Getting your fill of politics and sport as party is in full swing
LAST WEEKEND was a momentous one in the ‘Inside Right’ household as our darling daughter marked a major milestone, the celebration of her first birthday.
With the Saturday morning sun struggling to break through the clouds, bread was being buttered relentlessly, buns baked lovingly and squealing cocktail sausages sautéed into submission in preparation for the arrival of the guests.
When the party got under way the men folk gathered in a huddle with mugs of tea and assorted sandwiches in hand, shifting uneasily from foot to foot exchanging the usual pleasantries.
However, yours truly knew well enough what was at the forefront of their minds, they’re yearning to know how Man United are getting on, curious to see if Wales are struggling to overcome a stubborn Italy side in the Six Nations or wondering what noble steed won the 2.05 at Navan.
At every wedding, christening or social gathering of any sort it’s always the same - a sly browse of the internet on the mobile phone, earphones hidden by a cupped hand at the rear of the church or a quick dash to the bar to catch the last few pivotal minutes of the big match.
Thankfully on this occasion ‘Inside Right’ was calling the shots, being on home turf, so after chatting to all and sundry, saw the oppurtunity to begin the covert operation of moving the boys into the sporting den, otherwise known as the sitting room, in almost military fashion, just out of earshot of doting mothers and noisy, enthusiastic rug rats.
Predictably enough, by the time the crunch clash between England and France kicked off there were more people in front of the television than anywhere else in the house and the cover had been well and truly blown.
However, on Saturday things were even more complicated; not only were stories of a sporting nature unfolding but also the not so small matter of who the citizens of our proud little nation had chosen to help get us out of the mess that a decade or more of greed and incompetence have gotten us into.
Over the weekend politics and sport were intermingled and braided together like the woollen accessories on sale outside of Croke Park on big match days as Wexford Youths supremo Mick Wallace topped the poll in Wexford as well as G.A.A. stalwarts like John O’Mahony and Peter Fitzpatrick securing their places in the Dáil.
It got yours truly thinking about others in the world of Irish sport that could make waves in the realms of politics as well as their chosen field.
‘Inside Right’ reckons you could do worse than Kilkenny manager Brian Cody to lead the country in these troubled times. He has a long and distinguished record of success, something that’s badly needed if we’re to hope for a change of fortunes. Another thing going for the talented bainisteor is that he always seems to bounce back stronger in adversity and wouldn’t shirk from his responsibilities if the going got tough.
Brian O’Driscoll would make an able Tánaiste. He’s a born leader, but also still young enough to be in touch with modern Ireland. The king in waiting should Cody step aside.
Robbie Keane is the only man for the job of Minister for Finance. Given the amount of transfers the Ireland striker has been involved in, he should be well equipped on dealing with vast wads of cash.
Ruby Walsh gets the ‘InsideRight’ nod for Minister for Health and Children. The talented horseman has been in and out of enough hospitals to know the dreadful state of our health service and the seismic job that’s at hand.
Crucially he’s also a straight talker, which is an important asset given the amount of bullshit we’ve had to listen to from prominent politicians over the years.
Graham Canty could comfortably take up the position of Minister for Defence as when the energetic Cork man is on song there’s no way through, so we’d certainly be in safe hands there.
The evergreen Mick O’Dwyer mightn’t fit the required young age profile we’re looking for but given all those journeys from Waterville to Kildare, Laois and now Wicklow he definitely knows more than most about the infrastructure of the country, so he’s our Minister for Transport, and if he showed the same enthusiasm for the job as he does for football management he might just make a decent fist of it.
On Saturday, as well-fed guests filed out of the abode, ‘Inside Right’ started the tedious task of cleaning up after the party, binning unsightly waste much like the Irish electorate had done in polling booths throughout the country the previous day.
There’s still plenty of places around the fictional sporting cabinet table to be filled, but that will have to wait until the next social outing.
England’s Toby Flood tries to break through the French defence on Saturday.