Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I Don't "Believe" It

The gap between the Irish Times and the Plain People of Ireland appears to be yawning into a chasm by the hour. The Times started out as the paper of the Ascendency, but in latter years it has been seen, as certainly liked to project itself, as the paper of the educated middle classes, the drivers of the Celtic Tiger. However, there are always little tell-tale traces in there that show that the Irish Times knows about as much about what goes on outside certain postal addresses in south Dublin as the Irish Civil Service knows about fiscal responsibility.

This is most prevalent in the Times' GAA coverage, of course. What could be more alien to the Times that "bogball," and the lurchers that follow it? A friend of An Spailpín Fánach takes a certain bitter glee in taking note of the false notes of the Irish Times' GAA coverage - referring to a team as a "XV," for instance; using "AN Other" instead of "Duine Eile" if a position on the team has yet to be filled as they wait on recovery from injury.

The lip of that great Gael will curl with extra venom as he scans the sports pages over his porridge this morning. The sports pages of this morning's IT announce that the new manager of the Limerick football team is "Mick 'Ned' O'Sullivan."

Well I'll "be" damned. How does this sort of thing get past the subs? An Spailpín Fánach can only guess that when Ms. Mulcahy was writing her infamous "People We All Know" column in that awful Saturday magazine that anyone with a double name, so common in the country, is below the salt in the Irish Times' world. And then there was Eileen Battersby's hilarious account last week of her visit to the Ballinasloe Horse Fair, and the goings-on that she saw there. What on Earth did she expect? Something out of Jane Austen?

The Mick "Ned" thing has me baffled. I read often about what a GAA guru Big Tom Humphries is on D'Olier St - could he not take them aside and explain that the "Ned" is not a nickname, but Mickey's father's name, put in Mickey's name to distinguish him for other Mickey O'Sullivans in the locale? Or does the Irish Times even care?