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Billy Keane: Glimmers of hope amongst the deluge of negative news

There will be no bad news in today's column. It's everywhere else. I took to listening to the death notices on Radio Kerry to escape the economy. There's a sense of relief when your name isn't read out and it's the one bit of bad news you know for certain you will never get to hear.

Yes, it's all good here today.

Last week we reported Setanta O hAilpin was taking the news of Sean Og's dismissal particularly badly, being so far away in Australia and all that. What does Setanta do, only hop on a plane to Cork and he was home by the weekend. Now that's what I call being there for your big brother.

And do you remember we told you of eight-year-old Adam O'Sullivan, star of 'the Late Late', who has had more than his fair share of medical set- backs? Well, his CD 'Whiskey in the Jar', with the High Kings, is heading for a whack-for-my-daddio No 1. All the proceeds are for Temple Street Children's Hospital. Adam will lead Munster out against Australia in Thomond. It wouldn't surprise me if he sang at half- time. Come to think of it, he might even play.

Sad news for sure about Paddy Mullins, but the good story is his life and the way he lived it. Condolences to the Mullins family, who are keeping the name alive and kicking on.


It seems a bit late in the day to be offering condolences to Michael Duignan, who lost his wife last year. Brian Jaffray writes Duignan's story in 'Voices From Croke Park'. We have seldom been so moved by a piece of writing. The book is a gem. All proceeds go to the GPA player welfare fund.

There are a lot of good people out there who are helping out. Instead of 'I'm alright Jack', it's 'are you alright Jack?'.

But I'm finding it very hard to write anything good about last week's Test against Australia in Limerick.

I heard on good authority that both sides were warned that it would have been the end of the series if either team were bold. The warning was too severe. Hence the tip footie we witnessed last week. The good news is Ireland are so embarrassed by their display, they will be much better at Croke Park tonight.

Here are a few positive motivational aids for Anthony Tohill: Where were the Australians when we needed them in 1916? Who was it shot Ned Kelly? And what about the infamous Dingoroos who beat us up four years ago when the series was almost scrapped?

The Aussies are still making us watch 'Home and Away' and 'Neighbours' and seducing our innocent young emigrant sons with pints of Jacobs Creek and wet T--shirts and forcing our unrequited lambs to die uneaten on the mountains. Or is that the New Zealanders? Ah sure they're all the same.

Also from Limerick comes the good news that Paul O'Connell is back in training. Micheal O Muircheartaigh has come (briefly) out of retirement. Maybe Babs Keating will manage Tipp in 2011 . . .

Wayne Rooney swallowed his pride and took £200,000 week. Wayne, any chance you could send on just Tuesday's pay?

So all is well in Wayne's world.

And it gets better. We came across this line from Henry Ford: "Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." So all we have do is pay off a billion a day and all our troubles will be over by Tuesday week.

One more billion will take us to Wednesday week and pay up for the Aviva, the Irish Boxing Association, the League of Ireland, the price of rugby tickets, the Galway County Board, runaway bookie Dixie Dalton, Connacht rugby and Bohemians, with enough left over to send all 32 counties to Playa Del Ingles for 'winter training.'

And there's an hour extra in bed tomorrow morning. Now this piece of good news comes with a warning from your GAA club. Nine months is the gestation period for us humans, although with the way the government is cutting back on the maternity services, that'll be down to six before long. November plus nine brings us to August. Not the best time for GAA age limits, which begin in January. You are therefore denying your child that second year on the minors. Turn on Misery TV, that won't be long knocking the loving out of ye.

Speaking of miserable TV, do you remember 'Little House on the Prairie'? It used to be shown on wet Sundays when there was nothing to do back in the days when Listowel was without a swimming pool. Come to think of it, Listowel still hasn't a swimming pool.


The Ingalls who lived on the Prairie were lovely people. I would be sitting there in our sitting room after a day spent kicking lumps into the lads, and maybe even cursing or cogging Monday's sums or sneakin' the cellotape off the embargoed-till-Xmas box of USA and then resealing the tin after doin' a line of Bourbon Creams.

There was never a word said but we would look at each other guiltily when the Ingalls kids would bring their plates up to the sink without being asked and thank their oul' fella for allowing them to chop up the wood at 23 below with frozen stalactites of snot sticking out of their their little red noses like walrus tusks.

I grew to hate the Ingalls family. It was because of all that goodness. It made me feel bad about myself. That's why there's so much bad news on the TV. If it was all good, us less-than-perfect models might feel even lesser than perfect and switch off.

I'm calling for a national product recall of all of us. The grieving and anger were necessary and absolutely justified but it can also be used as an excuse for not moving on.

Here's another quote I came across lately. This one is from the New Zealand writer, Katherine Mansfield.

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only good for wallowing in."

Then again, would Katherine have said that if she was a Cat?

Irish Independent