Monday, April 11, 2011


There is a belief in Ireland that when we are on our knees and suffering that our artistic and sporting achievements come to the fore.
Following a thrilling weekend of sport it is not hard fall in behind this belief. Rory McIlroy, Ulster, Munster and of course Leinster all gave us something to believe in over the last number of days...but they are not the only ones flying the flag for Irish sport.
Rory is a young man who seems fazed by nothing. Even after his collapse at the Masters on Sunday he still held his head high, tweeting yesterday that "this day will make me stronger in the end."
He may not have won but the country was gripped by his efforts from Thursday on. It was just a shame that he didn't follow Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell to lift a major title.
It was also a massive rugby weekend with Munster kicking off proceedings on Saturday afternoon. The men in red had been written off earlier this season following their exit from the Heineken Cup but they could end up with both the Amlin and the Magners League trophies in their cabinet by start of the summer. Not a bad return for a team who it was said were finished.
Undoubtedly the game of the weekend was Leinster v Leiceter just a few hundred yards down the road from here. What a fantastic game and the best team won. Even Sky Sports, who can be notoriously biased toward the English clubs, admitted that Leinster had deserved their win.
Rob Kearney, Lions and Leinster's injured full back, tweeted that he thought it was the best atmosphere at a Leinster game he'd seen. And who'd disagree. Ulster tried valiantly in the other quarter final but just came up short. In fairness to the lads from the North, it has been a great year for them. Next season they should be challenging for the title.
So back to my point. Our economic difficulties really seem to be lifting our sporting achievements to new levels. Certain commentators highlight the Jack Charlton era as the real spark for the Celtic Tiger.
Step forward the Irish Cricket Team, Katie Taylor, Brian O'Dricsoll, Conor Niland or, fingers crossed, Trap's national soccer team. It is a good time for sport in Ireland, ironically when there is less money being pumped in.
So here's lookin forward to the 30th of April when Leinster battle Toulouse at the Aviva Stadium and give us a welcomed break from depressing economic headlines.

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