News Comment

Friday 28 October 2016

Allez les verts! 10 reasons we trump France...starting with breakfast

Published 11/10/2015 | 02:30

A videograb of Thierry Henry's handball
A videograb of Thierry Henry's handball

On the eve of our crucial match against France in the Rugby World Cup, I've had a look at the merits of our two countries and have come to the definitive conclusion that the Irish are superior to the French. Here are just 10 reasons why.

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1. Breakfast

Our boys start the day with black pudding, white pudding, sausages, eggs, and God knows what else washed down with mugs of strong tea. No wonder their lads start to flag towards the end when their idea of a slap-up breakfast is... a croissant.

2. Cinema

French cinema is best summed up as: "Lights, camera, no action.." Irish actors Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender, and yer man off The Tudors have taken the movie world by storm and have wowed the ladies.

The last we heard of a French actor was Gerard Depardieu peeing in a bottle on a flight to Dublin.

When the air stewardess said "oui, oui", she didn't mean you to actually do that, Gerard.

3. Music: Van the Man vs Plastic Bertrand

For the French, it's a case of je ne regrette rien and very little else. They should regret a lot. While we can boast Van Morrison, U2 and The Undertones, has anybody French had a hit since Plastic Bertrand? Their only notable vocal achievement of the last half century was Je T'aime, and they had to get an Englishwoman, Jane Birkin , to sing it.

4. Revolutions: Dev vs Napoleon

So, the Easter Rising was not a spectacular military success, but the French uprising ended in a bloody mess. De Valera may have had his faults, but at least we didn't get a land-grabbing buffoon like Napoleon.

Only the French would have guillotined Marie Antoinette for suggesting: "Let them eat cake." She was only trying to help.

5. Lunch and dinner

Give us hearty stews any day of the week. No culinary tradition is more preposterous and wildly overrated than French nouvelle cuisine - dab of jus compote of whatever in a tiny circle in the middle of a giant plate. Listen Francois, if I want sculpture, I'll go to a museum. Throw on a few spuds.

6. The Fans

Everybody knows that we have the greatest fans ever. Our football supporters charmed the world by singing when we were losing heavily in the Euro 2012 football championship. And what do the French fans do? They bring along a cockerel.

7. Farmers

Irish farmers like to grow crops, milk cows, produce beef and stand around shooting the breeze at the Ploughing Championships. The French see their role as burning tyres, driving tractors through city centres and blocking ferryports with innocent sheep,

8. Air Traffic Controllers

Call them old-fashioned, but the Irish air traffic controllers see their job as directing planes safely in to land. The French killjoy controllers, on the other hand, see their prime function as stopping passengers from other countries from going on their holidays by going on strike every other week.

9. Thierry Henry

We don't like to go on about this at all, but this unsportsmanlike upstart blatantly blocked the ball with his hand in a match against Ireland, before the French scored a goal. What would an Irish player have done in similar circumstances? He would have raised his hand gallantly and said: "Hey ref, didn't you see I handled the ball? Please disallow the goal, and stop our team going through to the World Cup."

10. Football

Of course, rugby is only our fourth sport after hurling, Gaelic football, and soccer. Did the French notice that we beat World Cup winners Germany on Thursday, so we're effectively world champions?

Irish Independent

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