Christy O’Connor Snr in turn was joined by Muhammad Ali, providing absolute confirmation that 2016 would be the year in which we gained a true understanding of the lesson of our times: anything in this world that is any good is in constant danger.
Yet we were still in a relatively safe place as regards the Republic’s imminent departure for Euro 2016 — safe in the sense that we knew they weren’t going to win it, but probably wouldn’t disgrace themselves again.
However, it looked for a moment that Martin O’Neill might have something to say about that when he explained to an enthusiastic crowd in the Cork Opera House that he had taken coaches Steve Guppy and Steve Walford to the Superbowl so that people wouldn’t think that he and Roy Keane were “queers”. He responded to Queergate as he had earlier responded to Ugly Womengate: “If I had made inappropriate comments, then I obviously apologise.”
“If. . .” But, of course, if we’d known what lay ahead in the world in the inappropriate comments department and inappropriateness in general, we’d probably have just waved him through.
We were even thinking poorly of ourselves at the news that Irish teenagers are among the most prolific for ‘sexting’ in the EU, when everything the Irish have ever done wrong was suddenly blown into irrelevance by the single greatest act of self-inflicted sabotage ever committed in a civilised country in peacetime — Britain voted for Brexit.
It was a mistake in every sense — they didn’t really intend to do it. From the moment it happened some of us have been convinced that the Machiavellian forces who really run Britain are engaged, with all their ingenuity, in efforts to undermine and ultimately to overturn the decision of the people, due to the unfortunate fact that, in this case, the decision of the people happens to be a load of absolute cobblers. Naturally, these unseen powers will have to fool the people into thinking they’re not doing this, but, hell, that shouldn’t be beyond them either.
It was bad, bad news for Paddy, too, so we’d better keep quiet for the moment about those 180 EU jobs for Irishlanguage speakers which will become available in Brussels and Luxembourg now that Irish is an official and working language of the EU, which is also, in its own way, a load of absolute cobblers.