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… Continue reading Bare Faced Cheek

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… Continue reading The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Naked Taoiseach

Yesterday, I wrote about RTÉ removing a film report on caricatures of Brian Cowen smuggled into two Dublin galleries. [Kudos at this point to Maman Poulet, who’s blog tipped me off to the story.] Since them, things have grown more serious. The images on the RTÉ website were removed, copy has been edited, and the… Continue reading The Naked Taoiseach

Bare Arse Biffo

You can tell a lot about the powerful by how they react to satire. In Ireland, the powerful tend to react badly. Older politicians still smart at the memory of Hall’s Pictorial Weekly, and can barely bring themselves to smile through gritted teeth when Scrap Saturday is mentioned. The result is a pale imitation of… Continue reading Bare Arse Biffo

Off Message

Free speech can be a bugger sometimes. In 1987, Ray Crotty went to court to stop the government ratifying the Single European Act, a European treaty without a referendum. Crotty won, and the government had to hold a referendum. Fast forward eight years to the McKenna judgement. This time, the courts told the government it… Continue reading Off Message


It would appear our parliamentarians are in favour of censorship. Fianna Fáil TD Thomas Burke lost the run of himself at a meeting of the Oireachtas subcommittee on Europe earlier this week, and rounded on Cardinal Sean Brady, demanding that the hapless cleric should ban the distribution of ‘Alive’ – described in one report as… Continue reading Hush

Lend Me Your Ears

Ever feel like there’s too much news? Not too much bad news, just too much news. Then maybe 4fm is for you. The new station advertised for applicants today, and their website also includes details of their planned schedule. Radio listeners in Ireland really have two only two format choices on the national airwaves. On… Continue reading Lend Me Your Ears

Speaking Out

I’m not exactly Kevin Myers biggest fan. I will admit, for example, to a frisson of schadenfreude when Judge Peter Cory cited a Garda report outlining ‘how little [Myers and another writer] relied upon fact and how much they relied upon suspicion and hypothesis.’ ‘Statements and allegations were put forward as matters of fact when… Continue reading Speaking Out

Holy Law

A group of Dáil backbenchers have quietly declared war on God. The joint committee on the Constitution yesterday published a report on freedom of expression and blasphemy. Bunreacht na hÉireann allows the Oireachtas to punish the publishers of ‘blasphemous, seditious or indecent matters’. However, a Defamation bill making its way into law abolishes the offence… Continue reading Holy Law


‘The undetermined and unindicated status of authors and publishers of weblogs causes uncertainties regarding impartiality, reliability, source protection, applicability of ethical codes and the assignment of liability in the event of lawsuits,’ according to a draft report by MEP Marianne Mikko. The MEP wants ‘clarification of the legal status of different categories of weblog authors… Continue reading Chill