What I Read This Week: Nadine O’Regan on Paul Mescal’s ‘lewk’ and the thoughts of Gabor Maté

Magazine Editor Nadine O’Regan shares the stories she found interesting this week

Nadine O'Regan: 'It may be mid-June, traditionally a time when fluffier stories start to emerge, but there was plenty to be absorbed by this week.' Illustration: Ross Coghlan

Justin Timberlake’s arrest, Eamon Ryan’s resignation, and Paul Mescal’s shorts: three men made the headlines for extremely different reasons in the past week. Meanwhile Pink delivered copious Instagram page impressions in Ireland, opting to ‘fly’ through the Aviva, much to the delight of her thrilled and awed fans. It may be mid-June, traditionally a time when fluffier stories start to emerge, but there was plenty to be absorbed by this week.

Here is a selection of what I have been reading, listening to and watching over the last few days.

1. Paul Mescal might be skimpy of shorts, but the Normal People star found coverage of another kind this week, with even radio presenter Oliver Callan – not previously known for his fashion maven status – standing poised on RTÉ Radio 1 to give his verdict on Mescal’s ‘lewk’ at Milan Fashion Week, as vividly displayed in a large photograph gracing the front of Tuesday’s Irish Times. “It doesn’t work,” declared Callan, noting that the true shock came when one peered “below the fold” to discover Mescal’s gleefully jaunty combo of short-shorts with black Gucci loafers and white socks. Personally, I’m all in favour of having fun with fashion, but letter writers to The Irish Times declared themselves unimpressed, not least because Mescal has abandoned his once-beloved GAA shorts.

2. When work practices changed during Covid, there were a couple of times when I found myself on Zoom calls with men whom, while doing their jobs, were also literally holding babies in their arms. In some ways, it felt like a significant development: here’s a guy minding his child, accepting his share of responsibility as a tired, working parent during Covid. But not once during those years did a woman colleague do anything similar. Should we conclude that no woman experienced a similar issue around working and parenting?


Hardly. Women – still hitting that glass ceiling head on – were just terrified of the optics. I was put in mind of that when Green Party leader Eamon Ryan announced his resignation to spend more time taking care of his children: he has a son with special needs. Speaking openly and honestly about parenting is so welcome: it’s to be hoped that more men follow his example. Pat Leahy and Bernice Harrison offer a nuanced take on his decision and the context around it in the In The News Podcast.

What's behind Eamon Ryan's shock resignation?

Listen | 17:42

3. Elsewhere, I found a lot to enjoy in Patrick Freyne’s thoughtful interview with Hungarian-Canadian physician and author Dr Gabor Maté, who was in Ireland this week for a talk at the RDS in Dublin. In the piece, Maté describes a study which looked at young American men who had harsh views on foreign wars and were anti-abortion and pro-death penalty.

“After therapy, they softened up,” Maté said. “A lot of those harsh views are very much related to trauma. People are defending against their own vulnerability. When you open up your vulnerability and you’re not defending any more, you’re a lot more empathetic to other people.”

4. The revelations contained in the recent RTÉ Investigates programme Horses – Making a Killing, which brought to light the distressing and unconscionable realities of horse welfare here and abroad, continue to send shock waves. On Wednesday, Suzanne Campbell offered a primer on the industry in Ireland, offering up her own experience as a horse owner and capturing the dire situation very neatly in her opening lines: “We don’t have a horse welfare problem in Ireland. We have a human problem.”

5. Exemplary. Courteous. Professional. Disciplined. Just some of the words used by Commandant Paul Togher to describe Cathal Crotty, a serving Irish soldier who beat a woman unconscious in a random street attack in 2022. As David Raleigh reported on Thursday, Crotty was given a suspended sentence, with Judge Tom O’Donnell saying he had to give Crotty credit for pleading guilty to assaulting Ms Natasha O’Brien. Credit? This article uses the careful language of court reporting, but it should instil anger in anyone who believes in justice.


“You won’t be getting your Pulitzer Prize for this.” Media outlets from around the world covered Justin Timberlake’s arrest earlier this week, as the beleaguered pop star was charged with driving under the influence, despite his claims that he’d had just the one martini. Here’s one take offering the locals’ reaction.

Moment of the Week

Pink plays at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin as part of her Summer Carnival tour 2024. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it was pop superstar Pink flying across the Aviva Stadium on an aerial wire. Shauna Bowers was there to witness the inflatable flamingos on wheels, trampolines, flames and sparklers, and extraordinary dancers. “If anything, there is almost too much going on, making it impossible to decide what to focus on.”

Best of the rest

How many glasses of wine is too many glasses of wine? If you feel like a scare this week, take yourself off to the New York Times, where reporter Susan Dominus dives deep into our relationship with alcohol, noting that these days, according to the experts, the best amount of alcohol to drink if you want to stay healthy is no alcohol at all. Yes, really. None.

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