Funny business: How I’ve gone full circle with Tommy



It’s funny how you can sometimes take a dislike to a person, for no real reason, and in my case poor old Tommy Tiernan is, or was, one of those unfortunate people who fell into that category.

  I developed a dislike for him without ever even seeing him live, and, no matter what, I just couldn’t take to him.

  The early appearances he made on the Late Late Show, in which he was famously irreverent about the Catholic religion and the Pope, and stuff like that, probably didn’t help. Whatever the reason, I just didn’t like him and continually maintained that he wasn’t fit to lace the boots of people like Brendan Grace, when it came to comedy.

  And so it is an amazing about-turn for me to tell you that I am quite a fan of his new chat show, in which he is supposed to have no idea about the identity of his guests. Initially I would have been a bit sceptical about that claim, but having seen a recent show, in which his guest was scientist Dr. Niamh Shaw –whose ambition is to go to Mars in the near future – there can be no doubt that Tommy had no idea who she was.

  The funny thing is that on this show he is almost normal, although not fully, and he can adapt to the circumstances he finds himself in. He can be serious if called for, and of course he can inject a moment of total lunacy at any given time. If you haven’t got to see the show yet, make a point of catching up with it as soon as you can.

  I must be getting either old, or senile, because I am also a new fan of Irish music royalty, Foster & Allen, and one of my favourite moments so far was when Tommy asked them about playing to Irish audiences, and Foster said they would get lads to go to see them if they were playing in Australia, but if they were at home the same lads would go to Longford if Foster & Allen were playing in Mullingar!

  Anyway, I am amazed that I have changed my mind so much about Tommy Tiernan, but I’m still not sure that I would ever go to see any of his stand-up shows.

  Talking of television shows, I like the new Sunday night drama Striking Out, and I must say that I think some of the criticism it is getting is a little over the top. In my opinion Amy Huberman is a talented and very watchable actress. 

  Between that show and Dancing with the Stars, which I hate to say I look at (admittedly with one eye on the Sunday papers), Sunday night television is almost passable, although when my two favourites, Bernard and Marty, bite the dust I might just slip out for a nice, quiet Sunday night pint.

Johnny had us jumping for joy

On Saturday afternoon we had one of the most extraordinary sporting moments of my lifetime, when Johnny Sexton dropped that match-winning goal in Paris. As I watched it at home, having managed to escape from the day job in Athlone a little early, I would safely say you could hear my roars at least as far away as the village of Creggs.

  I was lucky enough to have been in Cardiff on the occasion of Rog’s (Ronan O’Gara) incredible Grand Slam clinching drop goal in 2009, and I will never forget the scenes of sheer joy we witnessed that day. Last Saturday’s score, which in time may turn out to be just as important, unleashed some similar emotions, and will probably never be forgotten.

  Rugby is still a minority sport in this country, with Creggs technically being the only rugby club in Co. Roscommon, but it has really gained support over the last few years.

  Judging by the number of lads and girls who watched Saturday’s match in local pubs, the Six Nations must be a big help to our publicans’ dwindling coffers.

  I am jumping a lot of difficult hurdles now, but if Ireland and England were to meet in a championship decider on Paddy’s Day, what a massive financial bonanza that would be.

  Sadly, I will be over in Twickenham for that game, so I won’t be able to get to the local pub for a few – it can be a tough life.

Creggs march on (and a trip down memory lane)

Out here in Creggs, we are, as I told you last week, having a really wonderful rugby season. On Sunday last in Corinthians, the fairytale continued, when our lads beat the home side to qualify for the Connacht Junior Cup semi-final for the first time in fifteen years.

  To win the cup, which we last won in 1993 – twenty-five years ago – is a pretty tall order, as we are the only team from outside the top tier of Connacht junior rugby, but as we have seen umpteen times over the years in the FA Cup across the water, anything can happen in a cup match, and therein lies the magic of the cup.

  Back to Corinthians, and I was surprised to see that a picture of the team from 1974, on which I played alongside my brothers Kieran, and the Rasher (Dec), and Jack the Higher, is still adorning the clubhouse wall.

  Just in case you don’t believe me, I have forwarded a copy of the photo to my friend Dan in the People. If he doesn’t use it, he will be my friend no longer, but anyway it brought back some great, and not so great, memories of days long ago.

And finally…

Finally, for this week, I couldn’t make the huge meeting in the Hodson Bay Hotel on Monday night, which I am sure is covered elsewhere in this paper, and while it was a very noble and worthwhile effort, particularly on Michael Fitzmaurice’s behalf (ably assisted by Eamonn O’Cuiv), I am told by a reliable source that most of the speeches were made by self-congratulatory county councillors outlining all they had done for their respective areas, and also by members of various farming and business organisations, and that the ordinary person on the street barely got a look at a microphone.

  If that is true, it strikes me as a missed opportunity, because we have to listen to enough waffle from our politicians, without having to hear them again at that type of public meeting, although it was great to hear that the farmers got a bit of coverage through my neighbour, John Hanley. But if there is to be another meeting, maybe we should stop the councillors and other politicians from using it as a soapbox!

Till next week, Bye for now!