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12 picture-perfect illustrations of the news by Dublin collective The Good Times

Vibrant vignettes of current affairs.

The team at work
The team at work

CONCEIVED IN JANUARY by Dublin based Illustrator Steve McCarthy, The Good Times is a new way to consume news.

Describing themselves as “a gentle-hitting news team made up of Dublin’s finest illustrators”, their mission is simple: #WeDrawTheNews.

So what’s their process? McCarthy told TheJournal.ie: “Every week I invite the finest Illustrators I know to [my] studio. There over some coffee and pastries we illustrate the day’s news.”

Here are some recent highlights

1. Ruan Van Vliet illustrates Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae’s concern for rural Ireland under the National Development Plan. Healy-Rae warned: “There are no leprechauns.”

Ruan Van Vliet ( Illustrator ) The irish independent ( source ) He claims fairies are responsible for the poor condition of Kerry roads but now it can be revealed Danny Healy-Rae is a leprechaun denier. The Kilgarvan Independent TD's revelation came as he expressed concern that people living in rural Ireland will be unfairly hit as part of a series of measures aimed at tackling climate change. He is unhappy that they will lose out financially because of the Government's €22bn commitment to tackle the issue as part of the National Development Plan. The Oireachtas Agriculture Committee was examining the likely impacts of climate change when Mr Healy-Rae conceded: "There are no leprechauns." He said up to €500bn was already being raised annually in carbon taxes. Further increases mean this figure is likely to rise in years to come. He claimed working people and farmers would be forced to make up this extra money by 2040. "Who is going to pay for that?" he asked. "It's the people working and the farmers who will have to pay, because there are no Mother Teresas. Mother Teresa died. There are no leprechauns. "The money will have to be extracted from the working people, the private people, the farmers and the business people." He also claims encouraging the use of electric vehicles will prove fruitless because of pools of water on roads in Kerry. Mr Healy-Rae said: "There'll have to be no pools of water if you are driving an electric car because if you are driving through the pools of water I have been going through for the last fortnight you'll soon find out how far the electric car will go. "They won't keep going like the diesel or petrol vehicles." Dáil suspended after shouting match erupts between Healy Rae brothers and Marc MacSharry Words Wayne O'Connor of the Independent #GoodTimesNewsTeam

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2. Mick Minogue makes light of the ‘doughnut’ of female Ministers that surrounded the Taoiseach as he answered questions in the Dáil regarding the misdiagnosed cervical cancer tests.

3. Recent studies suggest that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) could slow down the effects of Alzheimers. Cesca Saunders illustrates this finding.

@cescasaunders (illustrator) The Times ( source ) HRT could slow down Alzheimer’s Hormone replacement therapy had no impact on memory tests, a study showedALAMY Hormone replacement therapy patches used to reduce symptoms of the menopause may preserve the brain and protect against Alzheimer’s disease, research suggests. Over seven years, treatment with the skin patches was associated with less age-related shrinkage of the part of the brain involved with memory, thinking and reasoning. Women whose brains responded in this way were also less likely to have a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Their brains contained fewer sticky clumps of beta-amyloid, a toxic protein fragment believed to trigger the death of neurons. But hormone replacement therapy had no impact on scores in thinking and memory tests, according to the study published in the journal Neurology." Excerpt from The Times

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4. Fuchsia MacAree reacts to an article by Louise O’Neill following the verdict  in the Ulster Rugby rape trial.

@fuchsiamacaree (Illustration) Excerpts from @oneilllou ( Louise O'Neill ) writing for the Irish Examiner ...“Found not guilty”, a friend texts into one Whatsapp group. “Not guilty” a different group fires up. “All defendants not guilty.” No, is my reply. No, No, No. My friends don’t need to explain any further. They don’t need to tell me what trial they are talking about. I know ... I’ve had a complicated relationship with the Ulster Rugby rape trial. Not a day went past without receiving a text message or a tweet from someone drawing parallels between my novel, Asking For It, and the case itself. The similarities are uncanny. A young girl, a party, members of a sports team, an alleged gang rape. After Asking For It was released, an older gentleman approached me and told me it was a ‘good read’ but ‘implausible’. That just wouldn’t happen in Ireland, he said. I thought of the Listowel case in 2009, when a local priest stood as character witness for a man accused of rape, and then 50 people lined up inside the courtroom to shake the hand of that same man when he was convicted. I thought of how women have been treated by this State for generations, their bodies policed, their sexuality seen as a dangerous force that needed to be controlled at all costs. Thrown into Mother and Baby homes and Magdalene laundries, forced onto boats and flights to claim their right to make decisions about their own bodies. Desperate, scared, and alone. That’s how Irish women have been raised. We carry our mother’s trauma in our bones, and her mother’s before that. We drag our limbs behind us, heavy with secrets that don’t even belong to us. “Did you know,” I wanted to tell that man. “That in this country, only one in four victims of sexual violence report the crime. Of those one in four who report, only 10% will end up in court. Of that 10% who end up in court, less than 5% of cases will see a conviction. What do you mean, you don’t think this could happen in Ireland?” But I didn’t say anything. And today, when I heard that verdict, I wish I had. I wish I had told him that I would love to live in his Ireland. I would love to know what it’s like to feel safe.

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5. Steve McCarthy illustrates that there’s officially no difference between the pleasure we experience from food, sex or art – as examined in the New York Times.

6. Conor Nolan highlights Clare County Council’s newly erected signs to caution motorists about rogue goats in Ennis.

7. Ruan Van Vliet depicts the ghost of Mike Joyce as he receives a posthumous pardon, having been convicted and executed for his part in the murder of a family in Maamtrasna in 1882.

@ruan_van_vliet ( Illustration) The Journal ( source ) Excerpt written by Sean Murray fir the Journal Man executed after being found guilty of 1882 murders to receive posthumous pardon It would be only the fourth such pardon granted in the State since 1937. The minister for Justice has received approval from the government to recommend the pardoning of a man executed in December 1882. It is now up to President Michael D Higgins – who has previously supported such calls – to issue the pardon for Myles Joyce, who was convicted of the Maamtrasna murders. If granted, it’ll be only the fourth such presidential pardon since 1937, and only the second posthumous one. In a statement, Flanagan said that the decision to recommend the pardon was made after considering the weight of evidence in this case that clearly pointed to a wrongful conviction. In August 1882, Joyce was one of ten men from the local area who was arrested and charged with the murders of five members of the same family in Maamtrasna, on the Galway-Mayo border. He was one of three men hanged for the crimes. Before the execution, the other two men admitted separately that they were guilty of the crimes, and said that Joyce was innocent. At the time, this was deemed insufficient to postpone or revoke the execution and, that December, Myles Joyce was executed along with the other two.

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8. Rob Mirolo documents a news story featuring a member of An Garda Síochána who was filmed fornicating with a “wannabe porn star” on his patrol car.

9. For International Women’s day, celebrated in on March 8th, Chris Judge recreates six female writers who shared their stories of being ‘bold girls’.

Chris Judge ( Illustrator ) The Irish Times ( source ) ‘Doors are closed on girls and women because we are not boys’International Women’s Day: Five writers on what it means to be a ‘bold girl’ Words - Sarah Webb (excerpt) "The world is full of remarkable women. I grew up in Dalkey, Co Dublin, and as a teenager there was one woman who impressed me more than anyone else, my godmother, June Jackson, a woman who always wore fuchsia tweed cloaks and jackets and, as an older woman, had the most wonderful pale-pink hair. ‘You can do anything you want to, Sarah,’ she’d tell me. ‘Anything. As long as you set your mind to it and work hard.’ She’d been a ballet dancer in her own youth, then a harpist and later an award-winning gardener. She’d turn up on my doorstep out of the blue with her arms full of pink roses, just because. I knew I was her favourite and that meant the world to me. I’ve never been prouder than at the launch of my first book when she handed me a cheque to buy something nice with and said, ‘You did it, now write another one.’ I kept going because of June’s encouragement. And I still keep going. June died several years ago and I still miss her. I keep a carefully sealed bag in the bottom of my wardrobe with one of her pink jackets in it. Now and then I take it out and breathe in her essence. Essence of hope, essence of love. I was also inspired to write by Maeve Binchy, who lived just down the road from our house. I’d see her in the village from time to time and she was always so kind, so encouraging. ‘How’s the writing going?’ she’d ask with a big smile. ‘Well, I hope. Keep at it' ..." Sarah Webb is an award-winning champion of children’s books, a writer and a creative-writing teacher. Her book about remarkable Irish women who changed the world, Blazing a Trail, is published in 2018. www.sarahwebb.ie This short essay is part of of Bold Girls, a Children’s Books Ireland project that includes an 88-page Reading Guide, school resource pack, events, and bookshop campaigns, launching on March 8th, International Women’s Day, with an exhibition in the old library at Trinity College Dublin #GoodTimesNewsTeam #InternationalWomansDay

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10. The Curlew is under serious threat of extinction. Fuchsia MacAree notes Birdwatch Ireland’s concern for the bird’s future.

Illustration : @fuchsiamacaree Paper : The Irish Times #WeDrawTheNews

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11. As President Michael D Higgins plans to run for a second term, Cesca Saunders provides a fun portrait ahead of his official announcement in July.

Cesca Saunders ( Illustrator ) Irish Times ( source ) (Wed, Feb 21) "President Michael D Higgins intends to seek a second term of office, with figures in Leinster House told he will declare his intentions in July. Sources familiar with the President’s thinking have advised political figures likely to support his candidacy of his decision in order to prepare for an autumn campaign, The Irish Times has learned. Such a timeframe, with an announcement expected before the Dáil rises for its summer recess and after the referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, means that speculation about Mr Higgins’s future will not dominate the quieter political agenda in August. Mr Higgins previously said he would make his intentions clear by September, with a presidential election due to take place by November at the latest. The President’s spokesman did not return requests for comment last night..." Excerpt from Fiach Kelly of the Irish Times

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12. Izzy Rose Grange brings the body’s newly discovered 80th organ to life after it was identified by a group of scientists in the United States.

@izzyrosegrange (illustrator) Irish times ( source ) Written by Kevin O'Sullivan for the irish times. Scientists discover new human organ hiding in plain sight Body’s 80th organ is likely to give new insights into how cancers spread rapidly Scientists in the US have identified a new human organ hiding in plain sight, in a discovery they hope will help understand how cancer spreads within the human body. Layers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments, which researchers have termed the “interstitium”. Its existence was demonstrated using a new technique for generating images from inside the human body. These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins. Analysis published in the journal Scientific Reports is the first to identify these spaces collectively as a new organ and try to understand their function. Remarkably, the interstitium had previously gone unnoticed in spite of being one of the largest organs in the body, the authors note. The team behind the discovery also suggest the compartments may act as “shock absorbers” that protect body tissues from damage. It was widely believed there are 79 organs in the human body, the interstitium would make the 80th.

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More: A walking tour of Dublin’s street art in 12 striking images>

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