Ireland no longer an object of attention
THIS diary has no desire to turn into one of those horrific showbiz columns where fame-hungry journalists reveal which failed reality 'stars' and unknown socialites attended an event that nobody cares about.
Nevertheless, everybody appreciates the value of a random sighting and the news that Stephen Ireland was spotted at a Stereophonics gig in Dublin on Arthur's Day came as something of a surprise.
Why? Perhaps it's the fact that the presence of the sometimes Aston Villa midfielder failed to cause a stir.
Suddenly, nobody seems too bothered about the Cobh man anymore.
He is no longer a burning issue around international weeks.
Perhaps, like the rejects from 'The Apprentice' and 'Big Brother', his moment of relevance has passed.
St ledger face-saving
earns little sympathy
SEAN ST LEDGER was in the wrong place for sympathy yesterday when he threw his body in front of a shot in training and received the nasty reward of a football smacking into his face.
The Leicester defender -- who has been worryingly inactive at his new club in recent weeks -- felt the full force of the ball in his eye and had to sit out the final minutes of the session.
Assistant boss Marco Tardelli was untroubled by St Ledger's problem, though.
Indeed, he laughed when asked if it was a concern.
"Maybe it's better for him," smiled Tardelli, who was either suggesting the centre-back needed a wake-up call or could do with some superficial improvements.
Number of the day
19 Amount of goals that the Andorran national team have scored in their 100-match international history. They have scored twice against Ireland, Belarus, Armenia, Russia and Estonia but never more than once in the same game.
of the day
Giovanni Trapattoni (72) is a relatively young man in Andorra, the country that has the longest life expectancy in the world.
The average age a person should live for is 83.5 years in the mountainous country, a glowing endorsement for the benefits of not paying income tax.
Experts also cite frequent exercise and an abundance of free swimming pools as a reason for the citizens' healthy state.