Monday 2 August 2010

Au revoir

I SHOULD have explained that I haven't been blogging for a while as my new job might produce a conflict of interest (as long as the job lasts, of course).


That said, to paraphrase the Governor of California, I hope I'll be back.

Saturday 6 February 2010

Eamonn Lillis murder trial: Media victims

AM I the only one to be amazed at how far the Irish Independent will go to milk the story around the murder trial of Eamonn Lillis, found guilty this week of bludgeoning with a brick his wealthy wife, a former model and James Bond movie star, at home in the upmarket County Dublin suburb of Howth?

Celine Cawley (46) appeared with Roger Moore in the 1985 James Bond movie A View To Kill.

Her husband has been sentenced to six years and 11 months in prison for her manslaughter. He was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter despite trying to cover up his crime with a string of lies to police investigators about her being attacked by an intruder and naming a former gardener as a possible suspect.

Behind the trappings of successful professional careers in the media, the couple's marriage was on the rocks and the 52-year-old Eamonn Lillis had embarked on an affair with a beauty therapist 20 years younger.

Admittedly, it's a real life and death story that will undoubtedly be made into a TV drama but was it really necessary for the Irish Independent today to go to the home town of Lillis's young lover, highlight who her siblings are and where they are working, and look to local councillors for a comment on the case?

As even the piece by Barry Duggan all but admits in a quote from one neighbour, being a mistress is not a crime and being a relative of someone unwittingly caught up in a murder trial is not a crime.

What would journalists think if people aggrieved by their reporting took to highlighting all their relatives' backgrounds in responses to false or intrusive reporting?

Six Nations rugby: Ireland welcomes Italy

EVEN though I used to play rugby union at school (and enjoyed it), it's seldom excited me like this Six Nations campaign that kicks off today.

Ireland welcomes Italy to Croke Park in Dublin this afternoon and with a strong Irish-Italian community running the domestic takeaway food trade, the craic should be mighty in the chip shops of Ireland today.

Friday 5 February 2010

The North: At last, DUP agree on transferring policing and justice powers from London

RTÉ reports:

"The First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson has said his party's representatives at the Stormont Assembly have backed a deal with Sinn Féin on the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster.

"The breakthrough follows lengthy negotiations involving both governments at Hillsborough Castle over the past two weeks.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will travel to Belfast this morning to put their seal on the agreement."

Watch the press conference live from 10am

Thursday 4 February 2010

1 in 3 Brits thinks 'Family Guy' leads BNP

ONE in three members of the British public matched a picture of Nick Griffin (far right), the odious and oily führer of the neo-Nazi British National Party, with the name of Peter Griffin, the protagonist of the TV cartoon sitcom Family Guy.

A money-saving website survey of 1,498 people found more were able to identify a picture of Alex Reid, the new husband of Katie Price (aka Jordan), than recognised Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Explains a lot.

System beliefs

HAVING spent my formative years in Suffolk, England, and still with an attachment to the county, I was pleased to see this letter from my old home county about the Pope's visit, also in Wednesday's Independent (London).

'PEOPLE of faith' have every right to exert their influence, using our democratic system, but they must not be allowed to invoke their beliefs to trump that system.
Patrick Smith, Beccles, Suffolk

My sentiments entirely.

Papal Bull

THIS letter appeared in Wednesday's Independent (London).

THE Pope has confirmed that he will make a state visit to our country but doesn't much like our equality legislation for gay men and women. Surely he must be familiar with the maxim "When in Rome..."
Roy Askew, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

The Pope: Against Equality Bill

THE Pope has set the tone for his visit to England by publicly attacking Britain's Equality Bill because it will bar the Catholic Church from discriminating against gay people (that's not how the Pope said it but that's the gist of it).

More than 4,000 people have signed a Facebook petition protesting against the Pope's visit, one of the organisers pointing out that taxpayers will be faced with a bill of £20m for a visit in which the church leader "will attack equal rights and promote discrimination".

Human rights campaigner and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell is quoted as saying that the Pope seemed to be demanding that churches should be above the law

And he's right, isn't he?

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Junket jolly: Central Bankers did it

THE Central Bank in Dublin has confessed that it was the state body that paid for 52 spouses of staff to go on foreign trips over a two-year period at taxpayers' expense.

But while it was admitted that there were 49 trips (and not just one giant junket jolly, as previously reported), the Central Bankers refused to give any details on who went on the trips or how much they cost.

Why not? What have they got to hide?