The dizzy dozen: Kimye, Garth and gulls dominate silly season

Stranded Jedward and spraypainted Molly make headlines in long, long summer

Sea gulls gave  sleepless nights to Fianna Fail senator Ned O’Sullivan this summer. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Sea gulls gave sleepless nights to Fianna Fail senator Ned O’Sullivan this summer. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA


It is early August and it seems as if this silly news season is stretching as long as the evenings. With that here are the dizzy dozen, the 12 silliest Irish news stories so far this summer.

1. Search is on as Kimye touch down in Cork The silly season started off early this year when Kim Kardashian and Kanye West decided to honeymoon in Ireland late in May. While one eminent late night broadcaster (Vincent Browne) asked in his paper review “who the hell is Kimeee”, dozens of reporters and photographers asked where exactly is Kimye – with the journey taking them from a luxury Cork hotel to the romantic surroundings of a Portlaoise cinema.

2. Sole-searching Varadkar searches for missing shoes of aide

The next candidate for top silly season story is a far more down to earth affair. In June Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar tweeted that his assistant lost their shoes cycling from Navan road. A bit like Kimye the shoes remained elusive.

A Department of Transport spokesman said Mr Varadkar used his account for discussing both important matters of State and more light-hearted issues, according to this June 23rd story.

3. Yoga putting souls in jeopardy, Donegal priest warns From matters of sole to soul comes the next silly season story courtesy of Fr Padraig O’Baoill , a parish priest in Co Donegal. In the weighty journal that is the Gaoth Dobhair parish newsletter he warned of yoga, tai chi and reiki. “Do not put your soul in jeopardy for the sake of these contemptible things,” he wrote according to the July 9th news story.

4. Dun Laoghaire RNLI rescues Mickey Mouse balloon

Stories about weather and sea rescues are always numerous over the summer season but on June 30th Dun Laoghaire lifeboat brought us a rescue with a difference.

A large Mickey mouse balloon was rescued after a series of 999 calls reported an object crashing in the sea off Bray amid fears a paraglider may have gotten into difficulty. Thankfully it was a balloon - and the lifeboat crew did indeed rescue it and took a photograph with it. It was first cartoon character rescue by the crew this year.

5. Stranded Jedward rescued by Coast Guard in Malahide On July 2nd the season moved onto the saving of two far more serious characters, Jedward. The pop duo found themselves stranded on a sandbank near Donabate when the tide came in around them. Much to the relief of the nation John and Edward Grimes were rescued after their mother called the coast guard.

6. FF Senator says seagulls have lost the run of themselves From a sea rescue to sea gulls and the sleepless nights they were giving to Fianna Fail senator Ned O’Sullivan. On July 17th as the Oireachtas term drew to a close , the good senator used his time to highlight problem of “scavenger” gulls in the city. They have “lost the run of themselves completely”, the Kerry senator said making voters so glad they decided to save the Seanad in last year’s referendum. The story got wings and even generated an opinion piece piece but our London editor Mark Hennessy came to the senator’s rescue when he wrote that in Britain a number of local authorities have begun to take action following increasingly aggressive attacks by gulls in seaside towns and cities.

7. Is Skellig Michael about to be used for Star Wars 7 shoot?

The trouble for the birds was actually in Mr O’Sullivan’s native Kerry and not in Dublin. There was great excitement in the Kingdom in late July when it emerged that Star Wars was to shoot scenes for the new Star Wars 7 on the Unesco island, Skellig Michael. While sci-fi fans rejoiced Birdwatch Ireland raised concern about the use of the island during the breeding season. An independent film company stole a march on JJ Abrams with their version of Star Wars on the island while The Irish Times took two storm troopers out to Ireland’s eye in search of the set.

8. Molly Malone statue defaced week after unveiling

Another Irish tourist attraction also had a difficult summer. Molly Malone, having wheeled her newly welded wheelbarrow to a new home, was unveiled with great silly season fanfare in July only to be treated to charming Dublin hospitality a week later when she was sprayed with graffiti. The paint on the bosom of the city’s most-photographed statue was swiftly removed.

“It had to be the cleavage. It’s always the cleavage. You can bet that when they first pulled the sheet from Molly Malone, and unveiled her to the world, nobody’s eyes fell on the wheelbarrow first,” Shane Hegarty wrote of the incident in his column.

9. Canal diving in wet suits latest trend in Dublin

The new craze of canal diving in wet suits was partly attributed to our growing fondness for German discount supermarkets which sell them for €50. “The “stilly, greeny” waters at the heart of summer, as the poet Patrick Kavanagh described them, are still “greeny” but they are far from “stilly” as dozens of youngsters have taken to the canals to cool off over the past few days,” Ronan McGreevy wrote.

10. No use crying over spoiled milk - remember the chill chain From supermarkets selling wetsuits we moved to their fundamental staple, the carton of milk. The issue arose amid complaints that milk, of various brands and bought from different retailers, is souring within three days of being opened, despite being kept properly chilled.The Irish Dairy Council insists the natural shelf-life of milk is normally in excess of one week and has not been extended. While there was many an “ah-ha” moment at the advice that milk should not be stored in the door of fridges, where the temperature fluctuates.

11. Garth Brooks: For us, it is five shows or none at all Garth Brooks was the golden ticket of silly season stories. What can we say that you haven’t read, heard, avoided reading about the saga that kept on giving as the country singer was refused permission for two of his five concerts in Croke Park? Then the man himself said in that southern soft but scerious drawl it was “five shows or none at all”. More than 120 articles referencing the concerts were published on in just over a month since the planning permission was refused.

12. Is this listicle of silly season articles the silliest of them all with its thinly veiled premise and nonsensical content? If you’ve read this far you’ll surely disagree.