Simon Bourke

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Beyond the neon runes

Beyond the neon runes

| August 17, 2017

Our day will come There was a boy in my class at school, a bright kid, one of those lads who sat at or near the front every day and always seemed to have his homework done. But as bright as he was, as well-behaved and attentive as he appeared, he was prone to bouts […]

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Land of hope and glory

Land of hope and glory

| August 17, 2017

As the hype train rolled back into town, as Sky Sports informed us that yes, it’s still the best league in the world even though all its top players want to go to Spain, one of our national papers, instead of churning out yet another identikit preview piece, chose to compile a list. It was […]

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Beyond the neon runes

Beyond the neon runes

| August 10, 2017

Throw away the key There was a thing going around the Internet recently, a trend. Bearing the hashtag #confessyourunpopularopinion it offered an agitator like me the perfect opportunity to get a few things off my chest. And once I started there was no stopping me. First, I announced to anyone who might listen that Breaking Bad is […]

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In our own little world

In our own little world

| August 10, 2017

Who would have thought it? Little old Ireland, hosting a World Cup, and all on its own too. If only they could see us now, Collins, de Valera, Markievicz, Joe Dolan, they’d be welling up; a World Cup? In Ireland? G’wan out of that and don’t be having me on. But it’s true, as of […]

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One small step for the GAA

One small step for the GAA

| August 4, 2017

A couple of summers ago, when Sky first started showing our national games, we took great delight in seeing how the British would react. Every Irish website worth its salt had a weekly collation of the ‘funniest tweets’, featuring confused Londoners, Glaswegians and Mancunians trying to sum up just what the hell is was they […]

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Beyond the neon runes

Beyond the neon runes

| August 3, 2017

A home from home When I was seven years old I had to change schools. It was a traumatic experience, as it is for all children. But, moving from another country, I found it especially difficult. In addition, I was the only child of a single mother; a cossetted, delicate thing who relied on his […]

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Beyond the neon runes

Beyond the neon runes

| July 27, 2017

It’s a man’s world As a white, working-class, heterosexual male, living in a relatively wealthy, modernised country, I am among the most privileged people in the world. The only prejudice I encounter is when I open my big, fat Kilkenny mouth and reveal myself to be far from the erudite, educated individual some presume me […]

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Sweeping the skill from the beautiful game

Sweeping the skill from the beautiful game

| July 27, 2017

Pragmatism, that great destroyer of sports. Where once victory went to the most talented, the most gifted, now it is those who work hardest, last longest, who take the spoils. In 1970, Brazil freewheeled their way to a World Cup on a diet of cigarettes and sex. Theirs was a delirious brand of football, taken […]

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Beyond the neon runes

Beyond the neon runes

| July 20, 2017

To the place where I belong The pints are flowing, the craic is mighty, and there’s a quare wan over in the corner giving you the eye. It may only be your local watering-hole, it may only be a Thursday night, but you can’t remember when you enjoyed yourself this much. Then one of the […]

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When the seagulls follow the trawler

When the seagulls follow the trawler

| July 20, 2017

From the outside, it seems like the ideal job; to get paid to watch football. Interviewing the stars on a weekly basis, hobnobbing with Jose, jousting with Jurgen, following the icons of the sport as they perform in front of their adoring public. Free entry to all the games, behind-the-scenes access, appearances on podcasts, the […]

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