Ireland says ‘Big Hello!’ while Leeds wave goodbye to promotion!



Surely some mistake?

Of course I have no issue with the Government’s ‘Big Hello’ event this weekend, which will see local communities hosting gatherings with a view to strengthening community ties. In fact, I welcome the initiative.

  I have no issue with it at all, merely one query: Why didn’t they call it ‘The Big Howya’?


Is Mr Lawless Serious?

A Fianna Fáil TD has expressed concern about the possibility of the Chinese state spying on TDs and Senators in the future.

  Deputy James Lawless – an apt surname in the circumstances – has raised the issue following the installation of surveillance cameras manufactured by the Chinese state in Leinster House.

  Now we know that the Skibbereen Eagle newspaper famously warned the Czar of Russia that they were watching him.

  But surely the Chinese authorities aren’t planning to spy on Danny Healy-Rae & Co.?


Winner alright!

In a world that sometimes feels like it’s gone just a little mad, it’s reassuring to see that there’s still some normality…

  I’m referring of course to a poll in the esteemed ‘Radio Times’ on the greatest sit-coms of all time. I was pleased to see that reason prevailed in this increasingly mad world – and Fawlty Towers duly won out.

  Mind you, I was very surprised to see Father Ted taking second place. Father Ted was a great comedy, but it’s hardly worthy of such an elevated position. It’s certainly not fit to ‘lace the boots’ of Basil, Sybil, Manuel & Co.

  Meanwhile, Only Fools and Horses finished in sixth place, which was unfair on that classic and even more objectionable than Father Ted’s high placing.


Golf ball lands. Crowd goes crazy

Anyone who doubts if there is such a thing as a ‘herd mentality’ should really watch the golf on television.

  Time and time again it happens…a golfer hits a wayward shot and shouts ‘Fore!’…we all await the swish of the tree branches. TV camera zooms in. Someone spots golfer’s ball behind/near tree, perhaps fortuitously in a clearing. They point at it.

  Immediately, hundreds of spectators surge towards the ball. They stand around it, staring at the motionless ball, as though under some sort of a spell.

  It’s always a pretty bizarre sight. Maybe they just want to have a great vantage point for the next shot. Or maybe they all have ‘Late-Late-Show-audience-itis’, defined as ‘I want the folks at home to see me on the telly’.


Oops, they did it again…

Honestly, I had major misgivings about the appointment of Ole as Manchester United manager.

  Unless I’m missing something, this is what happened: Manchester United wisely parted company with Jose Mourinho, then appointed an unproven manager (undoubtedly a former playing hero) as interim boss.

  Unexpectedly, Solskjaer oversaw a great winning run. And, frankly, United fans lost the run of themselves! ‘Appoint the new Messiah’, they chanted, oblivious to his managerial track record, the poor quality of some of the opposition, and the reality that many new managers experience an immediate ‘bounce’.

  Next, results change…and suddenly it all goes downhill. Suddenly, Solskjaer looks out of his depth. Nice guy, probably not the right guy. The board acted rashly. I can’t see this one ending happily.


Meanwhile, back at Elland Road…

Pity any Leeds United fan who tuned into Sky Sports in the 77th minute of Sunday’s Championship game with Aston Villa…to see Villa’s Albert Adoma walk the ball into the net from the halfway line with the Leeds players standing like statues.

  If any such fan exists, that odd sight won’t have inspired them to believe that Leeds can gain promotion to the Premier League via the upcoming play-offs.

  Happily, there was an explanation for the bizarre ‘uncontested goal’, which is that Leeds gifted it to Villa because their opponents were fuming over the goal Leeds had scored a few minutes earlier. (Villa were unhappy that Leeds had played on after one of the Villa players went down injured).

  Personally, as a Leeds fan – and a sporting one at that – I think it was extremely generous of Leeds to gift Villa the goal.

  Anyways, it all reminded me of a soccer game (well, fixture) in the Rooskey area, more than forty years ago. The opposition didn’t turn up, and the referee asked the Rooskey-based team to kick off (and go through the formality of scoring a goal into the empty net).

  Sadly, after casually working the ball upfield, a Rooskey player carelessly kicked it wide! Unless my memory really is playing tricks with me, a national newspaper reported: ‘Red faces in Rooskey. No score against invisible rivals!’