Tag Archives: irish times

Unhappy and happy emojis; Stephen Collins, Irish Times’ former political editor and columnist

This morning.

Put a happy face on….

If Sinn Féin has the energy and the resources to dominate social media and disseminate its message there is nothing wrong with that.

Where it begins to get sinister is the way in which the party’s keyboard warriors seek to intimidate people propounding different views.

For instance the [Dublin City University] study found a marked difference between the emoji icons used to react to posts by the parties.

“Haha”, or “Angry” constituted 94 per cent of emoji reactions for posts by Fine Gael, and 90 per cent for Fianna Fáil, while they only accounted for 7 per cent of these reactions to posts by Sinn Féin.

….The study found that 91 per cent of the emoji reactions to Sinn Féin posts were “Love”.

What it suggests is that the Sinn Féin keyboard army was not just actively pushing its own message but attacking the messages being put out by its political opponents.

…. Whether it is down to poor organisation or fear of intimidation by the “Shinnerbots”, the two parties now negotiating a programme for government appear oblivious to the daily assault they suffer on social media, which is merely a harbinger of what awaits them when the next election comes around.


Also: 😂

Stephen Collins: Big two must take fight to SF on social media (Irish Times)

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, a past pupil of Gonzaga College, Dublin

“It’s just a different style, you know, maybe newer people in the Greens might want him to go in and bang the table and roar at Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael all the time, that is not not his style and it’s just as effective as someone who goes in and roars the odds working with people…

Dermot Ahern… speaks really highly of Eamon Ryan… said he and Trevor Sargent were two of the most effective ministers of the recent decades and a lot of people round that cabinet table they really appreciated he could reach out and work across them…

…with Ryan they saw someone who reached across the table across subjects and was well able to work and, you know…

Someone who knows him a while says it’s kind of like that Gonzaga type, you know, patrician quality you know we will get things done, that himself, Brian Lenihan, Simon Coveney, they kind of have that ‘let’s get along and everything needs to be done’ mentality, but I think his method of working is conciliatory but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.”

Fiach Kelly, Deputy Political Editor of the irish Times on the ’Inside Politics’ podcast with Hugh Linehan


Listen here


New York Times on March 27 and Front page of today’s Irish Times


This morning.

Fergal Reid tweetz:

This morning’s Irish Times takes a design lead from a recent, striking New York Times front page. Even more powerful when it’s our own live register.

‘Design lead’ or ‘lazy pilfering’.

YOU decide!

Previously: 513,350

From left: Director of Health Protection Survaillance center Dr John Cuddihy, HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry, Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health; and Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health,

This morning.

Paul Cullen, in The Irish Times, reports:

“Unprecedented restrictions on public life aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus could remain in force for months, public health doctors have indicated after the number of cases jumped by 63 per cent in a single day.

..It is likely the school closures could extend to five weeks, until the end of the Easter holidays.

Other measures such as visitor restrictions at hospitals, nursing homes and prisons, and a ban on mass gatherings, as well as the closures are due to be reviewed before the end of the month.

However, they may have to remain in place “for an extended period of time” beyond March 29th, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said last night. He declined to specify how much longer the measures might have to apply.

…Ireland is “exactly 14 days behind Italy” in terms of the rise in coronavirus cases, two Irish doctors writing in the British Medical Journal warned on Thursday.”

Coronavirus: Ireland’s restrictions could remain in force for months, doctors warn (Paul Cullen, The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Ireland Is Closed Until March 29 [Updated]

From top: Fianna Fáil leader Micheá Martin; This morning’s Irish Times

This morning.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin spoke to Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One and raised articles in today’s Irish Times’ articles about the structure, wealth and property portfolio of Sinn Féin.

The articles, by Colm Keena, can be read here, here and here (behind paywall).

One of the reports states:

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is correct when he says that Sinn Féin is “not a normal, democratic party”, Sinn Féin’s director of finance has told The Irish Times.

Martin has said that Sinn Féin’s elected representatives are not in control of the party, and that decisions are made by “shadowy figures” and “unelected officials”.

However, what Micheál Martin sees as a problem, the party’s long-term director of finance, Des Mackin, sees as an advantage. Sinn Féin does not want its elected representatives controlling the party, he said.

“We don’t want a parliamentary party running the organisation,” the senior party officer said. “We want to stay a party of activists. It’s a totally different model. There’s nothing mysterious about it.”

Mackin has been the party’s director of finance for years and, prior to that, was joint party treasurer with the veteran republican, the late Joe Cahill. Mackin was convicted of IRA membership in the 1970s.


From Mr Martin’s interview….

Seán O’Rourke: “Do you believe that you have persuaded Fine Gael that you are not for turning on dealing with Sinn Féin?”

Micheál Martin: “Yes.”

O’Rourke: “You believe that Fine Gael…”

Martin: “You know, I would say to people, just read The Irish Times today. There’s a very comprehensive two-page issue…”

Talk over each other

Martin: “…which by the way, Des Mackin, their director of finances said Micheaál Martin is right in what he says. We don’t want the elected representatives controlling the party, that’s black and white. So I dealt with that in the Dáil. But I would just ask people out there to…”

O’Rourke: “I just had the quickest of scans of it and I read the front page story. All it suggests to me, I think, and a lot of readers, would be they’re a very well-organised, they’re a very professional, political outfit.”

Martin: “No, but if you just read it Seán. I mean. I know you’ve acknowledged you haven’t read the full two pages internally but it’s basically saying that those elected by the people, the broad mass of the people, don’t have a direct controlling say and former public representatives, former TDs says the exactly the same.

“In other words they said that a person with a 10,000 electoral mandate has the same say as an activist who’s unelected. That’s what it says…and this isn’t Micheál Martin saying this. It’s…”

Talk over each other

O’Rourke: “I just got a summary handed to me literally as you were saying that. Mr Mackin, who was jailed for IRA membership in the early 1970s, told The Irish Times he did not necessarily disagree with the view of the Fianna Fáil leader that Sinn Féin was run by unelected officials and not its political representatives so that’s the end of that as far as you’re concerned?”

Martin: “Yeah. And if you consider, two weeks ago I was attacked personally by Sinn Féin left, right and centre, high up and low down in a very personalised manner and attacked and yet, two weeks later, their, one of their key operators says the same…”


O’Rourke:Have you decided you’re prepared to enter coalition with Fine Gael?”

Martin:Yes. Again, depending on a Programme for Government that works…”

Listen back in full here

Martin says Fianna Fáil would go into coalition with Fine Gael (RTÉ)


General election result predictions by Harry McGee of The Irish Times; Mr McGee

Further to spectacularly incorrect General Election predictions from the Irish Independent and RTÉ….

…on February 5, Political Correspondent for The Irish Times Harry McGee laid out his predictions for last week’s general election.

As of February 3, the election polls had shown that, following six national election polls, the combined Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael vote was less than 44%, while Sinn Féin was polling more than twice its local election vote in 2019.

Mr McGee predicted that Fianna Fáil would win 53 seats; Fine Gael, 38; Sinn Féin, 28; Labour, 8; Greens, 14; Social Democrats, 3; Solidarity-PBP, 2; Others, 14.

However, his predictions were less unequivocal than that of his peers.

Fianna Fáil would go on to lose 7 seats, Fine Gael would lose 12 and Sinn Féin would gain 15.

The final tally saw Fianna Fáil with 38 seats (one of which was automatic as Seán Ó Fearghaíl is the Ceann Comhairle); Sinn Féin, 37; Fine Gael, 35; Greens, 12; Social Democrats, 6; Labour, 6; Solidarity-People Before Profit, 5; Independents, 19; Aontú, 1; Other, 1.

Mr McGee’s approach to his predictions differed to that of RTÉ and the Irish Independent‘s Fionnan Sheahan, in that he predicted where Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin would potentially lose and win seats.

Sinn Féin

Mr McGee predicted that Sinn Féin would possibly gain seats in Donegal, Dublin West, Wexford, Cavan-Monaghan, Mayo, Longford-Westmeath.

He also predicted the party would possibly lose seats in Dublin Mid-West, Louth, Cork East.

However, confusingly, although perhaps because of the polls, while making his prediction of Sinn Féin’s losses, he also predicted Sinn Féin’s seats were safe in these constituencies which might explain his side note:

“I had another eight constituencies marked as potential losses for Sinn Féin. But that was a fortnight ago. And the world has changed since then.”

The results:

Sinn Féin gained 15 seats on top of the 22 it had at the start of the election, bringing their total to 37.

Donegal: Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty and Pádraig MacLochlainn won the top two seats.

Dublin West: Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly topped the poll and took the first seat after the first count.

Wexford: Sinn Féin’s Johnny Mythen topped the poll and took the first seat after the first count.

Cavan-Monaghan: Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy and Pauline Tully took the first and third seats.

Mayo: Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway-Walsh took the second seat after securing 22.7% of the first-preference votes.

Longford-Westmeath: Sinn Féin’s Sorca Clarke took the first seat after the first count, after securing 21% of the first-preference votes.

Dublin Mid-West: Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin and Mark Ward took the top two seats after the first count.

Louth: Sinn Féin’s Imelda Munster and Ruairí Murchú took the top two seats after the first count.

Cork East: Sinn Féin’s Pat Buckley topped the poll with 23.1% of the first-preference votes.

Fine Gael

Mr McGee predicted that Fine Gael would possibly gain seats in Dublin Mid-West, Cork North-Central, Tipperary, Cavan-Monaghan, Cork North-West, Cork East, Dublin-Rathdown, Kerry, Longford-Westmeath, Galway East, Louth, Limerick City.

He also predicted that the party would possibly lose seats in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin North-West, Galway West, Dublin Bay South, Wexford, Clare, Dublin South-Central and Meath East.

Continue reading

Today’s Irish Times

In today’s Irish Times.

A full-page ad for Fine Gael sits on page five of the newspaper, alongside the newspaper’s general election coverage.


Speaking of placement…


Election 2020 outtakes: SF candidate takes a break from it all (Mark Hilliard, The Irish Times)

Last night.

On RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live, Ms Byrne held a climate debate.

During the debate, Fianna Fáil’s Jack Chambers took issue with Ms Byrne’s questioning of his party’s climate change policies and said she was being “very unfair” and “disingenuous”.

He accused of her trying to “undermine” the party’s climate action plan by raising the fact that their manifesto pertaining to climate change contains promises about child pornography, Traveller rights and female representation. Mr Chambers argued that those matters come under the remit of the “broad” line department.

Mr Chambers said:

It’s unfortunate RTÉ spends all it’s time looking at polls and process and not looking at the issues and climate action.”

Later, speaking about Sinn Féin, he said:

They oppose everything to be populist and it’s a new kind of Trumpism in Irish politics.”

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Bróin, who was sitting on the same panel with Mr Chambers, told him to “be serious”.

Mr Chambers replied:

“You want the public to take you seriously? I think you need to be serious. What about, what about, what about, what about the Special Criminal Court? What about the Special Criminal Court? Do you support the Special Criminal Court in this country?”

He then turned to Ms Byrne:

“You see, these are the hard questions. The media has spent the last two weeks talking about polls and if Mary Lou McDonald is in or out of the debate. I’m glad she’s in the debate tomorrow night [tonight] so she can face the scrutiny because it’s all about the big drama and obsession with Sinn Féin.”

Sounds familiar?

Watch back in full here


From front page of today’s Irish Times

This morning.

The Irish Times reports in full on its Ispos/MBRI poll which puts Sinn Féin at 25%, Fianna Fáil at 23% and Fine Gael at 20%.

The results were announced at 10pm last night.

Sinn Féin leads way in Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll with highest support ever (Pat Leahy, The Irish Times)