Paul Healy’s Week


Walford woes

After a busy day at work, and with no football on, I’m unwinding with the latest from Albert Square (EastEnders)…

As regular viewers will be aware, since Christmas, six stressed local ladies have been covering up the murder of Keanu. As part of the cover-up, they heartlessly buried the poor man under the floor of the local café (where Keanu’s sister, Bernie works).

It appears that last night, respected local policeman Jack (he’s married to one of the six women, for now at least) spent a few hours uprooting the floor of the café, in order to retrieve his wife’s necklace from the vicinity of the murder victim’s body.

The main reason I’m referring to EastEnders this week is to marvel at the quality of the ‘police work’ in Walford. Very commendable (well, except for Jack, who really shouldn’t be interfering with a crime scene).

I think you’ll agree they haven’t hung about. The body under the floor was discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning, and definitively identified within hours. Early on Thursday, the police broke the news to Sharon that her fiancée (Keanu) was dead.

Then, within an hour or so, and on foot of just one phone call informing them that Keanu had warned Sharon at Christmas that he intended to take her son (Albie), the police returned… and arrested Sharon on suspicion of murder. They did this despite not having one single conversation with her (about the murder).

Fast work. If these guys were stationed in sleepy Aidensfield in Heartbeat, they’d solve crimes before they were even committed.

As an aside, expect big discounts on just about everything in Nish’s Café for a week or so.

*Spoiler alert: I’ve just remembered it wasn’t Sharon who killed Keanu. Oops.


The walk of life…

There I was, strolling along Longford’s Main Street this morning (having just finished a stint on Shannonside Radio) when my attention was drawn to two men walking in my direction.

The first man was walking down (or is it up?) the street while carrying a long plank of wood (more like a lat, actually). He had a slightly serious expression, perhaps befitting the task in hand… whereby he was trying to carry the plank to its destination, while avoiding knocking over any pensioners on their way to the post office, or being taunted by young smart alecs.

The second man was with the first man, but walking a few paces behind him – at a guess, a distance of roughly the length of a plank. This second man was also carrying something… a two-litre plastic container of milk. That’s all he was carrying. Unlike the first man, the second man didn’t have a slightly serious expression; he had a smile for everyone, me included.

I felt this was some sort of metaphor or symbolism for life itself. Maybe the world is made up of two types of people… carriers of planks, and carriers of milk. The man carrying the milk was happy (on the outside at least) because he had a light load, knows how to delegate, has time to engage with people, lives an unruffled life… does his own thing.

The man carrying the plank is a good man, but possibly too good for his own good; he sometimes takes on too much. He can leave himself open to being used by people. He always looks out for others, but can sometimes run into trouble, through no fault of his own. He knows what it is like to be at least a little bit stressed.

Off they went, progressing along Longford’s busy Main Street on a Friday morning, one man balancing a long plank, his colleague cheerily following with a two-litre container of milk. Perhaps they reverse the roles from time to time. I’d like to think they do. As an aside, I don’t know the intended destination/fate of the plank… but the tea-break certainly wasn’t going to be forgotten.


Mullooly’s move

Ciaran Mullooly’s entry into the European elections race as a candidate in the expansive Midlands-North-West constituency represents the latest high profile addition to an intriguing line-up (other recent declared runners include Barry Cowen, Lisa Chambers, Nina Carberry and John Waters).

  Local TD Michael Fitzmaurice played a key role in encouraging the former RTE journalist to join ‘Independent Ireland’.

In stating that Ciaran will be a strong candidate, and a serious contender for one of the five seats in Midlands-North-West, I should also engage in some ‘full disclosure’ and declare that he has been a personal friend of mine for well over 30 years, since we soldiered together on the journalistic front (in Longford and Cavan).

His candidature has certainly turned the temperature up in a constituency which spans 15 counties. The current incumbent MEPs are Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Chris MacManus, Colm Markey and Maria Walsh.


The run of life…

A British man who has become the first person to run the full length of Africa – 16,000km over 352 days – raised €640k for charity. Endurance athlete Russ Cook (27) had a great droll response when asked by Sky News this week about his feat (and feet): “I’m pretty tired” was his reply.

This unusual story reminded me of a sketch by the legendary Monty Python troupe. In the sketch, two chaps take part in the world’s longest/most gruelling race. We see them running across several countries, with the breathless commentator conveying how close and exciting the race is. When it ends in a dead heat, both competitors are on the verge of collapsing.

At this point, a TV reporter confirms to the men that they completed the race across the world in the exact same time, adding: “The replay’s tomorrow!”


Curb my enthusiasm? No!

After 24 wonderful years, the final episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm aired tonight. If you’re not familiar with it, enjoy the repeats. Highly improvised, ‘Curb’ is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, and Larry David is a comedy genius. I’ll return to this important subject.


Simon’s day

Best wishes to Simon Harris, who became Ireland’s youngest ever Taoiseach today. There was a time when the early days of a new government’s term guaranteed a heatwave. It’s not quite a new government, but at the very least I expect the rain to stop now.