The Oirish Comedy Hour
Ray Houghton is a legend of Irish soccer. Two key goals for the Republic over a lengthy career playing for the national team. But what in God's name was he thinking when participating in an effort to provide a few laughs for Britain's ITV on Sunday night? From today's Irish Times (subs. req'd):
When Houghton, who was born in Scotland, was asked if he considered himself to be "really Irish", he was shown dressed up as a leprechaun, a potato and as a Jean Butler [Riverdance] lookalike.
However, most complaints arose when Houghton was seen standing beside what appeared to be a paramilitary gunman dressed in a khaki army jacket and a balaclava.
The Irish soccer hero, best remembered for his goals against England and against Italy in the 1994 World Cup, was also shown standing beside [one of the hosts] when the comic impersonated Shane McGowan clutching a bottle of whiskey.
And after Bertie Ahern had said such nice things to the English the other day. Such ingratitude.