On Saturday night in Mikeen’s, sport was high on the agenda with the wonderful win for Mayo footballers in the All-Ireland semi-final over Kerry (which I forecast rightly) and the following day’s Dublin v Tyrone battle (which I got hopelessly wrong) – both being discussed but overshadowed by the eagerly-awaited Mayweather and McGregor multi-million dollar world championship boxing match.
The overwhelming feeling I got was that my generation and those a little younger had very little interest or support for the Dublin fighter, but the youth were completely on his side, and that he is a modern-day hero to thousands of the young Irish all over the globe.
I was totally convinced that there was no way that I would watch the fight and after the few pints of Mikeen’s best porter, I headed off to my bed.
Miraculously, I woke at 4 am and made my way downstairs to where four or five family members were having a mini-boxing match/party and against all my intentions –and even principles – I watched the whole thing and didn’t even fall asleep.
The result was perfect for both fighters –Mayweather kept his unequalled unbeaten record and also preserved the little remaining integrity that boxing has, while McGregor performed well enough to justify the whole charade, and each of them made hundreds of millions of dollars from the exercise.
Even if it had been fixed, which of course I am not insinuating, it could not have turned out any better.
My niece Aoife, and my nephew Matthew, made it to the weigh-in and it was just savage. So who am I to show any cynicism towards the whole thing? The end result for McGregor is that according to today’s papers, he has a book deal and a film deal signed, which will make him a billionaire. Not bad for a lad who was a trainee plumber only five years ago.
Why everything’s Rosy in Tralee
It was more than thirty years ago when Carol and myself found ourselves on a little break in the lovely Kerry seaside town of Ballybunion. We went into the then iconic pub called Sean J D’s, and by accident ended up watching one of the early televised editions of the Rose of Tralee.
I have to say that I actually enjoyed that first viewing of what is now one of the late summer highlights on the national television station and over the years I have generally managed to tune into at least one of the two nights that the show is broadcast over.
A few years ago, I thought the whole thing was getting a bit tacky and for a while we had to listen to loads of bull from some of the Roses who all seemed to be dedicated to saving the planet from all kinds of environmental disasters and who all had highfaluting notions of “making a difference.”
Thankfully this year, I thought the girls were extremely natural, all very grounded and comfortable in their roles. They were very confident, capable and talented and in my humble opinion, by far the best group of girls that I have ever seen in the competition. In fact if I was a judge (which, sadly I don’t think I will be) I would have been happy to pick any one of the thirty-odd girls – or probably any of the thirty or so who didn’t make the live show – confident that she would be a thoroughly perfect Rose of Tralee and a good representative for the festival all around the world.
I am aware that not that many men admit to watching the Rose, but having been bitten by the bug all those years ago in Ballybunion, I still enjoy it – and not even Daithi O Se can wean me off it. To have such an international festival, which stretches to every corner of the world, is some achievement and, like it or not, the Rose of Tralee brand is a massive money-spinner for Ireland and especially the Kingdom of Kerry.
If you remember last week I had a bit of a rant at having to spend a week or two living in what I regarded as one-room bedsit conditions, but after what happened to so many unfortunate people in the north-west of this country and also in America, many of whom lost their homes entirely due to extremely abnormal torrential rainfall, I realise my predicament wasn’t so bad – and I take all my whinging back.
Finally, a reminder to readers that the big fundraising dance in aid of the Lourdes Invalid Fund and Cancer Care West is coming up. Music is by the hugely popular Lancers. Ticket sellers will shortly be calling to your doors and hopefully we will raise loads of money to help both wonderful charities and we look forward to having another great night in Dowd’s of Glinsk.
Till next week, Bye for now!