Wednesday 28 September 2016

Rebel Superstars... from Ronan O'Gara to Stephen Ireland

Pat Fitzpatrick

Published 31/08/2015 | 02:30

Ronan O'Gara
Ronan O'Gara
Valerie Mulcahy
Derval O'Rourke
Christy Ring
Stephen Ireland

As Barry Egan talks to Cork camogie star Ashling Thompson, we take a look at other sporting heroes from the Rebel County

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1  RONAN O'GARA

Ronan said on The Late Late Show that kicking penalties left him more nervous than any occasions when he was contemplating sex with his wife. If you think we're going to make a joke about 'raising the flag' here, you've another thing coming. Ronan was one of the main reasons Munster had so many supporters during the Noughties. Their avid rugby fans packed out stadiums, saying things like, "What happened there?" and "Where's the goalie?" Irish fans are so fickle, says you, ironing your 'I Love Shane Lowry' T-shirt.

2 VALERIE MULCAHY

Gaelic footballer Valerie married her girlfriend in Co Cork back in June. Locals who turned out for a look on the day were astonished at what they saw. A sunny day in summer 2015. Well, I never. The couple said that while they would like kids, they are happy for now with their two lizards and four cats. Some 98pc of people reading that went "Aww". The other 2pc said, "Those poor lizards - growing up without a daddy, what kind of life is that for a reptile?"

3 DERVAL O'ROURKE

Derval recently had a baby girl called Dafne. Congratulations to her, even though we think the spelling is a bit dapht. Derval showed herself to be a world-class hurdler. She gets over stuff very quickly, says you, mad for the wordplay. Some people say Derval's achievements are incredible, given that Irish people don't have much of a reputation for being good at sprint hurdling. We say those people have obviously never been in a bar when someone shouts, "Last orders".

4 CHRISTY RING

People are forever trying to figure out how Christy Ring would fare if he played hurling today. You have to think he'd be at a bit of a disadvantage, given that he died in 1979. Although, when you look at the way Cork exited the hurling championship this year, he'd probably be worth his place on the bench. He was too young to play in the 1939 Thunder and Lightning Final against Kilkenny. We hear the atmosphere was electric. Boom boom. Went the thunder. Sorry.

5 STEPHEN IRELAND

Sorry if you were expecting Roy Keane to be in this list. He actually turned up and all, but having taken a quick look at our training facilities, he decided to get on the next plane home. You can imagine our surprise. His replacement, Stephen Ireland, has stuck with the Irish football team through thick and thin. Hmm. Strange that Cork people would refuse to play for Ireland. You'd swear they all thought they were from some kind of independent republic.

Sunday Independent

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