Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Hugh Farrelly on Newshamblestown

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.


Nursedude said...

Actually, I am quite looking forward to trying to make it to New Plymouth, where the USA is scheduled to have a couple of games next year at RWC 2011...

Ferdy said...

And we're looking forward to seeing you too Nursedude!

Nursedude said...

It's not rugby related, but good on the All Whites in their last gasp 1-1 draw with Slovakia. I was a student in France back in 1982 when the All whites-an amateur/semi-pro side, was put in a killer group with Scotland, Brazil and the Soviet Union. They played with a lot of heart and bravery. It was nice to see they will at least have a point to their credit-the next two games with Italy and Paraguay are going to be tough, to be sure.

Anonymous said...

Afraid I can't agree with you about Farrelly. It's not a tongue in his cheek you perceive--it's a chip on the shoulder. And it's of the magnitude that most Irish reserve for England.

He has a long history of writing petulant rants and while I'd be inclined to forgive them if they were funny, I just don't think he's very clever either. True, I am a passionate kiwi so maybe that colours my view but I'm not overly parochial and, even when he turns his invective against our other rivals, the humour falls pretty flat.