Crime popular culture

Shannon Matthews Abduction


7th APRIL 2008

Karen Matthews, Shannon’s mother, has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Michael Donovan (aka Paul Drake), the man charged with abducting Shannon, has slashed his wrists in an apparent suicide attempt.

Craig Meehan’s mother and sister were arrested on Friday, also on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

What the hell are we dealing with here?   My initial instinct was that the whole thing was a scam — copying the Madeleine McCann appeal — intended to make money out of the papers.  Then, after the police arrested Craig Meehan, I thought perhaps Donovan might have taken the child for protection from her crazy family.  Now, I’m back where I started, thinking that this retarded bunch of numpties have been using the kid to make a few shillings.



2nd April 2008

Disturbing developments.  Shannon’s stepfather, Craig Meehan, has been arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children on his computer.

This just keeps getting weirder.  I’m starting to think my initial instinct was correct and that there’s more to this supposed abduction than we were given to understand, if it was an abduction at all.

I’m starting to wonder if this fellow who took the child thought he was in some way protecting her.  After all, it does seem that Shannon seemed to be cooperating with him.  Was it an abduction or a rescue?


Original article

Shannon Matthews is being kept in care and won’t be allowed to go home for several days

I can’t help feeling there’s something very fishy about this whole thing. Is it normal that an abducted child wouldn’t be allowed to go home? I know, as a parent, that I can’t imagine tolerating such a situation. If a child of mine had been found after an abduction, I most certainly would not be passively accepting that the child might be kept in care until the authorities were ready, yet these people are accepting that Shannon won’t be coming home for days and perhaps even weeks.


This is very strange and it leads me to ask questions about the whole thing.

Did a crime take place at all? Was there any abduction? Why are the police being so tight-lipped? Does the police silence say more than a lengthy statement would?

I’m inclined to think it does.

Here are the neighbours, by the way, on hearing of the child’s liberation.  What wonderful people.



Gentlemen, Start Your Moustaches

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Credit for graphics as usual to the Dickler



Willie O’Dea: Miniature for the Fence

Willie ODea, our Miniature for the Fence, got involved in an altercation at the weekend in South’s moral pub after watching a rugby match with Biffo Cowan.

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Somehow or other he got talking to some people who were upset at the fact that he didn’t do enough to prevent the loss of the Shannon-Heathrow link.

Willie seems to have lost his temper and made a complete tinker of himself, though he’s been frantically back-pedalling all day on the radio, sensing that this is going to make him look like an even bigger fool than his ridiculous moustache already manages to do.

I hear it went like this:

Willie: I’m the Minister for Defence

Man in pub: You didn’t do much of a job defending Shannon Airport.

Willie: Who’s this big prick?

Man in pub : My name is Fahy.

Willie: I’d like to thump you.

Man in pub: You and whose army?

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I’m guessing this is the start of the backlash against the Miniature for the Fence and before long the people of the Mid-West will rise up as one voter and dismiss him from office forever. Well, that’s unlikely, but a guy can fantasize surely? At the very least, they’ll hold him down and violently remove the ludicrous yard-brush he wears on his upper lip.

And he’ll deserve it, the absurd little popinjay.



New Political Party in Ireland

Riddle me this: how do you know if something is located in Dublin?

Simple: it’ll have the word National at the start of its name.

The National Gallery.

The National Aquatic Centre.

The national broadcasting station.

The National College of Art and Design.

The National Museum.

The National Theatre.

The National Maternity Hospital.

The National Botanic Gardens.

The National Library.

The National Rehabilitation Hospital.

The National Concert Hall.


Then, of course, there are the International Financial Services Centre, the Central Bank, the headquarters of the GAA, the IRFU and the FAI.

Is anything national located anywhere else in the nation?

Well, at a rough approximation, no. There isn’t

Now, people will tell you there’s a very good reason for locating every significant public facility, every significant medical, academic and sporting facility in Dublin. A third of the population lives there, you’ll be told. (Which of course means that two thirds don’t, but we’ll leave that to one side for a minute.) Every day, more and more people are piling into Dublin, placing more and more strain on resources, and that’s why we have to locate everything in Dublin.

But of course, if you build it, they will come. And if you insist on having a spatial strategy that places all the nations’s resources in one single urban area, it’s bound to swell up like a rotten pumpkin, isn’t it? Dublin now occupies the same land area as Los Angeles, if you can believe that, and this sprawl has eaten up more than half of the entire budget for Ireland’s transport needs for the next five years. More, in fact, when you see that all of the motorways are also laid out so as to service Dublin by radiating out from it to the other towns and cities of the nation. In addition to that, all the railway lines do the same thing.

Is this insane or what?

Combine this with a dangerously parochial and condescending attitude towards the rest of us, among Dublin-based politicians, journalists, judiciary and all the usual smuggorati of any capital city, and you have a very worrying recipe for social exclusion.

It’s obvious that the government couldn’t give a toss about any Irish citizen who lives in the Western half of this country. We exist solely to provide votes and taxes. Our local infrastructure and industry are irrelevant to central government, as is the quality of our lives, and the current Shannon debacle is only a single example among many.

We don’t matter: it’s that simple as you can see by reading any of the dismissive comments on any of the discussion boards.

So where does that leave us?

Well, I have a suggestion.

For years, we’ve seen in Ireland how a single-issue candidate is courted by governments, fawned and scraped over. Placated and bribed. Despised, maybe, but nevertheless indulged.

Good. If it can work for one, it can work for many.

Since the Dublin establishment offer us a big, cheery Fuck You!! let’s offer them one back.

Let’s establish a Mid-West party and let’s fling out all of the miserable self-serving crooked government-party politicians who offered us that cheery Fuck You!! as they headed off to shove their snouts into the Dublin gravy trough. The same miserable fuckers who are too cowardly now to stand up and say no, on behalf of their constituents. Who, if they had the slightest hint of guts, would make Shannon Airport a general election issue and vote against their own slithery leader if necessary.

For years, we’ve had crooked Fianna Fail governments propped up by every sort of goose-milker and heron-strangler. I wonder what they’d do if they saw half a dozen of their precious local representatives flung out of office for their feebleness, and replaced by half a dozen angry people? Let’s establish a shamelessly selfish Mid-West Party, dedicated to bringing home as much of the cash as we can force from the government, for infrastructural, health, cultural and educational projects here.

If they want a new East-West repartitioning of Ireland, let’s give it to them.

If naked political greed can bring so much benefit to the East coast, well, two can play that game.

Vote Mid-West!


kick it on

Politics Scandal

Why Aer Lingus is leaving Shannon

Aer Lingus operates full flights into and out of Shannon every day. It will also operate full flights into and out of Belfast every day.

So what’s the difference?


The Shannon route carries a mix of passengers, some of whom have just arrived at the ticket desk and bought a fare at the top price. Others have booked months ahead and got their tickets at a very low cost. The rest are somewhere in between.

The Belfast flights will be packed with civil servants and politicians frantically shuttling back and forth to London in the new euphoria of a Northern Ireland where Paisley thinks he’s Irish and Gerry Adams is a Unionist.

These civil servants and politicians couldn’t give a flying fuck what a ticket costs and they’ll all be paying top dollar, meaning plenty of extra cash per flight for Aer Lingus. Furthermore, because these politicians and civil servants are all dealing with Westminster, they want to go to Heathrow so they can take the Tube straight there.

That’s the reason our government acquiesced so meekly to this proposal. It suits their new agenda, which is the repartitioning of Ireland. The North-South divide is finished. Now we have the East-West partitition, where all resources will be concentrated in the Eastern half of the country, and the West will be left as some kind of theme park, and maybe a source of holiday homes for Tribunal people.

You know something about this new repartitioning? You won’t see any Provos out on the streets throwing petrol bombs in protest this time because the plan suits them, and it’s going to make them all rich. Lucky old Provos. So much for their slogans about a United Ireland.


kick it on


How we plan things in Ireland

Five billion, by Jesus! Five billion. Roll that around your tongue there for a minute like a good smoky, solid old Irish whiskey. Five billion.

It doesn’t sound much when you say it fast, does it? Five. Billion.

That’s how much our government plans to spend on the new Dublin metro. The northern section.

They propose to spend the same on the southern section, having already spent about €800 million on the tram system for Dublin, and another €800 million for the Dublin port tunnel which, sadly, will soon be unnecessary when the port is moved, but hey! shit happens, and after all, it’s only money when you get right down to it.

So let’s see. That’s five and five – ten! Ten billion. And then we have the trams and the tunnel. €11.6 billion. Right. And then there’s the €3.4 billion that needs to be spent electrifying Dublin’s suburban rail system. Let’s call it a round €15 billion. Hey, overseas friends: that’s about €22 billion dollars. That’s almost the cost of three days occupying Iraq, for fucksake!

Do you notice anything missing from this list?

Well, how about the name of every other city in Ireland, except Dublin, where the politicians, the judiciary and the media people live?

Isn’t that clever?

Isn’t it clever that we’re all taxpayers, that we all pay the same money to the Exchequer, and that only about a quarter of the population live in Dublin, yet we see €15 billion of our money spent on Dublin’s public transport system as compared to — what spent on the rest of the country?

Well, at a rough estimate, to approximately fuck-all. I go to town on the bus like I always did, the same as people in Cork, Galway, Waterford, Sligo and everywhere else do.

Isn’t that great? Isn’t it a credit to the people of Limerick, Cork, Galway, Waterford, Sligo and everywhere else that they’re so happy to send their taxes to build all these things in Dublin? And what’s more, that they’re willing to forgo the same benefits for themselves, in an outburst of public-spirited generosity. Damn good of them. Damn good.

Meanwhile, our former national airline, complete with its valuable Heathrow slots, which was sold off by our government for no obvious reason, has just announced its abandonment of Shannon to set up shop in Belfast. Also on the East coast, just like Dublin, and now at the centre of the political universe, since they stopped shooting each other.

Why? Was it an uneconomic operation in Shannon? Far from it. Every flight was full.

So why?

Who can tell?

Maybe it’s because, in our little anti-democracy, some people’s votes count more than others’.

I should have kicked in a few pennies to Bertie‘s dig-out fund. Shit.


The River Shannon at Plassey

I took a few pictures during the week. Full flood.


True story

Years ago, when I used to live in Dublin, I went to a match at Blackrock. In those days, Limerick guys living locally would turn out in support of any Limerick club coming to play a Dublin side and petty rivalries were set aside for the duration, while the Limerick crowd beat the shite out of the D4 mob. For all I know, it’s still the same.

Anyway, one year we all trooped out to Blackrock in support of Shannon, and it was a pissing wet day. The pitch was like the Somme, which suited Shannon who went on to win the game and therefore the League for that year.

At the final whistle, everyone immediately crashed into the club-house to sing The Isle and enjoy the discomfiture of the ‘Rock old-boys. Everyone, that is, except one of the girls, Mary-Jane we’ll call her, who fell into conversation with a chap in a sheepskin coat.

Dammit, said Sheepskin, wasn’t that dreadful?

What? says Mary-Jane. Sure I’m delighted after coming all the way from Limerick.

Sheepskin stood back, aghast.

Limerick? he whispered, looking Mary-Jane up and down.

My God, I thought you were far too well-dressed for that.

kick it on


Sheepskin Shaggers

About eleven or twelve years ago, we Limerickers who lived in Dublin turned out to support Shannon against Blackrock in the AIL, as we did for most Limerick clubs. After the game, which Shannon duly won, we all crashed into their clubhouse to sing “Dere is an Isle”, but one of the girls stayed outside talking to one of the Rock supporters.

“Wasn’t that terrible?” asks the Blackrock supporter.

“Not at all,” says our girl. “Sure, I’m from Limerick. I’m delighted. ”

“What??” says the Rock man. “Jaysus, I thought you were far too well-dressed for that.”

This is a true story.