When Joe met Gay…

Memories of the late, great Gay Byrne continued all week in print, online and on the airwaves. One of the most bizarre was from the never-dull Joe Brolly (in the Sunday Independent).

  Readers of a sensitive persuasion may want to avert their gaze at this point. The rest of you brave souls can read on…

  It seems that a number of years ago, the bould Joe was driving past Donegal Airport on a very cold morning. But obviously not cold enough. Joe came to a beach, and for some reason decided to take a dip. After checking that there was nobody around, Joe “stripped naked…and jumped in the freezing ocean”.

  Half an hour later, when he emerged from the water…there was one person within view. It was Gay Byrne, out for a morning stroll on the strand (and fully clothed).

  Gaybo exclaimed: “Young Joseph! What a sight for sore eyes!”.

  He followed up with a more general “I see you are making trouble again…do make sure to keep it up”.

  So, as Gay himself might say, there you go. That is the story of the day poor Gaybo encountered a fearless, freezing and naked Joe Brolly on a beach, and (being Gaybo) reacted with calmness and wit, before apparently walking on as if he hadn’t encountered a naked controversialist on an otherwise deserted beach.

  As Eric Morecambe used to quip in certain circumstances, “there’s no answer to that”.

Managers’ mayhem!

How long before there’s a BAFTA category for ‘Most histrionic reaction by a Premier League manager on the sideline’?

  It really is beyond the joke. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are the biggest offenders. Probaby no coincidence that their clubs (Manchester City and Liverpool respectively) have been the pace-setters in recent seasons. The histrionics are surely at least partly put on…with a view to influencing officials and creating a media narrative that they are forever being wronged!

  The managers’ bizarre eruptions on the sideline are entertaining enough – particularly for opposition fans – but they are childish too. I know there’s a lot of pressure in top level sport, but nobody will convince me that there isn’t an egotistical and intentionally theatrical element to this behaviour. As Eamon Dunphy might say, it’s showbiz…baby!

  Guardiola went berserk over a couple of contentious decisions during Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Liverpool. At the final whistle, there was further insulting of viewers’ intelligence. First the Manchester City boss approached the officials and mouthed a highly sarcastic ‘Thank you very much’ before then claiming that he was being sincere. (The apprehensive referee looked like he was about to burst into tears).

  It wasn’t like this in the good old days! Bob Paisley simply wouldn’t know what to make of this silly behaviour.

  Brian Clough? If he was around, he’d give  Guardiola a Pep in his step…via a kick up the backside!



Overheard in a country graveyard last week when two men from ‘out of town’ finally succeeded in locating the grave of a friend.

  “He was a great fiddle player, well no, he was a good fiddle player”. 

  They proceeded, with due and moving respect, to pause and reflect at the grave of their friend, while I went about my business and ceased my eavesdropping.

Advice for Ed…

According to The Sunday Times, singer Ed Sheeran made €37.8m in 2018. And, according to the same report, Ed’s manager (Stuart Camp) made €34.2m in the same year (for managing Ed).

  Time to get a new manager, Ed!


Peace before the storm…

In the Late Late Show studio on Tuesday night of last week, the stars smiled and nodded as Dee Forbes, Director-General of RTE, led tributes to the late Gay Byrne.

  The very next day, Dee confirmed that the station’s highest-paid stars – people like Tubridy, Duffy, O’Callaghan, D’Arcy and Finucane – will be asked to take a 15% pay cut.

  Then on Friday, the soon to be impoverished stars sat in the Church pews in the Pro Cathedral for the funeral of Gay Byrne, with Dee prominently seated in their midst (right behind Pat Kenny, now of Newstalk).

  I wonder if they all shook hands for the sign of peace?


Lightbulb moment?

It seems that I am now ‘doing requests’! Our neighbours in Abbey Street have been in touch…and are anxious for some light to be shed…

  One of the street lights in Abbey Street has been broken for a few weeks, and residents would be very grateful if the Council can kindly arrange to get it working again!

  In fairness, it’s important to have street lights working…particularly at this time of year, when it’s dark early and when the weather can be harsh and conditions for pedestrians potentially treacherous.

  So, an early Christmas present from Council HQ would be appreciated…