Why Mr Quinn, I had No Idea!

26 04 2009

As seen in Superquinn this afternoon.

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30 swinging meters for when your most fabulous shirts simply MUST be dried in time for the Celine Dion concert.

Next weeks special; hot meat in a bun.

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Woe betide thyne Scumbags

23 04 2009

Having nothing better to do these days due to the failing economy, I visited my good old parents for a cup of tea this morning. My mother is a very unique woman. Advancing in years, yet very healthy and by looking at her you can tell she makes an effort to keep herself well.  She eats well, gets out as much as she can, doing this and that as they do and regales me with all the inside stories on whats going on around the place. My father reads the paper and grunts at me. The silver-back of the family, so to speak.

Near where they live there are flats recently vacated under the buy fancy jeeps and paint regeneration on them scheme. Since they have been vacated they have become the usual target for all the usual sorts of shite that scumbags do to amuse themselves.  Last night, they went up on fire. (The flats, not the scumbags, unfortunately). A few weeks ago they were vandalised so the local council who claim to not have the money to demolish them put big railings around them. So, the scangers across the way stole a JCB, used it to tear down the railings and burnt the JCB before coming back to light up the flats when the fire brigade didn’t show to quench the machinery. They lit up the flats so they could molest the fire crew that arrived to put them out.  As soon as the engines came around the corner stones and bottles went flying at them. When they got out of the engines they found that the water main had been deliberately tampered with so they had to sit and wait and watch the flats burn while dodging missiles to wait for a tanker full of water to arrive.

Six engines (one draughted in from Ennis) and a water tanker. A massive yoke, so it was.

It would have cost less to knock the flats than to answer that emergency call. I’m sure of it.

These were not kids. These were pricks in their twenties with nothing better to do than harass a bunch of brave and hard working fire fighters out trying to make the scumbags in question shitty little lives safer. It galls me to think that, should any of these wankers become trapped or the victim of their own misadventures, they would fully expect these same men to come to their rescue, and come they would regardless.

A better man than me once suggested a pretty sure fire way to sort out a lot of these problems, and he in now way suggested the punishment of stupidity, rather, lets take the warning labels off of everything. Let the problem sort itself out. If they are out breeding us then surely we can educate our children to realise themselves that they shouldn’t use hairdryers in the bath, or whatever.

Just a suggestion.

Chew on it for a while and let me know what you think.

Limerick is now over run by scum, and there is nothing we can do about it. For my own part, I’ve given up despairing. I’m actually intrigued at this point and I’ll tell you why. The time is fast approaching when the government are going to run out of dole money. At the very least they will have to cut it significantly. Its only a mater of time before the whole scumbag culture implodes in on itself under the weight of a billion hoop earrings and dirty Nike Air Max.

I’m popping my corn and pulling up a ringside seat for these end times, or the Rapidture, as I’m going to call it. The four piebald horsemen of the Epoxy-clips will be bombed out of their heads on resin, and wont know whats going on. Then some lad with long hair will appear asking about Mount Olive and get the head digged off him by Olive’s brother and because he looks like a Muppet. Then there shall be a great tribulation, and Declin shall have lost sight of the bag of yokes he placed under the wheely bin only the night before, and verily, Tony shall smite his brethren who spake unto the social welfare of his cohabitation in his concubine’s council house.

A fitting end to a dramatic chapter, I feel.





End Game

14 04 2009

I remember sitting home last year watching a rugby international and trying to get The Bean interested in it. Ireland were playing Canada in Thomond Park. Keith Earls scored a fine try the first time he got his hands on the ball in his first international. Outstanding stuff. Ireland trounced them in effective, if not rather an ugly fashion. Of course, The Bean was coming up on eighteen months old. Try as I might there were mega-blocks to be chewed, walls to be crayoned and many, many things to be thrown into the toilet. There just wasn’t the time for rugby in his busy evening which came to an end shortly after with bath, a visit to the tooth brush and an attentive tucking in.

In his cosy world he has no concept of the other thing that happened that night. Later, as he slept safe and sound in his warm bed.

A man. A short chase. A gunshot. Darkness.

We all awoke to the news. We were horrified. Somewhere inside of us we probably knew that this was going to happen eventually. It was only a matter of time before someone got caught in the crossfire. As terrible as the thought may have been, we got on with our lives regardless all the same, on many levels not really giving a shit because all this was happening in another world we never ventured into. Well now this world had ventured into ours. As unwelcome as it was uninvited. Like it or not we had death and violence thrust onto our doorsteps by people who were now testing new boundaries. Like a child will see how close he can get to the fire before he is told definitively to stay away, or gets burned, Limerick’s underclass were now in new territory. Right on the hearth, waiting to see where the heat was going to come from.

I’ve said many times before that criminals, like politicians, like bankers and builders, will operate within the parameters they are allowed to by wider society. Bear this in mind as you read on.

Maybe I was being overly optimistic at the time, but it seemed like the national outrage at the time might have started ringing bells in higher up places. In places with the tools to take action and try to close these people down. But, as it turns out all we had was the same hot air from the same people meaning the same thing.

Nothing.

In proof of this point, yesterday I drove past the funeral of a man who was shot in the back because his brother testified against one of the people involved in Limerick’s drug wars. After Shane was murdered we were promised action. All we got was a slap in the face from the criminals to remind of our place and the fact that there will always be ways for them to get to us should we be brave enough to take a stand. Shane died in a case of mistaken identity. They thought he was one of them. Last week Roy Collins was deliberately targeted as an outsider. As an innocent man. He was deliberately killed so that you, me and all our kind will know not to get in the way of the drug dealing scumbags who have now shown in no uncertain terms that THEY run this city, and they, and only they will be the arbiters of who deserves to live and die on their streets.

We heard the usual shit from the usual people but I have no faith in them anymore. I ‘m sure they’ll do nothing just as they have done nothing to save us from economic collapse, job loses and failing health and education services. As we have been told to tighted our belts to save ourselves from bankruptcy and reposession we will be told to bolt our windows and doors to protect ourselves from the scum that they allow to run our streets.

I’ve gone beyond being angry about it, and I think that’s the wider problem. We have accepted it. This is now normal behaviour from the criminal fraternity. Innocent people who want to protect their families, neighbourhoods and business interests are now legitimate targets. The boundaries have been extended and now society’s delinquents have a new field to play in which we, the wider society, have opened up to them through collective inaction.

Shame on us all.





The Red Machine Marches On

13 04 2009

I got a phone call at nine in the morning. It was the hairdresser. Luckily I had been up since six anyway so the need to bate the head off him didn’t arise.

Well Doc. I have news.

Oh yeah? Whats that now?

Its my buddy’s birthday do today and he’s kinda after guilting me into watching the match with him in the pub, so I figured you might be the very man to take my ticket off me.

You came to the right person, says I.

So in I went to break the news to Mrs Orgasm. Sorry love, but you’ll have to do without my mug moping around the place today, following you around shopping centers and getting annoyed in lingerie departments. Unfortunately, you’ll have to spend this Easter Sunday completely without me trying to hurry you on and take the laser card off you.

Bollox. Says she.

So now we have one of those Guy Ritchie style cut scenes, like in Snatch, after cousin Vinnie says “Weah goin da Engalund” only you have brief cuts of me pulling on my jersey, turning the car key, locking the car up in town, a high speed clip of a pint being filled, me knocking it back, swirling crowds on Thomondgate and the scene ending with a BOOM and my arse landing in my newly acquired seat in the West Stand in Thomond Park.

Its not the worst seat in the house. The fact that its all the way down on the try line on the Ballynanty end is negated by the fact that its pretty high up which offers a good view of anything happening everywhere in the park.

Its 12.45. The teams are warming up, Munster right on front of me. They finish their warm up and the crowd roars as they head for the dressing room. However, O’Gara Breaks away from the team and canters towards the Ospreys, who are in a huddle under the posts on front of the south terrace. Ten meters inside the half way line. He stops. He waits.

The Ospreys break their huddle.

As they turn to jog to the tunnel their heads come up and at once they see O’Gara standing there, and as they see him he launches a drop goal over their heads, dissecting the posts perfectly.

He turns.

He nonchalantly jogs back to the tunnel.

He has thrown down the gauntlet.

What follows is eighty minutes of clinical vivisection of a visiting team. I cant remember seeing anything like it in recent times. Munster and Ireland used to have a habit of being flaky as favourites and coughing up dopey errors allowing teams to go 6 or 9 ahead in the opening minutes, forcing us to chase the game. On the bottom. Plucky underdogs. Where we liked to fight from.

Those days are gone now. Put to bed in Cardiff against Wales and tucked in this Easter Sunday in Thomond Park against a group of men who see themselves as the Giants of Welsh Rugby. I most definitely don’t want to get ahead of myself, but the Munster team I saw yesterday will take some beating by anyone. So bring on The Ladies I say. Croke Park here we come.





Good Vibes go Here

1 04 2009

Its official, Paul Warwick will be staying on at Munster for another two years at least.

I’m absolutely delighted about this. Paul has been an instrumental part of the set up since arriving, and although it might seem he has the soul of a fly half, his strength, speed, tactical kicking, general cajones under pressure and his all too natural ability to slot over a sneaky drop goal from the pocket  has seen him excel at full back on the first XV.

I’m not too sure where the confusion came from, I’ve heard multiple rumors from multiple sources but none of them hold the kind of clout that would see me speculate on it. Regardless, this is definitely good news. However, I’m kinda hoping this isn’t an April fools day stunt on behalf of that most esteemed of sources, the Limerick Leader. They’d never, would they?





The Odd Balls

26 03 2009

I’m really optimistic about the future of Rugby. Not just in Munster, or indeed Ireland, but the future of the game as a global sport. The 2009 Grand Slam has opened the doors for people who might in the past have seen Rugby as something other people looked at, or as an elitist game reserved for the public school parents and their offspring. Being a Limerick man I have a different perspective on it, but outside our fine city this seems to be the case. However I do think this myth is slowly but surely being broken down.

I have friends who are fanatical about soccer. Personally, I don’t get it. I have nothing against the game per sé but I could never see the point of getting behind a team from somewhere you’ve never been that’s composed of players who you will root against when playing for their national sides. But again, each to their own in that respect. Last Saturday I watched the Six Nations finalé in Nancy Blake’s and noticed a group of lads sitting in the outback wearing Celtic jerseys chanting “Come on you Boys in Green”. I thought it was fantastic. Ok, they method was slightly off but it was absolutely brilliant to see a group of people being opened up to something like this. In Limerick it’s the norm for as many people to own a rugby ball as own a soccer ball, but it was never the less encouraging to see people ignoring what might be seen elsewhere as a divide.

Sporting icons the world over seem to be something we see on television. Even here in Ireland, we see Eddie Irvine on his yacht. Roy Keane in his mansion in the UK. We see sporting heroes as something beyond and away from us that is far beyond the grasp of anyone but the most excellent usually personified by someone else, but certainly never ourselves. But since the phenomena of Munster Rugby and the Heineken Cup that has all changed. I regularly stroll past a certain Mr G Flannery in town. Ian Dowling and Barry Murphy like the odd tipple in a pub I myself frequent. Tony Buckley and John Hayes (jokes about him being outstanding in his field are BARRED)  live down the road from me, Paul Warwick not ten minutes drive away (my son has made friends with his dog, as you may know if you follow this blog). The evening after the Scotland match I had the honour of enjoying a pint with with Peter Clohessy, a man who’s fearsome legend spreads far beyond the boundaries of our fair Provence. Paul O’Connell goes to matches in Greenfields and sometimes has a scoop in Austin’s afterwards, not to mention Kieth Earls, Alan Quinlan, John Fitzgerald… take your pick.

These are the things that show us that you don’t need to be from anywhere in particular to become great. Kids who aspire to be stars can look to the people they see regularly in the street and see that through honesty of effort and truth to dedication they too can become legends, giving them the belief they need to carry them that one step further in order for them to know that they can realise their dreams. This is what rugby has done for us. Through the ups and the downs of life in Limerick we know that our children can see that there are possibilities undreamed of by other people in other places. They can see that there is more for those who would take it. And take it they can.

And take it they will.

It makes me proud to be an Irishman. Proud to be a Munster man, even prouder to be a Limerickman, knowing that we can hold this up to the world when they try to decry us. Stab City. We have shown that we can take a stab at greatness regardless of what picture people paint of us.

This is for all of us. It is for you, and it is for me. It is for our parents and our children. Something wonderful has happened right in our front garden and its about time people started to stand up and take notice of what It has to offer all of us. Here is the chance to basque in the glow of greatness and it’s been handed to us by people we see on the street each day. This is theirs. They are ours. We all stand as one, and forward we march into history.





Hindsight is Always 20/20

25 03 2009

I see Limerick’s latest gangland death was the recipient of a volley of shots in salute to him during his procession through St Mary’s Park last night. I also read this morning he was laid out in his bullet proof vest.

Shame he didn’t have the foresight to purchase a matching hat.

The End.