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B o n o (does not) buy pints for the Welsh


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We love having the Welsh over in Dun Laoghaire

By Carolyn Hitt, Western Mail

SOthere we were in a pub in Dalkey – the “town of seven castles†to thesouth of Dublin – supping Guinness bought for us by Bono.

Welltechnically it was bought for us by Bono’s window cleaner Frankie, butthat gave us just the one degree of separation from the U2 frontman.

Andif we’re going to be picky about details, Dalkey also only has twoslightly dilapidated castles left, but with its coastal location,winding streets and Mediterranean-style villas it is one of the morepicturesque spots to spend the build-up to the game.

The Irish team seem to like the area too.

“Theboys are just down the road,†Frankie informed us, describing thecountry retreat which houses the Irish camp before they move into theShelbourne Hotel in central Dublin on the eve of the game.

“Can we go and wake Brian up?†we asked.

Frankie and friends shook their heads with mock seriousness.

In Bo’D They Trust. And with O’Driscoll’s 100th cap imminent the deification has moved up a level.

TheEmerald icon transcends the back pages, commanding the same celebritystatus in these parts as Frankie’s philanthropist rock god employer.

We thought we’d clocked Bo’D on the way to the pub.

Hisstill boyish features – complete with that wonky nose knocked sidewaysby years of uncompromising tackles – suddenly loomed into view onDalkey High Street.

But it was just a life-size cut-out beaming through the window of an insurance broker.

“How is he perceived around here?†we inquired.

Frankie, whose years of chamois-wielding for the rich and famous have left him a tad blasé about big names, is a fan.

“He’sjust a normal, down to earth lad. We get a lot of celebrities aroundhere – Bono drinks in Finnegan’s pub at the end of the main street –and we just leave them be.â€

Pondering the fact we could have indeed had our Guinness bought by the man himself, we shifted the chat to the game.

Itwas Thursday night, and beneath the pub’s giant Munster and Leinsterflags suspended from the ceiling, there wasn’t a Welsh shirt in sight.

“Quiet before the storm girls,†the landlord informed us.

“Youwait until those ferries start landing at Dun Laoghaire tomorrowmorning. It will be heaving in here. We love having the Welsh over.â€



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