The Irish Times

Nice to see the Old Firm keeping in touch

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Two well-known rugby stalwarts were spotted hanging out together at a Division 2A rugby match in Skerries last weekend.

The home team, despite a gallant second-half revival, were beaten by Belfast visitors Malone. It was a game of two halves, according to a thrilling match report on the Skerries RFC website.

“In miserable conditions, as the rain fell sideways, the stunned home crowd were further numbed by the apparent avalanche of opposition tries in the first half.”

The report fails to mention why the home crowd was initially stunned. This might have been down to the actual, not apparent, arrival of none other than Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy at the prematch lunch.

While both men are big into sport, former finance minister McCreevy is more of a horsey man while Bertie is known to favour the round ball over the oval.

On a social level, they were never known to be bosom buddies. But there they were, together again, in the best of form. Just like in the old days, when the boom was getting boomier, before it went bustier.

We hear they were in the company of club member Brendan Walsh, who lives locally with his wife Mandy Johnston.

Mandy was McCreevy’s press officer and went on to become Ahern’s government press secretary, before being appointed his special adviser in 2007. She is now a newspaper columnist and communicat­ions director with the Irish League of Credit Unions.

Bertie, Charlie and Mandy. A most formidable team. Nice to see the Old Firm keeping in touch.

We’re not sure if McCreevy will be at Bertie’s big bash tonight. He’s hosting a celebrator­y reunion of supporters and staff who worked with him at the Department of the Taoiseach. We understand former ministers are not on the guest list.

A big crowd is expected at Home Farm soccer club on Dublin’s northside. The knees -up will be the first gathering of the Bertie-era crew since it all came crashing down after 11 years and three successive terms in government.

 ??  ?? Boomier and boomier: Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy hanging out
Boomier and boomier: Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy hanging out
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