Qatar Blockade – Update


Way back mid-June, MB published one of the most succinct, informative and entertaining reports on the Qatar/Gulf crisis seen in world media. Peers gasped for breath. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Careful


Careful.

Michelle’s photo challenge this week:

This week, show us something careful — a photo taken with care, a person being careful, or a task or detail requiring care.

‘The Sideline Cut’
MB returns to the Irish sport of hurling for this week’s challenge, and specifically to an aspect of the game called ‘the sideline cut’.

When the ball is knocked out over the sideline during the course of a game by either team, the referee awards a ‘sideline cut’ to the opposite team. It’s a bit like a golf shot but much more difficult to execute, given the nature of the implement with its broad edge (a hurley). Even in top games the amount of fluffed shots is very high. To get it exactly right requires great care and skill.

Execute the strike poorly and the ball will dribble embarrassingly along the ground for just a few yards. Hit it correctly, at the precise point required underneath the ball and at exactly the correct angle with the hurley stick, and watch the ball soar majestically into the air and into the far distance. At approximately the same angle as a well-struck 8-iron in golf.

MB caught this player taking a sideline cut at a recent game when he was home in September, just as the hurley is about to make contact with the ball. Can not remember how it turned out.

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60 Minutes


MB’s recent post At The Match was mere days old when pirhana-like US TV Show ’60 Minutes’ latched on and without so much as a ‘Thank you MB, let’s share the treasure‘ released news of their upcoming programme on the Irish sport of Hurling. Read More

A Little Slice Of Ireland


MB attended the Irish Football tournament in Qatar yesterday. For most of the day he could have sworn he was in Ireland! Read More

Foreign Games


In 1167, the King of the Irish Province of Leinster (Diarmait Mac Murchada) was deprived of his kingdom by the High King of Ireland (Ruari O’ Connor). The reason for his dismissal was his abduction of the wife of The King Of Breifne (Tiernan O’ Rourke) in 1152. In an attempt to retrieve his Crown & Kingdom, Diarmait turned to the Norman rulers of England for help.

King Henry ll, the Norman King of England, landed with a large fleet at the Viking city of Waterford in 1171, becoming the first King of England to set foot on Irish soil. The Norman Knights (Norman, Welsh & Flemish) had arrived in the two preceding years with Henry’s permission to reestablish Diarmait as King Of Leinster. A force of 600 soldiers arrived in May 1169, and another 1,000 under the The Earl of Pembrook (better known as ‘Strongbow’) arrived in August 1170.

Thus started the political, military & economic relationship between Ireland & England. Things would never be the same again. Read More