Reduced Rooney Ban an Education

Rooney lashes out. As England fans rejoice at the news that Wayne Rooney’s 3-match ban has been reduced by one game, the rest of the football world can learn an important lesson: the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Recently, the [English] FA kicked up a massive fuss when FIFA told them not to adorn their shirts with poppies for the […]

Glasgowbury Taking Submissions

Ash at Glasgowbury I asked “What’s small but massive?” in a previous post. The answer is Glasgowbury. If you’re a fan and practicioner of local Irish music and if you like the sound of being a part of an event that has collected various Irish Festival Awards, including winning the Best Family and Best Service categories for three consecutive years, […]

Northern Ireland fans Over the past two weeks, The Irish Football Association (IFA) has once again come under public scrutiny following comments from former Northern Ireland international Paul McVeigh, who criticised the association’s decision to use the anthem ‘God Save the Queen’ before games. The former Norwich man said, ‚ÄúNorthern Ireland, as long as it continues with that anthem, will […]

No Easy Draws

European Championships Trophy The Republic of Ireland will learn its Euro 2012 fate tomorrow as the group-stage draw takes place at the Palace of Arts in Kyiv, Ukraine. Below is a run down of the seedings. Pot 1: Poland (A1)*, Spain, Netherlands, Ukraine (D1)* Pot 2: Germany, Italy, England, RussiaPot 3: Croatia, Greece, Portugal, SwedenPot 4: Denmark, France, Czech Republic, […]

The Gag that keeps on Giving

Steve Beaglehole It seems that the “eligibility row” is the gag that keeps on giving in Irish football these days. This time, it’s Northern Ireland’s under-21 manager Steve Beaglehole who has once again waded in with his insight, suggesting that more players will switch association now that Ireland have qualified for the 2012 European Championships and that he would like […]

Don’t tell British Associations what to do FIFA

Nothing political to see here So after much consternation and brouhaha, the English and Welsh FAs have been granted a compromise by FIFA which will see them wear an armband with a poppy rather than a poppy on the front of the shirt.Bravo, victory for the British associations. To think that FIFA were actually trying to tell the English FA […]

A Load of Poppycock!

The Poppy on England jacket After a wave of media reportage on the issue, British Prime Minister David Cameron has also issued a scathing attack on FIFA after the world football governing body remained steadfast in its decision to prohibit the English national team from wearing poppies on their shirts for the upcoming game against Spain.Cameron said: “This seems outrageous. […]

Once in Six, our luck has to change

Below is an article which appeared on SportsNews Ireland on 9/11/11. Since 1965, the Republic of Ireland have competed in 6 play-offs for qualification to the final stages of major tournaments and only once, have they been successful; a remarkable statistic indeed. It is often said that Ireland never make things easy and it is true that following the fortunes […]

Second Class Irish?

Token citizenship? During the past few months, I have developed a deep resentment of the nature in which I, as an Irish citizen, am treated by the establishment in the south. I have spoken to people in the public service, friends and colleagues, outlining how I feel discriminated against – that my Irish citizenship amounts to nothing more than a […]

I had the great pleasure of visiting Blarney Castle yesterday. What a magnificent place, it’s almost magical. However, after facing the terrific climb to the top of the castle, I did not bring myself to kiss the stone, for in the words of George Bernard Shaw, “….it is not necessary for me to seek eloquence at Blarney….my natural gifts in […]