Ross O’Car­roll- Kelly

‘ I’m not post­ing bail for Conor McGre­gor. That focker can use his own money’

The Irish Times Magazine - - NEWS -

Ro­nan’s smok­ing like an in­cin­er­a­tor and it’s ob­vi­ous that there’s some­thing on his mind. “Rosser,” he goes, “I need some muddy.” I’m like, “Money?” “Muddy – ex­actly.” “How much are we talk­ing?” “Five granth.” I’m there, “Five thou­sand yoyos?” ob­vi­ously wor­ried, even though my twelve- year- old daugh­ter would blow through that in half an hour in Hor­vey Nicks. “Are you in some kind of trou­ble, Ro?”

He goes, “Ine not, no. But Codor McGre­gor is.”

I’m there, “Okay, I’m not post­ing bail for Conor McGre­gor. That focker can use his own money. He dresses bet­ter than I do.”

“The muddy’s not for bayult. I want to go to New York – to hab a wo­ord wirrum.”

We’re sit­ting in the kitchen of his gaff, by the way. I no­tice Shad­den’s gen­uine fake Louis Vuit­ton flight bag next the back door.

I’m like, “What do you want to talk to him about?”

He goes, “He’s in thrub­ble, Rosser. He’s go­ing dowun a bad roawut.”

“Yeah, he beats peo­ple un­con­scious in a cage for money, Ro. I would have said he went down that road a long time ago.” “Are you gib­bon me the muddy or what?” “Well, what ex­actly are you go­ing to say to him?”

“Ine godda thry and scare him straight. Tell him wooden to two home troots.”

“I don’t know, Ro. That sounds dan­ger­ous.”

“Some wooden has to do it, Rosser. He dudn’t seem to hab good peo­ple arowunt him – just hag­gers- odden. Some wooden has to save him from he­s­elf. He’s a heerdo to me and a lot of ut­ter young peo­ple in this coun­try.”

As a South Dublin fa­ther, it kills me that my son has cho­sen Conor McGre­gor as a role model when the DVD that I bought him six Christ­mases ago of the Le­in­ster ver­sus Northamp­ton Heineken Cup fi­nal is still in its cel­lo­phane wrap­ping. As a mat­ter of fact, the last time I saw it, Shad­den was us­ing it as a coaster and I ac­tu­ally welled up imag­in­ing how hurt Johnny Sex­ton would be if he could see it.

I’m there, “I don’t want you get­ting sucked into that whole world of mixed mor­tial orts again, Ro. I swear to God, I died ev­ery time I had to watch you fight. It’s not too late to go back to rugby. They’ve ac­tu­ally got a de­cent set- up out in Belfield.”

“Doatunt woody, Rosser, Ine not go­ing back fight­ing. Them days is oaber. But I’ll neb­ber forget how good Codor was to me when I was thry­ing to make a ca­reer for me­self in that gayum.”

Yeah, no, he came to one of Ro­nan’s fights in the cor pork of the Bro­ken Orms pub. He even made a bit of a scene at ring­side, threat­en­ing to split Ro’s head in two like a cab­bage, while Ro fired back that he’d fight him addy time, addy place, addy where. It def­i­nitely helped shift tick­ets for Ro’s next few fights.

I’m there, “Ro, things are go­ing great for you at the mo­ment. You’re back in UCD, study­ing law. Keep do­ing what you’re do­ing and one day you could end up be­ing a so­lic­i­tor like Hen­nessy Coghlan- O’Hara, help­ing white- col­lar crim­i­nals like my old man to avoid prison and hang on to the pro­ceeds of their crimes.”

He’s like, “That’s what I wad­dant, Rosser. I reedy do. But I owe this fedda. Like I says to you, some wooden needs to hab a wo­ord be­fore he goes off the rails al­to­get­ter.”

I just shake my head. I don’t know where he gets it from – this, like, kind streak that’s in him? Maybe if I’d taken a firmer hand in his rear­ing, I could have coached it out of him. I’m there, “You’re such a –.” He’s like, “What am I, Rosser?” “I was go­ing to say you’re such an un­selfish per­son. I blame your old dear for that. You cer­tainly didn’t get it from me.”

And that’s when he says the most sur­pris­ing thing.

He goes, “Of course I got it from you, Rosser.” I’m like, “Ex­cuse me?” “How maddy times oaber the years did you scare me straight? Who was it dragged me out of Dr Quirky’s Good­time Em­pordium all them times and bought me back to school? Who was it has been thry­ing to get me off the cig­ordettes since I was eight years oawult? Who was it who toawult me to stop hoo­erd­ing arowunt be­hoyunt Shad­den’s back and now we’re veddy hap­pidy mad­died for the last year- and- a- half? It was you, Rosser.”

“I sup­pose I haven’t been a bad role model?”

“A bad role model? Evoddy thing I am to­day is down to you.”

“Hey, I’m not ex­actly pat­ting my­self on the back at that thought. I hon­estly thought you’d be more rugby.” “More rubby?” “Yeah, no, for in­stance, you’ve never watched the DVD that I bought you of the 2011 Heineken Cup fi­nal.”

“The Mi­da­cle Match? Ine al­ways watch­ing it.”

“It’s just the last time I was here, Shad­den was drink­ing her tea off it. The thing was, like, unopened.”

“Do you know how many copies of that DVD you’ve gib­bon me over the years?” “Are you say­ing it’s more than one?” “Rosser, there was about three years there when you gave me a copy evoddy time you saw me!” “Did I?” “I’d forty of the Jay­sus­ing things at one stage. Even the cha­dity shop said they couldn’t take addy mower off me.”

“Well, I just think ev­ery­one in the coun­try should have a copy of that match be­cause of the lessons it teaches.”

“Doatunt gib up. It’s neb­ber too late to change things. Hard woork is the an­ti­dote.” “Ex­actly.” “That’s what I want to tell Codor, Rosser. All them things.”

All I can think is, how did I raise such an amaz­ing kid? To­tally by ac­ci­dent is prob­a­bly the an­swer.

I stand up and I whip a roll of fifties out of my pocket, then I hand it to him. I’m there, “I’ll trans­fer the rest of it to your bank ac­count.” He’s like, “Thanks, Rosser.” And I’m there, “Now go and save Conor McGre­gor from him­self.”

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