Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of the affair

One of the strange aspects of the Celtic Tiger was the fact that being a fan of Manchester United was considered an essential part of the modern Oirish personality.  None moreso than the Old Trafford Oirish Fan-in-Chief, Bertie Ahern.  So there can no more hilarious coincidence than on the same night that Bertie Ahern retires from politics, with his financial affairs still unexplained, Alex Ferguson has put the boot into Bertie's political lineage, and indeed the lineage of Ireland's natural party of government, Fianna Fail --

The most successful football manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson, has declared himself a Michael Collins fan and given his verdict on Eamon de Valera’s controversial decision not to attend the Treaty talks in London in 1921. “He knew he couldn’t win. I’m not sure he wanted a patsy but I’m certainly sure he knew he couldn’t win. Having not been there gave him an authority when he came back to complain and get his power,” Ferguson told RTÉ’s Colm Murray ... Ferguson had no doubts that political opportunism was a primary motive of de Valera’s sending of Collins to London.  “Why did he not go? Think about it. I’m going to sign Eric Cantona and I send Mick Phelan [Manchester United’s assistant manager] to do the deal?”

Incidentally, the city of Manchester plays a pivotal role in Bertie's mysterious personal finances.   A bit like the role that New York City played for de Valera.

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