At the start of the week, several former google executives launched a new search engine. The website is called Cuil – ‘an old Irish word for knowledge’, according to its founders. Cuil is – among other things – the Irish for eagerness, fearsomeness, a gnat, a horsefly, a beetle, a bluebottle, and cúil (the addition… Continue reading Backtalk

Summer Re-runs

The main news item last weekend was an opinion poll showing an increase in the number of Irish voters who would reject the Lisbon treaty if a second referendum took place. Most reportage was taken up with government ministers who criticised the survey as ‘outside interference in our national debate‘. Oddly, the government didn’t react… Continue reading Summer Re-runs

Polling The Police

It’s been reported that over half of our police think they should be armed. You can always tell it’s the silly season when stories like this pop up. Growing up, I could always tell when summer had officially started it when one of the newspapers ran a Blaney To Rejoin Fianna Fáil story, until his… Continue reading Polling The Police

Police Action

‘Lack of evidence keeps cases from courts’, RTÉ reports in a headline summarising the annual report from the Director of Public Prosecutions. My first reaction to the headline was the Homer Response. ‘That’s reassuring’ was my second reaction. My third reaction was to think of news stories following high profile crimes – from so-called ‘gangland… Continue reading Police Action


Consider the following: Biffo and Dermot Ahern were solicitors. Micheál Martin, Mary Harney, Mary Hanafin and Noel Dempsey were secondary school teachers. Mary Coughlan was a social worker. Brian Lenihan was a lecturer and qualified barrister. Willie O’Dea was a qualified barrister and accountant. Batt O’Keeffe was a lecturer. Brendan Smith was a political handler.… Continue reading Experience

You’ve Got Mail

I’ve been wallowing in schadenfreude all day, thanks to a news item from Seattle. Having pleased guilty last March to fraud and tax evasion charges, Robert Alan Solway was sentenced to 47 months in prison after pleading guilty in a Seattle court on Tuesday. ‘Robert Alan who?’ I can hear you ask. Robert Soloway was… Continue reading You’ve Got Mail

Identity Theft

The internet is broken. Or at least, there’s a gaping big hole in its security. Security researcher Dan Kaminsky spotted the flaw in the foundations of the internet, the DNS (Domain Name Server) system several months ago, then worked in secret until a patch could be prepared. However, Kaminsky and others who were briefed then… Continue reading Identity Theft

Post Hoc

News that dole claimants will have to collect cash in person at post offices was warmly welcomed today by the Irish Association of Thieves and Highwaymen. ‘This is just the kind of shot in the arm we need,’ spokesman Dennis ‘Money with Menaces’ Cutpurse said. ‘Frankly, with electronic funds transfers growing in popularity, we’ve been… Continue reading Post Hoc

Home Sweet Home

From the memoirs of Jeremiah Curtin, an American who travelled to west Donegal around 1890: ‘The morning after my arrival in Carrick, I went to Teelin point to see the people and get an idea of their knowledge regarding myths. I had, as usual, to listen to tales of repression. The proprietor of the hotel… Continue reading Home Sweet Home