“the opportunity of a lifetime..”

An interesting quote from the deputy First Minister in the BBC’s report of the arrival of the World Rally Championship to Northern Ireland.. and the rest of the island.

“If you fail to come here or tune in to what will be happening here during the course of the world rally championship you will be missing the opportunity of a lifetime,” [Martin McGuinness] said.

So why, according to Mark Devenport’s blog, did the deputy First Minister miss the “opportunity of a lifetime” afforded those who did attend the opening stage at Stormont? The official reception may have been hosted by the NI Sports Minister.. but some meetings are, apparently, still outside the remit of that ‘indigenous deal’.. and I don’t mean the attendance of the Republic of Ireland’s Sports Minister, Seamus Brennan, TD. [The presence of royalty didn’t stop Conor Murphy, MP, MLA, previously – Ed]

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  • George

    Great achievement to get this event. Well done to Fáilte Ireland and Motorsport Ireland but most of all to Ronan Morgan and Sean O’Connor for all the hard work.

    And of course let’s not forget the Northern Ireland Sports Office, Pete’s favourite politician Peter Hain and John O’Donoghue.

    Will be interesting if we can get it in 2009 too. It would be great to be on the regular calendar.

  • Dewi

    Maybe Anne not keen on meeting him ?

  • Maybe he just thinks watching an episode of Top Gear on a bloody cold November evening is a waste of a perfectly good Thursday night? That’s certainly why I wasn’t at Stormont.

    (Note to self – must stop defending Martin McGuinness.)

  • veritas

    He could have told them where to get the cheap petrol

  • J Adair is very glad to see Northern Ireland securing this event so he is. It makes me proud so it does, to see the country working towards something everyone can enjoy, instead of something that only some people can enjoy or maybe just one or two or a bit more.

  • Rapunsel

    Ha, I nearly choked on my breakfast banana with laughter when I heard this. Do you think he was being ironic?

    So glad I missed that opportunity myself and still not sure despite all the coverage what was actually happenning at Stormont?

  • sms

    if reports are true that there were 10,000 spectators at this smoke belching air polluting event then there are an awful lot of sad people out there who are seriously in need of a life

  • “Opportunity of a lifetime”? Try this one:


  • Rapunsel

    Nice one Malcolm

    and here I am telling ballygoanytown group that their voluntary management committee member who delivered a course for £50 cannot be paid because it is against the rules.

    Its one rule for the rich and fuck everyone else.

    Can anyone remind me what strategic investments the SIB have been angaged in and how they have contributed to the economy and our well being to date?

  • Outsider

    Am I the only one who finds the rally tournament a complete snooze fest? Apart from the disruption to traffic it seems much to do about nothing. Its not even a rally as cars are not in a straight race its just a time challenge contest.

  • George

    I hate to bring up the big picture but a television audience of 50 million is important. Not to mention the 150,000 spectators. Yes, that’s how many people are interested in this “time challenge contest”.

    If this is the attitude north of the border maybe the the Republic should host the event on its own in 2009. I’m sure that can be arranged and the way things are going that’s most likely what will happen.

    I am stunned at how people play this event down. It is a huge marketing, commercial and sporting coup for this island.

  • Outsider

    The streets of Fermanagh are a complete mess today with rubbish absolutely everywhere who is going to clear this up?

    I noticed that a lot of the rally followers were hugely dependent on drink and at 10am yesterday morning many were hardly fit to walk. It was a completely tedious and shambolic farce that masquerades as a sport and I hope it never graces Fermanagh again.

  • Mayoman

    Can we wait a few weeks and then have a competition as to what Outsider was referring to, using the following: “I noticed that a lot of the XXXXX followers were hugely dependent on drink and at 10am yesterday morning many were hardly fit to walk. It was a completely tedious and shambolic farce that masquerades as a XXXXXXX and I hope it never graces XXXXXX again.”

    I’m sure people who have not read this thread would be totally surprised by the answer! 😉

  • Outsider

    Rallying is a complete joke the banks of roads have been torn up, it seems like it is completely commercial with stalls and rally programmes all charging over the odds for what amounts to rubbish.

    Most of the followers are also Southerners, if they like it so much why isn’t it kept within the ROI. The DFM may have had a point when he decided not to watch the snoozefest.

  • Outsider


    You have not addressed any of the points I have raised.

  • Mayoman

    Neither am I going to.

  • Outsider


    Well stop commenting and twisting my posts.

  • KOD

    It brought a lot of spectators and money to areas that could do with a tourist boost. Regarding the amount of drink had, I would say less than 0.5% were drinking at that hour of the morning. If they were then they are not fans of any sport, and it doesn’t matter what event was on, they’d probably do the same. Traffic management was excellent over the weekend and well controlled by the Gardai / PSNI. Sligo and Enniskillen are bottlenecks at the best of times, but simple map reading would avoid those tailbacks. The areas in question did well in terms of money brought into the area. Regarding litter, yes the point is taken, but is true for a lot of outdoor sporting events unfortunately, we’re still in the dark ages regarding littering. Most rally followers are probably from the south as I am, but seeing as the population is bigger then its easy to see why. If you looked at it within its proportions then you would see very little difference

  • RepublicanStones

    very good mayoman, i was just thinking the same myself, im sure you must be referring to the blue bag brigade who trawl the streets…..i think around july time every year !