It wasn’t a hot June, but Old Moore was on fire

The predictions in Old Moore’s Almanac about Hugh Hefner, Irish doctors and North Korean ‘craziness’ came almost eerily true

 

So Old Moore seems to have had a pretty impressive month of predictions. Even though things were grim, the crystal ball was crystal clear.

 

‘Irish doctors will be in the news’ 

Oh my. And how. Where to begin? The controversial introduction of free healthcare for children under six? We don’t need to be told how severely stretched all elements of our health service is, starting with the local GP’s surgery.

The HSE’s official Twitter account, @HSElive, tweeted: “Cuts, scrapes and allergies – use your GP visit card under 6 gpvisitcard.ie #under6s”, along with a cartoon of two children doing hopscotch, with the caption: “Free GP care for the under 6’s. Hop to it!”

That tweet – swiftly deleted – unsurprisingly made many people very cross. That our national health service would be publicly encouraging parents of children who had merely fallen and scraped their knee or arm to be brought along to their local GP did not go down well with the public.

Early on in the month, the Medical Council of Ireland released its annual report, which found that only half of doctors trained in Ireland intended staying here. More controversy. We train our doctors here, and another country gets the benefit.

 

‘Hugh Hefner in the news’

Hef, as he likes to be called, is 89, and still making very strange headlines. Hefner, who is permanently attired in a dressing gown and lives in a deeply weird mansion that he shares with an ever-changing coterie of young women, has spoken out. He’s exercised that Holly Madison, one of the so-called “bunnies” who once shared his mansion, has written a book. The book is called, rather marvellously, Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny. Madison recounts in detail how creepy her life was in the Playboy Mansion. The American tabloids are all over it, in all its sorry detail. As for Hef? He’s declared that Holly has “rewritten history in an attempt to stay in the spotlight”.

 

‘More crazy news from North Korea’

The poor people of North Korea. In a dictatorship from which escape is but a dream, there can hardly be anything more ironic than the new airport that opened in Pyongyang in June. It has been built by Koreans – reportedly by hand, with signs urging them to carry out their work with “Korea speed” – who are unlikely ever to fly out of it, as long as Kim Jong-un is in power. The question is: who will be using this giant new gleaming terminal, as so few international flights arrive in North Korea? Who would wish to holiday in what is essentially a giant country-sized labour camp?

 

‘Sex scandal for Ireland’ 

Well, this very newspaper ran a comprehensive Sex Survey, to which more than 12,000 readers responded. What did we learn? That a lot of people – 30 per cent of men and 27 per cent of women – like to turn on Skype and get themselves turned on by mutual masturbation. Like old-fashioned phone sex, but now with pictures.

And yet again, the staring eyes of the late paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth glared out from the front pages of many newspapers and from television screens. The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, is about as bad as you could imagine.

The inquiry heard that Kevin Smith, a former abbot of the Kilnacrott Norbertine Abbey in Co Cavan – the institution Smyth was attached to – said he did not realise at the time he was interviewed that paedophilia was a crime. “I did not realise it was a criminal offence. If I had realised it was a criminal offence, I would have reported it. At that time, I did not know what paedophilia was,” he claimed.

 

’Self-regulating artificial heart comes into use’

I’m not best-placed on medical affairs, so I’m not sure if the artificial heart in the news in June was self-regulating or not, but a 69-year-old man in France died eight months after receiving an artificial heart. He was only the second French person to trial this particular kind of pioneering device, which is composed of a mixture of animal tissue and synthetic material.

 

‘RTÉ does good’

Our national broadcaster did well in June, winning no fewer than 35 awards at the New York Festivals International Radio Awards. The awards included Broadcaster of the Year.

However, it didn’t do quite so well with Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey. A person featured in the documentary, Richard Burke, a former Catholic archbishop, is taking a defamation case to the High Court about the way he was portrayed in the programme.

 

ON A DIFFERENT PLANET? OLD MOORE’S PREDICTIONS FOR JULY

 

Ireland

  • Amy and Brian consider moving abroad.
  • Spectacular real estate failure makes jaws drop.
  • Snakes in Ireland.

 

World

  • The low-lying Carteret Islands are abandoned.
  • Pluto is in the news again.
  • Ceres is in the news.
  • There are discussions about advertising on the moon.
  • China is in the news for a tunnel project. China is the biggest economy in the world.
  • The Euro 2016 football championship is to be hosted by France. In the lead-up, there are strikes and general chaos caused by those hoping to benefit from the global spotlight.
  • Rio de Janeiro will be hosting next year’s Olympic Games and, again, there are riots in the lead-up and a spotlight on social inequality.
  • India has its first manned space mission, but not all goes to plan.
  • Robot stories are in the news.
  • A racing driver is in a bad accident.
  • Stevie Wonder is in the news.
  • There is a royal death this year.
  • Bill Clinton has health woes.
  • A ‘trinity’ of events predicted: Fukushima was the first; there will be another in 2015 and a third in 2016.
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