Paul Healy’s Week


Rabb-it caught in…

Across the water, the fallout from Boris Johnson’s long-running ‘Tory toxicity’ project continues.

On Friday, Dominic Rabb – an unofficial poster boy for the stereotypical arrogant Tory –  tendered his resignation (through gritted teeth) to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The UK’s Deputy Prime Minister departs following publication of a report into allegations that he had bullied and belittled staff during his work as a Government Minister. PM Sunak received the report on Thursday.

True to form, Raab’s resignation letter was written (well, no doubt dictated) in the classic ‘I’m sorry, but’ style of the people who… aren’t really sorry.

Here’s just two of its gems: “In setting the threshold for bullying so low, this inquiry has set a dangerous precedent”.

Better still, Raab says: “I am genuinely sorry for the unintended stress or offence that any officials felt, as a result of the pace, standards and challenge that I brought to the Ministry of Justice. That is, however, what the public expect of Ministers working on their behalf”.

Decoded, this means: Raab is ‘sorry’ for causing stress (i.e. his bullying), which was due to his determination to work at great pace/get things done, to pursue high standards, to meet his own high expectations, etc. Moreover, he has the public behind him; his work ethic and standards is what is demanded and expected. So, er… I’m sorry if anyone took offence when I was working at great pace to meet my incredibly high standards (as expected by the great British public).

Heroic to the end, at the close of his resignation letter Raab raised the issue that concerns us all, calling on the PM to arrange an independent review into “systematic leaking of skewed and fabricated claims to the media…”

The never-ending circus continues…



Farewell to a genius

The very first time I saw Dame Edna Everage on TV – it was probably the early 1980s – I was immediately in awe. What a comic creation the hilarious, outlandish, larger than life ‘Australian housewife’ was.

My generation grew up on UK-produced stars like Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnies, Benny Hill, and Tommy Cooper – now, a remarkably original new talent was taking the Des O’Connor Show, Parkinson, and the Royal Variety Performance by storm.

Dame Edna was in fact Barry Humphries, a comedy genius who created great characters, then portrayed them with wonderful intelligence, skill and timing. As an actor and comedian, he excelled in theatre, TV, and film, during a glittering seven-decade career. Most famous for his ‘Dame Edna’ persona, Humphries was also the vulgar drunk, Sir Les Patterson.

A global comedy giant, Barry Humphries died today, aged 89. He was a one-off who has left a glorious legacy, that of bringing so much joy to the world through his incredible talent.

I’ll never forget seeing Dame Edna that first time. Farewell and thanks to Barry Humphries, a genius whose greatness will be appreciated as long as comedy is enjoyed. May he rest in peace.



A night in Regan’s…

Whatever one’s view on the wisdom or otherwise of permitting vehicles back into the recently revamped square in Roscommon town, there’s no doubt (in my opinion) that the area is extremely attractive and welcoming.

Tonight, we had a family dinner in the landmark Regan’s establishment. A renowned venue for many decades in the heart of the county town, Regan’s is now a popular Gastro Pub & Restaurant. Tonight, the place was buzzing (and packed)… brimming with atmosphere, the chatter of diners creating a delightful Saturday evening vibe. The food and service were excellent. A lovely night in a great family-run establishment.



The big game

The Hyde was the place to be today, and that’s where we were. Great crowd, decent game, Galway deserved winners, positives for Roscommon too. See what we made of it all in our sports section!



Secret meeting…

There was some tension at the recent gathering of the ROBOTS (Rossies on bewilderment over technology), held at a secret location in Roscommon.

The chairperson shook her head when she saw the small turnout – just herself and the secretary.

“Did you not inform everyone about the meeting?”

“Eh, I did up emails, but I think they kept bouncing back… or something!”

It was a bad start. “Ironically, the whole point of this club is it’s meant to be a forum for people who are struggling with modern technology” the chairperson said, as she struggled to put her mobile on silent.

The secretary apologised. “Should we try and set up a Zoom meeting?” he asked, a comment which attracted a snort of derision from his friend.

“We’re facing a crisis” the chairperson reflected. “A neighbour of mine tried to book a holiday in Lanzarote online, but ended up buying two tickets for a Daniel O’Donnell concert by mistake. I myself met Davy Burke and tried to take a selfie, but all I got was the top of his cap, with no sign of me at all”.

The secretary was sympathetic. “It’s a nightmare. Sure I still can’t operate Netflix. And what’s all this talk about Quantum Computing?”

“Beats me” said the chairperson. “I still can’t send a photo on WhatsApp. As for artificial intelligence! Next they’ll be talking about robots…”

“Eh, actually, AI is all about robots”.

The chairperson frowned.

The secretary shook his head. “QR codes. AirPods! The Sat Nav in the car! THE METAVERSE! What the heck is that? If we’re honest, we’re tech illiterates! We haven’t a clue!”

“I know! That’s why I set this club up! Pity you couldn’t even get the invites out!”

Frustrated, they decided to call it a day. Later, relaxing at home, the chairperson felt she had been a touch hard on the secretary. She sent him a text. “Sorry for earlier. We’re just dinosaurs. You’re playing a blinder. Chat soon”.

The secretary smiled to himself. Dinosaurs! Putting down his glass of wine, he decided to fire back a smiley face.

The chairperson stared at her smartphone.

“What’s he at NOW? Sending me a cabbage emoji!”