| 12.8°C Dublin

I fear the Queen may have been royally bored with that show

There was of course a flaw in the otherwise perfect Youghal carpet that we laid under the feet of Her Majesty. Most of you probably know what it was, and would prefer just to forget about it, which would be my attitude too.

But maybe we should quietly acknowledge it, in this little part of the paper, fenced off from the rest of the coverage. And then in our new spirit of maturity, we should simply pretend that it never happened.

Actually if you didn't see it, you should just pretend that you didn't read this, and turn the page. Clearly I'm referring to that strange event at the National Conference Centre which was shown on RTE: "A very special performance featuring the very best of Irish music both traditional and contemporary" -- or, if you like, an evening of corporate entertainment.

It is a peculiar thing, our old friend the corporate entertainment. It is neither very bad, nor very good, yet it is the worst thing in the world. It is entertainment with most of the good things about entertainment taken out, to make it pleasing to the corporate palate. It is music for people who don't like music.

And traditionally these people, as the name suggests, have been members of the executive class who have recently been otherwise engaged, destroying western society. This is what they like, something easily digestible after their dinner. And this, roughly speaking, is what we served up to the Queen.

This is a woman whose own mother was in the Royal Box when The Beatles played Twist and Shout and John Lennon did his "rattle your jewellery" line. So you might think she could take something a bit stronger than Danny Boy.

But no one was taking any chances here.

I guess you only had to look at the audience arriving to realise that this was going to be an evening of, shall we say, unchallenging material. Many of those well-known faces had that unmistakable look of people who had seen Riverdance a fair few times -- and now they were about to see Riverdance with all the good things about Riverdance taken out.

But that's all right with them because they don't care about stuff like that.

For those of us who do, certain questions arise -- would anyone ever think of ringing up, say, Van Morrison at a time like this, just to see what he says?

I mean, he might tell them to bugger off and leave him alone, but then again he might say something like, "thank you for asking and of course I'd be honoured to perform before Her Majesty the Queen, didn't I know her sister Margaret when she used to hang out with the Stones?".

I mean, how great would Van have been, singing Days Like This?

We will never know. But personally I feel that the notion of Van in this setting is not nearly as weird as the notion that after a hard day on the old production line, the Queen and Prince Philip might be really looking forward to a few numbers from Westlife.

But then Van is not a smooth business-class entertainer -- and that is the way they went with this.

Paul Durcan -- how in the name of God did old Durcs not get the call? Were they afraid that he might be too good? I'm not suggesting that we should have put Sinead O'Connor and Shane MacGowan out there to do a duet... well, actually I am. After listening to all those tour guides murmuring away about our ogham stones and our ancient vellum manuscripts and quoting lines of old Irish poetry, I suspect that a swift blast of The Truth from messrs O'Connor and MacGowan might actually have gone down quite nicely in the royal enclosure.

Yes you'd remember that, to be sure, for a long time to come.

The rest is all forgotten, and better that way.

Sunday Independent