IT OCCURS TO ME: One on the chin for Mullane, and Boris isn't impressing either

Another fascinating week in the world of sport and politics

It Occurs to Me

New British PM Boris Johnson

There’s no doubt that both hurling semi-finals were passionate and entertaining.
I saw Kilkenny’s win over Limerick but was driving as Tipperary were playing Wexford.
I eventually turned it off, but not before Marty Morrissey’s co-commentator John Mullane had made a bizarre reference to the Wexford goalscorer, Lee Chin. Chin is Irish born to a Malaysian Chinese father and Irish mother and has spoken out about racial abuse he and his family have received during matches and on the streets.
Mullane talked awkwardly about martial arts in the context of Chin’s name and it was uncomfortable and silly stupid...but Marty seemed to enjoy it.
Although it made me squirm, it was not the only reason I eventually switched to Newstalk for occasional updates.
Mullane is so OTT in his hysteria that it actually takes away from rather than adds to the commentary.
Ending each exclamation with the breathless “Marty!” drives me around the sliotar. (And yes, I know many people love him!).
Marty is excitable enough and quite honestly, he needs a co-commentator who doesn’t sound like he’s been wound up for an hour with an ould starting handle from a 1950’s Massey Ferguson. I know he’s a legend in Waterford for his famous “I loves me county, boy!” and his threat to “jump on a horse in the nude and go down the Quays” if Waterford beat Galway in the 2017 Final. Thanks be to God we were spared that! Lady Godiva couldn’t hurl but she could birl on a horse.

I worked with Audrey Carville many years ago in BBC Radio Foyle. A native of Castleblayney, she won the Radio News Broadcaster of the year in 2004 with Radio Ulster and is one of the nicest people in the business.
She is superb on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland so I felt for her last Monday morning, as she interviewed a woman called Orla who runs a blog about Love Island.
Orla was excited...saying something to the effect that “Imagine Love Island on Morning Ireland!”
Imagine indeed...and I further imagine that this item was producer imposed and that Audrey was delighted to squeeze it into a few minutes before 9am, just as the programme ended.
Last week in Lanzarote, bars advertised the showing of this tripe and you could hear a pin drop as you passed.
Many of our national newspapers have columnists try to outdo one another in their ‘analysis’ of the programme and how Maura Higgins from Longford will be a ‘star’.
God between us and the empty heads who find this entertaining and...wait for it...relevant!
The Washington Post last week had a headline which read: “How trashy TV made children dumber and enabled a wave of populist leaders.”
A pity Maura hasn’t British or US citizenship, as she is actually eminently qualified to become either US President or UK Prime Minister.
The lines between reality TV and serious politics are becoming increasingly blurred and entertainment rather than substance is the order of the day.
If Maura Higgins wants to know how fickle life’s fortunes can become, she need look no further than Longford town. Six years ago, the local Business Forum took a notion to rebrand their town ‘Little Mayo’ to cash in on Mayo’s forthcoming All-Ireland Final. The whole episode was as squirm-inducing as Love Island.
One Twitter post read: “Can we not hold onto whatever dignity we have left?” Because Mayo supporters traditionally travelled through Longford on their way to Dublin, thus availing of the ‘chippies’ etc, it was decided not only to rebrand the town, but to rename some of the streets, e.g. Main Street would become ‘Aidan O’Shea Boulevard’ for the duration!
The Longford Leader reported that the town was planning to hold events such as an 'Aidan O'Shea haircut competition’. I kid you not!
Anyway, it backfired and locals were mortified in the main and by 2016, Longford County Council removed roadside signs wishing Mayo luck in the final. Bi curamach, Maura! Fifteen minutes of fame is indeed short lived, even in these times.
All that being said, the Michael Murphy Boulevard has a nice ring to it (Letterkenny to Glenswilly road) and surely the Muckross to Kilcar route deserves the McHugh Motorway tag.
An interesting wee footnote: John O'Mahony's second stint in charge of Mayo came to an end in late June 2010, when Longford, then in Division 4, beat them by a point in a First Round Qualifier.
To date it is their only meeting in the championshi, so Little Mayo enjoy a 100% championship record over their masters.
Meanwhile, we have to play ‘Big Mayo. on Saturday.
“But, hark! a voice like thunder spake; The North West's awake! the North West's awake!
Sing, Oh! Hurrah! let Mayo quake; We'll watch till death for Conaill’s sake!”

“Why isn’t he called Murphy like all the rest of them?”
Hard to believe any UK PM would utter such crass words, but Boris, like Trump, is not only immune from the resultant criticism...their support base is indeed a ‘basket of adoring deplorables. They play to the gallery, knowing that nothing matters, save the ignorant utterance and subsequent adulation from their fellow thickos.
When Boris insulted Leo, he insulted us all, and sometimes you have to play down and dirty to contend with such buffoonery.
In other words, Leo should have responded: “Away and f--- yourself!” or somesuch, and his ratings - currently not great - would go through the roof.
Ok,’s not parliamentary language, but Brexit has hardened moderate Irish attitudes. What ye reap, so shall ye sow!
Boris should not be surprised that Sinn Fein no longer has a monopoly on those with diehard nationalist views in Ireland.
So called middle-of-the-road voters are rightly cheesed off with this patronising stuff.
When someone asked the great Samuel Beckett if he was English, his dry response was "Au contraire!"
Sam, like Sam Maguire, was a patriotic Irish Protestant. Not that Boris and co would understand the significance of either Sam.
After all, “Why aren’t they called Murphy like the rest of them?”

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