D’Arcy Using Downtime To Trace Roots.


Long lost cousins? D’Arcy is leaving no stone unturned.

Freshly headhunted entertainment host Ray D’Arcy has revealed that, between now and the February 2015 commencement date of his new contract at national broadcaster RTE, he’ll be spending most of the free time available to him researching his genealogy.

“I’ve got two me-months coming down the pipeline and I want to use them wisely”, the former Today FM man said. “It’s not often at this stage in a career presenting TV and radio shows that you can get yourself that sort of headspace.”

The Unforgiven

“Unless you’ve been sacked for something absolutely unforgivable, and word gets round all the stations that nobody’s to even go near you with the proverbial ten foot bargepole”, he joked.

“Of course I’m not going to take myself completely out of the loop. I’ll still do the papers, and catch a few of the morning shows, but with a bit of decent internet coverage I shouldn’t have to be stuck at home all the time.”

D’Arcy went on to explain in some depth how he would be using a large part of the winter period to trace his family’s ancestry.

Once Were Warriors

Gesturing with his index finger and thumb he remarked “I was seriously this close to booking a backpacking holiday around Thailand for eight weeks. This close.”

“But when I think of the tangled fates and destinies of untold generations of warriors and adventurers who lived, loved, fought and died just so that I could be put on this earth thousands of years after their passing… it’s always been something I was curious about.”

“Now I finally have some time to act upon that curiosity.”

Previous casual attempts by him over the years to find out more about the D’Arcy family line have not yielded very much beyond what he had already long since known, he said.

All The President’s Men

“There were definitely three previous generations of D’Arcys in Kildare, but after that the picture goes kind of blurry. I asked my dad about it a couple of times. He has a childhood memory of his grandmother stoically pounding cream with a bat in a pail to make butter, that’s about it.”

“But did you know Arcy is actually a place in France? D’Arcy literally means ‘From Arcy’”, continued D’Arcy.

“Lots of other people owe their surname to the same process. Retired rugby international Mick Galwey would be one example. American secretary of state John Kerry is probably another. Michael D.Higgins, too, I imagine.”

It’s A Wonderful Life

He went on to explain how the name initially spread beyond France in the 11th century with the Norman Conquest of England. But that when Ireland also fell under partial Norman rule late in the 12th century, it wasn’t long before the traditionally Irish surname prefixes of Mac- and O’- were joined by Fitz- and D’-.

“It seems a good method to me – start at the beginning, right? Either way, apparently some of the world’s oldest cave paintings are located just outside Arcy. So I’m thinking the ancient genetic link to my creativity and gift for self-expression must somehow lie there.”

With this in mind, having already made general inquiries, D’Arcy intends to first spend Christmas with his immediate family, then travel to France until late February for research purposes.


Talks are pencilled in for early March with management at Montrose regarding how best to utilize his broadcasting talents.

“I get goose pimples imagining the scenes that could unfold walking down the main street in Arcy. Like, seeing my spitting image walking out of the boulangerie with a bag of croissants or something! Maybe he’d even be able to tell me something about the gallant knights, comely princesses and resourceful rebel assassins that populate the fascinating shared family history of the D’Arcys.”

Should the trip fail to draw up any useful information about the succession of sexual acts which took place in various locations over previous millenia, and which find their culmination in Ray D’Arcy, the former Den host is philosophical.

“Worst comes to worst, we can probably wring some sort of a show out of the whole thing. That way, I’d have the flights and accomodation covered.”



Christmas Injury Crisis Deepens For Group Of Dublin Drinking Buddies


Holohan and his friends all agree that now is the time to put up or shut up.

An unfortunate series of Festive Season mishaps has already left huge doubt hanging over the likelihood that a crew of recreational city centre drinkers will be able to field a decent turnout at their New Year’s Eve location of choice in a few weeks’ time.

“There’s nothing I’d like better than to be able to say with certainty that twenty of us will be giving it socks at the Fade Street entrance to Hogan’s around five to twelve a fortnight from now”, explained Paypal accounts executive James Holohan.

“Jägerbombing, pulling wing mirrors off cars, shouting at strangers, that sort of stuff. But at the moment we’d be lucky to have eight first choice drinkers fit by then.”

Remarking upon their collective desire to match the “clearly raised intensity levels all over town” throughout the pre-Christmas period, he said his friends had lost sight of the need to nonetheless keep their instincts on a tighter rein.

Rocker’s Bar

“In separate incidents on the same Tuesday night, Flood lands badly jumping off a table in Whelan’s only an hour after Shane has gone down like a sack of spuds trying to get out of the basement in Bruxelles. What are the chances of that?”

“So that’s Flood out with suspected damage to his Anterior Cruciate, and Shane gimping around with meniscus trouble. Of course we’re hoping it’s not a complete tear, we’ll just have to see what the doctors say about it.

“I mean, you can’t sue a basement for having a staircase, right?”

Had A Few

The group’s cohesion had been suffering on recent midweek sessions, Holohan said, due to the enforced absence of some of their bigger names.

“Last Thursday, a couple of us really kind of went to sleep near the end. Well, literally went to sleep. Schoolboy errors aren’t acceptable when you’re looking to push forward as a unit, even if the Grand Social does have comfy chairs.

“And it never would’ve happened if Col Murphy hadn’t been home nursing the fractured cheekbone and jaw hematoma he sustained somewhere on Camden Street the previous Friday.”

“There was a lady actually hoovering around me, and the bar staff were already changed and walking out the door.”

Cautiously Upbeat

It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Holohan pointed out that a few lessons had been learned, and big improvements made in other areas.

“We’re all much more aware nowadays of concussion, so say somebody hears a nasty smack when Deego falls down the steps on the way into Coppers, you can be sure we’re all keeping an eye on him for the first few in there.

Or even myself. I live within five minutes’ walking distance of College Green, but at this time of the year we’re generally talking about three hours if I’m left to my own devices. Sometimes the smart call is to allow yourself be carried to a taxi.

“Concussion is just bad news for everybody”, Holohan said, cradling a grotesquely swollen left thumb.

One Less Car Window

“Put my fist through the passenger window of a 07KY Micra on Wednesday. But those sort of knocks go with the territory.”

It’s attention to the seemingly minor details, however, that can make all the difference between a trouble-free, 14-hour bender and being barred from a favoured premises just two drinks in, maintained Holohan.

“On a surface like Neary’s carpet, for example, it’s easy to become complacent. I mean, it’s not like you’re ever going to find yourself skidding around there, Hartigan’s-style. Well, not upstairs anyway.

“But carpet brings its own challenges. I don’t know how many times in the last month I’ve turned away from the counter up there with my hands full and stubbed a toe on the Burgundy shag pile.

“And yeah, maybe you can say ‘Hey, I just lost my footing. It’s one of those things’, but at our level that won’t wash.

“It’s inexcusable at this time of the year to be coughing up a round of pints. But the Chatham vibe can make you overthink it. Mindfulness and concentration really are key. Just staying in the moment, you know?”

“What we need to do between now and Stephen’s Day is cut out the silly mistakes. Batten down the hatches for a bit. Maybe get into a snug somewhere next weekend, or even take over the Dawson Lounge for a night.”

Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.

Summing up the situation, Holohan claimed that the capital’s drinking landscape is a very different one to that remembered by his father, or even his older brothers in their various drinking primes.

“The hangovers are getting bigger, any fool can see that. And recovery time’s a scarce commodity in December anyway. So we’re really getting hit from both sides.

“And the last thing in the world I want to do is make excuses, but on our current form myself, Diggesy, Craig, Dermo, Paddy and all the rest of the boys have to ask ourselves some hard questions. Is the fire really burning? Do we still want it badly enough? Are we going to stand up and be counted? Get out there and put the fear of God into someone?

“I’m not completely sure anymore whether it is. Or whether we do. Or whether we are. Or whether we will”, he said.

“But I hope I’m wrong.”

Paul Was Guilty Only Of Being Male.

With no hussies left in the group, Paul contemplates a wholesome couple of final days on Bachelor Island.

Germans draw no distinction between Good, Evil, Person, Place or Entity when deciding on whether to bestow a nickname. If it’s famous enough it gets a nickname. And it’s always the same nickname.

In Germany you know you’ve truly arrived when they slice off the last few letters of your name and cauterize the wound with an “i”. The obvious ones of course are the right wing political persuasion “Nazi”, and the former GDR’s ubiquitous secret police unit the “Stasi”.  “Kotti” and “Klinsi” are two more. The former signifies Kottbusser Tor, where smack deals happen in East Kreuzberg. “Kotti” is a byword among Germans who have never visited Berlin, and used by them, along with “Marzahn” (not Marzi. Yet.) in rambling explanations for the imminent collapse of Life As We Know It.

Klinsi celebrates while Kotti heroin addicts ride off with their drugs.

“Klinsi” is for Jürgen Klinsmann, one of the country’s all-time best loved goalscorers, and all-round Good Egg. His natural successor in terms of well-lovedness is Lukas Podolski, who probably not unrelatedly has an “i” at the end of his name already. His fans have chopped him lovingly back to “Poldi”

But even very heavily used nouns and phrases can sometimes get upgraded to the “i” class. “Prominente Person” (celebrity), for example, becomes “Promi”.

Prominent, incidentally, has a shared etymology with Menace. and the cutesified “Promi” is a word you hear a lot if you have a radio or television switched on with any sort of regularity. German telly, while short on promise, is long on “Promis”

And much as everywhere else these days, all cheaply makeable reality formats like house hunting, dancing contests, quiz shows or opening a shop sooner or later get a “Promi” upgrade.

Sadly there aren’t enough letters in the English alphabet to convey how far down the Food Chain of Fame the protagonists of any show with the word “Promi” in its title tend to find themselves. But I gather Sanskrit has 53, and using its last one could get us close with-

” ह – Lister”

(Sounds like the throaty “h” of coughing up lodged mucus)

Anyway, one such show is Das Perfekte Promi Dinner, which unlike most “Promi” shows very occasionally has a proper, bona fide famous person take part.

The nobodies version is just called Das Perfekte Dinner, and plays out Monday to Friday, one one-hour show per day, each contestant hosting dinner for the other four on their given nights. The obvious downside is if Monday isn’t thrilling, you’re hardly going to watch the rest of the week. And if you miss Monday… well, what’s the point, you know? The Promi version gets blasted out in a two hour marathon Sunday nights, and while it can sometimes drag, at least you have your closure inside two hours.

Which is all by way of saying that assembled to cook dinner for each other over the course of a week in Hamburg and Berlin recently were Paul, Claudia, Wanda and Florian.

Paul starred earlier this year in The Bachelor, sorry, Der Bachelor, over the course of which twenty young ladies prostrated themselves before him in a series of gossipy, mind-gamey and even flat-out slutty attempts to win his heart.

Paul is dyed blonde, and has a strangely shaped mouth. He managed the neat trick throughout the Bachelor series of portraying himself as a man of almost old fashioned moral values, but as a man more importantly trying to source his Soulmate, while simultaneously managing to avail himself, with an apparently clear conscience, of any hand jobs that were going from the more forthright females in the group.

Unfortunately, l’Amour remained elusive, but he now qualifies by general consent as a Promi.

They probably didn’t, but then again, neither of them is terribly picky.

Claudia is a lady in her fifties who makes lots of money selling expensive things to other ladies in their fifties. She spends this money on shoes, sparkling wine and new dresses. She also admits that a portion of her wealth gets used to entice young men to eat dinner and, for all we know, maybe even have sex with her. Having sex is a subject close to Claudia’s heart. Other than the spiritual enrichment to be derived from Shopping, there doesn’t seem to be much else she likes discussing.

Wanda finished fourth in Heidi Klum’s modeling reality show some years back and still gets a bit of work doing all sorts. Underwear, voice overs, appearances. Her boyfriend is perhaps a photographer.

Florian is an actor, from a family of actors, which by rights should give him some kind of Promi Royalty status in Germany. I had never heard of him before, but he was the only one of the group you felt might have wrestled with the proposal from his agent that he do Promi Dinner. Although as noted, Promi Dinner does land the occasional Big Fish, so he doubtless reconciled himself to the gig by casting himself in this role.

Claudia’s till now moderately filthy joke is about to become unacceptably filthy.

The tone was set from the off as Claudia scattergunned racy mouthfuls across the table on the first evening at Paul’s. Unsure at how to proceed, Wanda and Paul looked to Florian for guidance, from whom none was forthcoming. Half heartedly they attempted to breezily deflect or politely ignore base statement after base statement, but Claudia wanted replies in kind.

Depending on the day of the week, she liked either Paul or Florian. Paul’s youthful energy was held up as her Ideal on the Tuesday, but by Wednesday evening he was so much stripling to Florian’s cultured, Bond-like cigar aficionado. Then she liked Paul better again. Wanda was under her radar.

Florian tried to keep out of things, prepared only to hazard a guess that maybe sometimes Claudia cried in private. Wanda thought a person who talked so much about sex couldn’t be getting any. Paul was intrigued and repulsed in equal measure by the whole business. His chief complaint was that Claudia insisted on continually crossing the line of good taste that separates Acceptably Smutty Banter from I’m Just Going To Get My Coat.

Of course Claudia couldn’t have known Paul’s precise threshold for such stuff, but she had surely seen an episode or two of his show. One of Paul’s suitresses, Katja, had made it to the final three with a similar Modus Operandi-

Intrigue, Repulse, Jack Off In A Beach Hut.

Across the table in Claudia, Paul could once again see his Past Errors made Flesh, Katja with a few more miles on the clock, this time passing him the veg and trying to play Footsie under the table. And when we saw him turn away in seeming disgust at yet another crassly formulated come-on from her, surely all we were seeing was his mind replay some regretted, tawdry slap and tickle episode, and the realization on his part of his inability to know that if push became shove, he’d be spiritually strong enough to say-

“Claudia, kindly take my penis out of your mouth”.

Me and My Big Mouth.


Just good friends? Of course not. Now read on…

When meditating for more than a moment upon Ireland’s chequered yet in the main glorious industrial past, one’s thoughts will tend naturally to drift briskly towards those twin behemoths of portable, disposable heat and light generation, Messrs. Maguire and Paterson. In Victorian times they famously gave droves of destitute Dubliners somewhere to go during the day, and by the late 1800’s their premises behind the North Quays near Smithfield was regularly rated top in the city by the local Chamber of Commerce, somewhat ironically perhaps, for its almost complete devoidness of heat and light.  Both men also won prizes at more than one Captain-of-Industry-Golf-Day-Out in tribute to their general intransigence where matters of employee remuneration and health insurance were concerned.

Of course all of this is a matter of record. But a lesser known known fact about the two is that Chauncey Paterson and Noel Maguire also happened to comprise, as a unit, the world’s first quasi-openly gay couple.

Both were affirmed agnostics. Neither was possessed of any great board-treading talent. They thus took perhaps the only avenue left to a pair of men keen on spending a lot of time with each other in 19th century Ireland, and formed a business partnership. Precisely what direction their business should take was neither important nor immediately clear to either party, but Paterson had lived in London during the mid-70’s, and professed more than once in public after his return to having found the overall picture of depressing gritty urban realism there “way ahead of here”.

A picture whose grittiness and depressiveness was assisted by the daily swelling ranks of an already flooded match girl market.

The obvious word-play around “match-making” had the effect of functioning as a sign to both, and the circle closed when they resolved one drunken night over the backgammon board in a gentleman’s club on Fitzwilliam Square to “go to work” on Maguire’s wealthy aunt, Margaret.

Venture capital duly flowed, and by 1891 they had established themselves as the second largest employer of semi- and unskilled Labour on the Northside, with Official Ireland content to leave the minutiae of the pair’s private lives broadly unpublicized.

Maguire’s aunt Margaret insisted on a match named for her as condition of providing the start-up funds.

This seemingly tactful reticence on the National Media’s part was largely on account of the ubiquity of Maguire and Paterson advertising in Dublin at the time. No newspaper could be randomly opened, barely a single public wall could be stared at without the beholder landing upon some pithy phrase alluding to the superiority of Cara matches.

By way of example, it was postulated as early as 1894, that without M&P advertising revenue, the cover prices of The Irish Times, The Independent and Irish Press would necessarily rise an unrealistic twenty-two-fold.

Of course, “Cara” is the Irish word for “friend”, and most commentators have correctly interpreted the choice of trade name as an oblique reference to the love shared by the two. Moreover, the portrait of both men cheek by jowl must surely be worth the proverbial thousand words. But this really only scratches the surface.

Their seemingly prosaic matchbox copy can be exposed under closer scrutiny as a veritable Da Vinci Code of double meaning and bawdy insinuation, and trove of the more profane street argot of the time.

The most obvious questions to pose when examining the packs are.

(a) What is a “safety” match?
(b) Why bother asserting an “average contents”, when any serious person would search elsewhere when presented with such an inexact estimate of cost-per-match?

Our answers are fairly straightforward. The terms “safety match” and “average contents” were simply coined by Paterson as anagrams of various racy aphorisms pertaining to his and Maguire’s sexual predelictions.

Nonce Teargas Vet (Paterson had been a victim of police brutality at a Christopher Street Day celebration in 1863), “Chafes Ma Testy” (Maguire had never forgotten the physically vigorous Scottish Shinty champion Drew McLachlan, who had introduced him as a teen to the ways of l’amour masculine) He’s steamy. Fact. (needs no elaboration), are just a few of the lines Paterson furtively insinuated onto their boxes.

Denizens of the city’s seamy underbelly soon caught on to this Trojan Horse of meaning, and so it was, that by the early 1900s, thousands of visitors to public houses and moonlit parks in the capital were using Maguire and Paterson matchboxes to discreetly signify specific homosexual leanings.

M&P matches quickly became sought after humorous novelty items, and also enjoyed a huge export trade to France and Luxembourg. Competitors promptly decided to get in on the action

Come and get me! An early attempt to muscle in on the Gay Matchbox Market.

Less subtle than Maguire and Paterson’s work, but equally effective.

The practice of producing gay-friendly matches became so widespread that a knock-on market in heterosexuality-asserting matches evolved in its wake.

You were above suspicion (or beneath consideration) with a packet of Robots.

In matters of commerce and those of the heart, however, things rarely stay the same. And so it was over time that the two “cáirde” began to grow apart. Maguire was unwillingly relieved of his stake in the company by Paterson after a devious series of machinations involving hitherto undeclared wholesale purchases of sulphur and sandpaper, which in 1904 mysteriously came to the attention of the Revenue Commissioner.

A punitive settlement was reached, albeit one absolving Paterson of any blame. He retained control of the company name and Maguire struck out on his own, setting up a “boutique” match company. Specializing in limited edition runs of matches with eccentric brand names and unusually coloured heads, he never managed to completely get over Paterson’s breach of trust, nor the change in domestic affairs between the two. Many of his new box designs eloquently reflected his state of mind in a given year.

Chauncey laughed in Noel’s face when he saw this one.

Paterson, revelling in his new-found life as rapacious homosexual singleton, regarded Maguire’s emotional matchbox bulletins as so much maudlin nonsense, and on more than one occasion returned fire in similar vein with a well-chosen and utterly unambiguous composition designed to let Maguire (and the rest of Dublin’s match buying public) know he wasn’t missed.

Maguire repaired to Wexford in shock for six months after Paterson’s “Woodmen” went into production.

Maguire saw out his twilight years in what today is one of the grander stately homes left in Co. Sligo, a close neighbour of the Gore-Booths, who were in turn old acquaintances of his monied aunt. Rumours of an on-off dalliance with one of the family’s daughters Constance (a signatory of the 1916 Declaration of Independence) were never confirmed. He succumbed to injuries sustained in his capacity as spectator at a road bowling championship in Leitrim in April 1934.

Paterson was not invited to the funeral, and outlived his erstwhile cara by almost a decade. He was shot dead by two masked men at the counter of a Finglas pub in 1943.