What makes the Happy Pear unhappy? Building a 5G mast beside their organic farm

Plus: Jack Crowley’s financial conversion, architect Tom de Paor’s Wicklow woes, Barry Keoghan goes back to school, and Dublin jarveys say neigh to Harry Crosbie

Keep your shirts on: David and Stephen Flynn of The Happy Pear. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

The Happy Pear crew aren’t so happy this week. Last year the Greystones-based foodie twins, Dave and Steve Flynn, had to apologise after linking antibiotics to a rise in depression on their podcast and suggesting that eating mushrooms can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Now they’re losing their Zen over 5G.

Last week An Bord Pleanála granted Cignal Infrastructure permission for a 35m telecommunications mast in the grounds of the Holy Faith convent in Kilcoole, just south of Greystones, beside the pesto peddlers’ production plant.

Darragh Flynn, a third brother who tends to keep a lower profile than his buff brothers, objected to the mast on behalf of the business, arguing a 5G mast directly beside their organic farm “may cause significant reputational damage as customers may become reluctant to purchase from us given the unknown health impacts of the 5G mast being so close to organic crops”.

Despite numerous health and environmental agencies giving the technology a clean bill of health, Flynn appealed unsuccessfully against Wicklow County Council’s decision to grant permission for the mast, warning the 5G could pose a threat to staff’s health and the “biology and biodiversity living on our farm”.


Keep your shirt on.

Crowley converted to financial management

Jack Crowley playing for Ireland against Wales in the Six Nations last month. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Outhalf Jack Crowley is learning quickly. The Cork-born number 10 has just set up a limited company to handle his earnings. Crowley, who learned his trade at Bandon and Cork Con rugby clubs, has enlisted his aunt, Elaine Burke, as a codirector. Probably not a bad choice given she’s something of a Munster sporting icon herself, winning three All Ireland titles with Cork’s camogie team in the 2000s.

The name of the company would suggest that Crowley doesn’t lack self-belief. JC10 Rugby Ltd has echoes of a company set up by another former Irish international once upon a time – Bod 13 Sports Management Ltd.

While most of the squad have their own companies to deal with earnings from sponsors these days, the squad’s other young gun, Joe McCarthy, doesn’t seem to have set one up yet.

Could some of the guys not hook him up with a good accountant?

De Paor falls foul of Wicklow’s architecture critics

Architect Tom de Paor at work in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Eric Luke

Architect Tom de Paor is used to accolades. The designer of the Pálás Cinema in Galway has been feted since bursting on to the scene in the early 2000s when he created a pavilion for Ireland at the Venice Biennale made out of 1,741 peat briquettes. The Royal Institute of British Architects awarded him an international fellowship in 2003, describing him as “the leading Irish architect of his generation”.

But one of his creations has received a more lukewarm reaction from Wicklow County Council’s ever vigilant planners. De Paor is seeking retention permission for the redevelopment of a series of farmyard structures at Dysart, his home on Bray Head. He has been working on turning the seven outbuildings into a series of residential spaces in a courtyard setting. Last week Wicklow’s planners listed a number of concerns with the project, which it described witheringly as a “haphazard form of development”.

They said de Paor is “unlikely” to be granted retention permission for the current layout and should seek to link some of the structures together into a single building instead. It also wants “more clarity” on the floor plans the architect submitted, saying only the building laid out as a home office/study is likely to be considered acceptable.

Highbrow Italian architectural magazine Domus was rather more effusive when it visited Dysart for a feature on the project. At least we think it was.

“The resultant vernacular suggests multiple readings both as fact and fiction, the architecture wed to neither past nor future but the continuous present,” it concluded in fluent architect speak.

Barry Keoghan’s acting classes

Barry Keoghan. Photograph: Joe Maher/Getty Images

Barry Keoghan is going back to school. Summerhill’s biggest celebrity since Bill Cullen missed out on formal acting training as a youngster, attending the school of hard knocks instead. Speaking to Vanity Fair at an Oscars preview party on Wednesday night, Keoghan said he has signed up for acting classes in LA, where he is based at the moment.

“I’ve joined Stella Adler, the acting school. It was Mark Ruffalo who introduced me to it,” he said. “I didn’t grow up with any formal training [in acting] and I want to learn a bit of technique. There’s no limit on learning.”

His fellow students were a little bemused when Keoghan and his menacing eyes rocked up to his first class. “They were almost like: ‘Why, though? You’re a [working] actor.’ I never trained; I want [those skills] in my back pocket.”

Aosdána sticks a pin in its plan to revive fancy membership badges

Straitened times at Aosdána, the self-selecting artists’ organisation that Charles Haughey bestowed on the nation in the 1980s. Back then the 250 members received a lapel pin to mark their acceptance into the exclusive club. The practice fell by the wayside over time but An Toscaireacht, a committee of 10 members that runs the organisation, recently explored the idea of commissioning new pins for Aosdána’s current crop of artists, writers, musicians, architects and choreographers. A quote for solid gold pins was sourced from ESL Jewellery, which created the original pins, but proved too expensive so the idea is on hold. If it goes ahead, we hear, members will be asked to cough up for their own pins.

The Squire would have been appalled.

Jockeying for position around Vicar Street site

Harry Crosbie. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Harry Crosbie has been trying to develop a hotel on the site of his Vicar Street venue for more than a decade. He recently applied to Dublin City Council for planning permission for a swish new 182-bedroom building rising to eight storeys, with an art studio stretching across the ground floor and basement. But the impresario has hit a new hurdle.

A group of horse and carriage owners who bring tourists around the city have bridled at his plans, saying the hotel’s intrusion into Molyneaux Yard, where they have stored their carriages since the rare oul’ times could damage their livelihoods.

They want the council to insert a condition sparing the horses’ quarters if the hotel gets the go-ahead – after all the council is supposed to be supporting sustainable transport.

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