Saturday, December 5, 2009

Casting the first stone

If ever I was in the situation,
There’s one thing that could never be denied.
I’d gladly take the worldwide approbation
If it meant that Ireland qualified.

I’d fall down in the box like Michael Owen,
Like Drogba and Ronaldo always do.
I’d punch the ball like Maradonna, knowin’
It might well help my country to get through.

So all of you with knives out for Thierry,
All you so keen to label him with shame.
I’d ask you all to be a little wary –
Don’t you think that you’d have done the same?

On the other hand -

Revenge on the French

Irish-French relations, the entente between our nations,
Has always been extremely cordiale.
We share a common bond against our neighbours cross the pond
And we’ve started eating chicken provençale.

Many thousands flock to Lourdes in the hope of being cured,
We’ve started winning in the Parc des Princes.
There’s a veritable litany of holiday homes in Brittany,
Since Charlie Haughey won the Tour de France.

But relations have been strained and dissatisfaction’s reigned,
A new mistrust has suddenly been born.
Now far fewer people want to fly with Ryanair to Nantes,
The hand of friendship’s definitely withdrawn.

Oh that sad November night when the French whooped with delight
As Thierry hopped the ball like Barney Rock.
How we watched with disbelief, wallowed in our pool of grief
And never quite recovered from the shock.

“What base treachery is this?” we indignantly did hiss.
“Never was an act so foul or callous!
A blind man on a horse could have seen that, yes of course,
He handled it before he crossed to Gallas.

Yes Henry the skilful Frenchman had become the Devil’s henchman,
The arm came out and then was seen to straighten.
And it was a massive cod to say it was the Hand of God
When we all knew it was the Hand of Satan.

Did the divil grease his palm? Did he think it was no ‘arm?
Did he think he wore the blue of Tipperary?
Though I’ll say with no codology that the après-match apology
Was handled very well by our Thierry.

There was nothing we could do, except accept the French were through,
Platini strangely failed to intervene.
And to top that, two days later, we’d the little Mayfield traitor
Stick the knife into the Boys in Green.

One would hope such blatant cheating would have made their triumph fleeting
And perhaps their World Cup group would be a bastard.
Maybe Spain, Brazil and Italy (we all yearned for, somewhat bitterly)
A thrashing in each game would be forecasted.

But they got Fiji; they got Lapland and some other bleedin’ crap land –
That Domenech is such a jammy sod.
They need only to turn up to progress further in the Cup –
Further proof, if needed, there’s no God.

So when the World Cup comes around where will Irish folk be found?
Not in bleedin’ Jo’burg, that’s for sure.
But neither will we be in Biarritz or Normandy –
The tourist numbers there will be much fewer.

There will be no Wild Geese sitting in the square in Nice,
No time Toulouse, no wish to see Toulon.
And by God, we will not go to either Provence or Bordeaux –
There’s no beach I will lay my Carcassonne.

Yes, belle France will join the list of the countries I’ve dismissed,
When working out my summer holiday,
Macedonia, Ukraine, Holland, Mexico and Spain,
Liechtenstein and Greece, Poland, Russia and La Suisse,
Mongolia and Malta, Guatemala and Gibraltar,
Turkey and Slovenia, why not throw in Abysseenia?
Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia and Albania,
Korea and Japan, don’t forget the Isle of Man –
It looks like I’ll be heading down to Bray.

Ce n’est pas la guerre

We knew it was over when FIFA declared
The play offs were going to be seeded.
No matter how well little Ireland had fared,
‘Twas the French that the World Cup brass needed.

We knew all too well that they wanted the French
And their audience of seventy millions.
‘Twas better by far if we sat on the bench
And watched, and not played, the Brazilians.

Televisual rights, for a country like ours,
Was not going to swell FIFA coffers.
And so, no surprise that the footballing powers,
Decided to steal our dreams off us.

The Finals approach and the French will be there,
Despite all the cynics and doubters.
I hope they do well, but ce n’est pas la guerre
As the spectacle happens without us.
Strangely I was more disgusted by FIFA's sudden decision to seed the playoffs than by Henry's hand ball

Monday, October 26, 2009

Three minute hero

Like Alan McLoughlin, it could’ve been permanent,
His name writ forever in Ireland’s bright firmament.
There could’ve been fireworks, a legend forever,
Writ loud in the annals of Irish endeavour.

So closed to attaining that scarce immortality,
Snatched cruelly away by the jaws of banality,
St. Ledger, your hands were out grasping the crown,
Till Alberto Gilardino’s late blow struck you down.

Friday, July 10, 2009


As they lowered you down in the cold, clammy clay,
Distinctly I heard you knock-knocking.
The rest of the fam’ly had all turned away,
Only I saw the pine coffin rocking.

I should have cried “Halt! I believe she’s alive!”
I should have said something, dear Nellie,
But, alas, all I knew was at quarter past five,
Ireland were playing on the telly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bigmouth strikes again

“Man of the match!” shouted Georgie
“Is awarded to young Kevin Doyle!”
And then he went into an orgy
Of praise for the blonde Irish Royal.

He’d run any niggly knocks off
And torn at the Bulgar defence.
He’d worked his proverbial socks off.
His worth to the team was immense.

As soon as the words had been spoken,
The ball came to Doyle five yards out.
Resistance would surely be token!
The nation drew breath to let shout.

The header was weak and untesting.
Their goalie breathed sighs of relief.
We spent several minutes divesting
Ourselves of our palpable grief.

“Man of the match?” we repeated,
In tones unforgiving and callous,
While Kev stood there pale and defeated,
Staring down at the poison-filled chalice.
Ireland 1 Bulgaria 1 2010 WC Qualifier

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Highway robbery

“Stand and deliver!”
The words sent a shiver
Through those on the road to the Cape.
The Georgians peered out
When they heard the fierce shout,
But they’d no means by which to escape.

On eleven black horses,
The feared em’rald forces
Stood waiting, their pistols well cocked.
And a deafening barrage
Of shots rocked the carriage,
The roadway now totally blocked.

“Hand over the goods!”
Snarled the men in the hoods,
As the Georgians shrank back with a yell.
“And you’d better not tarry
Or these bullets will carry
You off to the great fires of Hell!”

There was naught they could do.
They were right in the stew,
As they looked out, confused yet resigned.
The three points were delivered
And the Fates roundly shivered
As we robbed the poor travellers blind.