Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Paris Report #2

Well, the rest of the visit to Paris was just what we wanted. It was chilled out and the city just looked stunning. One beautiful memory is walking arm-in-arm around the winding streets of Saint Severin at night, looking for a jazz club. The Christmas lights, the crisp cold night, the Mayo woman on my arm, the tiny streets, the peace and quiet... I knew at the time that I would cherish this forever.

On our last night, Cormac drove us through the city and we were blown away by the lights.

Thanks Cormac for putting us up and putting up with us. Next stop... Lyon!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Paris report #1

Trish and I arrived in Paris today. The bauld Crossan picked us up at Beauvais and we've had a lovely, chilled-out Sunday. We've had dinner, cooked by Cormac and Yoshimi and I've left pastries behind in a bakery. In fact, we weren't in Paris five minutes and I was wandering around the streets with a baguette.

We've caught mass in Notre Dame! (The old man would be impressed.) Had coffee and a cigar in a cafe and now we're digging into more grub.

Paris at Christmas is a sight to see.

Trish says hi.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

They tried to string me up... FOUR times

But I survived, almost.

Plus ca Change was my first play since Frank Pig Says Hello. This is the best bunch of Drama Society heads that I've ever worked with. The first time under Bob and also a good chance for Niall to strangle me - something he's wanted to do since he became my project supervisor, twenty odd years ago.

Bob - Lucky, very lucky not to get cut....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ghost horses?

I sent Tom Dunne an email.



I'm a bit of a Radiohead fan and one song that always brings a smile to my face (not often you can say that about a Radiohead song) is "You And Whose Army?" from Amnesiac .

It's a great singalong number if you're odd and it's one I love listening to on my headphones as I walk around Sligo town, singing out loud.

There was one line in the song I was unsure off and since I'm thinking of blasting out "Whose Army" at Open Mic soon, I thought I'd look up the lyrics online. Imagine my shock to find out that I've been singing the end of the song all wrong?!

Instead of repeating "you and whose army?" like I thought, it goes:

You forget so easily
We ride tonight
We ride tonight
Ghost horses
Ghost horses
Ghost horses
We ride tonight
We ride tonight
Ghost horses
Ghost horses
Ghost horses..

Who? What? Where? Whole different song now. In fact, it's even better.

Anyways, just thought I'd let you know what's been happening with me.

Your listener,
John The Bad.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


New piece on 269 called Burn.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wonder why they got rid off Mailbag....

I left the following on someone's voice mail in RTE about ten minutes ago.

"Hi. I've a question. Why am I not watching Kill Bill? I mean it was on half an hour ago but now I'm seeing that it's raining in Scandinavia. I guess what I really wanna know is, why did you put the news and weather in the middle of Tarantino's 4th film? And not only did you put it in the middle of the movie, you put it in the middle of the massive fight scene! In the middle of the fight scene! You know, the whole film has been building up to this fight scene, and you put the news and weather in the middle of it!

The weather's finished. I'm now watching an ad for a film with Michael Caine. I see, it's on tomorrow night. I guess you're gonna stick the news into it too. Ok, the trailer's finished. Hang on.. yup... you guessed it... ads! Well well well. You know this is why I don't watch TV. I get out videos. I also download stuff. Do you want to know what's happening on Lost? I'm up to date with ABC. Anyway, please stop putting ads in the middle of Tarantino movies or I'll said Uma Thurman over to stick a samurai sword up your-." Beeeeeeeep.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blood on the stage

Here's the poster for the new show. We're on in the college Black Box on Wednesday... just read the poster, ok?


Today, while we were rehearsing, we started to throw each other across the space or as Bob said, "fuck him over there."

At one stage, brave Colum Enright cut his foot and we ended up with his blood on the Black Box floor. The man soldiered on.

Blood on the stage - we're getting closer to the Raincoats all the time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And it stoned me to my soul

Martin Stone is coming to get ya!

Friday, November 24, 2006


Wow. One moment of doubt and my faith is back as strong as ever.

I haven't got all U2's singles and B-sides. What I do have, I ripped and put the mp3s into a folder ages ago. I went back to it the other day and added some new mp3s and tidied it up and I've been listening to it ever since. That's 46 songs or approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes of U2.

Listening to singles and b-sides is a cool thing to do. You get to hear where the band started and where they are now. You get to hear the single releases of the greatest band in the world (TM: U2) and you get to hear stuff you'd normally miss - like Willie Nelson singing a song that U2 wrote for him called "Slow Dancing."

I guess they still matter.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


At some stage today, Bob will make his way back out to the Venue in Strandhill and find his head. Until then, we have no pictures from last night.

Allow me to say that Ellen's 21st Glam Rocking Kickass Party was fantastic! What a night?! The get-up of everyone; brilliant outfits. Alan - I'll never look at you the same way again. Cathy's cross-dressing. Playing gay-chicken with Brian (actually, I don't wanna think about that). Pat riding Bosco up the arse. Ellen's speech - shuuut uup. Some gobshite dancing on his own at the start before Duck and Trish saved him. Trish's dyed hair. My wig. Duck... Duck... DUCK! DUCK BELONGS ON STAGE.

Ellen! I want you to have a 21st every Saturday.

Kung fu mudafucka!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Window in the skies


I've been a fan all my life. No song was a bad song and Bono could do or say no wrong.

They were Irish - not to be a U2 fan was downright unpatriotic. They sang about Northern Ireland and Martin Luther King and San Salvador. Being a U2 fan was a serious job.

Then came Achtung Baby and the madness of Zoo TV and U2 became fun. With "Elevation", they were unspeakably cool. With Bono's extra-curricular work, they were always right. At Slane, I was in the presence of grace.

U2 - the sons of God made gods of rock.

But things started to change.

I learned more about third world debt and I wondered if Bono was going about things in the right way. Live 8 worried me. Then I read No Logo and that nailed it; the man was wrong. Despite what he sang in An Atomic Bomb, his methods were crumbs from the rich man's table.

A change in tax laws for millionaires saw U2 move their company out of Ireland. Fuck that, I thought.


All in all though, what's that got to do with the music?

Good point. I was a U2 fan for the music from the very start. Even if I don't agree with Bono, what does it matter as long as I love the songs?

However, I have heard cracks in the soundtrack. First were the Best Of's. Ok, they were a way to get my hands on some B-Sides but I didn't like the idea of U2 releasing Best Of compilations.

Then came Bono's work on "What's Going On?" It was a terrible song but it was for charity and he had tried a good charity song with Wycleff that had bombed so I couldn't blame him really.

And then the unthinkable. A couple of songs on How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb were just south of naff!


John The Bad said what?! Sounds of breaking furniture and raised voices. A woman screams.


I know, I know but it's the truth. There's something about "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" that, while it doesn't near make me cringe, it does fail to click for me. It's not that I don't buy the song - it's about Bono's dead father! - but I just find it a little... off.

So, lately, I've found myself loosing some interest in U2. I was starting to realise that they didn't matter as much anymore. Tell a rock band that they no longer matter and they'll tell you they'd be better off dead.

Trish got me Zoo TV for my birthday on DVD and while I loved seeing it again, I couldn't help but feel that things were better back then.

U2 fell off my radar.

To make things worse, a couple of weeks ago, I heard that they were releasing another Best Of. They've taken their earlier Best Of 80's and Best Of 90's to bring us... well, the Best Of the Best Of's. 18 songs that include a couple of new ones. U2 going for the Xmas market, again.

One of the new songs is called "Window In The Skies." I heard it last week on Tom Dunne and to be honest I was only half listening. Then Tony Fenton played it today and I gave it a proper listen.

The song played in my headphones and I grinned from ear to ear.

It's just great. It's about love with a capital L. It's beautiful. It's serious. It's fun. It's cool. It's U2.

God hasn't left the building yet.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

And so it is....

Mohill lost to Corofin in the Connacht Club Championship. Hard luck men. We'll be back.

Monday, November 06, 2006

I apologise for the language that follows....

Yesterday in Croke Park was a disgrace.

I recommend you all read Tom Humphries in today's Irish Times. He sums the whole thing up much better than I can.

After ten minutes of complete thuggery from what I can only call Aussie scumbags, we lost four, four of our better players. We only had three on the interchange bench after that.

At one stage, there was a mini-riot taking place when some of the Australians went on the attack (with the ball this time) and scored a goal and, despite the fight going on, the goal was allowed!

Then Sean Boylan told the players he didn't want them to play on after the first quarter. I can't say I blame him in a way but still, that wasn't the sort of thing they needed to hear.

After that, the Aussies beat us soundly. That's the strangest part of it all. They would have beat us without resorting to the shit they pulled.

Our shooting was terrible; there's no excuse for it.

Alan summed it up the best. When this circus started, they had the advantage of the tackle and we had the advantage of the round ball. But now, we still can't get the hang of the tackle but they've not only gotten the hang of the round ball, they're better than us with it.

My solution is, get rid of the mark. Then we might see some flow to the damn game.


The Aussies are motherfucking, goddamn, scumbag knackers. They shouldn't be let back in the country. That they die roaring.

The referees were a joke. Not a set of balls between the four of them. How in the name of holy hell was there not one red card used yesterday? What do you have to do to get sent off in this game? Shoot someone? It's a damn good thing I didn't have a gun yesterday.

Our shots for overs were absolutely awful but I can't criticise the lads too much; that wasn't football out there.

All in all, a rather shit day at the office.


It looks like the GAA wanna pull the plug on the whole thing. I don't want that to happen. When it's played right, it's a good game. And I like the idea of GAA players getting to play for their country. But why does it have to be the Australians? They're wankers.

I'll leave the last word to Sheedy, the Australian coach,

- I think Ireland were the aggressors last week and this week.

Yup, folks, that's the mentality we're dealing with.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

8 points ain't a whole lot

In fact, Ireland's lead going into tomorrow's second Test in Croke Park is just over 2 points in Gaelic football terms. A couple of overs (an over is worth 3 points) from the Ausies and they're back in it.

Maybe it's pessimism but I'm worried that Australia's higher levels of fitness and strength will see them through the vital final quarter and land them the series. I hope I'm wrong.

One thing I know for sure is that the Australians are gonna come out tomorrow looking for a fight. They're gonna forget the ball and go for the man. It's imperative that Ireland don't play into this and that we just concentrate on playing football. The same thing happened two years ago when we won the first test well and the Australians tried to start a fight at the start of the second test. I was so proud of our lads that day. They kinda looked at the Aussies, said - sure, you go ahead and fight but we're here to play football. And play football they did; we annihilated them.

This time it's different. This Australian side is a lot better than two years ago. (Maybe they're not quite as good as last year when the killed us dead but they're still tough.) We need to keep our heads, improve our kick-outs and put the damn ball over the bar.

Tomorrow's sell-out crowd in Croke Park - 82,000 - will be the biggest crowd at an Irish international in any sport ever. In my opinion, that's a testament to GAA's supremacy over other sports in Ireland. I wish the knockers of International Rules would, well, knock it off. The sport has it's problems but it's still young and deserves a chance. It's also the only way our great footballers get to play for their country and anyone who would deprive Kieran McGeeney of his Irish jersey can take a flying fuck.

I'm heading up to Croker with Alan, my dad, Garrett and Karl. I want two things from tomorrow; an Irish win and a good game.

Let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Not the sharpest tool in the shed, this one

Aussie Rules footballer, Brendan Fevola was sent home from the Australian International Rules Team after assaulting a barman in a Galway nightclub. When asked to comment by Australian newspaper, The Age, Brendan had the following to say for himself.

- Obviously, I've done the wrong thing by getting him in a headlock. It was pretty stupid. And I'm just glad I didn't hit him. I would have been in more trouble if I hit him. A lot more trouble. It was just a headlock. If I wanted to hit him, I would have hit him. But I didn't. I just had him in a headlock.

Aw well, sure that's alright so.

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's a fecking brilliant world

From today's Irish times. It's the "sex attack" bit I love.

Italy may skirt issue of special loo for 'Luxuria'
John Hooper in Rome

ITALY: The speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament has an unusual problem as he prepares to rule on the appropriate sanitary arrangements for its most singular member.

Wladimiro Guadagno, who prefers to go by his former stage name of Vladimir Luxuria, describes himself as "transgender" and, while he has never had a sex change operation, dresses and behaves entirely as a woman.

Since being elected to parliament in April, the actor- singer-turned-politician has been using the ladies' loos.

But last Friday, the sight of Mr Guadagno adjusting his skirt and preparing to freshen his lipstick proved too much for one of Silvio Berlusconi's supporters. Elisabetta Gardini said she felt as if she had been the victim of a "sex attack".

Peacemakers suggested that a third loo might be created for Mr Guadagno and his assistant, who is of a similar orientation.

But the spokesman for the Christian Democrat Party was adamant that "there are only two genders - male and female".

After a heated session, the house affairs committee dodged the issue by saying that an MP's choice of loo was personal.

© The Irish Times © Guardian Service

Saturday, October 28, 2006

So far, so... ok

International Rules Football Series 2006
Test 1
Pearse Stadium, Galway - 28/10/2006

Final score:
Ireland 48 - 40 Australia

This means we're eight points in front going into the second test. A poor game but a good result.

The second test is tomorrow week, 5th November in Croke Park. I'm going to the match with Garrett, Karl, Jim Snr. and my cousin, Patsy.

Patsy is in Rome at the minute (the tough life of a journalist) and I kept him updated on the match by texts. On hearing tonight's result, he said - Brilliant. Now let's bury them next Sunday.

A man after my own heart.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006


Bob put his bio on his blog - check it out here. Not to be out done, here's mine.


John Rogers simply is. And the world is a better place because of that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It was a feeling that I didn't recognise.

My brother Jim has often said that if you come from Mohill, in Leitrim, in Connacht, in Ireland and you support Spurs... well, you soon learn to handle defeat. He was right, dead right. And then came last Sunday.

Cloone pitch. The forecast was wrong. A beautiful October Sunday. The 2006 Leitrim Senior County Final; Mohill versus St Mary's of Carrick.

In fact, for the first seventeen minutes, it was St. Mary's playing no-one. Mohill didn't register a score as Carrick hit 1-4.

We finally got going but it always felt like it was gonna be too little too late. Ten minutes to go or so and we were five points behind. Carrick's defence seemed to be impassable. We needed a goal.

We didn't get it.

Instead we hit six straight, damn near righteous points to no reply. The equaliser was greeted with a roar from my gut. The winner was near fatal and the final whistle...? I can't describe it. Relief? Joy? More like rapture. I dropped to my knees and cried.


Mohill 0-13, St. Mary's 1-9

My home town is a town of champions. The best in the county. Karl said he never saw Mohill play so well. Patrick said he saw tears in George Dugdale's eyes. As for me; I didn't get to see it. Unbelievable. History was made without me.

But what does it matter? I'll always have that memory of Shannonside and me screaming at the radio and then Trish holding me as I tried to figure out what the hell had just happened.

So here's to the Mohillians; we're heroes again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Summer's not finished yet

Country, province, county... and club.

A month ago my county lost in a final in Croke Park. Last night my province lost against Ulster. Just now, Cyprus gave my countrymen a lesson on how to play. What's a man to do?

There's still Mohill GFC.

Tomorrow in Cloone - barring more rain tonight - Mohill play St. Mary's of Carrick in the Leitrim Senior County Final. Mohill last won the senior title in 1971 and haven't contested a county final since three years later. Mohill were last in this position before I was born. Years and years of Mohillian dominance at under age football has never really come to fruition. Tomorrow's final is long overdue.

Nothing comes as close to home as club football. With the Leitrim team, I know all the names of course and I know some of the players to say hi. With the club it's different. I know everyone of them including the young guys (Murph is the old man of the team and he's two years younger than me). This means so much; it's easier to celebrate with men you grew up with and it's harder to handle when they lose. This is street football.

So, how will it go? Hard to tell. Carrick came through their semi-final replay by destroying Allen Gaels. Mohill's semi-final win against the Bors was last-gasp stuff. This was the match where Mohill put an end to the soft-centre myth; a myth that has held more credence in Mohill than anywhere else. Carrick have a bigger midfield and have come through an arguably harder journey to the final. Mohill are younger and faster. They may be inexperienced at this level but every Mohillian on the team has won county medals at one underage level at least. Many of them have played for Leitrim at all levels. When these players hit their rhythm, they play the most fluent football in the county.

But it's going to be tight and it's going to be tough - really tough if the forecast for tonight is correct and the pitch swims with water.Mohill need to dig deep. They must want to win more than oxygen. And they most never, never stop believing for sixty minutes and more.

I won't be at the game; I have to work. I'll be keeping track by phone and I can only hope, only hope.

Cyprus 5 Ireland 2

To the rest of the football playing world, all I can say is - Jaysus, look over your heads! Flying Saucers!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Who said this?

'It is quite unacceptable that a member of Dáil Éireann and in particular a Cabinet Minister and Taoiseach, should be supported in his personal lifestyle by gifts made to him personally.' (Dáil Éireann transcript, September 1997)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gonna wash that man right out of my...

... chair?

Last night, in Galway, Trish and I went to see "A Play On Two Chairs." It's by Michael West and produced by Mangiare Theatre Company. Mr Jaimie Carswell stars alongside Ms. Joanne Mitchell and it's a blast. About fifty minutes of amazing strangeness that feels like half that time. It's on in the Hawk's Well on Friday night and I highly, highly recommend that you get along to see it.

Now, how do I get my shirt back off of Carswell...?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Thank the gods for the youngsters

Well. The less said about yesterday's final the better. One thing though. Because I am such a champion of the underdog, I sometimes fail to give enough credit to the really successful counties and their players. I have to hand it to Kerry; they are superb in everything they do. And what players they have in the O Se's and Cooper and Donaghy and so many more. If they were Armagh men for example, I wouldn't stop on about them. So, congratulations Kerry, well done.


The other thing about Kerry is that they keep producing new talent. Take the midfielder on yesterday's Kerry minor team; Walsh I think his name is. A fantastic footballer who could walk onto any senior team in the country.

Now, the minors. It was totally remiss of me not to mention the minor final before this. Roscommon played Kerry in a curtain-raiser that upstaged the headliner. My dad's from Roscommon and he lived every minute of yesterday's match. So did I.

Twenty-seven minutes in and Kerry were cruising at 0-8 to 0-3. Walsh was pulling every ball from the sky at midfield and the Kerry forwards were killing the Ros defense.

Thankfully, Roscommon remembered how they had beaten Meath in the semi-final and, with a couple of changes, they got stuck in. Donal Shine was switched to midfield where he put some manners on Walsh. And from here, it all started to go right for the Westerners. Roscommon knocked over eight unanswered points in thirteen of the most incredible minutes of football seen this year.

Half-time score: Kerry 0-8 : 0-6 Roscommon.

Roscommon restarted as they had paused - they banged over another three points - and with about twenty minutes to go they took the lead at 0-9 to 0-8.

I muted the TV from where I was sitting in Claremorris and I could hear my old man roaring in Mohill.

But Kerry are Kerry and back they came. With ten minutes or so to go, they were up 0-12 to 0-11. It was (cliche alert!) roller coaster stuff now.

Roscommon equalised. Kerry retook the lead. Then, Roscommon hit two to go 0-14 to 0-13 with one minute left! By this stage I didn't have to kill the sound on the TV to hear Jim Snr.

Kerry equalised and straight afterwards went back in front due to a terrible kick-out by the Roscommon goalkeeper. And that was it. Kerry All Ireland Minor Champions.

Hang on, that wasn't it.

How to be so young and so fucking cool, I don't know.

Roscommon's O Gara, with his back practically to goal, slotted the ball over the bar. I went apeshit. The final whistle and it was all over, for now.

A draw and all to do again. I rang home. Trish had a laugh listening to two men who could hardly speak trying to have a conversation.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Just this once...

Tomorrow is All Ireland Football Day. You can blow all the shite you like about an over-priced golf tournament but football is still the only game in town.

Mayo are at it again. Raising everyone's hopes as they go for Sam. They were last here two years ago when they were comprehensibly beaten by Kerry. Who are they up against this time? Yup... Kerry.

I was in Croke Park last month when Mayo walked up the Hill and said to the Dubliners - hi, we're from The West and we're here to win, you can watch if you like. And win they did in the most magnificent match I have ever witnessed at Jones Road.

But beating a much fancied Dublin side is one thing; going up against the Kings of the South is a different kettle of fish. My head says Kerry will win tomorrow but my heart (which has been stolen by Mayo already this year) says Sam's going to cross the Shannon. Please Mayo, don't break my heart.


I couldn't get tickets for tomorrow's final so I'm going to watch it in the next best place - Claremorris, Co. Mayo. If Mayo win, I'll be right in the thick of celebrations. If they lose, I can bring my vast Leitrim experience of disappointment to bear.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tough place to get into

A bunch of young lads came into the shop a minute ago looking to get on a computer or two. We were full up so I told them try again in a while. One of them points to a customer.

- He's not eighteen, he says.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Keep your hands inside the car at all times

Two in the morning and I get a phone call from the Quare One who's supposed to be driving from Claremorris to Westport to pick up her brother.

Phone rings.
- Hi, says me.
- Hi (sound of the car) ring me back.

So I ring her back and it rings and then I hear her take a deep breath and...

- Hey you won't guess what, her voice is buzzing - everything's happening. I'm in the kitchen and Mammy said I better get going and I'm not supposed to be gone for a hour but she says I never give myself enough time. What if I got a flat? I said if I got a flat the last thing I'd be worried about is getting to Westport on time. Aw now she said. So off I go and guess what I'm just left Claremorris when bang! The back tire gone-
- Jesus, are you-
- I pull in. After her saying it! So I changed my first tire. I'm so happy with myself she had to go and say it. All these cars passed by me and no-one stopped until I'm screwing on the last nut and this car stops. A big man gets out and before he says it I'm you're too late, I've it done. So he gets all defensive, I was only seeing if you're ok so I said ah fare play you're the only one who stopped-
- So, you're ok-
- Then down the road there's the guards and Jesus! a fox just rang in front of me I nearly killed a fox!
- At the guards?
- No just now. I nearly drove through him. There's a full moon out tonight everyone's nuts. So, then there's a Garda check-point and the black face on me from changing the tire-
- Huh?
- And I stop and say ok? like come on I don't care what you throw at me ok let's go and me with the big black head. But he waves me on never even noticed the tax is out of date-
- So you're alright?
- Yeah, I'm grand.
- Are you driving now?
- Yeah.
- Baby, you shouldn't be on the phone when you're drving.
- They're gone now he waved me on.
- Oh.
- I'll go now though.
- Text me when you're home and safe.
- Ok. Bye.
- Bye.


All art is useless.

About two months ago I changed from Vodafone to Meteor simply because it's cheaper. I'd have changed a lot sooner if I had known but I didn't. I asked the man in the phone shop what the catch was when he showed me the comparison between what I was spending on 087 and what Meteor would cost. He said that there wasn't a catch except that 085 hasn't got 100% coverage but you could always go over to the O2 network for no charge. I asked him was it not the case that Meteor was only cheaper on Meteor to Meteor calls? He agreed that the 5c calls were in-network only but even taking that aside, Meteor was the cheapest.

So I switched to Meteor and he was right; it's a hell of a lot cheaper and if ever I do have reception problems, I just change over to the O2 network. But the whole time I kept thinking, why didn't anyone tell me?

Then I started taking notice of the Meteor ads. Especially the TV ones. You've probably seen them; they are the ads with the two really annoying chicks above. One girl wants free texts, the other wants 5c calls. I have seen those damn ads for ages now without even realising who or what they were selling until after switching to 085. All I got from the ad was - wow, what an annoying ad.

Now, I'll tell you this. If Meteor had just done an ad that said - hi, with Meteor you can call anyone at anytime for 20c a minute. Vodafone cost X cent per minute and O2 charge Y cent per minute but with us it's just 20c - if only the ad had said that instead of Bimbo Blond and Bimbo Brunette prancing about the place, I'd have switched ages ago. All the ad needed to do was show me what the man in the phone shop showed me.

Whenever I've suggested to friends that they should switch to 085 because it's cheaper, frequently I've gotten the reply that it's only cheaper for Meteor to Meteor calls. Obviously Meteor hasn't gotten the message out.

What's my point? Why should I care if Meteor doesn't increase its market share?

Well it's not that I give a shit about Meteor.

My point is that advertising has gotten so big and slick and intricate and elaborate that it has completely and entirely ended up, embedded in it's own arse. Advertising has missed its own point.

Advertising is intrusive. That's why I dislike it so much. But now that it's not even serving its own purpose, it has become degenerative. Decadent even.

Oscar Wilde once said that all art is useless. As is advertising now. However, not everything has changed. Unlike art, all advertising is still soulless.

Friday, September 08, 2006

What's he building in there?

I was reading No Logo in my room and when I read the bit I quoted in the last post, I actually whooped. Some kid outside whooped in reply only to be shushed by his parent. I'm beginning to think that my behavour - leaving the curtains open even when I'm going for a shower, roaring at the telly, shouting along to Lyric FM, having people doing fire stuff in the back garden, roaring at The Last Word, doing the dishes at three in the morning, roaring at the microwave, roaring at everything to be honest - is making me into the neighbour you avoid.


Ad block him if only ad been shown how

I came across the following in No Logo (I've finally gotten round to reading it and so far it's pretty good). The quote is from a Jack Myers. Mr. Myers is or was an American marketer and he made the following claim in regard to possible legislation for the advertising industry. He called such activity as "adbashing".

"We, as an industry, must recognise that adbasing is a threat to capatilism, to a free press, to our basic forms of entertainment, and to the future of our children."

It's the bit about the children that I love best.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

He's a dark horse, that one

Check out Paul's blog here.

That lad's mad

Walking down pedestrianised O Connell St today (walking the white line because what's the point of it being pedestrianised if you're gonna stick to the footpath?) and I was listening to The Last Word on my headphones. I was getting royally pissed off over whatever item Cooper was covering when I realised that I was making my feelings known to everyone on the street. And people were kind of looking at me.

- Bollix! That's not an answer. Answer the fucking question.

Now it's one thing to sing along to your Walkman but it's quite different to join in with talk radio. In fact, that's just plain crazy.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ok Andy

In The Sportsman, Andy Gray had this to say about Roy Keane -

I've no doubt Keane will make a good boss. He's in the same mould as Daglish, Souness and Robson.

Ok, there's a problem with the statement above. Can anyone spot it?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Day of days

Well, how to describe yesterday in Croke Park.

Leitrim played a final in Croke Park. Something I never saw before and who knows when I'll see it again. The emotion of seeing men I know running out onto that pitch along with the size of the Leitrim support was nothing to the emotion of the defeat. We were, we are just not good enough and it kills me to say it. It's not like I didn't know this before yesterday but the final confirmed it. We just don't have enough players to choose from and unless there's an incredible baby boom soon, I can't see us going anywhere. I was crying at the full-time whistle.

Two things about it though. When Christopher Carroll was taken off yesterday, I stood and applauded what was probably his last appearance for Leitrim. The man has been a great servant to his county and he deserved to go out in Croke Park. It's just a shame that he didn't get a medal.

And the other thing was Declan Maxwell (another probable retiree). He almost swung it back for us. Unfortunately, the ball didn't get into him enough. His last point, the last point of the game was the finest score of the day. And when you consider the quality of the game that followed, that's some achievement.

Poor Leitrim. Apparently that's what they were saying on the TV. Boy, am I sick of hearing that.


Now... Mayo v. Dublin.

I have been to a lot of football matches. I've been to Croke Park on a number of occasions. Yesterday's semi-final was one of the finest matches I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.

The game had everything. How can I describe it without using cliches? The brilliant idea of Mayo to warm-up in front of the Hill. The ensuing reaction from the Dublin fans, footballers and coaches showed that they were rattled. It then took Dublin seventeen minutes to score!

By that stage, Mayo were four points up. To be honest, I thought they should have been further ahead; they had a couple of goal chances that they put over the bar. Dublin got into the game with a couple of points and then they got their first goal. We got a little worried but we knew it wasn't going to be easy.

Mayo fought on and went in for the break two points up. They were playing well. I'll never forget Trish at the blow-up for half-time.
- I'm dizzy, I'm dizzy, I'm dizzy in the head!

At the restart, Dublin predictably threw everything at Mayo. And what they threw, stuck. They ran at them and scored and scored including a goal from Jason Sherlock. Before we knew what, Mayo were losing by seven.

We've all seen this before. Mayo come to Croke Park. Light the place up for a half or more only to have it pulled from under them. They find themselves getting beat bad and they drop their heads. We've seen it again and again.

But not this time.

Whether it's Mickey Moran's tough Ulster touch or not, there's a difference to this Mayo team. They stood up and fought back. Two points, a goal and two more. They took the lead, Dublin equalised. Dublin went ahead so Mayo equalised. It went over and back until Ciaran
McDonald scored the winner and what a score it was.

Then the torment as we waited to hear the whistle. Dublin attacked and squandered their attacks. Mayo hung on and hung on. Dublin had another free. They missed it and then it was over.

I looked at Trish and she was nearly in shock. Dublin surely were. My head felt like it was going to come off. My voice was almost gone. I threw my head back and roared at the gods.

Mayo for Sam... will I ever learn?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I am a subject of the Game

Tonight, I go home. Tomorrow, I go and worship at the altar of a fickle god. My Mecca. Connacht are playing Leinster in three games tomorrow; Roscommon v. Meath, Mayo v. Dublin and the big one - Leitrim v. Louth. (Don't heed the papers, Mayo v. Dublin isn't half as important as the Tommy Murphy Cup Final.)

Please, oh please let the Green & Gold of the smallest county in the galaxy... I can't even say it.

But I can shout it - COME ON LEITRIM!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I meant to post this ages ago. I've a court case coming up in Derry. I was due in court on the first Friday of this month. I arranged the day off and Cormac came up from Mohill on the Thursday to bring me to Derry the next day. However, that night, my solicitor called me and told me that
I wasn't needed until September.

So, we instead went to a show - The Blueraincoat's It's a Short Life; great stuff - and instead of Derry, the next day we went to the beach.

Much nicer than a courtroom.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say she's laughing at me..."

And the man behind the camera...

And that's exactly how he looked on the day.

- No Bob, I don't think the pirate look is on it's way back.
- But we're going to the beach.
- So?
- Well, it's beside the sea.
- And?
- Pirates go in the sea.
- Bob, the bandana...
- You never let me have any fun!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I have a brother...

... who, when my eye pops out accidently in a coffee shop, he'll run to Tesco and get me a new one.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Just out to get me

Mine is a strange job. The shop can be as quiet as the tomb, with me sitting at the till, twiddling my knees or such like. But as soon as I decide to do something non-work related, things go crazy. Just now, everything was quiet and under control so I decided to give my dad a call. I dialled the number and it rang. He picks up - Hello. And in they come through the door in a scrum. Seven - seven! - people from Spain. What could I do but hang up on the man?

You know, I sometimes feel that the business would run a lot smoother without customers. In fact, I'm almost sure there's a name for this attitude. Isn't it called the Sligo Business Initiative or something?

Were Leitrim playing yesterday?

Well, don't ask The Irish times.

From today's Irish Times Sports:

Leitrim ready for final hurdle

Tommy Murphy Cup Semi-finals/Leitrim 2-12 Carlow 0-8: After Niall Barrett and Mark Carpenter put Carlow two points in front after five minutes at Birr yesterday, Leitrim responded to lead 0-4 to 0-2 through points from Shane Foley, Donal Brennan, Noel Doonan and Ciarán Duignan.

Leitrim led at the break, 0-8 to 0-5, and effectively sealed victory 11 minutes from time with a Duignan goal for 1-11 to 0-7.

There was still time for Brennan to add another goal for Leitrim.

LEITRIM: C McCrann; D Reynolds, M McGuinness, D McHugh; F Holohan, B McWeeney, S Foley (0-1); N Doonan (0-1), C Carroll; C Regan (0-1), M Foley (0-1), B Prior; J Glancy (0-2), D Brennan (1-2), C Duignan (1-3). Subs: P McGuinness for Prior, D Beck for M Foley, M Greene for S Foley, D Maxwell (0-1) for Glancy.

CARLOW: G McGuill; B Hannon, S Murphy, J Ryan; B English, J Hayden, P Cashin; P Walsh, D Byrne; A Kelly (0-4, frees), T Walsh (0-1), P Hickey; J Kavanagh, M Carpenter (0-2), N Barrett (0-1). Subs: B Murphy for Barrett, W Minchin for Kavanagh.

Referee: A McAlynn (Derry).

© The Irish Times


From today's Irish Independent Sports:

Leitrim end a 12-year Croke Park hiatus

Leitrim 2-12

Carlow 0-8

Tommy Murphy Cup semi-final

THERE were scenes of jubilation following the final whistle as Leitrim returned to Croke Park for the first time since 1994 following an impressive victory over Carlow at Birr yesterday in the semi-final of the Tommy Murphy Cup.

Two second-half goals set up Leitrim for a meeting with Louth at headquarters in two weeks' time.

Carlow set the pace in the early stages with points from Niall Barrett and Mark Carpenter.

Shane Foley opened the Leitrim account after 11 minutes, and there then followed a sequence of seven further points between the 12th and 31st minutes, broken by a 20th-minute point from Carpenter.

As the green and gold dominated the exchanges, led by a potent strike force of Donal Brennan, James Glancy and Ciaran Duignan, Carlow stayed in touch with late points from Alan Kelly and Carpenter to leave the score 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time.

Colin Regan extended the Leitrim lead with a point from play five minutes into the second half, but a Tommy Walsh point reduced the arrears three minutes later as Carlow took the game to a nervous Leitrim.

Two further points from Brennan and Duignan kept Leitrim firmly in control going into the final stages.

Despite good work from Walsh and the excellent Mark Carpenter, the Leitrim defence, led by Michael McGuinness, Dermot Reynolds and Frank Holohan, denied Carlow several scores.

Their frustration gave way to dismay 11 minutes from time when a well-worked move by the Leitrim forwards culminated in a goal by Ciaran Duignan, whose initial shot struck the upright.

However, he collected the rebound and shot to the net to push his side 1-11 to 0-7 in front.

Again Carlow responded through a Carpenter point in the 62nd minute but it was Carlow's last score as Leitrim overran the Carlow defence, and their efforts were rewarded by a second goal from star forward Donal Brennan one minute into injury time.

SCORERS - Carlow: A. Kelly 0-4 (0-4f); M Carpenter 0-2, T Walsh, N Barrett 0-1 each. Leitrim: C Duignan 1-3, D Brennan 1-2, J Glancy 0-2, S Foley, N Doonan, C Regan, M Foley, D Maxwell 0-1 each.

CARLOW - G McGuill; B Hannon, S Murphy, J Ryan; B English, J Hayden, P Cashin; P Walsh, D Byrne; A Kelly, T Walsh, P Hickey; J Kavanagh, M Carpenter, N Barrett.

Subs: B Murphy for Barrett; W Minchin for Kavanagh.

LEITRIM - C McCrann; D Reynolds, M McGuinness, D McHugh; F Holohan, B McWeeney, S Foley; N Doonan, C Carroll; C Regan, M Foley, B Prior; J Glancy, D Brennan, C Duignan.

Subs: P McGuinness for Prior; D Beck for M Foley; M Greene for S Foley; D Maxwell (0-1) for Glancy.

REF - A McAlynn (Derry).


Was anyone from the Times even at the game?

Also, why does a limp Dublin v. Westmeath quarter-final warrant four articles in today's Monday Sports while the much better Laois v. Mayo match only gets two?

The Irish Times is a fine paper with a good sports content. Why not have a great sports content? I don't wanna have to buy the Indo again.


Well, I came back, down to Earth with a bang. Turns out that the GAA has scheduled our final for August 27th - second All-Ireland Semi Final day. That game is between Dublin and Laois or Mayo. Any game involving Dublin is a sell-out. The interest in that county is huge. I was well pissed off that we were billed for the same day. Tickets will be as scarce as hens teeth. I know that this was all arranged before anyone knew who would be playing who, so there's not a lot that can be done. But what I don't understand is why Central Council has moved the Meath V. Roscommon minor semi-final from this Sunday to the same day as our final. That's three games in Croke Park on a day that the Dublin match would sell-out the ground alone. No rhyme nor reason.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm not alive; I'm something else

We did it! We did it! We did it! We're going to Croke Park. Leitrim 2-12 0-08 Carlow. Where do we go from here?

Oh boy, oh boy

Just heard that Leitrim are winning 08-05 at half-time. I'm so fucking nervous.


Playspace gets a forum - it's just over here.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Playspace #1

We had our first session of Playspace last night. It went very very well. Bob ran the show and did a fine job. The turn-out was good and the attitude was brilliant. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes from all this. Watch this (play) space.... Oh that's terrible.


Leitrim play Carlow on Sunday at 4pm in the semi-final of the Tommy Murphy Cup. Seventy minutes will decide if we go to Croke Park for our first ever final. I don't know if anyone is taking this serious but I sure am. I'd be there only for work and if we win... just try and stop me going to Dublin. C'mon the boys in green & gold!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Where will this end?

A Lebanese civil defence worker carries the body of Iham Rmeity, (5) after she was extracted today from the rubble of a building in Chiyah, a residential neighbourhood in Beirut.

© 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Playspace baby, yeah

Playspace begins on Thursday in the Sligo Youth Theatre Space at 8pm! Woohoo, I say, woohoo.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The People's Republic of North Leitrim

I was talking to someone from Manorhamilton the other day about Leitrim football. She said that one of the reasons that we are so "shite" is that footballers in the north of the county feel it is unfair that they should have to travel down to Carrick to train. Now, ignoring that I felt it a little harsh to call ourselves shite, maybe she has a point. However, Carrick is the county town and that's where the county HQ are located. Also, because so many of the footballers work out of the county, the team often trains in Mullingar or Kells.

So, if having to travel is enough to stop North Leitrim players from playing for their county, you gotta ask yourself, do we even want them?

(Christ, I hope Meehan doesn't see this.)


I want to let you know about a new project called Playspace, starting Thursday 10th August. Playspace is going to be a regular gathering of people with an interest in theatre - actors, writers, directors, designers and so on. A workshop, a forum, a think-tank, an idea-space - essentially it will be a two-hour meet, probably every two weeks, where we will come together to create. Somewhere that we have the use of a stage, where we can play; kick ideas around; perform for each other; facilitate each other; offer ourselves as raw material for each other's games. To discuss and discover theatre, not just through talk, but through the practice of theatre. A session!

So - if you have specific avenues of theatre you want to explore and understand, bring them to Playspace. If you've never facilitated a workshop and you'd like to try, you can do it at Playspace. If you have an audition and you want a test audience for your performances, if you've written a piece and you want someone to play with it or if you have a strange idea that might work but doesn't yet justify a show - bring it to Playspace. And most of all, if you just want to keep your drama-brain moving, come to Playspace. Playspace will be defined by those who are in it.

Hopefully it will be an idea factory - a place where we spark off each other to create new thoughts, which, once they are solid enough to be projects, get kicked out the door to stand on their own.

I will be using this blog to let you know the where, when and how of Playspace until it gets off the ground. This info is also available on a new webpage at Bob's Google Page. Just click on Entropic Ensemble (the production company that this is happening under) and any up-to-date info on the project over the next couple of weeks will be there. You don't have to get on board right now either, if you'd prefer to leave us to our own devices for a while. But if you're interested, why not get in now and have a say in shaping the project? This is a very good time for the anyone in the amateur/semi-pro drama scene in Sligo to start making some new noise.

If you know anyone who you think should hear about this let me or Bob know. And if you have any thoughts suggestions or comments right now, send them our way.

Time to get busy.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Leitrim heading for Croker?

Beat Carlow in Carlow and we're there for the final. Question though, does anyone give a damn about the Tommy Murphy Cup?

From yesterday's RTE Sport.

Tommy Murphy Cup round-up
Saturday, 29 July 2006 7:54

Tipperary looked a shadow of their former selves as Ciaran Duignan scored six points to guide Leitrim into the Tommy Murphy Cup semi-finals at Semple Stadium.

The absence of former All Star Declan Browne, who was busy marrying his partner Niamh Sheehan in Fethard, was truly felt by Tipperary this afternoon as they reliquished their grip on the Murphy Cup in a 0-14 to 1-06 defeat.

Browne scored ten points in Tipp's recent win over Waterford and also chipped in with 1-07 as captain in last year's Murphy Cup final success against Wexford.

But without the presence of Browne and Liam Mulvihill, Tipp looked anything but champions.

Leitrim had the winning of the game when they hit five unanswered points to move 0-08 to 0-03 clear just before the interval.

An injury-time goal from Benny Hickey shook Tipp up for a while, but Seamus McCarthy's men were utterly lifeless after the break. It took them 25 minutes of the second half to register their next score from a Michael Phelan free.

By that time Leitrim had moved five points in front with the impressive Duignan (0-06), Donal Brennan (0-03) and Ronan Gallagher (0-02) all showing well. The visitors did have wing back Shane Foley dismissed for a second yellow card, seven minutes from time, but they deservedly held on.

If we beat Carlow in Carlow in a couple of weeks time, we'll be in the final in Croke Park at the end of August. I'm trying not to be excited but...

Two kidnapped soldiers

This is our world.

Irish Times breaking news

Children among 40 Lebanese killed in air strike

Last updated: 30-07-06, 12:05

An Israeli air strike killed at least 40 Lebanese civilians, including 23 children, today, prompting the Lebanese government to cancel a planned visit to Beirut by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The raid on the southern village of Qana was the bloodiest single attack during Israel's 19-day-old war on Hizbullah and rescuers said the death toll might rise. The victims, mainly old people, women and children, were sheltering from Israeli shelling in the basement of a three-storey building.

Other houses were destroyed in the dawn raid, killing many people in their sleep.

Lebanese Red Cross officials in Beirut said rescuers had extracted 38 bodies from the devastated buildings, including 23 children, and seven wounded. At least 17 more bodies were feared to be still under the rubble, seven of them children.

Red Cross workers covered the corpse of one dead child with a blanket. A woman in a red-patterned dress lay crumpled and lifeless in the broken masonry. A leg poked out from the rubble nearby. Another child lay dead in the street.

Hizbullah vowed to retaliate for the killing. "This horrific massacre will not go without a response," the group said in a statement.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said he would hold no negotiations before a ceasefire and officials said they had told Ms Rice to stay away from Beirut until the fighting stopped.

Red Cross members pull bodies out from rubble after an Israeli air raid in Qana
Red Cross members pull bodies out from rubble after an Israeli air raid in Qana

At a news conference in Beirut, Mr Siniora called for unity "in the face of the Israeli war criminals". "The persistence of Israel in its heinous crimes against our civilians will not break the will of the Lebanese people," he said.

Around 2,000 people gathered outside the United Nations headquarters in Beirut today smashing windows and ransacking offices in a protest over the Israeli air strike. Witnesses said the crowd hurled stones and broke windows before some burst inside.

"Death to Israel, death to America. We sacrifice our blood and souls for Lebanon," protestors chanted. They tore down a United Nations flag outside the building and ripped it to shreds. Members of Hizbullah tried to restrain the crowd.

The air strike, whose target was not immediately clear, occurred as Ms Rice was in Jerusalem on a mission to persuade Israel and Lebanon to agree on an international force to deploy on the border.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert s aid the residents of Qana were warned and told to leave and blamed Hizbullah for the deaths. "No one was ordered to fire on civilians and we have no policy of killing innocent people," Mr Olmert was quoted as saying by Ynet and NRG Websites. "The village and its surrounding areas were a source for launching hundreds of rockets."

Israeli warplanes struck Qana only hours after Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah threatened to rocket more cities in central Israel if attacks on Lebanon continued.


This horrific massacre will not go without a response

Hizbullah statement

"There are many cities in central Israel which will come into target range ... if the barbaric aggression on our country and people continues," he said yesterday.

Lebanese television stations described the raid on Qana as a massacre. The village is already a potent symbol of Lebanese civilian deaths at the hands of Israel's military. In April 1996, Israeli shelling killed more than 100 civilians sheltering at the base of UN peacekeepers in Qana.

An estimated 750 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 51 Israelis have been killed in the conflict that broke out after Hizboullah captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid on July 12th.

Confirming a major new incursion into Lebanon today, the Israeli military said tanks and troops had rolled across the border at Metula, under cover artillery fire and air strikes, to try to find and destroy Hizbullah rocket launchers. An Israeli army spokeswoman said five Hizbullah fighters were killed.

Before Lebanon cancelled her visit, Ms Rice had said she hoped for a deal on ceasefire terms to be outlined in a UN Security Council resolution that may be presented as early as Tuesday. Mr Olmert said his country was "in no rush" for a ceasefire, and Israeli forces thrust across the border sparking new clashes with Hizbullah fighters.


© 2006

I normally read something like this, get angry for a minute or so and then go back to my coffee. But not this time. What's to be done? Call Joe Duffy? Seriously, what can I do or you do? Help with this, please.