TV Watch with Dave O’Connell
Kenny Cunningham is obviously too young to have learned from the mistakes of his punditry pal Eamon Dunphy – but now he knows what a fool you can feel if you express your pre-match thoughts a little too earnestly.
And while it’s great to have an analyst who actually says something, one should always be just a little careful not to create hostages to fortune.
The RTÉ panel has long been lauded – largely by themselves, it must be said – for their forthright views on football and the world in general. So Kenny, a relative newcomer, obviously feels he has something to prove in order to justify his continued selection.
So the man, who was previously best known in a television context for having a short coating of hair that seemed to have a life of its own, decided to wade into USA goalkeeper Tim Howard before America’s showdown with Belgium.
Maybe it was the studio presence of Howard’s predecessor as US keeper, Brad Friedel, that irked Cunningham to the point that he decided to go for broke.
“He’ll always be termed a good goalkeeper but not one of the very best,” declared Kenny, echoing his old pal, and deputy senior analyst, Dunphy, who once described the French midfield maestro Michel Platini and ‘a good midfielder, not a great midfielder’ before the Little General went on to justify Dunphy’s outburst by becoming one of the greatest players of all time.
Cunningham revealed that, when he used to come up against Howard at club level in England, opposing managers would single him out as the opposition’s weakest link, a man who folded under pressure.
Of course Cunningham couldn’t know that his comments would come minutes before Howard did a credible impression of a brick wall, producing no less than 16 saves that each qualified for the description ‘world class’.
Indeed Howard’s performance was such that he might still be named goalkeeper of this World Cup – although there are plenty of alternatives in a tournament laced with brilliant shot-stoppers – but Kenny wasn’t finished digging a big hole for himself back in the RTÉ studios.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Maeve named as Film Fleadh programmer
Limerick woman Maeve McGrath has been named as the new Director of Programming for Galway Film Fleadh, taking over from Will Fitzgerald. She will be responsible for curating this year’s festival, which will run from July 11-16.
She previously worked as artistic director of Kerry International Film Festival, producer at Carlow Arts Festival and joint short film programmer at Dublin International Film Festival.
Maeve is involved with Limerick’s artist-led, community-focused facility, The GAFF where she recently curated a community audio/visual project, Tiny Little Histories, and produced TravFest, a Traveller wellness festival as part of Guth na Mincéirí.
She has a Master’s in Media Studies from Limerick’s Mary I/UL, graduating in 2015 with the thesis, Irish Short Film: The Road To Oscar.
“The Fleadh has a very special place on the film festival circuit, nationally and internationally, and I am delighted to be part of the team that will programme the 35th edition,” she stated.
“I forward to being part of the continued growth of the Galway Film Fleadh and supporting the development of emerging and established filmmakers.”
Mystery of Wolfe Tone’s death
Historical entertainer Paddy Cullivan will be at the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday next, February 2, with The Murder of Wolfe Tone, the incredible story of the mysterious death of Theobald Wolfe Tone, leader of the 1798 Rebellion and the man who is regarded as the founding father of Irish republicanism.
In this audio-visual show featuring hundreds of images, shocking new research and a vast array of songs, Paddy works to unravel the secrets and lies around what happened that fateful week in Dublin’s Provost’s Prison in November 1798 when 35-year-old Tone was found dead in his cell.
Tickets for The Murder of Wolfe Tone, which starts at 8pm are €20/18, plus a €1 booking charge. They are available at tht.ie, 091-569777 and at the Town Hall Theatre Box Office.
Funnyman Neil brings latest show to Athenry
Comedian Neil Delamere will bring his new show, Delamerium, to the Raheen Woods Hotel in Athenry on Saturday, February 18.
Audiences can expect hilarious stories, wry observations and quick-witted improvisation as Neil tries to makes sense of the world around him.
Neil is one of the top acts working in the Irish comedy scene today, well-known to audiences for his regular television appearances on RTÉ and BBC, as well as his hilarious sell-out stand up tours.
His shows have received stellar reviews and resulted in several platinum-selling DVDs, while Neil has also written and presented comedy documentaries including programmes on the Vikings and St Patrick which won IFTA and Celtic Media awards.
He also presented a series on heroes from Ireland’s past, Holding out for a Hero, on RTÉ 2.
He’s a regular on BBC Northern Ireland’s popular panel show, The Blame Game, as well as being a panellist on BBC 5 Live’s Fighting Talk and has featured on BBC 4’s The News Quiz.
According to the Irish Times, ‘no TV camera could accurately measure the lightning speed of Delamere’s wit’, while the Scotsman awarded him five stars during an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, stating: ‘You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gifted comic at the Fringe.’
He continues to tour at home and abroad and audiences can catch his latest show, Delamerium, on February 18 in Athenry.
Tickets for Delamerium are available from the hotel or at ticketsolve.ie