Wednesday 24 January 2018

Declan Lynch: It's all in the hands of the baleful gods

On this historic day, remember, for Paddy, life is one long exercise in hope-management, writes Declan Lynch

WE have only had five such days in all of Irish history, five days on which we have played our first match in a major football tournament. These are the days of most feverish anticipation and yes, of most feverish dread.

On these mornings when we wake up with a tournament stretching gloriously in front of us, we can still be full of hope. Though we know too well the truth of Michael Chabon's line that we are "ruined again and again by hope".

We are Paddy, after all. And for Paddy, life is one long exercise in hope-management. What Paddy usually strives for is an accommodation with the baleful gods in which we are spared some terrible disgrace, in exchange for a dignified release.

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