Monday 18 December 2017

Anna Nolan: High fives and novelty whistles – it’s just another day supporting Dublin

Dublin fans Carla and Michelle Clancy, from Knocklyon, Co. Dublin
Dublin fans Carla and Michelle Clancy, from Knocklyon, Co. Dublin
Host Tess Daly, Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff
Kanye West
Rob Kearney

Well, there was something for everyone last weekend. Music festivals, rugby, GAA, soccer, even The Late Late Show.

Whether you wanted to shout for your county or shout at Ryan Tubridy, no-one could complain that it was boring.

I had the pleasure of getting to see the Dublin-Mayo match. It was a last-minute treat and one of the best days out that I’ve had in a long time. 

But it wasn’t necessarily the game in the stadium that made it special – more what I encountered before and after.

Myself and my friend were running a little late (as we had watched the England-Ireland rugby match), so when we hit Summerhill we joined the sprinting fans with only 10 minutes before throw-in.


It was amazing to be part of hundreds of jogging latecomers bedecked in blue, and red and green.

When we reached our seats the ball was thrown in the air. The usual thing happened with the Dub supporters. We sat back (like the team) and took things handy.

While the Mayo fans were jumping, screaming, cheering and applauding, we were sitting complacent, waiting on the fire to erupt in the second half. My friend thinks us Dubs are cocky. She’s probably right.

At half-time I looked around. There were families from both counties sitting beside each other.

There was a chap sitting beside me clapping for both teams. I know, weird.

When the second half started my inner foul-mouthed beast kicked off. Each time Dublin clocked up a score I had a new expletive to match it. The poor kids in front of me could have been on the Hill, with what they were hearing from me.

After the third Dublin goal I was high-fiving the poor unfortunates around me.

The Dublin win made the walk home all the sweeter. So much so that, as we were passing The Sunset House in Summerhill, I said: “Let’s go into this pub for a drink”.

My friend knew I was on a high and there was no stopping me, even though it was packed. In we went, and the locals were all buzzed up with match result.

I asked for a sauvignon blanc. “Ah here,” the barman said, “we just have white wine that we shove into a glass.” “That’ll do me thanks,” I said. 

We stood outside and a customer came out from the pub and said: “This is for you.” He handed me a mickey whistle. As in, a whistle in the shape of a mickey. It was that sort of day.

As we finished our drinks, the street was packed with Dublin and Mayo supporters.  The Dubs weren’t rubbing it in – there was just a warm, fuzzy feeling around Summerhill.

Last weekend was deadly. with many things to shout at – apart from the Late Late Show.

When you have days like the last few – cheering Dublin, Ireland or Grace Jones at Electric Picnic – it brings a smile to your face.


Strictly’s all about perfection, and our Daniel is perfect in his own wee way

Host Tess Daly, Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff

Host Tess Daly, Daniel O'Donnell and his dance partner Kristina Rihanoff

I interviewed the journalist Eddie Rowley a while back on the subject of Daniel O’Donnell. 

It was for the Pat Kenny In The Round show and we wanted to get a sense of Daniel when he was starting out. Eddie painted a picture of a hard-grafting perfectionist who knew he wanted to be a star from an early age. 

He also told how Daniel learned his craft when he was a young boy and mentioned the amount of time the singer would spend meeting his fans. 

Daniel also expected a level of perfection from his band and his singers. He gave the best and expected the best.

This reminded me of that scene from the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, when Jackson is rehearsing with his band. One of the guitarists keeps making a mistake on one of the riffs.


You could feel that the singer was getting more and more irritated. The guitarist eventually said to Jackson: “I’m getting there” Michael replied – with more than a tinge of anger – “Well, get there.”

So when I saw that Daniel O’Donnell was appearing on Strictly Come Dancing, I thought – here is a guy who will practise, practise, practise.

We have seen Daniel’s moves. He loves a little side step. He adores a twirl. When he does his jump – well, the ladies go bananas.

But we have never seen him do a tango, a full-on jive or any routine that demands lots of movement.

I have a feeling that he is going to do quite well in this competition, with partner Kristina Rihanoff. I don’t think it will simply be the ‘lady vote’.

I genuinely think that Daniel could be an Anton du Beke sort of mover. Graceful, not necessarily alpha male, but a touch of Fred Astaire.

I may be completely wrong, but I fancy his chances very much on foot of last Saturday’s show.

Expect to see some fabulous movin’ and shakin’ from our wee Daniel in the coming weeks.


Yes, we Kanye - or maybe not

Kanye West

I dislike Kanye West more and more as time goes by. The latest cause of my irritation was when he announced that he was going to run for US President in 2020. Never mind the fact that Kanye (pictured left on a, er, diplomatic mission to Paris Fashion Week) and Taylor Swift (inset) are BFFs now after his notorious stage invasion some time back.

The rapper, with his knowledge of domestic policies, social issues and international diplomacy, would be a great president, I’m sure.

Mind you, Kanye West voicing megalomaniac ambitions? Seems like his president remark is just par for the course for this guy. Next year: Kanye makes a play for  Master of the Universe.


Rugby to brighten up the autumn days

Rob Kearney

On SATURDAY week Ireland’s journey in the Rugby World Cup begins. First off Ireland v Canada. Then we play Romania, Italy and France.

So here come six solid weeks of rugby – even if you’re not mad about the sport it’s going to be hard not to get caught up in the excitement.

To be honest, I think it’s the perfect antidote to what was a rotten summer. The World Cup will take us nicely into winter before the big C arrives.

Now all that remains is for Joe Schmidt’s (inset) team to get to the final – over to you, lads!

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