Your Country?

In the ten days since its launch, ‘Your Country, Your Call‘ has attracted over 1600 suggestions. Not all are winners. Unorthodox proposals include privatising the army as an international mercenary force and “building a leprechaun theme park”. Other suggestions include converting unoccupied homes into tourist accommodation, a fundraising All Ireland 25 Card Drive to increase […]

Culture

Every now and then, Fintan O’Toole ‘s gaze moves away from lofty matters of national import, to consider the state of popular culture. The result is a National Squirm. There are people who understand VIP and Hello magazine but Fintan, for all his merits, is not one of those people. I still recall how marvellously […]

Thatch

Donegal has been more badly served by it’s planning policies than anywhere else in Europe, a consultant in vernacular architecture told a Heritage Week meeting in Glencolmcille. Dr Greg Stevenson is the Honorary Research Fellow in Vernacular Architecture at the University of Wales. “It’s a great shame. The planning policies are there to serve the […]

Wacko Jacko Heart Attacko

The toxicity of our celebrity obsession was reflected back at us by Jackson’s spectral and ruined face. The physical slicing, tucking and restructuring he endured was for what? For us. For our pound of flesh. We must live with that shame. Like slavering beasts, our appetites insatiable, we gorged at the trough of his fame. […]

Home Thoughts While Abroad

I spent most of the week in London. From what I saw in newspapers and on television while there, Gordon Brown seemed preoccupied by the ongoing row over MPs expenses. He lost another minister on Wednesday, though Kitty Ussher was keen to say in her resignation letter that she had done nothing wrong, and was […]

Eyes Only

Gardai question artist under caution: The Irish Times. Police quiz man over naked images of Irish PM in national gallery: The Belfast Telegraph. Cowen artist ‘could be charged’: BBC News. Artist Conor Casby faces jail after Brian Cowen made unwitting model for toilet humour: Times Online (Entertainment section). Irish PM bogged down by nude painting […]

Bare Faced Cheek

‘The visit by a Garda detective today to the offices of Today FM radio station, demanding that staff from the Ray Darcy Show hand over information they might have had about the artist of these pieces was astounding,’ Labour party Senator Alan Kelly said. ‘Does this investigation really represent the best use of scarce Garda […]

The Emperor’s New Clothes

FG Justice Spokesperson Charlie Flanagan criticised the decision by Gardaí to demand emails relating to the artist who painted nude portraits of Brian Cowen hung in two Dublin galleries. ‘At a time when the majority of gangland murders remain unsolved, to have Gardaí spending their time investigating what amounted to a practical joke that offended […]