Tag Archives: politics

Fry Up

They’ve wasted a perfectly good controversy The Irish police are investigating Stephen Fry for blasphemy. Well, not really. A few years ago, Fry gave one of those “If you’re so great, why is everything crap?” answers to Gay Byrne on a lightweight Irish religious programme when asked what he’d say if he ever met God. A viewer decided to put Irish law to the test, and complained to the police…. Read Article →

‘I am not bound by decisions made by my predecessors’ – RTE FOI

A few years ago, after reading a news story about a “dossier” sent to RTE about its political coverage by a political party, I sent in a freedom of information request, asking for “any submissions from political parties regarding partiality and bias in political reporting and commentary on RTE”. The request was initially refused, on the grounds that RTE did not have to supply information on “programme related functions”, citing… Read Article →

Proper Charlie

Maybe the problem is Charlie Haughey wasn’t that interesting. In a way, he wasn’t. I grew up with CJH as Taoiseach, yet no matter how many times I was assured he was a charismatic, powerful and dominant presence, I never saw it. I saw another dull grey politician, and Ireland being Ireland, it wasn’t that hard to read between the lines of the regular newspaper profiles. Unexplained wealth? You mean… Read Article →

Pressure Points

I posted this graph in yesterday’s 200 Words. I created it as a clearer version of Simon McGarr’s “Scandal Timeline”, below. Journalists have criticised the graph, pointing out the story in response to which it was created — Tuam mass graves — was broken by the Daily Mail (and earlier, the Connacht Tribune). They have a point. The Tribune, Mail and Journal covered it. Philip Boucher-Hayes did an excellent Liveline…. Read Article →

The Game of Thrones guide to Irish politics

Always pays his debts. Even if it bankrupts the state. Regarded by some as the real king in the North, by others as a bastard. Cool beard. The king of even further North Blonde. Lives overseas. The real queen. Strong links to the old regime Short of supporters now No one really wants him Pompous. Self-important Hasn’t realised he’s someone else’s bitch. Creepy weird religious fanatic Politically neutered No longer… Read Article →

Snapshots, moving pictures, and unknowns

A poll is a snapshot, capturing a moment in time. A still image, and a blurry one at that. The margin of error (usually around three percent) means the picture isn’t always crystal clear. The margin of error can also tempt newspapers, hungry for exciting headlines, to pump up a statistically insignificant gain or loss in support of one or two percent. Over time though, polls can show trends. The graphs… Read Article →