Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


“Lesson One. Never, ever, agree to take over from a legend. Someone is bound to end up disappointed.”

Wed 23 April 2014, 10:58am

Tweet So Manchester United let go their decent man manager David Moyes after just ten months in the job. And with him goes the myth that somehow United where above the petty desperation that has infected other Premiership clubs (he’s the tenth to lose his job this season). Like the idea that the club was […] more »

“Good heavens! You’re the culture minister..” Redux

Thu 3 April 2014, 3:49pm

Tweet Here’s the Culture Minister on the GAA’s new deal… If Sky is worldwide, beaming games worldwide, that’s a good thing, but I don’t want that to be at the detriment of local broadcasting. I also don’t want it to be at the detriment of the people who don’t have Sky or who don’t have […] more »

GAA concludes a lucrative deal with Sky Sports…

Wed 2 April 2014, 4:36pm

Tweet This is an interesting move from the GAA… Sky Sports has obtained exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 Championship games. These consist of eight Saturday evening matches in the All-Ireland qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals, and two Saturday evening and two Sunday Provincial championship games. Confirmed fixtures which will be broadcast on […] more »

ICC T20 World Cup 2014: Ireland v UAE

Wed 19 March 2014, 1:35pm

Tweet Having secured a nervy win against Zimbabwe in their opening match of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 campaign in Bangladesh, Ireland’s cricketers face tournament newbies United Arab Emirates today.  With Zimbabwe overcoming the Netherlands earlier this morning, with a six off the final ball, a win would put Ireland top of the group, two points […] more »

ICC T20 World Cup 2014: Ireland v Zimbabwe

Mon 17 March 2014, 2:32pm

Tweet Ireland’s cricketers have opened their ICC World Twenty20 2014 campaign in Bangladesh with a win over the nominal test-playing Zimbabwe.  But it nearly didn’t happen. Batting first, Zimbabwe set a daunting total of 163 for 5 wickets from their 20 overs.  As the ICC match report noted, Ireland had never scored more than 156 […] more »

Sochi Olympic success

Sun 23 February 2014, 6:31pm
Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Rings Closing

Tweet Heh. Some wonderfully humorous choreography in evidence at the Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics closing ceremony.  It made me laugh out loud.  They wouldn’t have had long to arrange it… [Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA] As the Guardian live-blog adds, For anyone who slept through the opening ceremony, here’s a reminder of the failed snowflake-ring, and its […] more »

“Residents also protested outside the local Sinn Féin offices…”

Sun 26 January 2014, 5:03pm

Tweet As the BBC reports, local residents have continued their protest against the planned £70million redevelopment of Casement Park in west Belfast.  From the UTV report Around 100 residents took part in a demonstration on Saturday afternoon. They say they are now considering taking legal action. One woman said: “The main thing is the height […] more »

Former Antrim star Anto Finnegan to bring GAA to the home of Ulster Rugby…

Thu 21 November 2013, 10:54am

Tweet So, interesting developments in sport recently. Whilst the Executive has still to discuss Northern Ireland’s end of a bid to host the Rugby World Cup, Leo Veradkar has already had approval from the cabinet in Dublin for an all island bid to host the tournament in 2023. The two venues apparently slated to hold […] more »

GAA: “We’ve tried now for the last 16 months to build a level of consensus around the stadium project…”

Tue 19 November 2013, 6:17pm

Tweet The GAA appears to be facing some more local opposition to the £70million plan to build a 38,000-seat stadium at its existing sports ground in Casement Park. [Pending planning permission... - Ed]  From the BBC report About 200 people attended the residents meeting [on Monday 18 November], at which some said that the proposed new […] more »

Giro d’Italia 2014: “It’s a lot more than a cycling race”

Tue 8 October 2013, 3:17pm
Giro d'Italia 2014 stage1

Tweet When the BBC leaked the proposed route of the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia 2014 last week it was greeted by ritual wailing and gnashing of teeth by various representatives of the ‘excluded’ west Belfast. And with the whingeing out of the way, the official announcement was able to be welcomed with more decorum by […] more »

ODI: Ireland v England

Tue 3 September 2013, 3:23pm

Tweet Ireland’s cricketers have set a respectable total of 269 for 7 in their 50 over One Day International at Malahide against an England side captained by Eoin Morgan and featuring former Ireland fast bowler Boyd Rankin.  Rankin picked up 4 wickets [for 46 runs] on his England debut, but a captain’s innings of 112 runs […] more »

Tour de France 2013: Le roi est mort!

Sun 21 July 2013, 5:13pm

Tweet After finishing second to Bradley Wiggins last year, when some speculated he could have challenged for the victory, Kenyan-born Chris Froome is set to become the second British rider in successive years to win the Tour de France when the peloton crosses the line on a floodlit twilit Avenue des Champs-Élysée later this evening.  It’s the […] more »

Learning from individual sporting achievement: “Murray has never made an excuse for failure…”

Tue 9 July 2013, 5:01pm

Tweet There was a long time when the US and Australia dominated world tennis. Not any more it seems. One of the new dynamics in individual sport is the internationalisation of sporting champions. This is a great conversation snipped from Newsnight Scotland last night with Alex Massey, Dani Garavelli and Rob Robertson. What could Andy […] more »

The Lions Test Team – how were our predictions?

Thu 20 June 2013, 5:32am

Tweet Here’s the team: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales),Alex Cuthbert (Wales),  Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)  Jonathan Davies (Wales), George North (Wales), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Tom Youngs (England), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Tom Croft (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland). Subs: Richard Hibbard (Wales), Mako Vunipola […] more »

Shane gets the Lions roaring..

Sun 16 June 2013, 8:35am

Tweet Here’s my team: 15 Halfpenny – he missed a kick in 2011 and a tackle in 2009….I’ve decided to let him marry my niece. 14, hmmm  difficult – I think Kearney…or maybe Shane… 13, Davies – player of the tour so far, 12, O’Driscoll – if he’s fit 11, North – ditto 10, Sexton […] more »

Ireland’s Call as you may never have heard it before….

Thu 13 June 2013, 2:06pm

Tweet Don’t you just hate American candour… We never ever get to hear Irish rugby players render Ireland’s Call in their own voices… Check this about here, but don’t say you weren’t warned… (most of the US players had the sense not to try, and those who did were largely drowned out by the crowd..) more »

England Football: “What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, understanding (er, and intelligent surrender)?”

Tue 28 May 2013, 9:39am

Tweet Mark Perryman, who runs Philosophy Football has an interesting argument on a latter day tradition at England football matches. In advance of this week’s England v Republic of Ireland at Wembley he notes: For as long as I’ve been a travelling England fan (my first game was Moldova away in 1996), a decent proportion […] more »

A Lions tour – predict the first test team please.

Mon 27 May 2013, 6:45am

Tweet So it was just a bad dream for Rory Best - in the Lions squad…and I reckon a test starter. How about the other 14? Rules are simple. I need the names of the fifteen starters in the first test on June 22nd. 1 point for every correct name. Here’s my guess: 15 Halfpenny 14 […] more »

ODI: Ireland v Pakistan

Sun 26 May 2013, 4:46pm

Tweet A four from the last ball of the game by Kevin O’Brien saw Ireland secure a draw in Thursday’s rain affected One-Day International against Pakistan [Duckworth-Lewis applied].  Ireland’s 275 for 5 included 103 runs from 107 balls by Paul “that kid is a freak” Stirling.  Going into today’s second ODI in the two game series, Ireland were confident of an upset […] more »

Matt Baggott on flag protests, Boston tapes, G8 summit, drones & social media

Tue 23 April 2013, 9:00am
PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott

Tweet It’s all looking a bit fraught. We need a recovery plan. The words of the Chief Constable Matt Baggott describing the fortunes of his football club rather than the PSNI’s response to the flags crisis. Though the words must echo what went through the PSNI senior officers’ minds when the flags crisis didn’t abate […] more »

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