Miriam’s Musings

It’s time for Micheál to show the lads who’s boss!

At the time of writing, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Defence and Deputy Leader of Fine Gael Simon Coveney was still staunchly defending his decision to delete what were, let’s face it, crucial text messages relating to the Katherine Zappone ‘Merriongate’ affair.

Initially citing ‘storage’ issues as what he clearly believed to be a valid reason for deleting texts on his ministerial phone, instead of cutting the cackle, Mr. Coveney then introduced a disturbing narrative into the mix – alleging his phone had been hacked! Oooh – a thrilling hint at espionage, or simply some hyped up spin? I wonder what Green Party leader, Minister Eamon Ryan thinks of the whole affair? I’m sure he’ll tell us when he wakes up!

For the record Simon, if I were a political reporter, my question to you would be…did you delete these messages before or after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request was filed? Furthermore, if I were someone advising Simon, I’d be instructing him to either get on top of this, get his story straight and to stick to it, or to shut up! It’s my opinion that when a high level government minister is explaining, they’re losing – and that’s a situation that can lead to widespread unease right across the nation. I’d also tell Simon to either increase the storage capacity of his phone, or better still, to get an upgrade!

As for Leo, well let me say I’m not a fan, however, he deserves some degree of credit for his impressive, self-preservation, cover-your-own-ass tactics in releasing his own text messages, which, it must be said, removed any impropriety on his part regarding Cronygate, sorry Zapponegate.

This move, which was not only a stroke of PR genius on Leo’s part, also lifted the lid on the government’s alleged lies regarding lockdown. Had it not been for Zappone’s soiree, the nation may never have been made aware that up to 200 hundred people could ‘legally attend organised outdoor events and gatherings’.

Mind you, the Tánaiste’s every-man-for-himself stunt did spectacularly backfire this week when a picture of him attending the Mighty Hoopla music festival in London was released in time to coincide with what should have been our now cancelled Electric Picnic (EP) event. Not cool Leo!

While Leo is of course entitled to do what he wishes in his own personal and private time, it has to be said the optics are not good. For me, the whole episode smacks of Marie Antoinette’s ‘let them eat cake,’ school of thought, and we all know what happened to France’s final queen, don’t we folks? Her bad attitude not only led to her falling out of favour with the peasants – sorry, the voters (especially those of us who don’t eat cake) – she also lost her head!

I’m certain Leo will not suffer a similar fate, I mean we’re hardly going to storm the Bastille or the Dáil, now are we? Mind you, given the current shenanigans, I would question An Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s grip on the overall situation and suggest it’s about time he grew a set and let the lads know who’s boss. To reference another period in European history folks, from where I’m sitting, it appears that during a time of crisis, instead of leading, Micheál’s fiddling while Ireland burns, leaving me to wonder whether it’s Leo, Simon, or the hackers who’re really running the show!


The Big Deal is as flat as a failed soufflé!

Last Saturday night, with vodka and tonic in hand and dogs on lap, I sat down and tuned into Virgin Media’s ‘biggest Irish entertainment show of the year’, The Big Deal.

Billed as a brand new format and developed by Fox Entertainment, I felt this highly anticipated, attention-grabbing series might take the edge off an otherwise boring evening. I was wrong. As entertainment goes, it’s my belief that Virgin Media’s creative team have officially run out of ideas, because The Big Deal was about as flat as a failed soufflé!

Perhaps I expected too much of what, in my opinion, turned out to be a tacky, re-booted version of Ireland’s Got Talent, or as I call it, a poor-person’s X Factor! Desperate for good old-fashioned entertainment, I allowed myself to get carried away by all the ballyhoo surrounding this new-fangled concept, whose hype, let’s face it, was laid on so thick this past month, I actually thought the producers would be showcasing, well, talent! However, having viewed what was a cringe-worthy episode one, I’m guessing the researchers couldn’t find any gifted entertainers, and er, just went with what they had!

And don’t get me started on the, ‘star-studded’ judging panel! More like a group of Z list has-beens whose agents couldn’t get them a booking anywhere else! Take Jedward for example. I mean, placing John and Edward Grimes in the judges’ seats is akin to sending Dustin the turkey to the Eurovision. Then again, I suppose you have to admire the sheer brass neck and level of self-assurance displayed by this novelty duo, who despite their own musical clout being highly questionable, were placed in a position of offering constructive criticism to others. The nerve!

On a positive note, because I like to be fair, shows like this do offer mediocre, eardrum-abusing karaoke singers, up and coming magicians, and other ‘entertainers’ a chance to perform, and that’s nice. Mind you, kudos to Bella Duo, they kind of saved the day.

However, if, as the spin says, The Big Deal guarantees to showcase ‘the best talent Ireland has to offer,’ I think I’ll stick to shoving bamboo shoots up my nails. It’d be far less painful, and in my opinion, way more entertaining!


Welcome to the world, baby Claudia!

Meeting and holding my granddaughter Ellarose for the very first time 14 years ago was the most joyful experience of my entire life.

There was no such thing as a nasty pandemic hanging over us, therefore while my daughter Gillian was giving birth, Nana, Granddad and aunty Megan camped outside the labour ward, munching on doughnuts, drinking coffee and feeling grateful to a nurse who popped out with regular updates. This we did for eight hours solid until our bundle of joy, my best pal, my sidekick, arrived into this world. I kissed every inch of her beautiful little body before going home, showering, and heading straight back to the hospital for more cuddles. I’ve been spoiling that child, a beautiful being I cherish above all else, ever since!

Fast-forward to last Sunday, and, 14 years later, as Ellarose’s mammy went into labour for the second time, due to the effects of Covid it was an entirely different experience for everyone.

However, I’m over the moon to announce that, following a 24-hour labour, (every minute of which I went through with her on the phone), Gillian had a C section. As my child went to theatre, my connection was cut, leaving me wondering and worrying how on earth the team of midwives, medical specialists and my son-in-law would all cope without me telling them what to do! Nana always knows best.

An hour later…a whole agonising hour…pictures and videos finally filtered through our family’s WhatsApp group alerting us to the arrival of my second granddaughter and brand new member of Nana Miriam’s ‘girl crew’, baby Claudia!

I am, readers, for the second time in my life, rendered speechless. I have, for the fourth time in my life, fallen head over heels, instantaneously and unconditionally in love with a human being – the other three times being my own daughters’ and Claudia’s enormously proud big sister Ellarose.

Welcome to the world Claudia, like your big sis Ellarose, Nana’s going to spoil you like rotten and cherish you for eternity.