Thursday, May 25, 2006

One man’s life
does not last a hundred years
but he bears
troubles enough for a thousand

regrettably short
night long

From "Bones Of The Master" by George Crane

Thursday, May 18, 2006

FC Barcelona won the Champions League Final last night beating Arsenal 2-1. By all accounts the match referee Terje Hauge had a terrible night, disallowing a Barcelona goal and awarding free kicks where there were none.

Personally speaking I found Thierry Heney’s post match interview disappointing. Henry accused the referee of favouring Barcelona. No Thierry I don’t think so. Lets have a quick look at the facts.

In the first half Eto’o broke through the Arsenal defence he goes by Lehmann, the Arsenal goalkeeper and last man back, and is brought down. The ball breaks to his teammate Giuly who whacks the ball into an empty net to score a legitimate goal. The referee fails to play the advantage, disallows the goal, awards Barcelona a free and quite rightly sends Lehmann off. Looked at objectively Arsenal were the ones favoured on this occasion.

The Arsenal goal in the first half came about from poorly defended free kick awarded when an Arsenal player dived. I was left wondering what Wenger, the Arsenal manager, thought of divers then.

In the second half Henry has some cause for complaint his yellow card was unjust. He won a clear ball from Barcelona’s Van Bommel fair and square. Van Bommel dived clutching his leg. In a later incident Henry shouldered Barcelona captain Puyol over the end line and won a corner. I don’t think the referee was favouring Barcelona there.

Eto’o’s equalising goal for Barcelona was not offside. It was well taken and well worked and Larsson’s touches, which lead to this goal and Belletti’s winner, were magnificent.

Before this Henry had two chances to wrap things up for Arsenal. On both occasions Valdes, the Barcelona goalkeeper denied him.

Henry quoted Mourinho, the Chelsea manager, and his views on referees’ favouring Barcelona. Again I couldn’t help but wonder what Wenger thought that statement. In the same situation would a Manchester United or Liverpool player quoted Mourinho? Somehow I don’t think so.

The match last night was Thierry Henry’s final game for Arsenal, in his hometown. Of course for these reasons and more he wants to win. He’s top score at Arsenal and has participated in a side renowned for its free flowing champagne football. His contract at Arsenal is finished.

Puyol, the Barcelona captain, lifted the Champions League title for his team. The celebrations began. Ronaldihno, will be going for the treble this summer. Thierry Henry maybe playing for Barcelona in September.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I’m nailing my colours firmly to the mast as regards the Football World Cup. This blog will be cheering its head off for Spain. This will in all probability mean that Spain, as usual, will get nowhere. As for who will win; look no further than Brazil.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Currently listening to ................

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dear B,

It’s been a very long time now since we last sat down and had a pint together. Now that I think of it, it must be over ten years, when we were both in our mid 20's. When we left school you used to call up to my house and we'd spend the evening listening to LP's and tapes. We were both into the raggle taggle music scene at the time, The Waterboys being the preferred choice.

Funny it was always my house we'd go to, I recall your mother wasn't too keen on having troupes of teenagers lounging about the house. Neither of us at the time could afford a flat or bedsit of our own. Two young guys with no money struggling to get by.

Eventually I moved on. To tell you the truth I lost interest in The Waterboys, and raggle taggle. In contrast B, in more ways than one, you remained steadfast.

For a while we kept in touch, meeting occasionally on Saturday nights. But in reality it couldn't last. And it didn't. As friendships go it had run its course, and we let things lie.

Recently we bumped into each other one New Years Eve, exchanged pleasantries and bought each other a pint. You were with your wife, I'd just broken up with my girlfriend and wasn't really in good humour. So we shook hands talked, laughed, and wished each other well. And that was that.

Earlier this week I was walking home from work. An old neighbor on the other side of the street spied me and called. She whispered in my ear "Did I hear B died". The news stunned me. I'm not one for keeping in touch with my old hometown, too many ghosts, too many memories, so I don't get to hear what’s going on.

I needed to sit down. I walked in the door of the nearest pub and ordered a pint. I'm not ashamed to say I shed one or two tears. I didn't really care if anyone was looking. Fuck them, I thought. I reproached myself for not keeping in touch, but what’s gone is gone and now can't be reclaimed.

I got home and dug out the old Waterboys tape, I hadn't listened to it in years and wondered how it would sound. It sounded wonderful. Just as wonderful as it sounded when we were teenagers, had just left school and the entire world awaited us.

And A Bang On The Ear

Lindsay was my first love she was in my class
I would have loved to take her out but I was too shy to ask
The fullness of my feeling was never made clear
But I send her my love with a bang on the ear

Nora was my girl when I first was in a group
I can still see her to this day, stirring chicken soup
Now she’s living in Australia working for an auctioneer
But I send her my love with a bang on the ear

Deborah broke my heart and I the willing fool
I fell for her one summer on the road to Liverpool
I thought it was forever but it was over in a year (oh dear)
But I give her my love with a bang on the ear

The home I made with bella became a house of pain
We weathered it together bound by a ball and chain
Is started up in Fife, and ended up in tears (oh dear)
But I send her my love with a bang on the ear

Krista was a rover from Canada she hailed
We crossed swords in San Francisco we both lived to tell the tale
I don’t know now where she is oh but if I had her here
I’d give her my love with a bang on the ear

So my woman of the hearthfire, harbour of my soul
I watch you lightly sleeping and sense the dream that does unfold (like gold)
You to me are treasure, you to me are dear
So I’ll give you my love with a bang on the ear

Here’s a poem from our old friend Lucien Zell, it’s from his latest collection Bright Secrets and is entitled Human-Centric.


We are appalling human-centric:
The birds don’t know a thing about
Our Shakespears, our Rimbauds
But don’t suppose them ignorant!
We don’t know the poetry they do!

The poetry of flight…..
Of landing on a bridge in a city
And then floating into a park and then on and on
Into the wilderness to wake at dawn and soar up
Into a perfect view of every sunrise,
Every sunset.

Why care about beautiful words
When you can have their meanings without them?

Friday, May 05, 2006

An early 1990's Irish musical

Inside The Pale
From The Fatima Mansions
To Engine Alley,
The Fat Lady Sings
Of An Emotional Fish.

The Whipping Boy roars
Light a Big Fire
While my eyes are covered
With a black Velvet Band.

As the flames rise
I feel That Petrol Emoton.
A Toasted Heretic
Burning at the steak.

I'd take a parachute and jump
To safety,
But this is no Divine Comedy.

With Frank and Walters
Dancing attendance.
"You Two" I tell them
"Will always be with us".

After 105 years Bohemians Football Club are set to leave their home in Dalymount Park in Phibsboro. Last night an members of the club held an emergency meeting to change the constitution of the club thus allowing them to move from Dalymount Park to an, as yet, un-built stadium beside the M50 motorway in Castleknock. The sale of Dalymount Park will raise in excess of €50 million for the club.

Andorey Developments will build a new 10,000 capacity stadium for the club. In addition the club will also receive a lump sum of €25 million. The new stadium will be part of a development which will include conference and bar facilities. By 2010 Bohemians will be in their new stadium and the Dalymount Roar will be silenced forever.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hard to believe that its 15 years since The Commitments, a film adaptation of Roddy Doyle's novel, hit the silver screen. Directed by Alan Parker, The Commitments told the story of a group of people from the northside of Dublin city who come together to form a soul band. The film, charts the beginnings and endings of the band. We follow the misadventures of the individual band members, their comings and goings, their dreams and aspirations.

Both the dialogue and strong soul soundtrack propel the film through the bleak pre-celtic tiger Dublin of the early 1990's. The two soundtrack albums have together sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide.

A recent newspaper article asked the question "The Commitments, Where are they now?". The article tracked down the actors who comprised the group. Some like Andrew Strong, who starred as lead vocalist Declan Cuffe, and Felim Gormley (Dean Fay) remained in the music industry. Glen Hansard (Outspan) is lead singer in the Frames. Michael Ahern (Steven Clifford) like the character he portrayed, left the entertainment industry and took up a regular job. Johnny Murphy (Joey "The Lips" Fagan), Angelina Ball (Imelda Quirke) and Bronagh Gallagher (Bernie McGloughlin) all have successful careers in the acting or music professions.

Kenneth McClosky (Derek Scully), Dick Massey (Billy Moody) and Dave Finnegan (Micka Wallace) at some stage played in or are still playing in a soul band called The Commitments. Robert Arkins (Jimmy Rabbitte) the coolest manager any band could have, and the man, is still involved in the production side in the music industry. Finally Maria Doyle Kennedy (Natalie Murphy) former member of The Hot House Flowers, lead singer with The Black Velvet Band, solo artist, star of The General and numerous other productions on the large and small screens, set up her own recording company and is still undisputed queen of our heart.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Now here’s something we discovered via the Sunday newspapers, a prime example of serendipity in action. It’s the Irish Literary Revival.

Set up by Philip Casey and Patrick Chapman, the aim of the Irish Literary Revival is to bring books by Irish authors, which have long been out of print, back into circulation.

Under the Creative Commons Licence, the books are available for download on the website. Thus far the Irish Literary Revival has published books by Philip Casey, Patrick Chapman, Sarah Berkeley, Noel Duffy and William Wall with further authors scheduled to make their work available.

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