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September heralds the resumption of political activity with party think-ins and shadow boxing between the various parties preceding the return of the Dáil in the middle of the month.
Well, for once the weather in Ireland performed exactly as required.
The abortion referendum at the end of the month may be dominating political discourse at the moment, but behind the scenes the issue really vexing, and increasingly troubling, the Government is the ongoing saga of Brexit.
Last weekend, Insider enjoyed various documentaries and interviews commemorating the 20th anniversary of one of the most extraordinary nights in political history - Labour’s landslide win in the 1997 UK general election. Now, two decades on, as the UK electorate goes to the polls again Insider sees some interesting parallels with 1997.
What a tumultuous political year it’s been! It began with a sense that despite much turmoil and insurgency across the globe voters would shy away from the radical choices and that something akin to the ‘status quo’ would prevail. It ended with Madonna with no sense of irony berating the President-elect of the USA for engaging in sensationalist acts and rhetoric in order to generate publicity.
Insider thought she lived on an island called Ireland and in a state called the Republic of Ireland. However, Insider recently realised she is wrong. According to The Marian Finucane Show, His Excellency John Bruton, and sundry officially sanctioned happenings - from Enda Kenny's Brexit gas-passing shop to events celebrating Irish classical composers - Insider now realises she in fact lives on an island called Island.
It has been a busy 12 months at the ballot boxes – General Elections in Ireland and Britain, a landmark vote to introduce same-sex marriage in the Republic. Each has been noteworthy, historic, and in some cases seismic but, as Insider has noted for some time, the biggest electoral event facing Ireland in 2016 is Britain's upcoming EU membership referendum on June 23.
Bill Bailey breezes into the Black Box Theatre later this month with his new show, Limboland, which has been getting rave reviews and is sure to be a real treat for audiences here. Ahead of his Galway visit the affable and popular comic, a familiar screen presence from numerous hit TV shows, took some time to chew the fat about youth, comedy, politics, music, and middle age.