A History of Ireland in 100 Excuses. (Thanks to Frank McNally and ‘The Irish Times’.)
1. Original sin.
2. The weather.
3. The 800 years of oppression.
4. A shortage of natural resources.
5. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
6. Red hair.
7. The Celtic temperament.
8. He stole Trevelyan’s corn/So the young might see the morn.
9. It was taught badly in schools.
10. The Modh Coinníollach.
12. The questions didn’t suit you.
13. No-one shouted stop.
14. Johnny made me do it.
15. Oh no! ‘Twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning, that made me love Mary the Rose of Tralee.
16. That fella has a bad drop in him.
17. Her father didn’t like me anyway.
18. I have to see a man about a dog.
19. Don’t mind me – I haven’t been myself lately.
20. And then he lost the head altogether.
21. Lehman Brothers.
22. The Christian Brothers.
23. Biddy Early.
25. We only did it for the crack.
26. April Fool’s Day.
28. Stag parties.
29. The stony grey soil of Monaghan.
30. The rocks of Bawn.
31. The hungry grass.
32. The pipes (the pipes) were calling.
33. And that’s the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.
34. Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing/For the love of one’s country is a terrible thing/It banishes fear with the speed of a flame/And it makes us all part of the patriot game.
35. He must have got it from his father’s side – it couldn’t have been from us.
36. “Your health!”
39. “Is it your round or mine?”
40. “Last orders!”
41. “I suppose we might as well have one for the road, so.”
42. Ah, you’re drunk you’re drunk, you silly oul fool, still you cannot see, that’s a lovely sow that me mother sent to me.
43 – 48. See 42, excuses relating to drunken nights two to seven, inclusive.
49. I can resist anything except temptation.
50. The Old Lady Says ‘No!’
51. Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths, etc, etc/But I, being poor, have only my dreams.
52. I loved too much/And by such and such/Is happiness thrown away.
53. But I being young and foolish with her could not agree.
54. If [ Mrs Nugent] hadn’t of poked her nose in between me and Joe, everything would have been alright.
55. Home Rule is Rome rule.
56. Yes, but what about…?
58. This Bill seeks to provide an Irish solution to an Irish problem.
59. It was a bizarre happening.
60. An unprecedented situation.
61. A grotesque situation.
62. An almost unbelievable mischance.
63. I never had to concern myself about my personal finances. [ Des Traynor] took over control of my financial affairs from about 1960 onwards. He sought, as his personal responsibility, to ensure that I would be free to devote my time and ability to public life.
64. We get here and the skips containing the team’s training gear are missing.
65. The pitch is like a car park.
66. We had no goalkeepers for the five-a-side.
67. Packie [ Bonner] said that they’d worked hard. Alan [ Kelly] said that they’d worked hard. I said: “Do ye want a pat on the back for working hard – is that not why we’re here?” I did mention that they wouldn’t be too tired to play golf the next day and, fair play, they dragged themselves out.
68. We’re the Irish team. It’s a laugh and a joke. We shouldn’t expect too much.
69. I had to attend my grandmother’s funeral
70. No, not that grandmother, the other one.
71. All right, then – I never wanted to play for Ireland anyway.
72. I must have had a bad pint.
73. It was either that, or the curry on the way home.
74. Nasal congestion.
75. Heavy bones.
76. A bug going round.
77. The 5.15 from Thurles has been delayed due to leaves on the line.
78. We made those pre-election promises in good faith. It was only in government we realised how bad the country’s finances were.
79. It was a complex but legitimate business arrangement.
80. The money was only resting in my account.
81. You try running three houses on my salary and see how you get on.
82. I regarded it as a loan.
83. I had no bank account at that time.
84. I won it on the horses.
85. But the tent is only a small part of our annual fund-raising operation.
86. The banks were throwing money at us.
87. We were hit by a perfect storm.
88. Don’t blame me – I was only the taoiseach.
89. Lehmans had testicles everywhere.
90. The Welsh just seemed to want it a bit more than we did.
91. And we were going so well all week in training.
92. That wasn’t the real Ireland you saw out there today.
93. I’m off the beer for Lent.
94. Yes, I took out gym membership in January, but I’m off that for Lent too.
95. I can’t believe it’s that time already.
96. The day just ran away with me.
97. It started out as a joke.
98. There was drink involved.
99. One thing led to another.
100. The dead man was known to the Garda.
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