Mikey Ryan Wins All Ireland Poetry Competition

Got a call from Mikey Ryan last Tuesday morning, asking; nay demanding, that I support him for the All Ireland Poetry Competition finals, that were held above in The Arch Bar on the same night.

Now normally I don’t go drinking on Tuesdays, what with a nagging wife, wage cuts, the increase in the price of fags, and my overall delicate balancing of weekly payments. But Mikey appeared desperate, and herself in-doors, agreed (reluctantly I hasten to add) to lend me a tenner, (making it a point, that interest would be due, including reimbursement in full, next pay day).

Confirming my attendance over the phone, I learned from Mikey that his opponent was a fellow called Oscar Cumberbatch, a resident of Dublin 4 and a postgraduate academic degree student (Ph.D), from Coláiste na Tríonóide, (Trinity College), College Green, Dublin 2, who was being sent to represent County Dublin for the Title.

The Judges on the night, who spoke with distinct English accents; I later discovered were English Professors from the University of Cambridge, flown in by the Fine Gael Minister for Education & Skills, Mr Richard Bruton T.D., especially for the evenings National event.

I learned from the Judges later, when they were introducing the two contestants, that Mikey, (if you don’t mind), was from the townsland of Monacocka, (Translated from the Irish, the Shitty Bog), and was actually representing County Tipperary.

The format for the evening was simple, both contestants were given 60 seconds to come up with a short-handwritten poem entitled “Timbuktoo”. They were then obliged to read their poem before the jam-packed room of supporters in The Arch Bar, while the judges conferred to decide on the overall winner.

The 6o seconds up, Oscar Cumberbatch was invited to tender and recite his short poem first:-

“Along the lonely desert sand, slowly moved the caravan.
Men on Camels two by two, their destination, Timbuktoo.

The Dublin supporters who had arrived in large numbers by rail, went absolutely wild, yelling support and applauding their champion Oscar.

Mikey Ryan was next to the microphone to recite, as the judges pleaded for absolute silence:-

“Tim and I a hunting went, found 3 girls in a canvas tent.
Now they were three and we were two, so I Booked one and sure Tim Booked Two.”

Faith, the Dubliner’s knew immediately they were bet, and departed from The Arch Bar like lightening for the last train home, even faster than Cork supporters, when beaten by Tipperary in a Munster Hurling Final.

“Give us a small one their Pat”, said I, “And a small one for our champion, Mikey, no splash just water.” 

” Sure, where Tipperary leads, don’t Ireland follow”?


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