Tag Archives: Raidió Teilifís Éireann

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 50. On Television Licences.

By law, every household in Ireland must pay €160 for a television licence. This payment goes to RTE, our national television and radio broadcaster. For this money we get Ryan Tubridy and The Late Late Show, interminable reality TV shows, awful attempts at comedy and quite risible drama, with very few exceptions.

In Great Britain, for £145.50, viewers get Doctor Who, The Hour, Merlin, Being Human, Ashes to Ashes and plenty of quality one-off drama like last week’s Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes.

We get Pat Shortt, repeats and imports. I’d rather go to jail.

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The Wednesday Whack-Job

Our country goes up in smoke. (Picture courtesy of the Evening Herald.)

It is said that Emperor Nero was too busy practicing on his violin to notice that Rome was burning around him. It could be myth and legend, it doesn’t matter either way.

Last weekend the Dublin GAA Football team played host to Cork in the All-Ireland Senior Football semi-final. Despite playing a good game, the Dubs were beaten by a point and missed their chance to play in their first final since 1995. Shit happens. They’ll get another chance next year.

As befitting to such a major sporting occasion, our Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., attended as a guest of honour. Croke Park is a magnificent stadium, and it’s only right that it should be designated a smoke-free zone. (It doesn’t stop the fans on Hill 16 from puffing away on their John Player Blue, though.)

A box of cancer sticks. Filthy habit, really.

I have to be honest and say that though I knew that BIFFO (Big Ignorant Fecker From Offaly) enjoys a pint or ten, I didn’t know he was a smoker until a member of the public spotted our beloved leader puffing away in a prohibited zone, and promptly notified the relevant authorities. No, not the gardai, but Joe Duffy’s Liveline radio show on RTE.

I’ll write more about Mr. Duffy and his show at a later stage. But for now, I wish to add my sympathies to our much-maligned head of government. Let me put it this way, Cowen is about as popular as a fart in a spacesuit. So much so, in fact, that his fellow countrymen are willing to shop his little indiscretions to the media. Almost all of us who smoke have at some point sneaked a quick drag in places where we shouldn’t. It’s part and parcel of “owning” an unsociable habit. To some, it’s part of the fun.

Oh Brian, how low have you fallen in the esteem of your voters that we’re not willing to let trivial events like that slide? Not low enough, it seems. It seems ironic that in a week where Cowen was celebrated by the international community as being a leader with courage, his own community would prefer he was hung, drawn and quartered.

We’d have an election tomorrow – but the Opposition are no great shakes, either. Don’t get me started on Enda Kenny…