George Byrne: 3,000 Ingerland fans in Dublin for a day? What can possibly go wrong?
The Herald's George Byrne, who passed away this week, contributed a weekly 'Rant' which was published in the Herald's comment pages every Saturday. Today, we reprinted the final article by our greatly-missed friend and colleague, which was published on March 7.
Published 04/04/2015 | 16:33
Well, there was no shortage of jolly moments to be enjoyed this week. Best of the rib-ticklers had to go to the spokesman for the ridiculous New Land League who described the property of Gorse Hill in Killiney, the centre of the O'Donnell eviction battle, as 'bog standard'.
The notion that an organisation claiming to uphold the same values as a 19th Century campaign to stop peasants being turfed off their small holdings should ride to the rescue of someone whose property empire was once valued at €1bn and was himself a landlord is bad enough but, really, 'bog standard'?
A swimming pool, tennis courts, views of Killiney Bay, a snooker room and a master bedroom bigger than most actual city centre apartments is a now modest family home? Someone's having a laugh.
Elsewhere this week another part of old Dublin was lost with the closure of the fish restaurant above the Lord Edward (inset), one of Dublin's finest traditional pubs, in existence for more than 40 years. The restaurant was old school in the truest sense and we can but mourn its passing and pray to the heavens that the space isn't handed over to some hipster joint.
Speaking of which, I was appalled to read this week that some chaps with trendy beards have opened up a restaurant in some suburb of London, no doubt populated by Nathan Barley-eseque media and website types, dedicated to the serving of...porridge.
I kid you not.
Now, I'm quite partial to a bowl of oatmeal on a cold winter's morning and thoroughly recommend that people do the same (it's cheap and really good for you, although cleaning the pot afterwards can be a bit of a bugger) but to head out of an evening and be faced with a menu consisting of variations of porridge dishes is simply madness.
Dear God, I can only imagine the kind of braying yahoos that'd be attracted to a place like that. You'd better get ready to see one springing up here within the year.
And while we're on the subject of restaurants I have to doff my hat to the staff at a swanky French eatery in Manchester (yes, you read that correctly) who responded to online complaints by a group of customers by effectively rating their clients.
It's all too easy, in these days of TripAdvisor and similar sites for disgruntled malcontents to trash the reputation of hotels, restaurants or pubs anonymously.
So I was delighted that the staff of 47 King Street West were so quick to retaliate.
A hen party had posted the criticisms but were understandably shocked when the restaurant's Facebook page described them as: "The chaviest (sic) worst most vile people ever to grace our restaurant. Wouldn't know fine dining if it slapped then in their ugly faces! What absolute trash they were. Bottom of the barrel. Turned up over an hour late. Booked for 10 then were 20. Just the lowest of the low. Peasants".
The manager of the premises later apologised for the comments and informed the media that the matter was 'being investigated internally'.
I'm guessing that at least one member of the waiting staff who had to deal with a gang of women on a hen night and didn't exactly receive a decent tip at the end of their shift may well have been responsible, what do you reckon?
And finally, now that the League of Ireland is back up and running - well, ambling along, actually - we hear that the gardai have insisted that the FAI plays the June friendly against Ingerland at 1pm on a Sunday in order to minimise the potential for drink-related crowd trouble.
So that still leaves 3,000 England football fans wandering around town all day Saturday and Saturday night.
Ah yeah, sure we'll be grand there alright.