Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Making History

Skies over Ireland are completely clear of air traffic for the first time in a long time. Restrictions ovet air space are on place until 6am tomorrow morning and anyone wishinh to travel need to check with the proper air authorities. Quite an historic day to be honest and what a glorious day at that! Check out this link for more info on the Icelandic volcano: but the basic info is that there is some ash in the sky that may make its way over Ireland and on into Europe.

And want could this mean for the carbon-conscious? Flights all over western Europe have been cancelled for at least a day – I’m sure the Eco-warriors are delighted and will probably try to claim that the volcano was their idea!


Courts are Driving me Crazy

Two unrelated court cases transpired in two different countries, one concerns a bad case of driving and the other centres around an insurance company.

The latter is about a North Carolina man who purchased some fairly expensive cigars and insured them against fire in 1997. So the guy smokes his entire collection of rare, insured cigars and before making one premium payment he files a claim against the insurance company. His claim was that he lost his cigars in a ‘series of small fires’ and since the insurance company refused to pay out, he sued them. Of course the judge ruled that since the insurance company actually insured the cigars against fire damage it was obligated to pay for the man’s loss. Rather than cover the costs of a lengthy trial, the insurance company agreed to pay the sum of $15,000 to the man for the loss of his cigars. After the man cashed his cheque, the insurers had him arrested on 24 accounts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the earlier case, he was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms.

The former took place a little closer to home in Roscommon, Ireland. A 19-year-old was arrested for dangerous driving on the 4th of July 2009. His charges being: on July 4th – dangerous driving on two accounts, driving without a licence, driving as a Learner Driver unaccompanied and on January 13 – driving with no licence, driving with no insurance, driving with no tax, having two bald tyres, driving without a warning device fitted to an MPV, front identification marks not properly distinguishable, driving without Learner plates and driving as a Learner Driver unaccompanied. He was also charged with not displaying a parking disc. The star witness for the court was a Garda who witnessed everything: he saw the car veer very close to a group of students who had to jump out of the way. When the officer of the law questioned the driver, he was told that he thought it was ‘a bit of fun’ and that he didn’t think it was dangerous. The Garda also said that the tax had been out since the previous August of 2008 and when the insurance company were called the police were informed that a policy had been taken out in November but had expired the next month.

The best part comes next – the lawyer tried to get the guy off the hook by stating that his client didn’t know the danger of cars and that he didn’t know his insurance was lapsed as his family were meant to be paying for it. Luckily this guy is off our roads for the next four years and whether or not he goes to prison depends on how well he does in his school exams.

One of these stories is untrue and you can judge for yourself which it is but to be honest, both cases seem plausible. What really concerns me is the ruling by the court. In circumstance you have an insane insurance case that, when you take into consideration all the frivolous suits you see filed in American courts, is actually believable. The other has a teenager driving recklessly and only getting a 4 year disqualification – surely after endangering the lives of 20 students he should have been sent to prison or at the very least had his licence removed indefinitely!

Halloween in the West of Ireland

Looks like Ballycastle to me…

Space Avalanche

Oliver Callan Christmas Eve Special Appearance 2009

Oliver Callan from RTE’s Nob Nation at a special Christmas Eve appearance on Grafton Street. Impressions include Jedward, Enda Kenny, Louis Walsh, George Hook and Eamonn Dunphy

The Hand of Gaul



an ancient region in W Europe, including the modern areas of N Italy, France, Belgium, and the S Netherlands: consisted of two main divisions, one part S of the Alps (Cisalpine Gaul) and another part N of the Alps (Transalpine Gaul).

a native or inhabitant of France.



1. Impudence, effrontery
2. Something bitter to endure

Synonyms: nerve, audacity, brass, cheek

It’s the 103rd minute of the match. You’re in Extra-Time. The ball comes over the head of an offside Escude (who apparently was not interfering with play) and looks to be trickling over the line for a goal kick. You decide to handle the ball, stopping it from going out of play. You handle the ball again as you set yourself for the 2-pointer into the basketball net. You think, “Wait, this isn’t basketball – this is football and outfield players are not allowed to handle the ball”, so you let go of the football and roll it across the box for your fellow Frenchman to tap the ball in for the winning goal, in spite of the fact that the Irish defence have stopped playing and are claiming hand-ball. You are a Gillette poster-boy. You have endorsed Nike, Reebok and Pepsi.  You are a world-renowned footballer and celebrity.  You are an advocate for Fair Play on the field. You used your hands to control a football.
You cheated.

Unsurprisingly this has been the talk of football and sporting fans the world over. Everybody has an opinion on what happened on Wednesday 18th November 2009 – needless to say, as an Irishman I feel what happened is a disgrace. Thierry Henry should be ashamed of himself and has even come out to the media and apologised for his actions, although to me it sounds like he’s trying to cover his read end, (for the story click here) but that’s football and rules cannot be changed – the referee’s decision on the field is final. Unfortunately the outcome of that decision is rather unsettling.


“Neither the French government nor the Irish government should interfere in the functioning of the international federation,” Francois Fillon, the French Prime Minister said. Didn’t expect that! Fillon is obviously thinking that this is a sporting matter and therefore is the concern of the proper governing body, FIFA, but alas it has turned into a political matter. The grumblings of the past have affected a lot of Irish people who are unwilling to forgive and forget and the fallout of the latest development could be severe: there are rumours of boycotting all French products including food and clothing, and of boycotting any product endorsed by Mr. Henry. This could lead to problems in trade, import and export between France and Ireland and even the Continent and Ireland. Naturally the refusal of the French Government to do anything about the incident will not help relations between the two countries either.


Henry has been the subject of racial abuse in the past having some slurs directed at him by the then Spanish coach Luis Aragonés. This prompted the Nike Stand Up Speak Up campaign against racism with Henry at the forefront. Unfortunately there is a group of people who are directing racial abuse at the Frenchman, as a result tarnishing everyone who is annoyed at Henry with the same brush. I do not condone racial abuse whatsoever and it has no place in a sports environment.


I have been perusing the website since Wednesday and I have yet to see any mention of Henry’s hand-ball to date (Nov 20th). It’s as if it never happened! I’m not surprised given Sepp Blatter’s recent announcements; mainly the new play-off format (to ensure the big teams go to the World Cup) introduced near the end of the qualifying campaign. I was even less surprised to hear that they refuse to take any action on the matter: “In the reply, FIFA states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed. As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final.” So why didn’t you pick a more experienced referee for such a high-stakes game?

Naturally, if they got off their asses and did something it would contradict the rules of the game and the general FIFA Fair Play ethos. Wait…Fair Play? FIFA endorse playing fairly? This is a quote from FIFA’s website: “The generic concept of fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football. It represents the positive benefits of playing by the rules, using common sense and respecting fellow players, referees, opponents and fans.”

Oh right…so Henry’s actions are acceptable? [insert bemused tone here]

The Referee’s Decision is Final

This is the rule in the book and it doesn’t get any clearer than that. This is also the reason that there cannot be a rematch. As much as I want one and as much as I believe it must happen for the integrity of the game, it cannot due to this rule. Bear in mind the precedent that would be set if there was a rematch – any decision that someone doesn’t like could be questioned and a rematch called for – it would be chaotic. What could and should happen is what the boys over in the Rugby clubs have – video replay and judging. FIFA have brought in extra referees lately and even given the old lino a new name – Assistant Referee. Why not have an Assistant Referee watching the game on a monitor and viewing the replays for dodgy decisions?

The Internet

It’s the fastest and easiest tool for freedom of speech and the internet is absolutely flying with the Henry Hand-ball issue. Numerous Facebook pages were set up minutes after the event with the most popular ones being the “We Irish Hate Thierry Henry (the cheat)” and “Petition to have Ireland v France Replayed”. There are over 85,000 members on the former and over 240,000 on the latter – quite staggering considering there are also thousands of comments on both groups. Wikipedia have had to close their Thierry Henry page to editing due to vandalism! Since writing this the “We Irish Hate Thierry Henry” page has been closed by Facebook. Henry has become the most hated man in Ireland, ironically his predecessor, Brian Cowen, is in the limelight for the right reason – trying to get the match re-staged!

Henry himself mentioned on his Twitter page that he was sorry if he hurt someone and suggested that blame is solely on the referee – but Thierry, could you not have held you hand up and said to the ref “hey, I cheated there – cancel the goal”, instead of keeping your hand low and cheating the game?

Dave Jones, a friend of mine, expressed his fear of the internet describing the future as “daunting”, talking about the various groups and pages that were set up and edited. But he also said something quite profound: “It really is a moment that could define Henry for all the wrong reasons, and what a player for it to happen to – a future ambassador of the game!”

Anyway, if the hand was on the other foot, would we be complaining as much? Probably not, but it’s still shocking to see such an injustice in that game I love so much.


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Culchie Dictionary

A- Arseways = Mishmash, total mess
B- Bang On = Correct, perfect
Banjaxed = Broken, severely damaged
Bogger = A person of rural extraction
Boyo = Male juvenile
Brutal = Awful, terrible
Bjore = Cork term for woman
C- Close = the air is humid
Craic = Fun
Culchie = A person whos birthplace is beyond Dublin city limits
D- Deadly = Great, brilliant, fantastic
Doss = Failure to attend school/work during specified hours
Dry Yoke = Someone of limited social skills
E- Eat the head off = To complain about in an aggressive manner
Eejit = Person of limited mental capacity
F- Fair Play! = Well done!
Feck Off = You are not serious
Fiek = North Mayo term for a good looking male
Fierce = Very, extremely
Fine Thing = Attractive man or woman
Full Shilling(not the) = Mentally challenged
G- Gaf = Home
Gee-eyed = Having partaken of large quantity of alcohol
Get off with = Be successful with a romantic advance
Go on out of dat! = I am not in agreement with your suggestion (Dublin Vernacular)
Gobsheen: Person of below average IQ
Gurrier = Hooligan
H- Hang Sangwich = A fine Sandwich
Heavy Close = the air is quite humid
Hop = Play truant from school
Howaya = Hello, hi, literally: How are you
J- Jackeen = A rural persons name for a dubliner
Jackmahoney = A rural persons slang term for a kinsman (can be an insult)
Jack = Version of Jackmahoney, used when time is short
Jacks = Toilet
Jammers = Extremely crowded
Janey Mack = expression of utter disbelief
Jo Maxi = Taxi
K- Kip = A dump (relating to one’s abode)
Knackered = Very tired
L- Langer = of Cork origin. Various meanings: Eejit, one’s close compatriot, love term, insult, term for the male genital organ
Lash = to rain heavily/attractive woman
Leg It = To flee rapidly
Luder = Culchie term for someone being an ass
Lúdramán = Irish Gaeilge term for Luder
M- Mankey = Filthy, disgusting
Mill = Publin brawl
Mitch = To play truant
Mot = Girlfriend
N- Nip = Nude
O- Omadhán = Irish Gailge term for Eejit
Oul’wan = Mother
Oul’fella = Father
P- Paralytic = So over the alcohol limit one passes out
Plastered = Very drunk
Puss = sulky face
S- Scanger = Chav from Dublin (north)
Scarlet = Embarrassed, blushing
Scratcher = Bed
Scrubber = Woman of little sophistication
Sham = Gypsy from Galway
Shattered = Very tired, requiring sleep
Shhtate of you = You don’t look well
Shhtuff for ya = You deserved that
Slag = Make fun of
Slapper = Female of low morals and poor taste in clothing
T- Thick = Extremely stupid
W- Wagon = Unattractive woman
Wahu = North Mayo slang term for Hello
Wrecked = Extremely tired /ugly
Y Yer wun = Female whose name is unknown
Yar wa?! = Alleged method of proposing to ones sweetheart on Dublins northside

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Culchie Phrasebook

The Culchie Phrase-Book. It is believed this originated in the
west of Ireland. Particularly Mayo and Galway and a little from Tipperary.

The following is a list of words and phrases that can often be heard
in Culchiedom :

Eeejit :
Somebody less intelligent than oneself. i.e. a
complete fool altogether

G’wan ta feck autt a dat:
Please go away

A shlap in the face of a brick:
To be struck square in the face with a brick

A soft day :
Miserable weather

Hardy man :

Someone who can survive waking up buck naked in
filthy ditch water on January the first after a year long drinking session

Machine :
General purpose term used to refer to any man made implement more advanced than a pitch fork

Hang sangwich :
Salty ham surrounded by two slices stale brown bread. A buffer of cheap margarine, preferably Blue-Band (half inch thick) must separate the ham from the bread. A top class hang sangwige
will of course contain a sprinkling of sand.

A paka ha tayho :
A bag of crisps

Finches, ave’u the :
Have you the Finches orange soda

Any girl an older man would like to get his leg over.

Land Rover :
Usually a ford escort van that has seen better days.

Mighty :
Indicative of something being very good

Craic :
fun, as in Mighty Craic or The Craic was Mighty

Locked :
very drunk

After a few shcoops :
reasonably drunk

Flahed :
a state of extreme exhaution, usually brought on by
consecutive locked nights

Fien :
Man whose name is unknown, or unremembered at the present time.

Fine piece of shtuff :
used to describe a person considered attractive.

Yoke :
Just about anything whose proper description doesn’t spring to mind

Fierce :
It is, yes.

Someone very high in the “Eeejit” stakes but will
generally be a tourist or perhaps from Dublin.

Yoke-m-abus :
Any form of motorised transport

An onmercifull fay-ad :
A very large Sunday dinner

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