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.”

Supplier Pulls Entire Line Of Rugby Enhancing Drugs From Southside Chain.

‘Roids Jaw can be stashed behind a beard. But beard doesn’t always mean ‘Roids.

The manufacturers of a well known brand of rugby-specific performance enhancing drugs have pulled their entire product palette from the backrooms of a new chain of Sports Nutrition shops in south Dublin today after disagreement with the owners over pricing levels.

A spokesman for athletic chemicals provider Rugged Industries said the firm had sought “personal guarantees” from new arrival to the Irish market,, that Rugged’s “Rugger” range of steroids, amphetamines and morphine-based painkillers would not be surreptitiously slipped into plastic bags with a nod and wink below the manufacturer’s notoriously high recommended retail price.

“On the surface, it could look to most people that the chemical structure of our Beta-2 Agonists should almost by definition be identical to that of any other less expensive product also describing itself as a Beta-2 Agonist”, said Gonzaga alumnus and Brand Manager at Rugged, Kyle Farquharson. “This may, or may not, be the case.”

Punching Each Other In The Changing Room

“But rugby players have a strong collective emotional attachment to our products”, he continued.

“We find it wrong that TotesRipt would try to discreetly offer Rugged-brand vials of EPO, HGH and synthetic testosterone well below the semi-official going rates to someone standing there at the cash register in a Leinster jersey with two kilos of whey powder .”

Farquharson claims that most people who choose Rugged place huge store by the fact that they’re not “slumming it with the League of Ireland Juicers”, or the majority of city nightclub doorman who anecdotally part with significantly smaller sums for their legal-to-buy-illegal-to-supply muscle building needs.

High speed, heavyweight collisions.

Representatives of the new chain, which boasts a list of outlets that reads like the DART route from Westland Row to Greystones were quick to respond.

“TotesRipt stands for giving its customers as much – inverted commas – bang for their buck, as is economically feasible”, said the company’s Press Officer, ex-Mary’s boy A.J. Devlin.

“Look at it, if you like, as partly a response to six years of austerity. From schools through to clubs and beyond, nobody’s rugby should have to suffer just because his exorbitant mortgage, or his parents’ one, isn’t leaving enough over to fund a solid programme.

And even further up the tree, who’s to say that fringe internationals mightn’t be happy beneficiaries of the combination of lax IRFU testing procedures and what until now have been ultra competitive rock bottom deals on Rugged Xenoandrogens?”

Berserker Potion

“I mean, we’re the ones who were taking the hit on this, not Rugged. So if remaining an attractive proposition in the current climate meant us whispering to people in our shops about the hypothetical availability of a Buy 3-Pay 2 course of their favourite brand of synthetic hormones, then go ahead and shoot me.

“No pun intended”, he continued.

While regretful at the loss of Rugged products from TotesRipt’s selection of always expertly concealed berserker potions, Devlin did not rule out the possibility of a mutually satisfactory solution to the impasse for both parties in the future.

“Of course, if price dumping manages to bankrupt our rivals elsewhere on the Southside, we certainly wouldn’t be averse down the line to discussing the possibility of a Rugged price hike. Back up to, say, 80 for 10 mills of Human Grade. Or even higher, no problem – we’d be happy to talk.”

“Don’t hate the player, hate the game”, he added.

Lovely Soft Hands

With opinion divided and no spokesman from the sport’s governing body in Ireland available to comment directly on the case today, at least one rugby playing customer was prepared to express a view on the doorstep of TotesRipt’s Booterstown branch.

U.C.D. Thirds lock, Oisín Kennedy, attempted to sum up the quandary.

“Conflicted, for sure. I’m a big Rugged guy, there’s a cachet that you just don’t get with some of this UG  gear. And in one way the prospect of being able to have their stuff for knockdown prices sounds like the answer to all my prayers. But there’s still a voice in the back of my head, you know? I think it’s what they call a Catch 22.”

“But of course”, he went on, “Drico only said last week ‘Son, if I can give you one piece of advice, never look a gift horse in the mouth’, didn’t he?

“All these different voices”, he concluded.