Monday, January 31, 2005

Up for the Craic

May I introduce you to Craic, a monthly magazine for Birmingham's Irish community which could well be set to feature on TV as 'Have I Got News For You''s guest publication.

Sample headlines:

"Pensioner (74) 'tore skin off' his estranged brother"

"Motorist attacks traffic warden with lump hammer after getting a ticket"

On one page towards the back of the magazine, there's a large story entitled "At 55, gull found in Ireland is oldest wild bird in world". Tucked away in the bottom left hand corner of the page is another headed "Discovery of cow remains sparks fear of ritual killings".

Best of all, though, is the story with the headline "Dancing cleric plans palace vigil over 'unfair treatment'". Here are the opening three paragraphs:

"Neil Horan, the 'dancing priest' who has been 'defrocked' by the Pope, says he intends holding a vigil outside Buckingham Palace to publicise what he describes as the unjust way the Catholic Church has treated him.

Reacting to his dismissal from the priesthood, he said he was surprised he was summarily dismissed and not give a chance to defend himself first in a Church trial.

Mr Horan (57), a native of Kerry who dances to publicise his belief that the end of the world is near, and grabbed headlines last year by disrupting the Olympic marathon in Athens, and the Silverstone car race before that, said yesterday: 'I intend to start a vigil outside Buckingham Palace within the next few weeks. I will appeal to the Queen personally as Defender of the Faith'.

I can only imagine Craic landing on the doormat of Craggy Island Parochial House to be read with interest by Father Ted - "Oh no, Father Horan's up to his old tricks again". Father Dougal, meanwhile, would like all the pictures, some of which are in colour.

I stumbled fortuitously across this fantastic organ of journalism on Saturday in The Anchor in Digbeth, Birmingham's Irish Quarter, whilst on a bit of a pub crawl with friends old (Kenny and Phill) and new (Andy and Donna). You can read about the evening here - though there is no mention of Craic, you can rest assured it craic-ed us up.

Incidentally, The Anchor is set to feature in my Reasons To Be Cheerful series in the not-too-distant future.

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