Tuesday 28 February 2017

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.

George Byrne

15 February 1995; An England fan is restrained by Gardai after rioting in the West Stand forced the abandonment of the game. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE
15 February 1995; An England fan is restrained by Gardai after rioting in the West Stand forced the abandonment of the game. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE
English fans riot at Lansdowne Road in 1995
15 February 1995; David Kelly, Republic of Ireland, scores the only goal of the game against England, after which the game was abandoned due to rioting in the Upper West Stand. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE
15 February 1995; Gardai remove an England supporter from the pitch after rioting in the Upper West Stand forced the match to be abandoned. International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Receivers post notices in the ornate letterbox at the gates of the O'Donnells' house at Gorse Hill, Killiney, Co Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

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.

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