A new arrival and not so fond farewells
IT’S THE TIME of year when the holiday exodus from the workplace kicks off in earnest, but there was at least one person who bucked the trend this week. Not only was Ray D’Arcy (Today FM, weekdays) back in the hot seat – unlike many of his peers in Montrose, whose collective flight left RTÉ Radio 1 doing its annual impression of the Marie Celeste – but he sounded happy about the fact.
“It’s great to be back for a break,” chirped the presenter on Monday morning. “It’s a lot easier here, I can tell ya, than it is at home.”
D’Arcy was not indulging in phoney patter. Rather, having been absent for two weeks following the birth of his second child, he had the guiltily relieved tone of a father escaping the chaotic home front for the tranquillity of the office.
The new arrival was nonetheless a talking point. “He is sleeping, he is eating and he is shiteing quite a lot,” said D’Arcy of his young son.
This set the tone for the show, as D’Arcy sought tips on how to counteract the upward micturition of male infants. “One of the first things he did was pee in the nurse’s eye,” said the proud dad. “That’s my boy.”
To be fair, D’Arcy was aware that his puerile side – always hovering in the background – was to the fore on the day. After snickering at a particularly obvious double entendre in a tabloid headline, he composed himself. “Sorry, I think it’s lack of sleep that has me giddy today.”
By Wednesday D’Arcy felt able to tackle more serious issues. He spoke to Orla McLoughlin, a Labour councillor in Limerick, who had an innovative solution to the problems gripping her hometown. Limerick would become “the best city ever” if Marks Spencer opened a store there, McLoughlin said, complaining that she had to travel elsewhere to buy the UK chain’s “unique” products, most notably its underwear. In making her plea, she said she was speaking “on behalf of all the women who love to shop”, a sector that has not hitherto featured prominently in Labour’s target demographics.
D’Arcy was less enthusiastic about his guest’s mission. “Please come to my city, Marks Spencer, because I don’t want to have to go to Cork to buy my bras: it’s not a brilliant argument,” he said sniffily.
McLoughlin’s approach to urban regeneration may have been silly, but being patronised by a man who had regaled the public about his baby’s urinary habits seemed a bit much.
A less frivolous but more dispiriting debate was heard on The Last Word (Today FM, weekdays), when Matt Cooper hosted a discussion about gay marriage. Prompted by Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s statement in support of same-sex unions, Cooper spoke to Dr John Murray of the Iona Institute, who expressed his hostility to such a move. His opposition was largely based on the rationale that marriage provided a child with a mother and a father and that it was wrong to suggest an arrangement involving two men or two women was exactly the same.