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The black stuff

• As the world and his wife celebrate Arthur's Day and endeavour to paint the town black, as the various posters and TV ads exhort us to do, I'll seek the solace of one Oliver St John Gogarty (the writer, not the pub) and recall how this gregarious extrovert and wit described his favourite tipple, multitudinous pints of Arthur G: "Like dark sleep, it knits up the ravelled sleeve of care, and, what is an achievement, it wastes the time that might, if we were not drinking, be devoted to scheming, posing, hypocrisy, and money making."

And I'll probably continue to bask in the exploits of our Olympians and Paralympians, and as the porter continues to "run from the taps, with a head of yellow cream", Ill start to bore the assembled with my talk of how the very same Oliver St John Gogarty won a bronze medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris for his 1,100-word epic 'Ode to the Tailteann Games' .

Ranking with Jack B Yeats's silver for the 'Liffey Swim' (at the same Games) and Letitia Hamilton's bronze (in the oils and watercolour section the last time the Games were held in London), they represent a unique trinity of medals for the less than obvious Olympic pursuits.

If talking was an Olympic sport, Gogarty undoubtedly would have struck gold -- his above 'Ode to Arthur' might have put him in the reckoning.

Mark Lawler
Kilmainham, D8

Irish Independent