Michaella

In August 2013, a then 20-year-old Michaella McCollum Connelly and her Scottish accomplice, Melissa Reid, attempted to smuggle eleven kilos of cocaine through Lima International airport. Having being arrested, the pair initially lied about having been kidnapped and coerced, before eventually admitting their guilt and serving more than two years in Peruvian prisons notorious for their hellish conditions.

Had McCollum been caught by Irish customs and not Peruvian, the amount of time she would have spent in a decidedly nicer prison closer to her family would have been roughly the same, with a distinct possibility of not doing any jail time at all. With it being the Tyrone native’s first offence and Irish law making clear distinctions of hierarchy between couriers at the bottom and dealers at the top of the drug offenders list, it would not have been a surprise to see McCollum receive an entirely suspended sentence had she been apprehended at Dublin airport and not Lima. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bray

The eleventh annual Bray Air Display entertained record crowds in the Co. Wicklow seaside town over the weekend. Read the rest of this entry »

Sat Night Show

Just when you thought the property tax was as bad as it could get along comes The Saturday Night Show to remind you that the TV Licence fee is still by far and away the most unjust tax in Ireland. That this lamentable attempt at entertainment can be commissioned by any channel is baffling, that it’s commissioned by the state broadcaster at our expense is an injustice worthy of a tribunal. Read the rest of this entry »

airport

Airports are boring. In the best case scenario you catch your flight after a seemingly interminable period spent queuing and being herded through various screenings and checkpoints where the possession of the wrong amount of shaving gell earns you the same level of suspicion as one of Al-Qaeda’s finest. Airports are the departing countries way of saying: “You might be going on a sun-kissed two week holiday to some exotic location, but we’re going to make damn sure you’re miserable by the time you get there.”

Airports are a vortex of fun, a gathering point for the bored and the irritated. But clearly TV3 thought such a Godawful setting would make for quality TV when they came up with the idea for Dublin Airport: Life Stories. They were wrong. So very, very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

pidgeon

Dick Dastardley was right, pigeons really are the scourge of mankind. Had Dick lived to the present day (and not died of syphilis in 1978 after an ill-advised tryst with Wacky Races harlot, Penelope Pittstop) he would have found a more sympathetic public ear for his pigeon-loathing views. Unfortunately for Dick, his gargoyle looks and sinister laugh never made him the most sympathetic of characters and most viewers took the side of his arch-nemesis, the Yankee Doodle Pigeon. But not me.

I’ve hated pigeons for as long as I’ve had the ability to hate. Perhaps this is down to some long-suppressed traumatic childhood incident involving one of the little gits and an ice cream or something, but whatever the source of my hatred, there isn’t a day that goes by where it doesn’t feel justified. Read the rest of this entry »

Obituary: James Cantwell

Posted: July 8, 2016 in Uncategorized

Last August saw the passing of one-time Waterford News and Star journalist Jim Cantwell at the age of 75. Although best known for being the first Communications Director of the Irish Catholic Church, it was in the offices of the then Waterford Star where Jim’s fledgling media career took flight.

Although educated in Dublin, it was on Suirside that Jim’s family had their roots and to where he returned upon the completion of secondary school in the mid-fifties. A voracious reader with a passion for sport, the teenager had developed a keen eye for prose and soon identified journalism as his career of choice.

Having secured a six month trial at the ‘Star through a family friend, Jim’s vocation began in the time-honoured tradition of all journalism careers – making tea and delivering post. Whether he excelled at either was moot, so short a time did he take to progress to full-fledged reporter, after an act of daring initiative earned him the scoop of the year. Read the rest of this entry »

Despite a £100,000 fine and the promise of more punitive punishment to come, one can’t help but feel Alan Pardew is an extremely lucky man. For at what other institution would the evermore ornery antics of a senior employee be tolerated than at the never-ending punch line that is Newcastle United Football Club?

In fact, so in keeping with the club’s tradition of unedifying buffoonery was Saturday’s head-butt by Pardew on Hull City’s David Meyler, that it’s easy to imagine owner Mike Ashley drunkenly high-fiving the Toon boss when next the pair meet up over a game of BlackJack in the after-hours East End casino where their professional (as it were) relationship was born. Read the rest of this entry »

The term ‘crashed and burned’ may seem quite apposite in describing David Moyes’ disastrous spell at the Manchester United helm, but at least one aspect where Moyes’ tenure differs from airline doom is in the need to locate a black box. For never have the causes of a managerial casualty been so quick-to-hand, with entire forests-worth of paper being sacrificed in the name of the blame game. From the sacking of the coaching staff to the attitude of the players, from Moyes’ inexperience to the Glazers parasitic ownership of the club, for once it is failure, and not success, that has the surfeit of fathers. Read the rest of this entry »

 “When I grow up I want to score an injury-time overhead kick to win my favourite team the championship!”, said the first kid.
“When I grow up I want to make a last minute penalty save to win my team the cup!”, said the second kid.
“When I grow up I want to take two minutes over a throw-in, thus ensuring the ball is in play for the least amount of time possible and thereby ensuring the opposition have less time to create chances, whilst also giving my teammates ample time to get behind the ball!”, said the third kid, before receiving a thoroughly deserved kicking from the other two.

Read the rest of this entry »

"Talking nonsense? Me?!"

“Talking nonsense? Me?!”

There are certain managers for whom every public utterance is scrutinised, dissected and happily challenged by the frothing wolves of a media pack all too eager to sink their teeth into any perceived contradictions or mistruths. For the modern-day football manager the media are every inch as formidable an opponent as the identity of the man in the next dugout, a foe to be taken lightly at their peril. For every manager that is, except Jose Mourinho, for whom every laughably absurd and self-serving address is treated with as much deference and sincerity as though it were delivered from a mount in the Middle East a few millennia ago.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of a more prolific expounder of nonsense in the world of football than the Portugese for whom every campaign can be filed into one of two categories; the successful ones and the ones in which he was cheated. For in Jose’s world there can be no other explanation for short-comings. Eliminated from the Champions League at Camp Nou? Clearly the referree’s fault and not the person responsible for playing Robert Huth up front. Lose a Champions League Semi-final against a Liverpool side costing a fraction of his own team? Clearly the fault of the linesman and nothing to do with his own side’s failure to resister a single attempt on target over 180 minutes against a defence containing Djimi Troare. Unable to budge Barcelona from their perch? Why, a Uefa conspiracy, of course, and nothing to do with an inability to get the best out of the most expensively assembled side in the history of the game. Read the rest of this entry »