12 Things We Need For A Perfect Irish Summer

By Gavan Casey
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1) Mayo not to win Sam

Let me just clarify that I have nothing at all against Mayo or its fine, fine people. But Gaelic football has reached a point where, were Mayo to finally end their 64-year Championship drought, it might actually tear a hole in the space-time continuum, or cause the country to be sucked into the Earth's crust.

If Mayo end The Curse, no one is safe. No one.

2) Ireland to win three of their four Rugby World Cup warm-ups

Enough to keep the momentum going, but not so much that country unbearably anoints Joe Schmidt and his charges the only real challengers to New Zealand's throne.

We play Wales twice in August. Let's just say it wouldn't be a total disaster if we slipped up in Cardiff before sneaking past them in Dublin.

3) Bah...bah..bah...dah dah dah dah

The Sunday Game theme song is to summer what Arsenal's perpetual March collapse is to spring. And it's not just about the song; the video best bits of last summer's championship match it perfectly every single year.

4) Old men sitting outside their local pubs, portable radios to their ears, repeating to themselves, "You can never write off Cork."

A variation of 4), elderly GAA fans' insistence that you can never write off any team - particularly the Cork hurlers - is the second most heard sound of the Irish summer, behind only whatever upbeat song Pharell Williams has conjured up two months prior to the Championship season.

5) A Shane Lowry Major Victory

It may not happen in St. Andrews, but we still have the USPGA Championship in August to look forward to for this remarkably enjoyable man to pick up his first major championship.



6) Disposable barbecues

You might not even use it, but watching sport with friends and a few not-so-cheeky ones is all the more enjoyable when you're safe in the knowledge that, at any point, you can fire up your tin foil barbie and borderline poison each other. There's a fierce camaraderie to it.


7) More burger buns


In summer, the burger bun becomes the Irish caviar. A delicacy on the barbecue, our nation's limited supply of buns can cause regular melées in local stores. Due to the rush to get them "before they're gone," burger buns are the leading cause of people tripping on their doorsteps in Ireland.

8) A Conor McGregor fight in Croke Park every Saturday night

If he's as good as he says he is, he can surely provide us with the same level of entertainment every weekend, and on Irish soil. It's definitely the most pertinent means of 'cleaning out the division,' and will also prove him a superior entertainer to Garth Brooks, in case that's in doubt.


9) Fantasy GAA

Brogan or Connolly captain? Joe Canning or Pa Horgan? And just think of the connotations for black cards. Luckily, Fantasy Gaelic football does exist, and you can register here. But we are starved of a decent fantasy hurling competition, and the fact that Cork 'keeper Anthony Nash no longer takes penalties seems a real missed opportunity.

10) Samba Soccer


Samba-bah-bah-bah. At least bring back the television ads!

11) A lawnmowing championship of some description

Considering how quickly you're forced to move to cut the grass while the weather is dry, it'd be nice to see your efforts rewarded with more than a glass of blackcurrant cordial and a slap across your incredibly sunburnt back.

Introducing the National Lawn Mowers Association Lawn Mowing Championship of Ireland. The only rule is that you have to cut as much grass as humanly possible - even your neighbour's, if needs be. At the end of the championship, your grass is collected and counted by the blade. The winner is declared 'King of Mow Town,' and handed a trophy in the shape of a glass of blackcurrant cordial.

12) Orange Delight

Oh no, we're not talking about the vile orange syrup that allegedly turned children into oompa loompas - we're talking about one of the best bits of Irish granny trivia known to man; the surprisingly delightful blend of Club Orange and vanilla ice cream in a glass.

If you're knocking it without trying it, you're a naive fool. If you're feeling particularly exotic, it also works a treat with Club Passion. Icy Irish refreshment at its finest, particularly after those harsh 5-a-side lawn mowing sessions.

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