Summer is grinding towards its inevitable autumnal end and still nobody has thought to stage a World Cup, European Championships or Olympics. For shame. We should set up a tribunal, or at least an Oireachtas committee, to investigate. You can have your Wimbledons, Irish Opens and endless series of Lions’ friendly matches, but nothing beats the Big Three. A summer without one is like a summer without a Seanad debate on aggressive seagulls. It leaves us feeling cheated and empty inside.
We don’t have terribly high expectations for British politics these days. Ever since our nearest neighbour opted to jump from the EU life boat wearing nothing but Union Jack speedos and a quivering upper lip, nothing they do comes as a surprise. There is, however, one achievement for which the British political system deserves credit. Despite a fractured and bitter political environment, British politics remains relatively unaffected by that old Irish curse: the split.
Will this endless cycle of consultative decision-making ever end? In the league table of fevers, ‘election’ sits a lot closer to ‘scarlet’ than ‘Saturday night’, yet we appear to have found ourselves trapped on an election merry-go-round spinning out of control.
If you find the nightly news a bit too depressing these days, why not pop down to the cinema and watch the new Star Wars film, Rogue One?
The latest instalment of the blockbuster series sees a well-funded rebel army, fuelled by religious dogma and a willingness for self-sacrifice, take on an authoritarian regime that is slowly losing its grip on a vast and multi-ethnic territory.
Where do these script writers get their ideas?
Football fans can be tedious at the best of times, but we’re rarely as sanctimonious as when discussing the social, cultural and political importance of our game.
You thought that 22-year-old’s inability to clear the first man with a corner kick was down to poor training? I’m sure we can find somebody to tell you it’s symbolic of the colonisation his ancestors faced. Somebody, somewhere, is writing a blog about how the Syrian conflict could be ended through a robust game of three-and-in.
American Football has the Superbowl but Association Football has the Hyperbole.
All that notwithstanding, it really does feel that Europe badly needs Euro 2016. Not since the RAF was the main airliner in German skies has the continent been quite so dysfunctional.
Richard Boyd-Barrett says it’s a political earthquake.
He made the claim having just been elected to the new Dáil in the Dun Laoghaire constituency, a constituency which saw the combined vote for centre-right parties rise from 28,223 in 2011 to 34,261 in 2016 and the combined vote for left-wing parties fall from 25,579 to 21,612 over the same timeframe.
In his hometown of Massa, Roberto Mussi is still viewed with hatred and derision. People spit on him when he walks by. Shopkeepers refuse to serve him, and little children cry when his name is mentioned.
Mussi played right-back for Italy in the 1994 World Cup Final. Although he had a solid career, he wasn’t celebrated and few people would have selected him for a starting position.
Mussi will always be remembered for Roberto Baggio missing a penalty kick, thus handing the World Cup to Brazil. From his position at the bottom right of the pitch, Mussi spectacularly failed to prevent Baggio from missing the penalty.
Which moment of the 1916 Rising will you most celebrate: the bit when The O’Rahilly charged down Moore Street shouting about Irish Water, or the bit when Padraig Pearse used his last breath to berate the British for the lack of gender balance on the firing squad?
As we get closer to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the list of causes the Rising leaders stood for will steadily grow.
We got a taster of this last year when it was claimed that the passing of same-sex marriage would be a fitting way to pay tribute to the Rising. The passing of the referendum was a hugely important moment in Irish social history but it does seem questionable to claim it as the legacy of former Ancient Order of Hibernians member Sean MacDermott.
Armageddon movies generally involve flames, guns and lots of panicked people running through the streets as buildings collapse around them.
There’s usually a pretty girl, a heroic man (American, naturally) and occasionally a loveable dog. The threats facing humanity vary but all these movies share one common theme: the people in them are really, really worried about the end of the world.
What you don’t usually see in Armageddon movies is a completely disinterested population flicking through their iPhones and generally doing their best to ignore the impending collapse of civilisation.
We drove for two hours from the nearest town, canoed down a crocodile-infested river and took the last few kilometres of bumpy dirt track by motorbike to reach the village.
This was the Chikwawa district of southern Malawi; the remotest part of a remote land, a place where you stand on a hill and see nothing but barren, dusty landscape for miles.
News from the other side of the world still travels slowly in places like Chikwawa and so it was the following morning, powered by patchy wifi back in the town, that we learnt of Paris. The Malawians we told reacted as we had: a stunned silence and a look of horror, sadness and utter bewilderment.
We had come to Malawi with Paris in mind. From November 30th to December 11th the French capital hosts the UN Climate Summit. Malawi is a country with a lot riding on that summit and in the villages of Chikwawa we wanted to see just how high the stakes are.