We all have to share things and the Phoenix Park is no different. So I mustn’t be greedy and try to keep it all to myself and my dog.
It has to be available to one and all, as it is a public space. This is all par for the course as we live in a young-ish Republic and all are equal under law. So today, Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park (more of which another time) is being used to host a civic reception for some very special gentlemen… the current Six-Nations Rugby champions – namely Ireland.
I should perhaps explain that the official purpose of Farmleigh House is to act as the official state guest-house for visiting dignitaries. In fact Kings, Queens, Prime Ministers have all been féted here at one time or another since the state took over control of the house from the Guinness family in 1999. But today it’s the turn of the mighty Irish team who although not Grand-Slammers are still champions and as such deserve a cup of tea and a sticky bun at the expense of the state.
The great and iconic Brian O’ Driscoll will be there in perhaps his last official outing as part of the Irish rugby set-up and so too will the other heroes such as Jamie Heaslip and Jonathon Sexton and it this honouring of our sporting heroes that makes me think we should have more civic receptions to honour our ordinary heroes and that we should perhaps make them more public.
Now, one of the many interesting things about Farmleigh House is the herd of long-horned cattle that graze in the main paddock to the front of the impressive Georgian façade.
It struck me that the rugby team are all kind of big, especially the props and second rows, so I was wondering if any egg-chasers accidentally take the wrong turn, might we see them as a permanent fixture there!
So long until next time…