PAT'S PATCH: Boris; and some tales of the supernatural

Pat McArt - Speaking his mind on the big topics

Pat's Patch

Boris Johnson - car crash interview

I have been involved in creative writing classes with a group of women in Derry for a couple of years now and I have openly said it has been one of the great experiences of my life. They are absolutely brilliant. I am learning more from them than they are from me.
One woman is a fabulous storyteller; she’s so good she should be a professional.
One day she had me totally spellbound when she told the story of a strange incident that happened in her family when her mother gave birth to a premature baby way back in the 1940’s.
The child was seriously ill from the outset but the mother wouldn’t let it die; she thought that she could will it to live. Back then that was never going to happen with a seriously premature baby.
It all came to a head one night when an old neighbour woman came in. She saw that the baby was near death so she told the father to go get a priest. This was late at night and there were no taxis or buses in those days so he had to hot foot it to a priest’s house which was miles away. As he hurried along – he was probably running because of the situation he was in – a car pulled up beside him and a man rolled down the window and asked what the problem was and could he help.
The father explained the situation and the man said ‘hop in I’ll take you there.’
They got the priest and rushed back to the house. As the father was exiting the car the man called him back and handed him a fiver remarking, “I think you’ll be needing this in the days ahead.”
My storytelling friend explained that at that time work was very scarce and people survived from day to day never mind from week to week. Her father, needless to say, was very glad of the money, and he asked the man for his address so that he could repay him when things settled down.
The poor child died, and so a few weeks later when the father had gathered up the money to repay the stranger he headed out to find him at the address he had been given.
With us all sitting totally hooked she stated: “It was way, way outside the city. When he arrived he noted the big drive way up to a big fancy house. This was, obviously, a well off family.
“My daddy went to the door, rang the bell and a maid answered. He asked for the man of the house and was ushered into a sitting room to await him. A short time later a more elderly woman came in with tea and scones or whatever and had tea with him.
“She asked my father, ‘What’s this about? Tell me your story…”
“My daddy proceeded to tell his tale of the night my sister died and the help he had been given by the man with the car and that he was there to return the money.
“She then told my daddy: “Keep the money. That was my husband you met. You are not the first person to come here with a story like this. There have been others. We had a son. He died in childhood and my husband never got over it. He died of a broken heart not long after our son passed.
“He has been dead more than 20 years…”

Joined in
Another woman joined in with another story of a man from Canada on a visit home calling to a house where he spent his childhood. He was accompanied by his wife. He knocked on the door, explained that he was feeling nostalgic and was invited in.
He got into conversation with the people in the house and said that there was a sadness because he and his wife couldn’t have a family.
Five/six years passed and the Canadian returned to the same house, knocked on the door and the old woman answered. She explained that her husband had passed away but invited him in.
As they entered the house the wee boy, who was about three, walked right up to the wall where there were a whole host of family photos and said to his father, ‘that’s the man who comes to talk to me every night.”
The father tried to shush him but he repeated the same line …he was pointing straight to the photo of the old man who had said to the visitor five/six years earlier, ‘the next time you come here you will bring your son with you.”
The woman who told this story swears - like the woman who told the first - that it’s 100% true. The old couple were her mother and father.


I sat and watched the Andrew Neill interview with Boris Johnson on BBC on Friday night and all I can say is if he’s the brightest and the best politician the Tory Party has to offer then not only God help the Tory Party but God help the country when he takes over as prime minister.
Arrogant and smart arsed he did a car crash interview where he set a trap for himself and then walked right into it. It takes a special kind of stupidity to do that.
Unbelievable is the only word that I can think of….


I checked this out - Dublin GAA has received nearly €15.5m. more in grants from the GAA than any other county over the past decade. They are way out in the number one spot, Donegal comes in at 27th with a measly €574,738.
Just to put it in perspective: in one year, 2016, Dublin received 14% of the total allocation. Work that out; there were 31 other counties looking for a share of the remaining 86%. Hardly fair, is it?
Nowadays watching the Leinster football final is a complete waste of time. It’s a game akin to a race between thoroughbreds and donkeys irrespective of which county eventually ends up in opposition to the Dubs. Is that even good for the GAA?
I don’t know about you but something just strikes me as odd the way everything is stacked in Dublin's favour, not least the massive advantage of getting to play all their big games at home in Croke Park.
It’s like Man Utd being given home advantage in every big game involving Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool or whoever. Would that same equitable in the Premiership? Like hell it would.
So why is it being allowed to happen in the GAA? (All about revenue I presume.)

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