“Not everyone is (driven by) nationalism and patriotism and that’s never been me…”

Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings - Edward Carson statue

Years ago, I recall being led around a monastery in a small town at the head of a long valley and at the foot of a Swiss Alp. The two monks we were withwere rather jolly: being both under fifty, they were much younger than most of their community. At one point, they took us to a room filled with tribal art collected by a sister monastery in Africa. I don’t know if they still have it. One of the … Read more

Rory Finds Form to Win FedEx Cup

By winning the Tour Championship yesterday in Atlanta, and with it the FedEx Cup for the first-time, Rory McIlroy has turned a decent, if disappointing by his high standards, season into a great one.  Until the FedEx play-offs began his only win this year was the Irish Open.  The new FedEd Cup winner now heads to the Ryder Cup before focussing on next year’s majors, starting with the US Masters in April. To be fair, it was only his putting that has … Read more

How Would Rory McIlroy Vote?  And why that’s important.

Predicated as it is on avarice and greed and standing as a monument to the necessity for mandatory wealth re-distribution, the most useless supplement of the year reappeared last week. The Sunday Times Rich List likes to rank all the people in the country who have more money than you. And expects you to pay for the privilege of reading about them. Not surprisingly, a certain young County Down sports celebrity –always keen to reassert his affinity with his place … Read more

What Northern Ireland might learn from Rory McIlroy… (ie, sidestepping vanity, becoming the thing you want to be…)

There’s an odd typo in one of the few press releases to make it through Sinn Fein’s unofficial (and largely unreported embargo on letting any substantial work past through its hands at OFMdFM). In only its second effort of the First and deputy First Minster talk about McIlroy’s “rich vain of form.” Maybe it’s because Stormont Castle’s legion of press officers have so little to do that they made such a trifling if telling mistake… In any case, vanity is … Read more

Rory to play for Ireland in the Rio Olympics…

Rory McIlroy decides to play for Ireland in Brazil in two years time… Speaking before playing in the Irish Open Pro-Am, and appropriately wearing a green polo shirt, McIlroy explained his decision-making process. “When I actually sat down and thought about it, had a little time to myself, it was because as a boy, as an amateur, my ambition was always to play for Ireland – whether to play on the six-man team for the European Championships or the Home … Read more

Cartoon – Rory McIlroy redesignates

Drawing on the hoof. Excuse the scratchiness. Should read: “I’ve decided to redesignate myself as “SINGLE”. Union with Caroline woz too 20th century.” Brian SpencerBrian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger. Actively tweeting from @brianjohnspencr. More information here: http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/ http://www.brianjohnspencer.com/

“For the avoidance of doubt…”

The unsurprising, for many reasons, winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2012 may have been this year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, a well-deserved third place went to Olympic and US Open tennis champion, Andy Murray.  But the Guardian’s Paul Owens has spotted something strange about the BBC’s Panel awarding ‘Team of the Year’ to the Olympic Team GB/Paralympics GB. From the BBC’s own “SPOTY Voting & Judging: Terms & conditions 2012” [dated 12 December 2012] TEAM OF THE YEAR For the … Read more

What if McIlroy’s stance was the prompt for a conversation of what it means to be Irish?

I was struck by Niall O’Dowd’s passionate assay of the Rory McIlroy choses to be British affair, not least where he rather honestly relates that …the Northern Ireland flag, flown by a Protestant like Graeme McDowell, will never bother me in the slightest, flown by a Catholic like Rory, however, will never seem quite right to me. I remember being best man at friend’s wedding in the mid 80s. It was a mixed marriage and the plan was to marry … Read more

What does McIlroy’s pending decision for Team GB mean to the rest of us?

It’s easy to forget how long Ireland has gone about the sporting world without the least sign of serious success. When Padraig Harrington became the first Irish man since Fred Daly to win the Open it was only 2007. Rory McIlroy won a silver medal as top amateur in the same year. With Harrington joined by GMac, Darren Clarke and the boy from Holywood, modern Irish golfers have redefined what success looks like… Christy O’Connor Snr was in or near … Read more

Rory McIlroy: In praise of the quotidian championship golfer…

There’s a thin line between celebrity and character. When I first blogged about Rory McIlroy winning the West of Ireland Open at the age of 15 (I think), the thread (now lost) focused somewhat on what people saw at the time as the negatives of bringing up a sporting child prodigy. Television, then the tabloids, and now the net have each in turn given us a sense that we know everything there is to know about the various public characters … Read more

McIlroy sets down marker for Rio Gold

As the spectacularly successful London 2012 Olympics came to a tumultuous conclusion, Northern Ireland golfer Rory McIlroy closed in on his second major title – the 2012 US PGA. As the Irish Times live blog noted He will be younger at 23 years and three months than Tiger Woods was when winning his second major. Stunning performance.  By 8 shots! [added link] Pete Baker

Might Rory McIroy be a flash in the pan?

On the eve of the American PGA, Our Holywood hero is “refreshingly honest”, according to the Guardian. But maybe with just a touch of sour grapes added? McIlroy, whose honesty in public is one of his most endearing qualities, said: “I’m just happy to be part of that group of 16. I think the reason it is like this, fields are much deeper. Partly because the guys have just got better and have worked hard; they are putting more into … Read more

‘Colm, buy everyone in Holywood a drink, he did it!’

Well, I was going to ignore it, until I saw this quote from Edel O’Connell in the Irish Independent… As the Gaeilgeoiri out ‘the back road’ (the one that goes along the edge of the golf course) are inclined to say, “ta me an broduil as Rory ar fad”… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events … Read more

Wee Rory and the washing machine (Priceless)…

H/T to reader Dec… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Young Mr McIlroy and “the human capacity to get over a bad experience”

There’s a lot of things to be said about Rory McIlroy’s golfing career, most of it better left said by him on the golf course than by some gobs**** on the internet… One might be that Portrush has a better chance than its had in sixty years to host one of golf’s majors.. But the Guardian has what is for me one of the most important lessons the rest of us can draw from his immediate story: Mr McIlroy’s brilliant … Read more

Holywood man wins West of Ireland title

Congratulations to Holywood boy Rory McIlroy on winning the West of Ireland Open Amateur Golf Championship at Rosses Point in Sligo, at the grand old age of 15. Last time I saw him, he’d just flown back from Florida with his dad where they’d been reccying a course in preparation for the the World Under Tens Championship (back in 98, I think) in time to grab a bite to eat and up and out onto the Holywood course. At the … Read more