Michael O'Doherty: Sepia-tinted ramblings of Ward and bitter Hook
IT'S a great disappointment when one of your childhood heroes turns into a middle-aged bore, but that's what has happened with former rugby star Tony Ward.
Tony, you see, along with money-loving, pantomime pundit George Hook, has been giving grief to current star Luke Fitzgerald, suggesting that Luke is too fond of the limelight, too concerned about hair gel, and too focused on his Friday column for the Herald, with the result that he's become distracted from his game. Which is, of course, bollox.
Particularly when you consider most of our rugby professionals do look after themselves and many of them, unlike Luke, inhabit Twitter space.
Sport should welcome insights from within the camp, opinion based on immediate experience, rather than the sepia-tinted ramblings of Hook and Ward.
We shouldn't expect anything more from bitter old party pooper Hooky. He never had to worry about a dip in form during his sporting exploits, unless you consider shoving cream cakes down your throat to be a 'sport'.
Ward, on the other hand, should know better. Though a hugely talented player, his own career was marked by inconsistent displays.
No one, however, blamed his erratic form on a fondness for glossy magazines or Twitter, because they didn't exist at the time. It was simply called "loss of form".
But there's an old sporting saying that says form is temporary, class is permanent.
Hook and Ward should remember that, as well as that other, slightly lesser-known saying -- there's no fart like an envious, bloated, washed-up old fart.
What's this? All our best bikini models are to leave in the Flight of the Girls
ON September 14, 1607, some 90 noblemen fled Ireland for the safer, sunnier climes of Spain, following their defeat by England in the Nine Years' War. It was an event which became known forever as 'The Flight of the Earls', and though they planned to regroup and return later, they never did, thus resulting in the end of the 400-year-old Gaelic political order.
May 22, 2011, looks like being an equally momentous day in Irish history. For on that day, Ireland's best-known photocall models -- Georgia Salpa and Nadia Forde -- together with Vogue Williams, Daniella Moyles and a few others of Assets' finest, are following in the illustrious footsteps of the earls who sailed four centuries before them.
They, too, are venturing to Spain -- Marbella, actually -- but instead of fleeing foreign oppressors, they're heading south for two equally seismic reasons. Firstly, three of them will be there to recover from broken hearts, with Georgia, Vogue and Nadia all having recently broken up with their long-term boyfriends.
They're also planning to attend the legendary Nikki Beach White Party, which traditionally heralds the start of the summer season, and finds revellers both drinking champagne and being sprayed with free bottles of the stuff.
And after her recent dalliance with Brian McFadden, you could argue that the gorgeous Vogue is in more need that most of a good washing down.
The girls' absence from Ireland is intended to be short-lived, just like it was for the earls way back when, but who knows?
Perhaps they'll discover that wearing a bikini without catching goosebumps is possible, even pleasurable?
Perhaps their hearts will be stolen by a young property developer, who has discovered an undeveloped part of the Spanish coast that he is now calling "the European Brittas"? And they may never return.
But even if it's only a brief exile, this holiday throws the Irish photocall industry into chaos, depriving PR companies of the 'Top Guns' -- the creme de la creme who are so expert at knowing how to stand in Stephen's Green in a bikini, holding an oversized mobile phone and bending one leg, all the while smiling at a camera.
It's a chaos from which Ireland may never recover.
Sadly, May 22 may forever be known for 'The Flight of the Girls'.
How will tacky O'Toole afford his kebabs now?
WHILE the Katy French case still rumbles through the courts, this week will at least have given some crumb of comfort to her family and friends.
Reproduced here is photographic evidence of the fate of the tacky, exploitative book about her death, penned by the world's worst journalist, Jason O'Toole. And boy, reduced from €14.99 to just 99c, is it a sad fate...
The book's failure will not only hit O'Toole and his publishers, but also kebab shops throughout Ireland, who would have hoped to benefit from portly Jason spending his royalties there on his meal of choice.
The Irish court system may be slow, but at least the Irish public have had their say, and in condemning this repulsive book to bargain-bin hell, their verdict has been swift, and justice had been served.
There remains only one problem.
Because let's be honest, even at 99c, it's still over-priced...
Late Late 'bitch fight'
IN the 'bitch-fight' between Paul Costelloe and Neil Delamere on last Friday's Late Late, it's hard to know who came out worse.
On the one hand, you had the poncy, superior air of Costelloe. On the other, you had the inane, infantile humour of Delamere.
The only noticeable thing about Delamere is that since he left The Republic Of Telly, the show is better, and its audience is up.
Now that's funny...