Forty years on ….. the SPC Class of ’72

The Pugin Chapel and Tower buildings that defined St Peters College, Wexford for many generations.

In 1967, a new intake of fresh faced innocent young boys started on a new adventure (loosely speaking) in the corridors of St. Peter’s College, Summerhill, Wexford. Noted as a distinguished lay school and also as a diocesan seminary, it turned those raw youths into fine young men who served their communities, county and country in matters vocational, sporting and cultural from the early 19th century and continues to do so today. Our class consisted of 66 wiser and fitter lads who graduated in 1972 and 38 of of us showed up for the 40th reunion at SPC for a Mass and school tour followed by dinner in the Ferrycarrig Hotel.

Freshfaced teenagers pose for the 1972 Class photo

A group of early arrivals with An t-Athair Seamus de Val, our Irish teacher and noted historian – now Diocesan Archivist.

Summoned to attend the College for a Reunion Mass, our classmates arrived in dribs and drabs, looking curiously at several faces trying to wind back 40 years to match a hazy name to a somewhat older visage. I was stumped by several but fortunately, I wasn’t the only one, and we had great fun watching each others reactions as new arrivals tested our memory cells. A  quick visit to the Ref (refectory), where the not so delectable fare was served up by the St. John of God sisters aided by young girls and boys in their care was followed by a slow “procession” to the famous Pugin Chapel, built in the mid 19th century.

Class of 72 entering the SPC Pugin Chapel for our Reunion Mass

Fr Jim Butler, the only priest still serving (from 5 in our class), did the honours by celebrating Mass for us. I would think that he had a more attentive congregation than most of his peers in our day enjoyed. After our trip down memory lane, we were brought on a quick tour of the new college buildings by the Principal, Robert O Callaghan. It is great to see the modern college that the current students now enjoy – our classrooms were a mix of 19th and 20th century styles but managed to do the business in equipping us academically for the real world.

The Tower, which had an attaching dormitory, overlooking the Cloisters. It was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of Bishop Furlong.

The majority of us were boarders and the dorms were our places of refuge after a day of learning or on the sports fields and elsewhere. St Josephs, St Aidans, the Attic and the Tower all brought back memories to us. Nowadays, there are no students (or priests) living in the College during school term, the one major change from our day. The Far Side, the ecclesiastical wing of SPC, is also dormant and probably a good thing too. More than one bad egg put on a Roman collar from those young men – giving the College a bad name as a breeding ground for paedophiles.

Members of the class of ’72 pose on the front steps of SPC

After our tour, we congregated on the College steps for a final photo before departing to our hotel for the meal. The old school looked the same with a few embellishments but the new section has certainly taken our Alma Mater into the 21st Century and hopefully will continue the tradition of turning out fine young Wexford men for many more generations.

Students of the ’72 class and teachers in Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford

Dick Bates and his organising Committee had arranged for a  4 course meal in the Ferrycarrig Hotel, the same place we had congregated 19 years previously. It was very gratifying to see 38 of our buddies at the gathering but alas not all could be present. Sadly, since we left in 1972, 5 of our classmates have passed on – Richard Culleton, Joe Ralph, John Jordan, Willie Gannon and John Walsh – they were with us in spirit as the night unfolded.  With 5 teachers present, we got into the act of reliving memories, good and bad, of those days when corporal punishment was still a valid tool in our schools.

Our 21st Reunion (1993) in Ferrycarrig

Reliving memories at the dinner table

Frank Scallan winding back the clock

Our Senior-of-the-House, Frank Scallan, now a successful doctor in Canada, spoke eloquently of times past, followed by several other impromptu speakers. Fr John O Brien known to one and all as “Little Sam”, replied on behalf of the teachers. He had been the only resident in the College but has been out of it for several years now and unfortunately has health issues. Others present were the previously mentioned Fr de Val, Fr Seamus Larkin, James Golden and Emmet Cullen.

List (2 of 2) of attendees. Pat O Brien and Con Relihan didn’t make it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pat Power wowing classmates and some hotel guests with his tricks

As the food finished and the drink flowed, the chat flourished as old pals caught up with each other. Pat Power wowed us with his magical tricks and even a few hotel guests strayed in to be dazzled by his wizardry. He spends part of each year bringing a smile to the kids of Nepal where he uses his magic as part of a charitable contibution to those less well off in that mountainous state.

After we exchanged e-mails and phone numbers, with the crowd thinning and the bar closed, the time came to bid adieu. Small groups will be in contact, but those of us not living locally will rely on another get together for the next catch up session, probably for our 50th reunion. Let’s hope all will survive to be there and a few more of those not present will see their way to joining us.

St Peter’s College might not have always been the most desirable place to be in but it played a major role in laying a solid foundation for the 66 of us who left in 1972, most of whom are successful in their chosen fields and have made a solid contribution to society wherever they have put down their roots. Lifelong friendships abound and armed with a broad education, our young men have passed on those values they learned to the next generation – a true testament to the priests and teachers who helped to mould us.

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Ireland v Republic of Ireland

Two Irish teams were on pitches on the opposite side of the world playing their respective World Champions within 36 hours of each other this last week. In soccer, our boys in green took on the mighty Spanish in Gdansk, the current European and World Champions and lost miserably despite the wonderful support of c.20,000 very forgiving fans. In New Zealand, our rugby team returned for a second bite of the apple against the formidable All Blacks in Christchurch and almost beat them, despite having minimal support.

Lambs before the slaughter

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Elegant Matadors preparing for the kill

A sea of Green fans fails to inspire limp Irish team

15 Irish warriors face down the fearsome Haka

Roy has a go at low standards in the Irish camp

Whether we like it or not, Roy Keane told us a few uncomfortable home truths after the game against Spain about our standards and expectations. Speaking as an expert panellist on ITV, he lambasted the Irish performance and also the singing of the fans despite the trouncing being handed out by the World Champions. Largely, I have to say I agree with his core point but his delivery was OTT and to an extent, offensive. As he is probably one of the best players ever to pull on an Irish shirt and in his playing days, his standards were always for perfection, he is in a place to hand down criticism. This team has nothing like the quality of players assembled by Jack Charlton so it is unfair to be overly harsh on them.

Giovanni Trappatoni has achieved his target of reaching a major championships but without players of sufficient quality to grace such a vaunted stage. There are rumours of dissent among the players, quality young players are being ignored and his ideas seem to focus on his way or no way – a recipe for disaster when other teams know the script before taking the pitch. Ireland is not producing the Roy Keanes, Liam Bradys, Paul Mc Graths etc at present and even if we were, Trap might ignore them! Many of his players now ply their trade in lower status teams and are not on the mercurial wages of many of their illustrious predecessors.

Enda calls for an all island Ireland team

Even though it is a political hot potato, maybe Enda Kenny is right – why not join forces with our fellow islanders north of the border and form an all island Ireland team. In the past, it would have been a delight to see George Best, Pat Jennings, John Giles and Liam Brady play together in green. There could be future talent waiting in the wings on either side of the border and what a joy it would be to see them playing as a united team. It works well in Rugby – where would this team be without Rory Best, Stephen Ferris, Andrew Trimble and previously such luminaries as Willie John Mc Bride, Mike Gibson and Trevor Ringland. We are too small of an overall population to be splitting our resources.

BOD has a go at the Kiwi defence

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Robbie Keane in better days

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you compare the leadership qualities of both Robbie Keane, Ireland’s soccer captain and Brian O Driscoll, our rugby captain, both are top scorers and multiple cap winners for their country, there is no comparison. O Driscoll appears to lay his life on the line everytime he wears the green of Ireland, while Keane, admittedly a trier, drifts in and out of games and often lets the head down if things are not going our way. Of course, his cause is not always helped by a very poor service from mediocre players, while O Driscoll has a lot of quality players all around him to help his case.

Roy Keane and Enda Kenny are shooting from the hip on different angles but our soccer team will not achieve miracles without the best talent available from this tiny island as a whole. We might be higher in the rubgy pecking order as only a relatively few nations play at the top level but our cause is helped immeasurably by being an all island team. As with the Peace Process, let us move forward towards sporting unity and maybe political unity might follow someday.

A visit to Dublin Zoo

A few weeks ago, I was in Dublin on business and with time on hand, I took a trip across to the Phoenix Park to visit Dublin Zoological Gardens. Being a beautiful day, it gave me a good opportunity to see most of the animals out in their open spaces. Having not been there since 1973, it was great to see the progress that had been made in the interim and I was very impressed. It is a pity that wild animals are taken from their natural habitats, but in some cases, it has become a necessity, thanks to ever present threats of poaching and habitat devastation.

The foresight of Dr Crampton and others to make this facility available at a time when only the very few were privileged enough to travel to exotic places has to be lauded. Certainly, early zoo practices would make most animal lovers today cringe but the zoo of 2012 is a worthy descendant of the 1831 version and run in a professional and caring fashion.

Red Pandas on their outdoor perch

Having fun teasing the visitors

One of the main attractions are the Red Pandas, who have been bred successfully at the Zoo. The main diet of these Chinese natives is bamboo leaf. They are under threat of extinction due to human activity clearing their forests. The parents in Dublin are Beijing and Bamboo.

Silverback out for a stroll

Silverback turns his back on his fellow primates

The Western Lowland Gorilla is another species under threat. These highly social animals operate in small family groups under the protection of the Silverback alpha male. A  party was held for baby Kituba’s 1st birthday over last weekend, a major success in the Zoo’s breeding programme. Unfortunately, the birthday boy wasn’t around on my visit.

Is this really Dublin Zoo?

Southern White Rhinoceros chilling out

Pair of Ostriches grazing

Cute young Giraffe checks out the visitors

Scimitar-horned Oryx

The African Plains area was a wonderful open display of African animals such as the Giraffe, Ostrich, Oryx and Rhinoceros. One of these, the Southern White Rhinoceros is in serious danger of extinction, with poachers able to fetch obscene amounts of money for their horns. It is so lucrative that even trophy heads taken by hunters over a century ago and housed in museums are being targeted. The Oryx was virtually extinct in its Sahara habitat and is now recovering through mnagaed programmes. Watching the graceful gait of the Giraffes as they wandered around their “range” and came up to eyeball their human visitors, I felt that I was almost in Africa. The other animals in this area pretty much ignored us.

Waldrapp Ibis from Turkey - under threat

Red-ruffed Lemur from NE Madagascar

Bornean Orang Utan - tree people of the rain forest (what's left of it)

Snow Leopard in shade from the hot March sun.

Endangered Sumatran Tiger keeps to himself

Amur Tiger - from Russia and under threat also

Away from the African Plains, many other species are threatened by man’s greed or need to expand habitation and none more so than the Tiger, prized for his pelt and body parts. With examples of the largest (Amur) and smallest (Sumatran) tigers, both of whose numbers might not be much more than c.200 in the wild, Dublin Zoo is providing an opportunity for its visitors to see an animal they will have little or no chance of seeing in their natural environment. Lemurs and Orang Utans are in danger of extinction due to forest clearing on a massive scale. In Turkey, the Waldrapp Ibis is being managed in a semi-wild programme with small wild colonies in Morocco and Syria, having once been widespread around Southern Europe and the Middle East. It is reckoned there are no more than 500 pairs in the wild.

Eastern Bongos lock horns

Lion at rest

The Lion is still king of the jungle and mainly survives nowadays thanks to various managed National Parks, having disappeared from many of its traditional ranges. The Eastern Bongo, an antelope with attractive horns and stripes is found only in a remote area of Kenya with demand for their horns and meat, as well as forest clearance the main threats to their continued existence.

Chimp or Chump?

Man’s closest relative (genetically speaking 98% similar) is the Chimpanzee and to prove the point, I placed my hand on the print of a Chimp – it was almost a perfect fit. Us human apes have just developed a bit faster than our hairy cousins, but if we are wiped out and enough of them survive, maybe they’ll step into our shoes in a future eon.

My visit to the Zoo was an enjoyable experience and I was surprised by the large number of foreign visitors wandering around the various areas. Certainly, despite the validity of the contra argument of keeping wild animals in captivity, I found the animals in Dublin Zoo to be in a healthy state and it was a joy to see them live instead of on the  many TV documentaries that bring them into our living rooms. Well managed Zoos offer a valuable service for urban populations by creating awareness of man’s threatening behaviour to our animal co-existants on this planet and provide a chance of saving some almost extinct species, albeit away from their natural habitat. Go along and make your own mind up.

Movember for Prostate Cancer

My Movember face 2011

Over the last few years, several friends of mine have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, a men’s health issue. Fortunately, all of them have come through their treatments and/or operations successfully.

I felt a strong need to do my little bit to help fund further research for this illness, which if caught in good time is imminently treatable. So I joined the Movember Ireland movement – men up and down the length of Ireland grew mustaches during the month of November – hence the moniker.

Sports stars, TV and media personalities also got in on the act and it was encouraging to see prominent people sprouting facial hair under their noses over the last 4 weeks. Hopefully, it will also make men more conscious of possible problems in the area of their water works and genitals and prompt them to seek professional advice to investigate any issues.

My feeble efforts generated donations in the amount of €60 – Movember Ireland receipt no. R-9110720-12027112. I am very grateful to my small band of supporters for their generosity. You have supported a good cause.

My December 2011 face

Pharaoh sneaks into Dublin

Dog Rough – an occasional sketch

Sniffing around with Skratcher O Fleazy, reporter

(This little piece was written in February 2011, while Eygpt was in the throes of its Arab Spring and Ireland was immersed in its General Election campaign. The Pharaoh Tutunkhamun (King Tut) exhibition was due to open at the RDS – Royal Dublin Society premises.)

Pharoah Hound – Wasn’t found!

I bumped into me auld mutt Pepper the other day who asked me if I still had some contacts in the Press. Curious, I asked what he had for me and promised if it was good enough, I’d see if we could get it into print.

Swearing faithfully not to reveal his sources, he dropped two crumpled soggy pieces of papyrus from his mouth and asked me to read it. He told me that he found it at the RDS, when he was on his rounds sussing out the Dublin 4 area, marking lamp posts and smelling other dogs bums.

Mystified by these documents, both written in hieroglyphs, I contacted our in-house Egyptologist, Carter el Beradi. He took it down to the staff cloakroom where he worked. He spent the night translating them, between retrieving staff clothing or bags.

This is the result of his endeavours, which our Editor deemed worthy of immediate publication:-

Page 1. (On the official papyrus of Pharaoh Tutankhamun)

Diary entry for Tueday 15th  February 2011

5.30am– Arrived with minions off Stranraer – Larne Ro-Ro ferry on the sarcophabus, after dodging protests at Leeds/Bradford airport. No sign of Islamic Brotherhood in Northern Ireland.

8.00am– Stopped in Dundalk for large Irish breakfast. Hairy guy with Belfast accent at next table, surrounded by rough looking security men, told me he had never been in the IRA – hadn’t a clue what he was on about. Harem girls thought he was a bit common and the fry was much the same. Still haven’t told them about the bit of populist fuss back home.

Aanagh pretty Nubian slave

9.30am –  My pretty Private Secretary, the Nubian Aanah, made contact on Skype with our Head of Administration back home, the minor God, Hosni Muberak. Big news – he’s now in the Palace nursing home at Sharm el Sheik after standing down, with loyal troops guarding the perimeter. Health is poor and doctors are keeping a close eye on him. Says our once loyal army are handing power over to the peasants. Traitors.

Due to this crisis, I asked to speak with him privately – our billions are a sensitive issue, all 70 of them. Hosni assured me it was all being converted into gold bullion, so that he can be buried in similar style to myself. He has his eye on a plot of ground in Iran to build his pyramid. I wished him well – us Gods are not well understood by the common folk.

13.30 – Arrived Dublin, bones aching after hours buried in back of that damned sarcophabus to avoid the paparazzi.

Aanagh supervises slave beauticians

15.30 – Enjoyed my daily appointment with the travelling beauticians – manicure, pedicure, mummy massage, facial and organ cleansing.

17.00 – All the imitation gold and semi-precious metals were polished, slaves worked flat out. Took a few aside for a whipping by my faithful slavemaster Nubani to keep them on their toes – kills the boredom of watching them work.

19.30 – My Secretary Aanah had me booked in for a meal at the Four Seasons with a local nobody by the cartouche Enda Kenny. Kept talking about some stupid five point plan, must have mentioned it at least 15 times. Said he’d be the man shortly and wanted to know if I’d give him a haircut, something to do with Bondage. She should know I’m not into that S & M stuff, so I dismissed the little blonde upstart. 

22.00 – Dropped into my harem on the top floor of the Berkeley Court hotel. Would you believe, to a woman (and girl too) they refused to have sex with their God. After torturing the cute one with blonde hair called Ivana, we discovered some local hack by the cartouche Fintan O Tool had dropped in to interview them and filled them in on the peasant uprising back in Egypt. They decided to have a sex strike in solidarity with the upstarts at home. Desperate, I summoned Aanah to my executive suite but she refused saying she had a headache from all the travelling.

Page 2. (On the official papyrus of Pharaoh Tutankhamun)

Wednesday 16th February 2011

Imitation sarcophagus

09.00 – Big day today, we are opening in the Industries Hall at the RDS,Dublin. Have a splitting headache after first night without sex since age 9. Will have to resort to some of the man slaves if this keeps up, wouldn’t do for word to get back that I swing both ways.

King Tut's imitation mummy

10.00 – Make up and support staff have me all spruced up for the exhibition. Pain in the ass as far as I’m concerned, lying around all day while plebs of all shapes and sizes come to ogle my imitation plastic treasures. That blasted nuisance Howard Carter started all this when he disturbed my peace in 1922, life has never been the same since. So what if I’m one of the most recognisable images in the world.

Pharoah expresses his displeasure

16.00 – Nubani, my slave master, tells me that he has been advised that several countries around the Arab world are revolting against their leaders and that my stable of slaves are looking for certificates of freedom and redundancy payoffs from me, including himself. I made the mistake of giving him the PINs for my Swiss Bank accounts – Gods can’t be expected to retain all these petty details. Now, the cheek of him, he’s threatening me and knows I can do nothing while stuck in this fancy fake sarcophagus. And to make it worse, Hosni has lost control of my once loyal army and secret police so there is no one to sort out these insolent twerps that I saved from abject poverty.

20.00 – Last of the plebs finally left the RDS, what a miserable day – headache is worse, no hope of relief from the harem or slaves. Must see if Aanah can find a local defrocked priest for some of his young contacts. Now the beauticians are also on strike, will have to send for my sister wife to calm my nerves and relieve this sexual tension. Take away dinner from someone of the cartouche Mc Donalds – their lion meat tastes like papyrus with mayonnaise and onion.

22.00 – No joy on young boy front either, second night of abstinence in a row, must Google how to do hand job. What a disaster, deep depression setting in on Dublin 4. Note to one’s self – will commission a 36 floor skyscraper for first man who can find a replacement harem of nubile girls. Must try this local black drink for sleep potion, hear good reports of it’s health giving properties. Got bad news about situation in neighbouring province Bahrain, their black gold is not keeping the plebs happy either, maybe another uprising on the way. What’s the world coming to, nobody seems to respect good old fashioned law and order anymore.

End of diary extract.

(Editor’s note: – Bearded man refers to Sinn Fein politician by cartouche of Gerry Adams.)

Eleven Eleven Eleven

Signing of the Armistice 11.11.1918

Todays date comes about but once a century – the 11th day of the 11th month 2011. On this day, at 11.11am on 11/11/1918, the Armistice ending World War 1 was signed in a railway carriage in a wood near Paris. On this day in 1921, the British Legion introduced the Poppy as the symbol of remembrance of fallen British soldiers, a potent emblem of the bravery of men and the horrors of war to this day. It has slowly gained token acceptance in this Republic of ours, constrained by our long history of.conflict with our nearest neighbour, even though tens of  thousands of Irishmen died in British uniforms in many conflicts across the globe.

US Army Jeep on parade

In 1940 on this day, a new word came in our automobile lexicon – the Americans launched a new general purpose (G.P.) vehicle which has become universally known as the “jeep”  (from those initials). It has spawned many versions by countless manufacturers worldwide but its image will be forever etched in our memory from the many WW2 movies featuring the US armed forces in Europe and the Far East.

Aras an Uachtarain

Here in Ireland, today marks the changing of the guard in Aras an Uachtarain (President’s Palace), when the incumbant Mary Mc Aleese stands down after an inspiring double term of 14 years, making way for the incoming President, Michael D Higgins.

Her grace and openess to welcome one and all, her ability to speak out eloquently but firmly in times of crisis, her efforts to help foster peace and reconciliation on this island, her compassion and professionalism through her terms of office will be a hard act to follow and she will be missed. With her husband Martin, they formed a team that represented what was best in the Irish people, jointly working diligently to foster peace and promote confidence and enterprise in our citizens. They reached out to our many hundreds of thousands of emigrants who have settled across the globe bringing a message of goodwill from the auld sod.

Martin and Mary Mc Aleese with Michael D and Sabrina Higgins

Our 9th President, Michael D Higgins come to the office with a resounding endorsement from the people of Ireland, having received more than 1 million votes in the recent election. He is an academic, a poet, a distinguished parliamentarian and a human rights activist who has featured in Irish public life for most of his adult life. He has been outspoken over the years on many issues, especially in the area of human rights abuses and the arts, where he played a pivotal role as Minister for Arts, Culture and Gaeltacht in the 1990’s. He was responsible for setting up Ireland’s first Irish speaking TV channel TG4 and brought about many improvements in the world of the Arts, setting up of a network of local arts venues and theatres right across Ireland.

Of course, another good reason to like Michael D – he will be installing his new Bernese Mountain dog Bruno into the Aras – all dog lovers will take pleasure in that vote of confidence. Bruno is a rescue dog, whose owners are emigrating to New Zealand and Michael D hopes to have him in their new home before Christmas. I hope he behaves himself when the dignatories are about and doesn’t cause any embarrassing doggie moments. Maybe my trusty mutt Toesun might drop into the Park someday to have a sniff of the Presidential mutt’s bum – who knows!

Today, the 11th of November, begins another episode in the hopes of our soccer team as they play Estonia in Talinn in the first leg of a 2 match decider to see which team will qualify for the European Championships in Poland – Ukraine next summer. Despite overseeing some terrible football and ignoring some talented players, our manager Giovanni Trappatoni has moulded a committed team of average players into a force to be reckoned with. Let’s hope the rub of the green stays with our boys in green and the “Green Army” of friendly supportors can march across the fields of Northen Europe to spread the “craic” again next summer.

Good luck Michael D and Ireland, go n-eiri an bothar libh (may the road rise with you) and thak you Mary Mac for being there.

Countdown to Arus ballot

With 2 days to go to our Presidential election, suddenly the sleepy campaign has come alive with mud slinging against the up to now whiter than white independent candidate, Sean Gallagher. Sinn Fein candidate, Martin Mc Guinness, has made claims that Gallagher accepted a payment in the amount of €5,000 from a business man for the Fianna Fail party in 2008, of which he was an executive member at the time. Confronted on a TV debate last night between all seven candidates, Gallagher hesitated and failed to convince the nation that he had acted in an above board manner at the time. More mud regarding his tax affairs from a member of the audience also stuck to his shiny scalp. Maybe with Hallowe’en this weekend, he can take time out to suck some blood of those who have tried to sully his very good name! 

Sean Dracula Gallagher ready for a weekend on the town ©Patrick Bolger Photography

Over the weekend, opinion polls had placed him in a commanding position, making it seem that it was now a one horse race. All of a sudden, his star has lost some of its lustre and perhaps a chink in his pole poll position could allow the “more presidential” senior candidate, Michael D Higgins, in the back door of the Arus (President’s Palace).

Another former poll topper, independent Senator David Norris, stole the show with a series of witty and rather apt comments throughout the debate but his is now a lost cause with too much ground to make up from his lowly position in the polls. As the first person to put his hand up for the job earlier this year, he suffered from several “scandals” regarding a former lover who was convicted of statutory rape in Israel; he only managed to scrape onto the ballot at the last minute. He is still my favourite, despite me being a card carrying member of the Fine Gael party, for whom European MEP Gay Mitchell is standing.

The bould Gay blotted his copy book yet again by launching a verbal attack on the debate host, TV presenter Pat Kenny, over a silly issue regarding not giving him a fair hearing in the debate. While his party continues to hold majority support close to 40%, his personal rating in this contest is consistently below 10% and he is a no-hoper for the job. 

Labour’s candidate, Michael D Higgins, has run a low key and rather polite campaign rarely engaging in slanging matches with the other candidates. His position in the polls has grown slightly throughout and he has always been in the top two. Presently running c.15% behind Gallagher, he is hoping that the blips in his younger opponents performance last night might result in a 5 – 10% swing, allowing a more keenly contested Presidential election on Thursday 27th October.

If he manages to close the gap to c.7%, the issue of transfers will be crucial and Higgins will fare better overall from the other candidates as they are eliminated. It could be a long count yet and hopefully for the sake of our people, may the best man win. Whovever wins is unlikely to outshine the outgoing super star, Mary Mc Aleese, whose 14 year tenure was marked by a truly outstanding Presidential performance.

See my related blogs – Snow White with the Big Arus and Ball in, game on