Personal and undiluted views
Grand Slam

1323 days ago

And so my father said to me after the last Irish Grand Slam

It was 2009 and the Ireland team of Brian O'Driscoll had just won the grand slam. For my father it was the second triumph for the Old Country in his lifetime. The first was in 1948 when Jackie Kyle from Belfast lead the men in green to the first ever clean sweep in what, was then, the five nations.

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1688 days ago

Wales vs Ireland - at least Olaf is happy, I watched Miss Marple

My father was bracing himself all day and watched the rugby to the bitter end. Today he will be with the rest of Shipston's small Irish community in the Horseshoe drowning their sorrows and wishing Scotland the best of luck against the Old Enemy. I could not watch after half time such was my sense of foreboding and - to the delight of the Mrs - switched to watch a Miss Marple I had seen many times before. The Alzheimer's is still at bay, I knew the killer at once and even why he did it.

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2429 days ago

Ireland brightens up my day

I could not bring myself to find somewhere to watch the match even online but it seems that it is a happy St David’s day for the Celtic world as the Old Enemy have been put to the sword in Dublin 19-9. And it is clear that the result was not unfair. It gets better….

Before the game the English press was full of talk of how if England win they will go onto win the Grand Slam and now the World Cup. It is that conceit and swagger of English Rugby that binds the Celtic nations together in supporting anyone who plays England.

So once again the Wheels have come off the Chariots as the men in green march on. Come on lads, my father waited 66 years to see his second Irish grand slam, let’s make it just 12 months for his third. Sadly my phone is dead so I cannot enjoy what is becoming an almost annual ritual of calling my Ulster born Aunt Valerie Booker to share in the joy. She will no doubt be having an extra Bushmills and teasing Uncle Chris as I write. Have fun!

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