this week. But it also saved the Irish Media that took the soup. They’ve bin’ gifted plenty of news to fill their column inches and shows. News they can’t contradict or manipulate. Safe and uncomplicated stuff.

As an industry they must accept they have failed. And it’s not just falling sales or the internets’ fault.

They have failed to maintain the profession of Journalism and the ethos and principals of the so-called 4th Estate. They have failed to maintain independence, and without that there will never be the truth you can rely on.

It’ll be the likes of Bodger and his community of web hunters that will be the news hounds, and shows like Broadsheet on the Telly that will be their own discussion platform.

With all their talk, their airs and graces, and award shingdigs and mwah mwah ‘what do you mean ‘you weren’t invited?” status, the traditional newspaper and other old school media were so easily bought it would appear that they never had too high a price anyway.

All the best folks.

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

Yesterday: “Part Of Our Deal Is That We Don’t Have Any Moniker Such As ‘Advertorial’”



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