Ross O’Carroll- Kelly
‘ I’m not posting bail for Conor McGregor. That focker can use his own money’
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.”