21 August – She stands under moonlight, she touches her hair

Do you ever feel for those countries who were once the ones to watch, but are now struggling a little? We can all think of them, if we go back far enough. Yes, things do move on, but it’s good to reminisce.

Our friends in Ireland had the 1990s to themselves – almost. Then along came the 21st Century and thing weren’t quite as rosy. Today’s birthday boy Michael Joseph “Mickey Joe” Harte didn’t do that badly in Riga in 2003. He managed an eleventh place finish, which gave Ireland an automatic berth in the Grand Final in 2004. Mickey Joe did get a maximum and scored off plenty of countries. Since 2000, Ireland have only had a better finish than Mickey Joe twice. Maybe one day the third better finish will come their way.

Mickey Joe is 50 today.

Happy birthday/Lá breithe shona dhuit, Mickey Joe!

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