The launch of the office of the press ombudsman and the press council of Ireland at the start of January was greeted with much fanfare by the press. An Irish Times editorial called it ‘a defining moment in Irish journalism where the rights and responsibilities of the print media can be held to account by readers.' It expressed the hope that the newly adopted code of practice ‘will provide the impetus to improve journalistic standards into the future'. Unfortunately, however, such lofty aspirations are so implausible as to be actively misleading.
Now that Donnie Darko's popularity has reached beyond its cult tag, it's easy to forget that with its wormholes, time travel and talking rabbits, it caused a lot of head scratching upon release back in 2001. Well, Donnie's writer/director Richard Kelly has gone one (well, twenty) better with Southland Tales.
Far from the glittering lights south of the river, The Welcome Inn is located on Parnell Street North in what is now known as Dublin's ‘China Town'. This street boasts some of the best Asian cuisine in the city. Unlike the Shakespeare Bar across the road, which has been transformed into a bizarre amalgam of a Korean / Japanese sushi restaurant with an old Irish pub attached, the Welcome Inn has not engaged in any keeping-up-with-the-Jones behaviour in response to its new neighbours.
The collapse of Katy French on Monday 3 December and her death several days later in hospital provoked a full scale outbreak of media hysteria. The story's combination of celebrity, drugs and a tragic young death unsurprisingly proved irresistible, and not only to the tabloids. The first ten pages of news section of the Irish Independent on Saturday 8 December, two days after her death, were entirely devoted to the story and were further supplemented by several features.
One of the most buzzed online web comics of the year finally got a hard copy release this side of the pond last month. It's called Shooting War, and it's made waves over at Smithmag.net since May 2006, when uber-Geek (that's hard ware and binary, not math rock and horn rims) bloggers Boing Boing blew the roof off it with a throw away casual link. It threads terrain typical of graphic novels, reaching into a future dystopia to stick some allegories about the present up our ass for awkward digestion.
With rare exceptions, foreign correspondents have taken their lead from the US in their coverage of elections in Venezuela and Bolivia. Presidents Hugo Chávez and Evo Morales are ridiculed and vilified. But warmonger and global warming denier George Bush is treated with respect, and evidence of US-funded attempts to influence election results, even through assassination, is ignored.
A memoir by David Andrews gives a unique insight into Fianna Fáil in government. By Barry Desmond
Ridley Scott's career has been a series of peaks (Alien, Bladerunner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Hannibal), punctuated by just as many troughs (Legend, Black Rain, 1492, G.I Jane and A Good Year), so it's nice to see his latest American Gangster become another high.
I fail to understand why political parties like Labour and Fine Gael are so dead set against the Irish language. Their idea of reducing Gaeilge to a mere choice subject on the Leaving Cert is akin to the State saying that the language is of no use any more.
In light of the media reports that a foxhunting club is under investigation it would be helpful to put in context the organisation of foxhunting in Ireland.