Is there a funnier columnist in Ireland than Diarmuid Doyle? I doubt it. Last Sunday's chill was warmed beyond measure by his piece ('Given the enthusiasm for kicking Bishop Drennan up the arse, why not the same courageous pursuit of the truth in relation to the Sinn Féin president?' – 10 January 2010). Truly classic deadpan humour. Diarmuid pretended to be upset that only he, Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune were displaying the cojones required to attack Gerry Adams over the allegations of child abuse against his brother Liam Adams. RTÉ, the Irish Times, the rest of the Irish media all are funking it, he said, straight-faced. "All tough questions are avoided and all official spin is gratefully swallowed". I was still chuckling at this as I turned on RTÉ Radio One and got Marian Finucane and several of her Sunday guests giving Sinn Féin (which wasn't represented) a good bashing. Five minutes later I switched to Today FM, where Sam Smyth had a defecting Sinn Féin councillor on. Again, the radio guests, unhampered by any Shinner presence, were kneeing and gouging Sinn Féin past, present and future like their next radio appearance depended on it. On Sunday afternoon I scanned my back issues of the Irish Times and sure enough, I couldn't find a single article containing a single complimentary mention of Sinn Féin.
Thank you, Diarmuid – laughter really is the best medicine and God knows we need it in these straitened times. The only danger, I suppose, is that some readers might think you were – cripes, my funny-bone is still vibrating – serious.