Paul Healy’s Week



Talk TV…

Patrick Kielty is good as host of the Late Late Show, but the format remains tired. If the clock isn’t ticking on the lifespan of this show, it should be!

In contrast, Tommy Tiernan continues to excel on his show. While it’s sometimes ‘hit and miss’, frequently it’s magnificent.

Saturday night’s show – featuring Liverpool comedian John Bishop, (Franciscan) Brother Richard, and Leitrim’s Edwina Guckian – was entertaining and enlightening. Tiernan has been a revelation as a chat show host.




The people say NO

All the indications over recent days were that the two referendums would be lost. For the political establishment, I suspect it’s even worse than they had feared. The people – well, 44% of us – spoke. It was a resounding NO.

Battered and bruised, the Government no doubt was tempted to patronise the people by offering the view that voters were confused and/or didn’t understand the propositions before them. Instead, they wisely fell over backwards – in a manner of speaking – to insist that the people perfectly understood what was put before them, and had voted as they saw fit… unreliable crowd that we are.




Slam setback!

Chatting to a friend outside a shop in Roscommon today, we both agreed that while Ireland should beat England in the big rugby game coming up later, it was a potential ‘banana skin’ (my words). Unfortunately, Andy Farrell’s side did indeed slip up.

Truth be told, even if the nature of our defeat was agonising – England winning with the last kick of the game – Ireland had been poor. England were the better team, and deserved the win. No Grand Slam for our lads then. Hopefully they can produce a slicker performance against Scotland and secure back-to-back Six Nations’ titles.




The Oscar goes to

There was a time when I used to stay up until all hours to watch the Oscars. This year, I was happy to wait for the TV highlights on Monday night, but even so, I only watched segments, waiting to see Cillian Murphy’s welcome win, then channel-hopping. In any event, once I saw Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger reunited on stage (36 years after their hit movie, ‘Twins’) I was happy.

Before I leave the Oscars, I see where Jonathan Ross, covering the Academy Awards for ITV, made that error which drives half this country mad – i.e. ‘claiming’ an Irish star for the British!

Apparently Mr Ross, when speaking about the Best Actor nominations, called Cillian Murphy “a British actor”. Cue the inevitable outcry on X/Twitter!




Lisa & Kate…

News just in! Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa ‘Princess’ Chambers has admitted that an image of her which she released to the media today was somewhat misleading.

Initially (speaking on RTE’s Drivetime), Ms Chambers presented the media with a very clear picture of herself as a No-No voter in the referendums. However, amidst a media storm not unlike that which has engulfed the Royal family – specifically the Princess of Wales – it has emerged that not all was as it appeared with that ‘picture’ of Lisa.

Admitting that the picture she had presented to the world had been ‘doctored’, Ms Chambers has now confirmed that it was not quite an authentic portrait. She made the revelation after various media outlets refused to carry her initial claims that she was a No-No voter, pointing to worrying inconsistencies, this after a photo emerged of Lisa actually canvassing for a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendums.

After a period of silence, Ms Chambers moved to address the mystery. She said: “Like many amateur political spinners, I do occasionally experiment with codology”, before adding: “I edited the picture (of me) to create a slightly different impression”.

She then apologised for any embarrassment she had caused to the Royal family (i.e. Fianna Fáil).




Louis v Jedward!

Yesterday’s Man, Louis Walsh (on Big Brother), and the Day Before Yesterday’s Men, Jedward (X/Twitter), are at war, Louis unkindly describing the duo as “vile” and the twins responding with a series of accusatory tweets about their one-time mentor. What a time to be alive…




Calling Michael…

At long last, Senator Michael McDowell’s secretary returned my calls (well, one of them).

“What do you want?” she asked, with more than a touch of briskness – probably understandable, given that it had been a busy few days.

“I want to speak to Senator McDowell” I responded, feeling there was no point in injecting any unnecessary drama (or mystery).

“He’s not taking any more calls, it’s been crazy”.

Naturally I then played the Rooskey card. “I’m from Rooskey” I blurted out, confident that she well knew that the referendum slayer wisely spends half the year living just outside that special village.

With an air of resignation, Senator McDowell’s secretary sighed. “I’ll let you have a quick word with Michael… I suppose you want to congratulate him on his incredible leadership of the No campaign, and then raise some constitutional issues…”

“Nah” I replied. “All I’m after are Michael’s Cheltenham tips. The man never seems to back a loser!”




Charlie Bird (RIP)

Charlie Bird was Ireland’s rock ‘n’ roll reporter. At his career peak, he was a force of nature in Irish journalism, a brilliant (and relentless) ‘old-style’ reporter who was a thorn in the side of the powerful.

He had many fantastic scoops, while his reporting style – often breathlessly door-stepping people who didn’t want to be door-stepped – endeared him to the nation. Charlie became a national treasure a long time ago.

Away from the day job (or while on it indeed), Charlie Bird was a very engaging man. I had a couple of pleasant encounters with him over the years. Indeed when he hosted a radio show in Kilglass Community Centre, it part-inspired my book, Nothing About Sheep Stealing. Charlie was no stranger to these parts.

Since his motor neurone diagnosis, and with the incredible support of his wife Claire, Charlie brought huge awareness to that disease. His extraordinary campaigning raised millions of euro. Charlie Bird, who sadly died today, was a journalistic giant and a very special man. He has left a great legacy, and will be very fondly remembered.