Paul Healy’s Week


Quinns’ worth

In ‘Quinn Country’ – which ended on RTE last night –  Patricia Quinn lamented how the collapse of their empire has affected the wider family. She went on to label a local priest who had condemned a campaign of violence against former Quinn executives as “a pure back-stabber”.

Meanwhile, the final episode culminated with a tearful Sean Quinn railing against everything that has been lost, at the injustice of it all.

Ultimately, one contributor said, this entire saga is a  tragedy. I agree, and I imagine that the loss of their fortune (and status) had a devastating personal toll on the Quinn family. Still, everything is relative, and that ‘poor us’ finale must have tested the patience of many viewers. After all, the ‘High Quinns of Ireland’ still have many of the trappings of wealth.

So, the truth is that as I watched the deluded duo – immersed in their self-pity, in the lavish mansion they still live in – I chose to keep my current reserves of empathy for the homeless in our society, the poor, the marginalised, for patients on trolleys, for the people who weren’t greedy but still saw their livelihoods ruined.

I expect that Christmas in the Quinns’ mansion will still surpass the festive experience of many of our suffering citizens.



A quiet life?

In other news, I note the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been battling against their egos again – only to suffer another predictable defeat. They must be devastated…

I expect I’m the only person in Abbey Street to have googled the Harry and Meghan saga this morning – although it may well be that the lads working on the footpaths outside our office urgently seek out Megxit updates during their breaks.

It’s the age old story…boy meets girl, she’s an American actress, he turns out to be her Prince Charming, they fall in love, get married, live in luxury, fall out with ‘The Firm’…dramatically walk away from it all, condemn the media, imply they want privacy in their new life abroad…then embark on a never-ending series of book/podcast/chat show/documentary projects.

What is pitiful and hypocritical about the conduct of ‘Team Sussex’ since quitting the Royal family is their constant attention-seeking in the very media environment they have so often condemned. The latest tiresome ‘development’ is the launch of a six-part Netflix series (available from the 8th of December) in which the shy couple have enthusiastically participated.

Harry and Meghan may never have explicitly stated they wanted to live the rest of their lives away from the media spotlight – it was more that they railed against media intrusion, that and the Firm’s alleged awfulness – but their constant washing of dirty linen in public is very unseemly. They really doth protest too much!

It’s a free world – it certainly is now for Harry and Meghan – but the contradictions inherent in their approach are blatant.

They are now cashing in on their fame at every opportunity, glorying (it would appear) in embarrassing their estranged family, and constantly drawing attention to their former and present lives…the very spotlight they claimed to want to avoid.

They justify this by continually claiming it’s about having their side of the story heard; but how many times do we need to hear it?

It is beyond boring now!



All to play for…

In the World Cup Round of 16, Messi starred as Argentina edged out Australia on Saturday. On Sunday, Kylian Mbappé lit up the tournament in France’s win over Poland. England remain very much in contention, 3-0 winners over Senegal.



Radio daze

SLIGHTLY GROUCHY CORNER: Either it’s ego, a curious radio tradition, or maybe they’re uniquely thoughtful people…

I mean, why do some radio presenters feel the need to thank colleagues or the ‘team’ when they’re winding up their shows?

Example today: I was listening to a certain national radio station’s evening current affairs show at 6.53…foolishly expecting seven more minutes of…current affairs!

Instead, the presenter went into full ‘That’s our lot for today’ mode and proceeded to thank everyone behind the scenes, live on air. Why is this necessary? You know the routine…

Presenter: “I want to thank our researchers Sharon and Cathal for doing such a wonderful job, a huge thanks of course to Debbie, who produced the show, not forgetting Ciaran on sound, indeed all the team…”

Here’s the point: The last time I was in a taxi, the driver didn’t say: “Just before you head off there Sir, I’d like to thank my mechanic Mike for ensuring this car was fit for the road today, a special shout out to David in the car wash around the corner, and my appreciation to Karen in the filling station where I got fuel this morning…”

And, last time I was in a restaurant, the proprietor did not say: “Hey Paul, we’re just winding up for the evening…but before you leave, can I place on record my appreciation to Gerry and all the team who supply us with meat, to Mary who prepared the menu, and not forgetting Simon who picked out that great Christmas-themed background music!”

Anyways, that’s my lot for today. Eh, but before I go, I’d like to thank…



Street sights

Two thoughts from my afternoon stroll down town.

As I passed the Council HQ, a toddler and her mother pressed their faces against the building’s glass exterior…to admire a beautiful Christmas display. The child’s joy and wonder summed up the magic of Christmas.

Moments later, I admired how fabulous the new town square – now adorned with festive lighting – looks at present. It will be a perfect location for this weekend’s Christmas Festival.



Day we dreaded…

It’s freezing cold. It’s our busiest day of the year in the People office. Even worse – much, much worse – today is the first day since November 20th on which there is no World Cup football. No. Live. Football. Today.

The anguish. As long as RTE doesn’t fill the gap in the schedule with repeats of ‘The 2 Johnnies Do America’, we will get through this. And we have to do it all again tomorrow (the quarter-finals begin on Friday).