Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 25 February 2018

Billy Keane: Easter Monday the perfect day to invade Fairyhouse

Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan TD. Photo:
Minister of State for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan TD. Photo:
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

It was bad form all the same. As the teachers used to say to us when we were bold and did things like set the school on fire,"I can't turn my back for a second."

I know most of you are worn out from 1916. What's getting to me is the amount of people who claim to have relatives in the GPO. That's in the GPO, back in 1916, and not the crowd who are there today closing down country post offices.

There was this lad who used to come into our place when I was a young lad. (We were reared free range like the chickens, always running in and out of the pub. Sometimes when the mother had to mind one of the younger kids I would be press-ganged in behind the counter. I was a fully-trained barman at ten.)

This man was a bit of a boaster and he was always telling me how good he was at football long ago, beating Dick Fitzgerald sick and telling Con Brosnan if he stepped inside the 14-yard line his mother wouldn't recognise him.

There was no one there to contradict The Boaster. Most of his contemporaries were either dead or doting. So I was telling the oul' fella who told me The Boaster was useless beyond belief and wouldn't kick snow off a rope.

Same thing with 1916. Who is going to say your great grandfather wasn't there. Nobody at all is the answer. All the witnesses are dead.

But, as were saying before wandering off on a tangent, there were many, and they weren't all British either, who considered it was bad form by the rebels to go spoiling the day out at the races .

"We can't turn our back for a second and off ye go having a war" was the view of the majority.


You see The Rising took place on Easter Monday. And what did the rebels do only rise up while the soldiers were up at Fairyhouse watching the Irish Grand National. It was a good plan if there were more rebels. If all the relatives were right, then we would have won easily with the 2.5 million Irish troops who were in the GPO. All this leads us to a shock announcement.

But first we will tell you about the new sport of speleology which is taking place right outside our front door. We have huge potholes in William Street. It used to be that they were as deep as holy water fonts but now people are disappearing down the sink holes every day.

This was a huge election issue and Jimmy Deenihan was wrongly blamed. Jimmy did all he could to fix the road but for some reason the work wasn't done in time for the election. Enquiries are ongoing.

So the people of Kerry rise up while Jimmy is away trying to help our emigrants. Remember them? Deenihan, who won only five All-Irelands and captained us to win the four-in-a-row and keeps his jersey in drawer.

So when the Government tell him he can't go to the United States last week, he pays for the trip himself to make sure the emigrant projects he was involved in have been completed.

Deenihan lost votes when he went to Berkeley to help the kids who were killed and injured. He missed a funeral at home while he was trying to help out with the funerals in Berkeley. So there's no votes in emigrants and there never has been because emigrants have no votes.

But there are votes in potholes which is why we are holding the first annual Listowel Speleology Open this Easter. And guess what? There hasn't been so much as a teaspoon full of gravel tossed into the potholes since the election.

But back to the big news which might well be good big news. I have been fired from tipping horses. We gave you just one tip in this column for Cheltenham. It was Gods Own. He was 33/1 and finished fourth but alas even in these days when the bookies are coming up with offers like you get your money back if your horse comes home before teatime, there was no pay-out. I was summarily dismissed.

Men who wouldn't pick the winner of the North Korean general election cleaned up at Cheltenham and I managed to lose.

So it is I've been fired as a tipster I was going to try to hang on until after Fairyhouse and was sort of hoping to come up with the winner of the Irish Grand National at a huge price.

I do fancy one but as I was saying I've been sacked as a racing pundit and such are the imponderable Rules of Tipping, it is well nigh certain the horse will romp home.

I had a sad plan. I was going to call up the boss straight after the National and say did you back him? Then he would feel terrible at having deprived the readers of a winner and having lost out on a nice touch himself, in these challenging times.

This plan was hatched while I was cleaning the gents in our pub after the misdirected spray from a man with a less-than-perfect aim dotted the wall. And to think just last week I was having a drink with the most powerful man in the world in the White House. The one in Washington that is and not the excellent poetry venue in Limerick.

Ah well. I did pick up a handy trick though in a pub in New York. The barman told me they use an electric toothbrush doused in disinfectant to clean under the rim of the toilets. Be careful though not to mix up the toothbrush with the one you use for cleaning your teeth.

And as I was pulling off my rubber gloves, it dawned on me that it might be a good time to invade Fairyhouse what with all the people being in Dublin on Easter Monday to show the kids where their ancestors fought for Ireland in 1916.

Irish Independent

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