Irish Open Tournament Preview

Irish Open Tournament Preview

Anois, le cúnamh Dé(now with the help of God), tá seans mór againn ár bhféiniúlacht chultúratha a thaispeáint tríd meáin na crícígh. (We have a big chance to show our cultural self-identity through the medium of croquet). What is life but a series of disappointments punctuated by occasional rehabilitative visits to the croquet lawn? We are the people - no, not the motto of Glaswegian footballing folk gafa le (obsessed with) with a Dutch homosexualist king but rather the expression of the belief that is muid muintir speisialta, roghnaithe le h-aidhm an- tábhachtach (We are a special people chosen with an important objective) if not by the CAI then by a selectorial cabal who have a liking for Remy Martin Cognac and deft hoop approaches.

The 2022 Championships of Irish Croquet is sans aucune doute the acme of sporting endeavours for those fond of minority games. This is not to diminish the centrality of the sport of croquet at the very heart of what it means to be Irish. There are no barriers to entry, no monopolistic competitive practices nor cartel-like shenanigans beloved of black gold-loving sons of Arabia. The desire to compete is as innate to the Irish as the desire to imbibe.  We bring that contradictory philosophy that asserts that "déanfaidh sé cúis" (it's grand) whereas what we mean is that we will gladly accept quality standards a German would consider positively schei(*)e.

There are some who demand more. Virtuous paragons who drive beautiful motors and live in places where the jacks' are self-flushing and whose gardens teem with abundant flora and fauna straight out of an Eamon Ryan sketchbook.

If we could hand over the running of the state to these luminaries, we could gladly do so. Their past work histories speak not of the teaching of the Modh Coinníolach to chislers but rather of ludicrously healthy balance sheets in private sector enterprises where excellence is expected.

The bainisteoir docreidte (unbelievable gaffer) Alan Looney, is our cherished tournament manager for the week. Horizontal management has been richly lauded by the likes of tech giant, Meta, as the way forward but Looney prefers a devolved top down approach that is both collaborative and endearingly tolerant of afternoon tea-imposed breaks in play and the irregular pingings of mobile devices during lawn play.

We owe so much to his stewardship. If I could monetise it, I would settle on the figure €7,037 based on the opportunity cost of having an insufferable short back and sides y fronts merchant in his stead. An efficiently oiled, well-run machine: comortas den scoth le tsochaí úr (excellent tournament with a golden future).

Dave McGrath