De’ Real Battenburg, bhoy

So, let’s start with two simple everyday Madeira Bakes, in Loaf form, one brown one yellow

The basic mix per sponge

  • 240gms soft butter, 200gms caster sugar, 3 eggs, 210gms Self Raising & 90gms Plain Flour sieved and mixed together
  • One with 50 gms cocoa sieved in with flour
  • the other loaf with 45 gms Custard powder + 3 or 4 tbls milk

Grease and line a standard sized loaf tin, or a pair if you have two the same, and start heating the oven to 170°

Cream the butter and sugar until a nice soft fluffy ducky colour

Add one egg, and one third of the flour (+ cocoa) mix, blend gently, and repeat.  That’s your brown sponge done.

For the yellow, proceed as above, then mix your custard powder with part of the milk, get it to a barely pouring consistency, and add to your sponge mix, while beating gently, and that’s your yellow sponge.

Bake for one hour but check at 50 and maybe 55 minutes with a skewer, if you are happy at either touch point do take them out, and remove from the tin onto a cooling tray.  Let them go stone cold.  If possible, leave overnight.  They need to be proper Madeira firm lads.

‘Mallow Fluff

Do not attempt this unless you have a good reliable kitchen thermometer and a sturdy stand mixer, one that can go at full belt for at least 8 minutes without fuming.  The alternatives are to melt shop bought white marshmallows, or buy it in altogether, shur look, our own crowd have it.

  • 105gms Granulated Sugar and 170 mils of Golden syrup, or if you can get it, a light corn syrup. 

If it helps, I used golden syrup only because it was already open in the press, but it does leave your ‘Mallow with a winter white complexion.  If you want Cork Whiter than Daz White, then you need to use a clear light corn syrup, pictured, and I got this in the local Asian Superstore up the road here, but tis also online for ye.

  • Two egg whites, ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • Tsp vanilla paste, ¼ tsp salt

* Into a pot over a low heat and mix to dissolve the sugar, once dissolved rack up to full heat, and have your kitchen thermometer at the ready.

Decent stirring now but do not let the syrup boil over, at 116° on the dot remove from heat immediately. (start again if you smell burn)While the sugar and syrup are heating up to dissolve, in your stand mixer, start gently whisking or beating if you like, your egg whites and cream of tartar into a light foam.

* Once your sugar syrup is at the 116° its now molten caramel, so bring it over (carefully) to your now foam’ishly egg whites, bring your mixer hup’to full speed, and slip your syrup in.  Keep your mixer on full speed for 8 minutes, until its a thick white glossy fluff triumph, but importantly, at room temperature.

Tip in your vanilla paste and salt and go full speed again for about two minutes.  Don’t be alarmed by the pitch black spots specked on the edge of your mixing bowl.  That’s the centrifugal effect on the vanilla seeds.   This is why baking is considered by many as a science – using centrifusion force to create your Battenburg is the work of champions.

Health and Safety warning, this stuff is sticky, sticky like ye’ve never made with eggs before sticky, so clean as you go with it.  Have clean containers, and spatulas, and palette knives if you have them all ready.  And don’t attempt to make ‘Mallow Fluff without an apron or with smallies in the vicinity.

This stuff might smell and taste lovely but has the welding power of Sudocreme and with all the allure of a marmalade made with honey and too much sugar. With sprinkles. And it goes everywhere if you let it.


Level off your Madeira Loaves, and splice into equal halves.  You should have four even layers, two of each.

Start with brown, and layer of ‘Mallow Fluff, and start to bevel the long sides.  say 30° on the left and 120° on the right. I used a paring knife and had a container ready for the cut offs.

Next your yellow, start the bevelling from the finish point of the base layer, when you’re happy its even and tis starting to look like the second floor of a pyramid, slather another layer of ‘Mallow Fluff.

Repeat the above to create the brown, scrawny white, yellow, brown, scrawny white, yellow of Real Battenburg.

If you have done well with the cut offs, you should be able to create another layer for the sharpish apex of your Real Battenburg.

The Chocolate external coat and render

  • 600 gms Dark (good quality) Cooking Chocolate
  • 125 mls Double Cream

Melt your chocolate – in a bowl over just-under-the-boil water, and make sure your bowl doesn’t touch the water.  Do not use a microwave to melt your chocolate. Ever.

When its runny and smooth, just gorgeous like, whisk by hand, the blend in the cream.  Keep whisking, and whisk every so often, as you go along like.

Paste a thin layer all over your Real but still naked Battenburg, and let it rest for about five minutes.

Then lash the rest all over, a thick as you can.  Then wait as long as you can before trowelling it all over with a fork for the Real Battenburg horizontal ridges.

Tah dahhhhh ….

But wait an hour or so before cutting into it.  Gather around to hear that heel hit the plate.  You’ll know tis all about Cork but without the ropey version of de’ Banks.

If ye don’t mind like, since Cork people don’t like to be told what they should do, especially with Cork food, and they’d be dead right of course, but I use unsalted butter.

That ‘Mallow Fluff, there’s going to be loads left, but it should keep for a week or so in the fridge for other adventures, just make sure tis in a good, sealed container that you can trust.

You might want to just use all Self Raising in the brown Madeira element as the Cocoa does hinder the rise, but only slightly.  Or you could use a half tsp of Baking Powder to help it out.

You can also just take the sponge mixture on its own like, add the zest & juice of a lemon, for an old school Madeira.  But do sprinkle a good tbls of Caster Sugar, or even two, on top before going into the oven for the traditional Madeira crack affect your Aunty had.

Before I leave ye to it to it, let me tell ye, I loved planning and putting this together, I know, tis about time too since I talked about it for ages.  But less of that, and more of this, Real Battenburg is a great cake to make, but give yourself the time and the attention Real Battenburg is entitled to, whether you like cake or not. 

Real Battenburg deserves to be a Showstopper Cake.  Tis’ a great occasion cake in fairness, and its solid enough of a foundation for as many candles you need.

Its also a great bake the day after if you manage to get that much out of it.

And do you know what lads, change the colours, the flavourings, even the coatings.  Shur’ its always going to be our Battenburg anyway, and we can do what we like with it. Hon’ Cork

Oh Yeah, all those cuttings in the container I mentioned earlier, bag ’em’ and freeze ‘em.  I’m keeping them to trial Tipsey Cake for us Leeside ExPats, when say’s you, but if ye need the freezer space back before that happens, use them for Trifle; with the hundreds n’ thousands, and tinned fruit cocktail, not that one that uses that foreign cheese in a tub, but they’d do for that too if you’re that fancy.

Happy Patriots Day

So here we are finally on the closing scene of what started last September when I was scratching out notes for the October’18 Frill-Bit on  While it might look that my time was wasted as they made the column redundant, it turns out that my go at the grand theme of Democracy had a mind of its own.

If anyone is to blame, it’s Jimmy Smyth.

I have always been an active volunteer for many things, but it was Jimmy that really shook up my responsibility as an Irish Citizen, and that’s what drove me beyond my usual playing grounds of local community and personal interests.

He lit a spark, like I was always loud and proud anyway, but he was partly responsible for this subsequent trio of columns treating how I decoded Citizenship and Democracy. 

Back then I didn’t realise my words were all that significant or important, or that I had any responsibility for ensuring they stood for something. It turns out some people took extreme exception to them, and to me.

In truth the journey from then to here has been traumatic, for both of us and our followers, friends and supporters, and in Jimmy’s case – fans; yet it has also been enlightening.

Back then I never noticed the insincerity that was displayed so blatantly and openly around me; like pissing on the street and me not paying it a bitta’ve attention.  I just walked past it.

I never would have believed loyalty and truth could be so easily crushed.  Or so comfortably denied.

I have also discovered old-fashioned traditional misogyny and chauvinism has been beefed up into something far more devious and Machiavellian.  Manys’ a time I’ve said, Jobs for the Boys; feck shur ye’ve all said it.

Now its Dog Eat Dog; rough, mangy and rabid – and stops at nothing.

We’ve all seen the fingers pointing at main-stream media, globalist baddies and professional politics as if tis all their fault for whatever the ‘cause is today, and I have seen others who were alienated by mainstream media and politics remain idle and let these bands of disrupters, distrusters and disfunction’ables do their dirty work for them; generating clickbait is the new cannon fodder.

They are the real deniers of truth and transparency; another form of corruption by the way, and they are all participants in a cover-up of their own.

This is a phoney war – this finger pointing and shabby shaming; and I know this, because all through life we all must work with who is in front of us to get any job done.  Ask a session player, ask a lawyer, ask a doctor, ask me?

I don’t get to pick an’ choose my clients or my employers – they choose me.

In the New Year just gone I spoke of how everyday populist culture, what appeals to the many, has been Hijacked; and before that I spoke about Democracy in more plainer terms

On the life of the teenager I never expected those early rough drafts to eventually see light in an environment as toxic, corrupt and artificially polarized as what I’m in breathing today.

When I began drafting this trilogy, I never envisaged this statement;

Nationalism is perverting your Patriotism.

Yet there it is, and tis pure ugly Dog eat Dog.

I have always understood that Patriotism is what unites us, not what divides us, or what isolates us, or what separates us; it is what makes us One. 

Nobody cared where you were from or how you got here when you sang Ole Ole Ole. 

Nobody cares what your religion is or isn’t when Shoulder to Shoulder.  

All that matters is that you are one of us and us we were One. 

A Winter of Nationalist xenophobic prejudice has demonstrated how easily hate and fear can be spread, and even develop muscle. 

Like, there is an ex-British Soldier picketing towns around this country to thwart their views about Asylum Seekers; and these are towns that this lad doesn’t even live in.

Of all people!  A man who served the biggest pillager of our population telling other people who should or shouldn’t be coming and going in your own parish.  Ah stop ffs; like how convenient is that for the main stream media to turn its back on everyone not them?

Nationalist spin’golism is being applied to groom you and your love about being Irish and being an Irish Citizen. 

The intention is to have you cave into its ugly desire to have its way with you.  Calling out such behaviour as ignorant and racist is way too easy a slur; it is simply not a deep enough truth that it hurts them.  Wake up sheeple – see I can use that too. 

I am not going to indulge what you believe, or I believe about the motives of Soros and other Globalist names and icons that are being fed to you like slops into a pigsty. 

But I will say this; the oldest and most successful globalist empire the World has ever seem is the Catholic Church, which is headquartered in its own City in Rome, yep, and has its own special immunity from all sorts of stuff.

When you listen to people who promote their Patreon account whilst telling you tales of Muslim gangs coming to Ireland to rape; ask yourself this – how many names in the Ryan Report sounded like they might be *Muslim? 

Whether you believe it or not, Diversity is a beautiful strength.  In market terms a diversified investment portfolio is treated as low risk and considered healthy.  In Company Law, minorities and minority interest have their own legal protections. 

Most Board minutes probably record minority opinion and or dissenting opinion to allow all participation to be documented.

Any political party in a Democracy, or any candidate in a democratically held election that informs the electorate that any one of us is less than them or is entitled to more rights than another is corrupt. 

Spin that whatever way ye want folks, but deliberately and wilfully presenting false information for a reward, such as another citizen’s vote, is corruption.    Dog eat Dog.

The list of signatories to the Proclamation, are well marked into songs, schools, streets, clubs and whatever-yer-having-yerself as being Patriots.  The same goes for the men and women that died in our name. Yet back in 1916 not one of them ever envisaged the Ireland we have today. 

Who among them would have expected an openly gay Taoiseach, or that women’s right to choose would be more that just a fact, it would be a State Care Service?

But I must believe, and this is why I kept this ‘piece till last, I have to believe;

that if they had that crystal ball – that every single one of those seven signatories in 1916 would still sign the Proclamation of the Irish Republic.

Irish Patriots then and those along the way since didn’t die for a particular Irish DNA or Irish pigment;

They are our Patriots because this was what had to be done to ensure equality for future generations.

Anyone putting on a Green Jersey today to represent Ireland in any endeavor, Boxing, Rugby, Athletics, Ice-Skating, Shinty, Hockey, whatever yere having yerselves – represent all of us and they don’t think twice about it.

A thriving and healthy Democracy cannot ban or hinder free speech; but an open thriving and healthy Democracy has the capacity to bring out the best in all of us; our common decency for a society that is equal and one that opens opportunities for everyone.  Not just those we like the look of.

This is why Diversity must be treated as one of our biggest assets as a Democratic Republic.  Because it makes sure no one is allowed be treated less than the other, it may not seem like that, but that is our job as Citizens to put right, and hold people to account. This phony war I mentioned earlier, ask yourselves, who has the most to gain from it?

The homeless families sitting in a hotel room out along the M50 watching the Paddys’ day Parade on the Telly and cursing at the Politicians posing from the stands?

Or those same Politicians who are actually engaged to ensure there is safe and secure housing for anyone that seeks it?

We need to call out this phony war for what it is. A distraction. An Excuse. A Gig. We need to wade through this phony war and get a grip of this Country, and our elected Politicans and make them and it work, for all of us.

So do not give in lightly to the winds of Nationalism or the scam artists grooming your fears; put up a fight, stand tall and stop at nothing to protect the Patriotism of Equality so that it survives and outlives all of us. 

Happy Patriots day everyone.


This will be my last column under the name of Frilly Keane. I need to close the door on that last battle and focus and rebuild for the War. There are bigger and more important days ahead. Besides, there is no point creating stuff for Broadsheet when they’ve no room for it. #KillFrill has been achieved; For Now

Btw I was being deliberately narrow minded and obtuse by generalising the named and shamed in the Ryan Report to another single religion.  So please don’t take offence.

It’s not just Lá na Mná lads

Most of ye don’t know this, but I promised myself that 2019 was going to be the start of only looking forward.  No looking back.

I’m still trying, and I hardly need to be telling some of ye that it hasn’t been easy.  But when stuff I can’t change still manages to be rammed in front of me – there I am; feckin’ dragged back into conflicts I’d already deserted.

But one fire that I stoked up back then – and probably still over on the contributors wall, that I’m never going to allow go out without a fight to the death, and that is Equality

No specific brand or colour signature; but plain and simple, no additives; Equality.

Frilly Keane followers and readers over the last few years, and the more recent Vanessa off the Telly exploits will know exactly what I think of International Women’s Day.  I’m not going any further on that, since I’m sick of it already and tisn’t even *lunch time.

But it’s just not in my nature to keep my trap shut; so, for the day that’s in it let me have these few moments to have a bitta’ve say and maybe light’em up a bit again; keep her lit like.

Equality means all of us. 

It is not gender based or criteria based nor does it come with conditions.

And it should never be fixed to any one day of the year.

I am not an exception because I happen to be female, or a certain age, or pasty white, or chase fellas.

If I am qualified, I deserve every role I am entitled to be considered for, and measured along the same independent benchmarks as any other applicant. 

I am entitled to be remunerated accordingly, and treated like anyone and everyone else with their hat in the ring; regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, place on the spectrum, sexuality – or not, who they are related to, where they went to school, who they knock around with, or who they canvassed for.

I should not have to sue to secure equal treatment for anything – be it an appointment, an application for State support, private finance or gain access to education; at any level. 

I am not a quota or the solution to a policy breach that needs to be ‘closed off’ to avoid criticism, bad PR, maintain compliance or keep an allocation of funding.

I am not the barrier to defend any inherent or perceived sexist ageist whatever ‘ist culture in an organisation.  Nor should I be the treatment employed to reduce the risk of having to apologise for it. 

That is exploitative, and deceptive; not Equality.

I deliberately carved this out today to remind myself of many things I suppose, and of the promises I intend to work on keeping.

But there is also this; I have ten, maybe 12, max, years left in me to leave it all out there; so lads, I’m not done yet.


*sorry about the now meaningless time stamp. I actually submitted this earlier today to another forum here who subsequently rejected it earlier this evening.


So, the first of 2019, ‘pity it has t’be this one tho’ – a Frill-Bit I never saw myself crafting ….. SPOILER ALERT!   ….. It contains the expression ‘Populism.’

In hindsight, which I suppose is the best sight, but now with the benefit of it, that first Frill Bit of 2018 comes across as so determined, personal and clear of conscience that reading it is kinda mortifying – like WTF was I thinking;  2018 the Year for Brave Hearts. 

Considering where I am now, could I have been anymore ingratiatingly grandstanding and assuming?

I suppose you could say Repealing the 8th Amendment had a breakthrough momentousness about it, and as I type this there are girls inquiring about seeking a termination in their own towns and parishes; did you think that would be the reality this time last year?

But it wasn’t brave; it was due, it was right, and it was above all else, about time.

The outcome of that count was, amongst other things, a demonstration that Citizens make a difference, the Irish electorate weren’t bought with prayers or by life-size posters, nor were they swayed by bad actors or buckets of blood.  They knew what choice meant and they knew their vote counted.

I never thought of that day as being the end of an expedition, or thought of myself as some sort of self-righteous pilgrim; like I wasn’t singing or crying or hugging or an’ting.  Although I knew for sure that the road had definitively levelled a bit more favourably towards women, and equality was becoming a matter of fact and less an ideal, or something you had to access by way of the Courts, or mobilise a few marches for.

I remember someone asking me “what’s next” and in the days after I came out with this; Everyday People.

Looking back on the year that was, 2018, well most ov’it anyway, was full of great days, new ideas, friends, voices and record-breaking weather, yet it came to a close in a damp mouldy bog of failure, intolerance and cowardice.  2018 got Hijacked.

Hijacked by lazy insipid Politicians who didn’t like the mirror back at them, so they settled into the comfort a prefaced title grants them; Councillor, Senator, Deputy, Minister, President…. At all levels, we The Everyday People, were failed. 

Democratically elected Politicians that showboated on nothing more than thin air still got what they wanted just by abstaining from representing anyone other than their Party whips, or their own self-importance.   After delivering a significant mandate, that was both loud and proud in May, by October our Democracy allowed itself to be hijacked by those who only listen to the sound of their own voice as they sought out a greasy route for themselves.

Throughout all its 12 months, 2018 showed signs of Populism – since that’s what we’re calling it now; from returning dragons looking to make an imprint to yellow vests, loudhailers and balaclavas looking for somewhere to be seen.

Populism is supposed to be the umbrella over what generally appeals to the grassroots of society; the majority, The Everyday peopleFor instance, Populism is what established Dirty Den and Ange as the historic telly event its generally recognised as.   

In fact, whether you like it or not, the popularity of 2018’s Baby Shark is a result of populism.

No matter what its genre or premise is, if its capable of catching on, its populist.

However this old-style Populism has been hijacked, originally by those seeking to explain President Trump’s success.  However, we ourselves, who should know better having had a ringside seat to Brexiteers and their Lobbies, have been too quick with it to term and style the widening columns of far-right Nationalism and the growing brigades of White Supremacists. 

I’m not pretending Ireland was immune from imported prefabricated prejudice, we were always easily led by inflamed brimstoned rhetoric based on fantasy. Nonetheless, ignorant bigoted racism is now handily pre-packaged as Populist which only makes it easier to spread without the small print being visible.

We were always Prone to giving shameless vulgar mouth pieces too much access on our airwaves and too much reverence in our communities.  Today though, and 2018 is proof of this change; clumsy self-promoters when denied all of that unobstructed access just sue, or merely threaten it, and then progress themselves thru other platforms ie. social media; wherein they find their compost heaps.

However, this conveniently redrawn Populism has nothing to do with what appeals to the many, it is about coercing the easily influenced; those that have found themselves along the side-lines of life, those for whom Facebook is their community grounds.  Those that are not considered as relevant by a Dublin centric Government and its Leader; those that are ripe for persuasion. 

Leo Varadkar along with his collectives, colleagues, enablers and fellow decision makers are what I call the safe sets.  They will always be middle class and will always be home owners.  They will always have access to education, healthcare and opportunity; which allows our Government and Media look down their noses at any one voice that is not of their own, and gloat even harder when it goes badly wrong. 

I refuse to refer to this sect of fellow Citizens as the elite; I actually hate the use of that expression, even more so now that it has been weaponised by other fellow Citizens as the root of their own negative, and in many cases, misguided activism. 

We have seen it all over Ireland this Autumn Winter of 2018.  Splinter leaders with self-anointing charisma, sloganeering fighting talk, but nothing by way of credentials, talent or substance, or even genuine popularity; just like Trump.  They have stoked up bands of believers into thinking they have a special insight into the truth.  But the truth of what? Or more importantly, whose truth? 

So far, all I’m able establish is that its only what they want to hear kinda truths.

What were once harmless, even charming in their own way, old fashioned conspiracy theorists, have ended up dragooned into this virulent mob, a mob who were already predisposed for extremist and intolerant suggestion; shouting mantras of rants they simply cannot stand over or even defend as their own. As long as it’s catchy they’ll hum it, like an ear worm. That’s what we’re now to call Populism.

Our sense of Justice, Respect for Democracy and Equality, all of that we saw in May during the Repeal Referendum, has been Hijacked. 

Drip feeding carefully formulated questions is not exposing any truth, its merely a cheap device to propagate distrust.  It is false flag campaigning deliberately deployed to drill lines of division between Citizens, friends and colleagues, and for only one purpose; so that xenophobic propaganda can grow a base and subsequently followers for another outsider.

If you want the truth, then let’s start by getting it right.  Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Choice, Anti-Government, Anti-Vax, Anti-What-Ever yer having yerselves – give over; it’s nothing short of Black PR from individuals seeking fealty from those that will never be party to the cosy cartels of the main stream safe sets anyway, and usually by those who have been shunned by those same safe sets; yet, would be back amongst them in a heartbeat.

I don’t care how many troll accounts they have at their disposal, or how festeringly fertile their spawning grounds are or how loud they shout. 

I’m going nowhere 2019. Come and get me.


The bloated mucky floods and flagellation fueled indignation that is now touring the Country criticising our Democracy can’t have been missed by anyone; certainly not by my followers and former adversaries anyway.  So as a loud and rowdy advocate of active Citizenship I decided I should try to speak up for it.

If I’m the last person ye, well some of ye definitely, want’ta hear talking ’bout this, then head on over to the Joe Show for yerselves.

I know only some of what has been said and alleged about me across Broadsheet and over on the Twitter an’ what have ya since I refused to sup from the hashtag EndCorruptionNow soup bowls; don’t worry – ye’re grand, I’ve no intention ah’ going there; everyone is entitled to their opinion, and free-speech and privacy will find no louder voice than mine to defend them anyway.

Besides I’m not litigious, nor am I that fulla meself that I need to pay the legal profession to come over to my side of any argument. 

How’n ever I cannot sit by and leave an accusation of fascism be poured over the right to freedom of choice our Democracy provides; who we vote for, what we do for a living, who we engage to represent us and who we vote to represent us, what we do with our own bodies, how we parent our children – this is where I’d normally say an’ whatever yer having yerself.

In a Democracy unfortunately there will be decisions made that conflict with your choice.  For instance, I voted to abolish the Senate, my vote was decided because I think all Citizens should be entitled to vote in its elections.

I accepted that outcome, and even now, if I was offered a nomination into it I would say yes please and thank you.  Because not only is that Democracy, it is also my right to accept or refuse. (Shameless plug fully intended btw.)

Likewise, with the people of Tipperary who make Michael Lowry a Poll-Topper, that is Democracy.

Just because we don’t like the result or we disagree with it, does not mean it is any-the-less a Democratic outcome, or that it should not be respected.

Free Speech also comes with unpleasant consequences.  You will have to hear views and opinions that you don’t agree with, or that offend.  That is the price you may have to pay from time-to-time in a Free Speech Democracy.

Freedom of expression is not without risk, it only comes with conditions that can be legally enforced, challenged and or upheld through our systems of regulatory control and Judicial review; and it is a right that I will stand beside anyone to defend.

One thing I have learned from Johnny Keenan that I will always be grateful for is that art can also be a form of revolution and rebellion; through artistic expression minds can be opened and great ideas germinated.  Through the arts, voices can reach people and places the everyday media can’t, or just won’t.

But if we are all equally entitled to insist that Freedom of Expression and Free Speech are permanently attached to a Democracy and available for anyone to exercise, then we must accept there are all walks of life availing of our Democratic systems.

Norma Bunty Burke did exactly that and it should never be allowed said she broke or interfered with any election process, or hindered any other candidate.  She broke no rules and followed the set protocols exactly.  But instead of respecting her constitutional rights, those elected officials that bawdily interrupted actually denied her those rights, and whether ye like it or not, they are our rights too.

Bunty was using a simple everyday tool called satire to highlight the shabby and prejudiced voting practices of our elected representatives.  The voting pacts and arrangements that have become so commonplace they have being adopted as a form of political foreplay.   Our Government is currently being run by one.

This is what really denied the Irish electorate a genuine citizen candidate in the latest Presidential Election, not a satirical performance that merely exercised rights we all have.

Likewise, with equality.  We all have our own things, needs and bits n’ bobs, and most likely yours are none of my business.  Yet I will defend equal rights for every Citizen in this Democracy.  No one should have their rights and access to anything defined by their gender, orientations, place of birth, ethnicity or County colours.

It’s the same rules for all of us, or there are none at all.

I am not pretending our Democracy is perfect, there are too many loopholes that can be manipulated; remember this little something from my old parish about Gaming the System?  The thing is, the same processes and procedures are the same for everyone.

I am regularly heard saying “you have to work with what is in front of you.”  So if that’s not to your tune or to your liking or to your chosen way of life, change it.

The stages to complete that last Presidential ballot sheet proved that some Citizens are savvier, better prepared and more craftily enabled – by means, or professional and political support, and a lazy mainstream of media that is undeniably and shamefully influenced; but all that does not mean Democracy did not exist.

I still have faith in the process because during those tiresome, and mostly pathetic, weeks of nomination chasing I saw someone avail of the same route all but two others on that ballot sheet did.

She wrote to the Councils herself, she got the same time allocation as the other hopefuls and used public transport to get to the various Chambers.  She traveled unaccompanied, save for a wheelie bag and a white cane.  She was pleasant, generous and kind to anyone and everyone she met; other candidates and their entourages, journalists and Council staff.

She didn’t ask for special treatment beyond being allowed take her questions after her presentation on one occasion; (South Dublin County Council as she had to make a train to stay ahead of bad weather.)

She was introduced like everyone else, she presented her platform, she didn’t heckle or criticize abstainers, she didn’t argue; she answered every question the Councillors put to her as best she could and invited them to ask her more, and she didn’t blame anyone for not getting a single proposer; that lady is Marie Goretti Moylan.

I had no real interest in her platform, nobody did, but she had a right to be heard and she had a right to present herself as a candidate for nomination under Bunreacht na hÉireann, and any slight or deviation from the Constitution provides legal recourse for any Citizen.  Marie Goretti knew her constitutional rights and understood them and exercised them.

Too many have been allowed claim our Democracy is broken.  It isn’t, our Society is broken, and we have allowed our Democracy to ignore it.

We blame it for all our problems, it has forced sides to be formed from pools of shared values and amongst friends, and it has caused enormous hurt, even heartbreak.

But all that happened because most of the systems and mechanisms built by our Democracy are still largely unknown by those that need to rely on it, or those that sought to avail of it.

To make it work for your choices, get to know it better.

This bit might not be pleasant for some, but I need to say it anyway.  Democracy delivered a clear and unambiguous message to all our elected representatives; that we are a Pro-Choice country.

Therefore, every one of us, no matter what way you voted, are entitled to ask the person who has the honour of signing-in this turning point legislation on our behalf what their own position is.

That is the best example of ensuring an open and functioning Democracy that I can think of;

for now.

If anyone is wondering why now for this run again at Demrockracy’ (which is a part 1 of 3 btw) it was originally meant to be October’s Frill-Bit in the former gaff.  They didn’t want it.  So there ya have it.  Feel free to comment etc.  

A Frill-Bit that didn’t make it – REVISITED

Below is a Christmas message I wrote for in December 2016; the year of the Apollo House Occupation and the same Christmas that was followed very shortly with the announcement that Syrian Refugees would be arriving in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

This is now a well-worn story with its own virtual box-set of documentaries and articles, both here online and in the mainstream.  And shur’ t’wasn’t long before these arriving families were so well embedded within our Story of Ireland, they muscled in an Up For The Match for themselves with the same barefaced chancery as any Tipp lad.

When I originally submitted it had the working title “Urbi et Frilly.” Broadsheet didn’t run it that Christmas Day 2016; sum’ting around not having the availability to moderate – ‘racist trolling is my main issue.’ 

Anyways the sabotage of Caiseal Mara Hotel there over the weekend reminded me of it again,  and since I am technically a migrant meself, like those covered in the colonies of weekend tweets you will all be familiar with, I decided to retrieve it.

Feel free to comment as ye see fit, I don’t censor, never have, never will.   There’s room for everyone.

I remember I put it together on my phone, and save for a few typos I’ve just corrected, this is what was sent into Broadsheet Christmas Eve 2016.


Earlier this week I heard that the number being put on how many might have drowned in their attempts to reach Europe in 2016 was 5,000.


5,000 lives that no matter how shittie it turned out for, the owners of those 5,000 lives still thought t’was worth the risk.

So I’m here on Christmas Day to say fúck Brexit, fúck any Church using School places to proselytize, fúck Trump and his rapidly spreading intolerance, and fúck the Irish League of Hating everyone not white and Catholic.

I don’t care what ye all have ta’ say

I don’t care who is appalled or outraged or livid by what they all have ta’ say.


There is always room at the inn.

For anyone who has returned to their home towns and villages of not Dublin this week, ask around;

  • Has your old school lost any teachers in the student: teacher calculation stakes?
  • Has the Club bin’ able to field teams in all age groups?
  • Are there idle residential properties?


If yes to all 3 – in your own  community; then let’s do what we really do best as Paddies : Exceed expectations when it comes to helping those that everyone else ignores, forgets or dislikes.

I’m here to reach out.  

There is plenty room in this inn

The more the merrier lads, the more the merrier.

Nollaig Shona everyone

Keep the keys at home and remember if you don’t have Christmas in your heart, you won’t find it under the tree.

Enjoy the ‘wran 

Funny how things turn out int’it?

Like ye’ve heard me say before anyway; trust the internet; the internet always delivers the truth, eventually.

Late note

Hi everyone

You may have missed that I didn’t post up a Frill Bake last week.  And of all weeks…..

But some of ye will know there was a bereavement in the family, so unfortunately I didn’t get to watch any of the episode; and I completely blanked when I opened the Wednesday papers over at the old gaff

So it would be impossible to try and review it for ye when I already knew the winner.

I haven’t even seen it yet myself.  So Congrats to Rahul, I suppose.

And good luck to the Bake Off Tent, I will miss doing these.

Its just not the same doing them from here


and thanks for all those messages of condolences, and I actually appreciated some of ye reminding me of the coincidence that the woman that introduced me to home baking was buried the same day as the Season 9 Final aired.





I will be posting some columns here in the next few days that were prepared prior to my eviction, so I hope ye don’t mind. So do stay in touch everyone



Week 9 Ruby Ruby Ruby

I know I said if Rahul got through Patisserie week, I’d knock this Frill-Bake lark off.  But I was enjoying the show so much I can honestly say that at no point last night did I consider wishing the lad gone.

Whether he deserves to be in the final is neither here nor there, he’s now officially and permanently a GBBO finalist. And despite what social media is ranting out about cheating, there were four in that tent, and whoever was the worst was going home.  He is in the final because he wasn’t the worst.

The moment her mirror glaze was lifted like a rubber mat the decision was made for everyone, so we really didn’t need to hear Incontinence pads, but Briony kept fighting back throughout all the phases of her showstopper, and right up until she heard the Hollywood say Salty – it was crushing; and it was only at that point did she swallow that her Bake Off journey was all but over.

It’s no secret at this stage I’m winding down and would have got off earlier if I stuck to my word last week by not bothering if Rahul survived Patisserie week.  But Briony is why I’m going back on my word and making the time to post this today.

Briony Williams was one savage contestant.  Not just in this series but through them all she is one to be remembered.  This is the first mention I am giving to her disability, it was not that I deliberately ignored it until this week, it was because I never saw it hold her back.

Nor did I get any inclination the Judges were treating her any differently so why should I.

I did think to mention it last week when I noted to myself how actually dexterous she is, and how fine her piping and modelling work is.  But choose not to.  It was a quarter final, so it should be anyway.

Also, I don’t think its why she didn’t make the final.  This series saw some fantastic bakers sent home, bakers that have been early picks for the Final; like Dan.

And who would have put Ruby in the final after her first and second week?  None’ah ye nor me, but I’ll be cheering her on next week in the final; which btw, has a first, the technical is off site and doesn’t involve any baking.  I’ll let ye dig up yere own spoilers.

So Patisserie Week.  I love this one because it always filled with challenges you’d never do, and with the kinda stuff you have no guilt about paying out for to have served up to ya.

E9 Noel etc

But I’ll start with Noel’s shurt, sorry.  I have a problem with purple.  I’m an ol’ Regina Girl and in my day it was a very strict pinnie with blazer, all purple; and I haven’t gotten over it. Thankfully it didn’t stop me from enjoying the show and taking every last bite out of it.

It was the best Patisserie week I remember and those challenges were all brilliant.  That Technical is a proper special event cake, and I don’t care now feckie it is, or challenging it is, or how may bits of kit and shyte you have to assemble for it.  What a Cake – it deserves an intro all of its own:

Torta Setteveli 
The seven veils of unabashed shameless Celtic tiger over indulgence Cáca Milis

Torta Setteveli  is complicated enough to be called an event cake, its extravagant enough to feel guilty but its light enough to have seconds. Why not?  Like you’ll hardly be doing one every weekend anyway.

Madeleines meh, but the sponge mixture will easily translate into a sponge finger for the Christmas Trifles that will soon be on us, and here in Rahul’s Chocolate Orange ones is a nice tidy recipe for orange curd.

What a Showstopper; it was just fantastic.  It reminded me of Season one’s Final and Season 2’s own Patisserie Week.  Choux and I have long running issues, but I have a great Sweet Shortcrust that I use for the Christmas Mince pies although I don’t think I’d get away with calling it pate sucree tbh with ye.

Millefeuille -which in Cork is called Millie-Frilly.  I swear.  Well when I lived there t’was, and it was more of a loaf shape that when you cut into it the cream and jam just flooded out from the layers.  To me the smaller ones are slices, like a Custard Slice, so going to the kinda effort we saw last night, probably isn’t sum’ting I’m going to bother with, but here is Ruby’s summer fruit Millie-Frilly

I just can’t wait for the final.  Seriously, I’m like an eight year old being allowed wait up for the Late Late Toy Show for the first time.  I’m rooting for Ruby lads; a proper fake-it- till ya-make-it give-it-a-lash-Jack kinda baker.

Like meself I suppose, and look were I ended up.  Ah what harm girl, be like me – have no regrets;

Go Ruby

and make him eat that shurt

noel ruby

Week 8 De Dan De Dan De Dan

You know these work place fantasy leagues? Well years ago, I was player in a Gran Prix one, with about 30 or so others, it was all well organised, with a league table and rules etc. It was like a fiver a week, and half the pot was split between the lads who had the driver that got the chequered flag and lads with the winning team.   The balance of that weekly pot was held over for the best Fantasy Team at the end of the season.

I rarely got a look in week in week out, but you know it was good craic because I was regularly runner up or as they’d say in bingo; sweating. So on a Monday morning when you wouldn’t be in the humour for anything the banter could get you through to Wednesday.

I was reminded of those days, with the lads, lads I haven’t seen or heard from in probably 20 years, last night. Because at the end of that first season, my fantasy team, Scuderia Forani, won.

I can still see the fecker running it now, ah he was the funniest lad I ever worked with tbh, come into my little office, put about 200 yoyos down and slip-off  like he was ducking out early, and left me hooping and wha’how’ya now bhiys to meself until his smoking buttie came in with a catering size coffee tin filled with coin shrapnel.

Another 300 or so, and the print offs of the league table.  Wasn’t I well clear of the rest of them with their trips ta Silverstone and their cans of Fosters and Jordan t-shirts.  Slow and steady, there and thereabouts, week after week.

Which has been Ruby’s Bake Off so far, and you know who else had the same experience? Last year’s winner Sophie Faldo.

I have come to appreciate Ruby’s Bake Off journey so much, like last week her showstopper give up, but she was all star baker for me last night. The sign of a champ; and she’s still improving.  And she’s fun. Feck’sake, Rahul would have ya reciting the rosary when he starts talking and listing his ingredients.

ruby noel

Something else, now this might be ‘cause we get to spend more time with them now with the culling, but did anyone else notice how tall she is?  Like I think she’s taller than Noel, and he’s in those silly cuban heel things.

Anyway, the real stuff; I really really enjoyed Danish week. Not so much for the baking, or that I was thrilled for Ruby but it was just brilliant telly for the Bake Off watcher.  It could be that I had no idea what to expect or that I sat down with nothing in mind or anyone already mentally pre-selected for going and showstopping.

Just even listening to Sandi pronounce the bakes in their mother tongue Danish, to hearing her laugh was easy listening telly; Dane Sandi Toksvig from now on.

Something else from my bygone days for ye – one time at a local jumble sale I picked up an old cookery book and it had wonderful notes and dinner plans left inside from the previous owner.

Its in olde imperial which can be a pain, and its a bit whiffy as it probably pre-dates Abigail’s Party.  But it started a bit’ve of thing now where I always browse the 2nd hand shelves for cook books, not that I’ve had as much luck since, but I never feel disappointed for trying anyway.

I mention it now because it has a great recipe for Danish Pastries that make them unfaffable.


Apologies for the pics lads, but its Cordon Blue Cookery by Rosemary Hume and Muriel Downs, and has the best pastry section you’ll get in one place. So maybe keep an eye out for it yereselves.
To give mention to the bakes last night, well I thought the signature was a great challenge; and we haven’t seen sangwiches in the tent since the garden party final showstopper in Season 1.  Have we?
As the Pru’Paul went over here’s one I made earlier bit with the Technical, the dependent said t’me that’s so you and she’s right. Only thing is it seems to require kit but a egg poacher might do the job.   Also, I wouldn’t be doing the dipping sauce. But Paul’s recipe is cracking, both for the batter and the spicy apple insides. Mind you he has the skill level set at easy. I’m not so sure about that; far be it from me to question The Hollywood, but I’d set it to feckie lads.

You have to hand it to Kim-Joy, and ye’ve heard me say it before, her finishing is the best the tent has ever seen. Maybe she’s an artist at heart and baking is her medium and preferred art form, because an artistic temperament would definitely explain the tears.  Mind you with the exception of our Star Ruby, they all had a bit’ve cry.

Now I know twitter etc has gone mad over Manon getting relegated to the Extra Slice, and Rahul was a goner from the start with his 101 toppings asaic.

But in the balance of the series so far, and that Manon did drift off from Danish week with her French rye loaf while her pain au chocolat in the showstopper didn’t sit well with the Hollywood at all, Rahul did deserve another lash at it.

Although if he survives Patisserie week, I’ll pack this lark in, and ye’ve only two more weeks of this to go anyway.

Then its all over.

After nearly ten years with Frilly

who knows.  But its like losing my best friend.