With Saint Patrick’s Day comes the usual embarrassment of increased drunken stupidity, cringeworthy Irish stereotyping and the annual “Paddy NOT Patty!” argument. While this week followed the usual patterns, political shenanigans mostly overshadowed any vomit soaked embarrassment the country may have been feeling.
On Sunday night, TV host and political satirist John Oliver set his sights on the Emerald Isle, discussing last week’s highly publicised temporary legalisation of certain drugs. Dubbed “Yokes Tuesday”, the possession of certain psychoactive drugs was briefly legalised after a court ruling. You could legally have pocketfuls of ketamine but common, more popular drugs like cannabis remained unaffected. Our well oiled government machine sprang into action at a speed that has seldom been seen before in Irish politics as emergency legislation was passed to prevent the country from descending into a hedonistic pit of debauchery. Oliver gave the country a well deserved ribbing over the news reports.
Sunday was also Mother’s Day and, if Fidelma Healy Eames was correct, possibly the last of its kind. The Helen Lovejoy of the Seanad, known for her baffling remarks about “fraping” and killer computer games, claimed that some states in America had banned the day and said she hoped that wouldn’t happen in Ireland if the Marriage Equality referendum passed. After receiving waves of ridicule, the senator admitted her tweet was false and no state had banned Mother’s Day.
In London, pro-choice feminist group Speaking of I.M.E.L.D.A. temporarily halted the St. Patrick’s Day parade by squaring off with a giant representation of Ireland’s patron saint. The group are campaigning for free, safe and legal abortion in Ireland. Last year they confronted Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a fundraising dinner, serving the Fine Gael leader underwear emblazoned with “Repeal the 8th, Enda.”
Speaking of Enda, the Taoiseach visited President Obama in the US, only to face the threat of protests at his presence. Described as “controversial” and “unpopular back home” in news reports, there was a buzz online surrounding his visit and suggestions that events he attended could be boycotted in response to water charges and a racist joke he made back in 2002. In the end, there was no boycott but it was Enda who caused himself the most embarrassment. Sitting beside the American President at a photo op, he extended his hand for a handshake that did not come, and it was all caught on camera.
On Page Two: Renua continues to flounder; GSOC investigates incident involving homeless man; Top Gear fans support Clarkson following assault of his producer; inquest into death of woman doorstepped by Sky News; and The Indo jumps on the “web scare” bandwagon.