Simon Harris: How the TikTok taoiseach rose to power

Battle lines are being drawn over the cost of Irish reunification; Taylor Swift’s billion-dollar empire; Ireland’s chicken fillet role and more...

Hello and welcome to the Student Hub email digest. In this edition: The Jennifer Bray looks at the rise to power of Simon Harris; Battle lines are being drawn over the cost of Irish reunification; How Taylor Swift built a billion-dollar empire; Andrew Scott shines in Ripley; the famous chicken fillet role has taken off in London, but why do the Irish love it so much?; Patrick Freyne’s favourite TV shows of 2024; Frank McNally on a French row with Irish echoes; In a video posted to her Instagram on Tuesday, Lizzo said that her “I quit” statement was in reference to giving into negativity, and not creating or performing her music.

The five career moves that led him to the taoiseach’s office: From playwright prodigy to the TikTok taoiseach, Simon Harris has scraped through tight corners in politics to become Fine Gael leader.

Battle lines are being drawn over the cost of Irish reunification: The dirty war over the cost of Irish unification has kicked off, after rumbling under the academic surface now for a few years.

How Taylor Swift built a billion-dollar musical empire: The singer is now on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people. Will that convince sceptics she’s a shrewd entrepreneur, as worthy of recognition as Steve Jobs or Richard Branson?

Ripley review: Andrew Scott shines as the inscrutable anti-hero in this gripping psychological drama: Netflix’s eight-part adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel is an excellent platform for the Irish actor.

‘We elected a meme!’- How the meme president became a meme stock: We’ve seen meme stocks before. But with Trump’s Truth Social, believers are using their retirement funds to bankroll one obscenely wealthy individual to even greater riches.

Food-waste tips are all very well, but to save your planet be sure to vote: This year half the world goes to the polls with the risk of a swing to the right and away from environmental issues.

Why do the Irish love chicken fillet rolls so much? It’s not all about taste: The Emerald Eats food stall is mobbed daily with Irish-Londoners on their lunch break. But it’s not so much selling Irish street food as a story.

Where the streets have new names – Frank McNally on a French row with strong Irish echoes: I see that some French people are up in arms again, this time over a postal reform that will impose new names on previously nameless rural roads and numbers on houses that never needed them before.

Patrick Freyne’s favourite TV shows of 2024: An Irish national treasure, bickering hitfolk and the best actor of her generation: Here we are at the start of April – or, as The Irish Times’ ABC1 readership and my terrible nephews prefer to call it, Q2. It feels like a good time to look at the best television thus far in 2024.

Lizzo says she is not quitting the music industry, but ‘negative energy’: Lizzo has clarified a statement last week in which the musician appeared to be declaring her intention to leave the entertainment industry.

It is no great insult to Simon Harris to say that he is very unlikely to be up to the job of rescuing Irish political conservatism. It’s not clear that anyone else could do it either. There are five big problems for an Irish centre-right party such as Fine Gael. Any one of them would present a formidable challenge. Together, they make the challenge look insurmountable.

Read More