Thomas Molloy: Brian O'Driscoll – a better punt than politicians or poets
ONE of the most mind-numbing summer jobs I ever had involved counting foreign currency notes for Thomas Cook in London. While the job was dull, currency notes themselves are interesting because they reveal an enormous amount about a country's heroes, aspirations and dreams.
Developing countries put sky scrapers and other signs of longed-for progress on the notes, while developed countries such as Britain and France tend to dwell on past military triumphs and the decades when they ruled the globe.
The Irish notes, for there were real Irish notes back then, involved a curious mix of Celtic designs, 19th Century political leaders and Sisters of Mercy founder Catherine McAuley and a picture of the Mater Hospital in Dublin which was built by her order.