13 Aug 2007
I’m working a series for RTE called Designs for Life.
13 Aug 2007
Remember I introduced him to you all a couple of Dispatches ago? The Grumpiest Man In England And, Therefore, By Definition The Grumpiest Man In The Milky Way? Well, it’s so funny because I didn’t know about it at the time and only discovered afterwards that his nickname is in reality, actually Grumpy!
13 Aug 2007
As you may have already heard, the inaugural Kafka awards honouring excellence in Irish Planning Bureaucratic Obduracy will be presented at a star studded event later this year. There are some extremely strong candidates in all categories but before you cast your vote I just want to bring your attention to some wonderfully nuanced performances you might have missed
13 Aug 2007


I’m sorry. There is more. 

If, as I said, the imaginary Hogwarts can be seen as a space-time-vortex-mirror-image of the relationship of the Irish to their landscape, isn’t it reasonable to presume that an inverse mirror image of Hogwarts can be found in Irish life? Well, funny you should ask… 

I want you to have a good look at this picture of Professor McGonigal.

Nothing unusual about it, right?

Well think back to the Last Supper episode in the Da Vinci Code and look again. Listen carefully to these words: Mary O’Rourke.

You see what I mean?      

Now the rest of it, I’ll grant you, is pure supposition but you’ll have to agree, there is a certain truthiness to it. If Mary O’Rourke is the space-time-vortex-mirror-image of Professor McGonigal, doesn’t that imply that the pre Charlie Haughey Fianna Fail Party is none other than Voldemort (I don’t want to get too carried away here, but look at the Voldemort/De Valera alliteration. And what about the fact that Alan Rickman played Dev in the Collins movie? Yep, the pieces are definitely beginning to fall into place).   

I myself, of course, am Harry. And Bertie (as most of us knew from at least book two) is Severus Snape.

All that stuff about turning his back on the dark side and no longer signing blank cheques he didn’t know who’s hands they’d fall into all the while forgetting the golden rule of warlording: that you must never lodge apparently arbitrary amounts of money into your private bank account which can eventually allegedly be shown to be the exact equivalent of dollar and sterling donations.

Hermione is, of course, Katsia Damenkova:

As it happens, because of the space-time-vortex-mirror-image thing, it’s me Harry/Garry who ends up with Hermione/Katsia and not Ron – otherwise it wouldn’t be a mirror image.     

And that leaves us wondering who Ron might be. The limitations of the vortex notwithstanding, Ron just has to be a red head.

Three candidates spring to mind:

David McWilliams, who in his publicity photos always looks strawberry blond but in reality has hair the colour of your granny’s ginger cake.  


Matt Cooper, who’s actually quite a lot like Ron in many respects.


And Senator Paudie Coffey. 

Which one's Ron?
Let’s turn it into a competition. Winner gets a Paris Hilton voiced Sat Nav.

13 Aug 2007
If Harry Potter were Irish... Many moons ago, long before we ever had Harry Potter, mobile phones or Sat Nav, I went on a driving tour through the Highlands of Scotland (Scottish people, be assured that the following is not meant to offend in any way, that I love you all like in-laws, etc.).