FAI embroiled in a sing-song pub ding-dong

By Squinter

THE New York Times rang Squinter to find out more about the most recent controversy to engulf Irish soccer. Here’s what happened.

 

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney is in a bit of hot water, we hear. Why’s that?

Well, somebody whipped out their mobile phone and filmed him singing the Ballad of Joe McDonnell in the Bath pub. He’s since apologised.

 

What’s wrong with singing in the bath tub? Doesn’t everybody do that?

Not the bath tub, the Bath pub. A pub called the Bath. In south Dublin.

 

What is the song anyway?

It’s about a member of the IRA who died on hunger strike in prison in 1981.

 

And singing about the IRA is a bad thing, right?

Not always, no.

 

Explain, please.

It’s only bad if you sing about the post-1923 IRA. The Dublin media don’t like that IRA – they don’t like them at all.

 

But they like the early IRA?

Not really, no.

 

This is very confusing.

Then you’re starting to understand.

 

Mr Delaney’s actions must have horrified his FAI colleagues and the players.

Not at all – they love singing rebel songs and do it all the time.

 

Ooooh, that’s a tasty bit of tittle-tattle. Did you hear that from an anonymous boardroom or dressing room source?

No, it came from the players themselves who wrote about it in books and newspapers.

 

What songs did they sing exactly – do we know?

Well, their favourite was Sean South from Garryowen.

 

What’s that?

It’s a song about an IRA raid on a barracks during which two volunteers were killed.

 

Ah, yes, I think I heard about that. This was an attack on the British army in 1921, wasn’t it? In Tipperary or Cork or somewhere like that?

No, it was in 1957 and it was an attack on the RUC. In Northern Ireland.

 

Northern Ireland as in the football team?

The very same.

 

Isn’t that a bit awkward?

You said it, not me.

 

Tell me, has anybody ever apologised for this?

No.

 

Did the Dublin papers go mad about it?

No.

 

Did the English players and staff walk out?

No, they joined in.

 

The Sean South and the Joe McDonnell IRAs didn’t have a mandate from the Irish people, did they?

Indeed not. But then neither did the first one.

 

Is that why the Dublin media isn’t too hot on them either?

See? You’re catching on.

 

So for the Dublin media it’s a kind of misguided patriots-type deal?

No, they think the IRA were murdering psychopaths.

 

What, the 1957 and 1981 IRA?

No the first IRA. And the IRB before them. In fact, everybody involved in that whole 1916 unpleasantness and presumably 1798 too.

 

You’re saying the people who formed and shaped the present Irish Republic are regarded by the Dublin media as bloodthirsty criminals?

Don’t take my word for it, read the papers.

 

So what’s going to happen when 2016 rolls around?

Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Will there be colour pull-outs and adoring editorials?

Take a wild guess.

 

That must make the Irish government mad.

You’d think that, wouldn’t you? But they’re pretty cool on the 2016 business too.

 

This is all very strange.

You should write to the papers about it. Or maybe you shouldn’t bother.

 

But Michael Collins was up to his neck in 1916 and Enda Kenny has a picture of him on his office wall…

Sssh. That information is under no circumstances to be widely disseminated.

 

…which means Fine Gael’s in favour of people running about with guns without permission.

That kind of talk was known historically in the Free State as ‘troublemaking’.

 

What songs will John Delaney and the rest of them be singing from now on?

I think a recent poll of Dublin journalists revealed that their choice would be ‘Jerusalem’ or ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’. Or that song from Frozen that everybody’s singing just now…

 

Let It Go?

That’s the one.

 

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