I’ve been reading this guy in the build up to the Irish game in New Plymouth and he’s hilarious. He writes for the Irish Times and has a wonderful way with words and a gentle humour that almost lilts on the page, much like the beautiful Irish accent I imagine he probably has.
However, he managed to upset a few of the New Plymouth locals renaming it newshamblestown over the weekend. Of course, it was all tongue and cheek but sadly the New Plymouth mayor Peter Tennant had to wade in and say how offended he was and that didn’t Mr Farrelly know that New Plymouth was voted by the UN as the world’s most livable ‘city’ for a population under 50,000? Or something.
Sometimes it would be good if us kiwis could have a more of a sense of humour about ourselves. I was born in NP and I completely understood what Hugh Farrelly meant. It is a quiet town, and yes, tumbleweed does roll down Devon Street (the main street) after the shops have closed at 5pm any day of the week. This doesn't mean its not beautiful or lovely, because it is.
Still we don’t help ourselves. Joe from Taranaki wrote in this comment about Farrelly’s comments: “When I read the headline I thought the honourable folks at the Daily News were trolling us. Someone from Ireland calling New Zealand grim? Belfast, the famine or the troubles anyone? Back in your hole Hugh Farrelly, and please, do not let the door hit you in the butt on the way out."
Um Joe, sorry to tell you this, but Belfast isn’t actually in Ireland. What’s more, the Daily News published his quote. Does the editor of the local paper want to make us all look like nitwits? He or she is doing a good job.
But back to Farrelly. I think it’s interesting to read about ourselves through someone elses eyes. You can check him out here at the Irish Times, but be warned. Those with a sense of humour bypass should stay away.