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Double Vision

Look at Wayne Rooney! Oh no, do I have to

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My good friend The Body takes much pleasure in trying to wind me up about the Irish names of English celebrities.

“Take a look at your so-called English rock ‘n’ roll heroes. What about Lennon and McCartney. Do they sound English? Or the Gallagher brothers?”

Then I annoy him by pointing out that all of the above chose to define themselves as English rather than Irish, and doesn’t that somewhat diminish his argument?

Being a true friend, he naturally completely ignores what I’m saying and moves onto the world of sport.

“Look at Rooney. Now, does that sound like an English name to you?”

To which I reply, “Look at Rooney? Oh no, do I have to?”

Thing is, when I do look at Wayne Rooney’s mashed-up face, it feels as if I’m looking into English history. My mind goes back to the field of Agincourt, where the English army faced the French. Zooming in to see the faces of those English soldiers, squashed in behind a row of huge pointed wooden stakes, my mind’s eye focuses on a short stocky man, English through and through, proud, stubborn, occasionally violent and a formidable enemy.

That soldier I see has the same face as Wayne Rooney: ready for battle; impatient to fight.

Even though he’s got an Irish name, Rooney personifies for me a certain type of Englishman, whose character is best illustrated by the time he stamped on Ricardo Carvalho.

England were playing Portugal in the 2006 World Cup Quarter Final, when Rooney finally succumbed to the constant harassment he’d been getting from the opposition, by thumping his studded boot down into the groin of the Portuguese defender.

The incident is best remembered for the way that Cristiano Ronaldo then encouraged the referee to send off Rooney, his Manchester United team mate at the time. When Rooney was finally shown the red card, Ronaldo fired an infamous wink towards his team’s bench, implying ‘Mission Accomplished’.

However to me the encounter symbolised something primal; something quintessentially English.

It felt like Rooney was saying “there you go mate, that’s for all your funny foreign ways, your tanned skin and your head full of flowing dark hair. That’s for all your fancy frilly football skills, all your tricky step-overs and nutmegs. Here’s an English boot in your bollocks, and how do you like them onions?”

Far from impressed at the time, I raged and roared at Rooney via my telebox. He’d done exactly what Portugal wanted him to do. He’d got himself sent off, leaving England with only 10 men to fight the foreign foe.

Wayne Rooney is an unreconstructed medieval English warrior. Yes, he has some moments of sublime skill, such as his soaring butterfly goal, and he runs around after the ball like a terrier after a bitch on heat.

There’s no doubt that he’s a great footballer, but while some argue that he’s past his best, nobody can deny that he’s petulant, argumentative, fickle and arrogant.

He’s also the star of the summertime soap opera that is the transfer window. With no European Championships or World Cup to occupy the massive market for football news, the media catch a snag of a story, and clamp onto it as a barnacle hugs a hull. 

Does Charlie want to see Ronney in Blue? Does he care? Do we care? For more see this week’s Tribune here

Connacht Tribune

Space and silence – it’s all us oul’ lads ever wanted in pubs

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The crowds that flocked into the centre of Dublin last weekend provided the clearest indication yet that, thank God, a cure had been found for Covid.

The masses dancing and hugging on the streets was vindication that all of the self-isolation had been well worth it, when you could now congregate as close as you like to each other, to your little heart’s content.

Or so you’d think.

One weekend of slightly relaxed licencing laws was all it took, and in the blink of an eye thousands of revellers were up and at it like this was Paris in 1945 after it was freed from the Germans.

The newly-imposed regulations for relaxation would suggest that all of these bouncy people at least had the benefit of a nine-euro meal inside them – how else could they get served?

So, we’d better brace ourselves for when they go out on an empty stomach.

Much has already been made of the fact that pub life will never be the same again – and that might well be the case.

Social distancing is bad news for the publicans, limiting their ability to wedge the entire student population of NUIG and GMIT into the equivalent of a phone box.

But it’s great news for curmudgeons – particularly for those whose capacity for imbibing alcohol is shot.

Advancing middle age has seen the tolerance of the early twenties reduced from the equivalent of a sizeable plastic bucket to an amount that once wouldn’t have even pass the standard definition of being out.

Three pints? That’s what you’d order when they rang the bell at closing time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

More than any other time of the year, when we sit around our dinner tables on Christmas Day, we are aware of who is there and who is not. At the age of 17, having performed impressive acrobatics with my Yamaha 250, a saloon car, a ditch and a barbed wire fence, I spent six weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year.

My femur was snapped in two, which is no mean feat with thighs like mine, and my tibia had a crack or two as well.

Bed-bound, with my leg in traction, I developed a bronchial chest infection after an emergency operation.

Every two seconds for six weeks I coughed in hacking spasms, thus shaking my smashed leg, which was hung in a sling, supported by a metal pole they had driven through me, just below the knee.

Suffice to say I came to terms with pain.

In our part of the ward, there were four beds and three bikers with broken bones.

There was Kev, who had fallen off his sleek and mean Suzuki GT750 (a two stroke 3-into-1, since you ask), and opposite us two was brick shithouse Yorkshireman Gary, ex-SAS, and mighty embarrassed, having survived several covert tours of duty in Northern Ireland, to have to admit to falling off a Honda 125.

Compared to the other patients in the hospital the three of us were well off.

We were not sick. We’d had our operations, and apart from antibiotics for wounds, and pain killers for broken bones, we needed very little medical attention.

We were young, male, bored, and allowed to drink beer. Naturally, we tried to attract the attention of the student nurses as much as possible, and equally, they were happy to have a bit of a laugh with lads who were not ill, physically, at least!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Saying “I love newspapers!” feels these days like buying a ticket for the next David Bowie gig, but I do: I love them. When I read a newspaper, I’m not a slave to the algorithm. Were I ten years younger, I’d read all my news online, on apps that I’ve set to my personal preferences.

Even when I visit media sites I’ve never been to before, there are cookies and bots and gordknowswot working away to offer me more of what the algorithms think I want.

Every link off each page is tailored to please me, but that’s no good.

I don’t want to be fed things that only fit into my areas of interest and opinion.

Sitting at my living room table, mug of tea and two slices of toast (peanut butter, since you ask), and a paper – any paper – open in front of me, I can see the full wonder and horror of the world, as interpreted by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times or Daily Mirror.

As I browse into the heart of the paper, far from major news items, I let my eyesight fall all over the place, because each page is full of varied items, and, here on page 14, I’ll find the big story that’s being buried: the story they have to report, but are under instruction to dampen down.

Also here are stories that no algorithm-driven link would ever lead me to. Quirky little tales, able to dissolve an adult brain in seconds.

When driven sufficiently doolally by what I’m reading, I tear that particular piece of madness out of the newspaper, placing it on top of the wobbly towering stack of other torn madnesses by my desk.

There are dark torn madnesses and fearsome ones, but today I’m in the mood to prowl the ones that force me to furrow my brow, gasp for breath, pout my lips and grunt “What the -?” at the universe.

Notes are seeds, from which every writer will grow different fruit. When that writer is working for the Daily Mail, the fruit need bear only minuscule relation to the seed.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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