Domer Death Trilogy
The last week of February, 2015 was one that won't forgotten anytime soon for Notre Dame graduates, followers and fans. Within 48 hours of each other, three individuals passed away (albeit in reverse order),who were the primary players involved in the struggle over the University of Notre Dame's Catholic identity and its' ongoing march toward the secularization of America's most identifiably Irish & Catholic institution. Don Keough, former CEO of Coca-Cola & non Executive Chairman of Allen & Company (investment banker/advisor to the entertainment industry) as well as Chairman Emeritus of Notre Dame's lay Board of Trustees, passed away late Tuesday night, February 24th; the following morning, Dr. Charles E Rice, Professor Emeritus of the ND Law School, Authority on Catholic Natural Law & author of the 2010 book "What Happened to Notre Dame", headed to God's Kingdom to file his first amicus brief in the hereafter, advocating against Keough for his promotion of the gay agenda at Notre Dame. Just before midnight on February 26th, the always over exalted (at the expense of the man, Edmund Patrick Joyce C.S.C., class of 1928, who made it possible for Notre Dame to scale the heights of academia by bring home the "bacon"), Father Theodore Martin Hesburgh, C.S.C joined the scrum up above and became the third man in as they say in hockey. My money in this struggle of the titans of Notre Dame is on Dr. Rice, a former Marine, father of 10 and long-time boxing coach/advisor to the Bengal Bouts, to best the Kraut (Father Ted) from Tipperary Hill in Syracuse, NY and Lord Cornhole of Iowa, a man infamous in the business world for the "New Coke" fiasco, where in the mid 80's he threw himself and his company off the top of the Coca-Cola HQ Building in Atlanta and wound re-energizing a tired old brand name (i.e., he landed "in shit" as in the Defenestration of Prague in 1818, when "regime change" resulted in the former leader being tossed out a 4th story window, only to be saved by his landing in a massive pile of horse dung). The above drama will be "played out" in a play I am working on entitled "A Marine's Final Firefight in the Hereafter, An Irish Death Dance".
Don Keough's death seems a good to publish the following never published op-ed piece I wrote about him, Notre Dame's Irish Studies Program, the GAA and its resident "fruit", Corkman Donal Og Cusack (head of the Gaelic/GayLick Players Association (pun intended) and Hurling at Notre Dame. It never saw the light day in any publication in Ireland, Chicago, South Bend or even, New York, as Notre Dame had chosen that week to announce Don Keough's $30MM gift endowing the Keough School of Global Affairs, housing Jenkins Hall (named after the little Welshman with Cork ancestry on his mother's side). My mother always told me that if it wasn't for shit luck, that I would have no luck.
Here Come the “Fag-thing” Irish
The much acclaimed income-earning arm of Notre Dame ( i.e., football-related activities) got a black eye last month when 80,000 plastic cups ordered for the home football opener arrived with the inscription “Figthing” (sic) Irish. No doubt that Director of Football Game Day Operations, Michael Seamon, has already began to check out housing prices in Portland, Oregon, where those who fall out of favor with the Administration and the Board of Trustees are dispatched as punishment (see Father William E. Beauchamp C.S.C.). The powers that run Our Lady’s University operate with the same mindset as Director Walz of the Godfather (most famous for awakening in his bed with the head of his champion racehorse Khartoum); to quote Walz on why he withheld a prize movie role from Johnny Fontaine: “Because I was made to look ridiculous, and a man in my position can’t be made to look ridiculous.” Some advice for Mr. Seamon, stock up on raingear and umbrellas and add the Carpenters’ “Rainy Days and Mondays” to your i-pod.
This Saturday the University that loves to make money from selling football merchandise on the premise that they are Irish America’s University (much as the Kennedys are proclaimed the ultimate Irish American family by their media mouthpieces, most of whom generally worship on Saturday, not Sunday), is belatedly attempting to actually embrace something that is in fact really Irish and not a substitute like corned beef for bacon (i.e., ham) in the traditional Irish meal bacon and cabbage. A hurling exhibition is scheduled for this Saturday afternoon at Arlotta stadium (where the ND lacrosse team plays). Hurling, for all you HC (Hyannis Compound) Irish as my late immigrant father would say, is the world’s oldest and fastest field game. Its’ origin has been traced back to 4 B.C. and the legendary Celtic Ulster hero Cu Chulainn who slayed Culann’s ferocious hound by driving a sliotar (a hurling ball) down the dog’s throat, striking it with a mighty blow from his hurl (hurley). Sadly, this hurling “exhibition” is not the real thing, much in the same way that Killian’s Irish Red was not in fact an Irish brew, but a product of the Coors Brewery in Golden Co. As anyone who has ever had the thrill of watching a hurling match will attest, the real beauty of the sport is watching points (the sliotar passing through the uprights) struck by a player 65-75 yards from the goal while at full speed, attempting to elude a defender intent on slamming them into the ground with a shoulder. The two most memorable points of the new millennium were Diarmuid “The Rock” Sullivan of Cork’s 100 yard strike (after he sent an opponent flying out of his path with a shoulder) against Limerick in 2001 and Galway’s Joe Canning’s incredible drop-step spin move three years ago, when he turned to his weaker left side and struck a 65 yard score after an opponent stepped up to block his attempted strike from the right side. What will be on display at Notre Dame next Saturday is little more than a glorified skills competition where the players will attempt to score goals only (much as the home run hitting contest at the All Star game each July is not a baseball game). This bastardized form of hurling is called the Super 11’s, as opposed to a regulation hurling match which features 15 players and is played on a field much longer and wider than that of Arlotta Stadium. This exhibition, though, is very much a metaphor for the Keogh-Naughton Institute for Anglo (sic) - Irish Studies at Notre Dame, where Cumann Luthcleas Gael (i.e., Gaelic Athletic Association, the NCAA of the Irish sports of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Rounders) is not a part of the curriculum of study. In 2009, an Irish Independent article on the 125th anniversary of the GAA’s founding, November 1st at the Hayes Hotel in Thurles, County Tipperary, stated that “Ireland today as it is would be unimaginable without the GAA.” It was through the London Hibernians GAA club that a 17 year old Michael Collins came into contact with Sam Maguire, who 3 years later swore him into the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The rest as they say is history, though not at Keogh Naughton Institute I must add. Let me present Don Keough and Martin Naughton (the space heater King of the British Isles) with the first pair of honorary Union Jack kneepads for their service to the Crown; should they, in fact, ever be knighted like Sir Anthony O‘ Reilly (founder of the American Ireland Fund with former US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney) the lads will be psychologically comfortable with prostrating themselves before the Queen.
A colleague of mine and a Notre Dame graduate, Alumni Club President and Alumni Club Award winner and a 10 year alumni club board member, spent a large portion of his hard-earned goodwill with retired Alumni President Chuck Lennon in a futile 7 year effort to get the GAA included in both the curriculum at Keough-Naughton and the Athletic Department’s club sports program. This Domer saw Notre Dame as being the incubator for the development of Gaelic sports at the University level in the USA, in his belief that Notre Dame was both the leader in Catholic higher education (that it likes to claim, at least internally) and a school that embraced its’ Irish heritage and legacy. It turned out, in fact, they were neither.
Even more tragic to me (and I am sure to other traditional Irish American Catholic and fellow Domers) is the realization as to why Notre Dame had finally seen fit to have this“hurling” exhibition on Saturday afternoon prior to the USC football game, or to paraphrase the Keough Institute annual seminar promoting the Irish (i.e. Gaelic) language: WHY NOW? The reason is that it dovetails neatly with the secular agenda increasingly advanced by the purportedly Catholic University with the “Lady atop the Golden Dome”, a trend first noted by Class of ’52 alum Bill Dempsey, founder of the Sycamore Trust (sycamore trust.org) and explored in great detail in Dr. Charles E Rice’s 2009 book “What Happened to Notre Dame “? Hurling has finally been allowed to “come out of the closet at Notre Dame” because The Super 11’s hurling match is being staged under the auspices of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA). The Chairman of the GPA is Donal Og Cusack, who although being a 3 time All Ireland winning goalie for Cork in hurling, is best known throughout the Anglosphere for his 2009 biography, “Come What May” where came out of the closet, albeit for the third time for folks in Munster who had simply ignored his two previous announcements regarding his sexual orientation. A first cousin, who is well known in North Kerry for his “close encounters of a physical kind” with Paul Galvin (the Peck’s bad boy of GAA) remarked that if Cusack writes another book he may have to resort to describing his indiscretions with sheep, as opposed to his dangerous liaisons with fellow randy lads involving anonymous, unprotected sex as described by Cusack in his biography, should he seek to garner attention for his next tome. Cusack’s fellow Corkmen were nonplussed by the revelation of his sexual orientation because, like Cusack’s father, they were more distressed by the lack of distance on his puck outs (HC Irish note: A puck out is akin to a soccer goalie’s kick out). Cusack’s father’s epic quote, upon being informed by his son that he was gay, was this: “Jaysus, Donal, didn’t I have enough to apologize for with your short puck outs?” In 2011, the GPA launched its’ US marketing arm by honoring Don Keough for his “contributions to Gaelic sport”, I kid you not! My aforementioned Domer colleague, who had been stonewalled in his efforts to promote Gaelic sport by those at the Keough-Naughton Institute put it best: “Honoring Don Keough for his contribution to promoting Gaelic heritage would be like honoring Cromwell for his efforts on behalf of climate change by eliminating the carbon footprint of some 30,000 folks in Keough’s ancestral county of Wexford.” One couldn’t make this stuff up if one tried; to paraphrase Samuel Beckett: it has entered the Theatre of the Abturd (sic).
For those on the Notre Dame campus this Saturday who might wish to offer to offer a little blowback (to use the CIA term) to Don Keough (now Chairman of Allen & Co, the investment banking firm to Hollywood and the entertainment industry) and the University ostensibly named in honor of our Lord’s mother, and their continued promotion of the gay agenda at Notre Dame (what was once the last bastion against the secularization of Catholic higher education), let me suggest a chant of protest once offered by Tipperary supporters to Mr. Cusack and lifted from his biography:
He’s queer, he’s bent;
His arse is up for rent!
On a final note, the most surprising thing with regard to the chant above is that most GAA folks would found it surprising that anyone in Tipperary (where the legendary Babs Keating would qualify as a deep thinker!) would think of something so clever. I have little doubt that a Tipperary man who knew his shortcomings and those of his fellow county men and women chose to outsource their heavy mental lifting to Ireland’s golden literary triangle (Listowel, Ballylongford, Lisselton), home to such noted wits and satirists as John B. Keane and, the equally witty but not as widely known, Leslie Robert “Bob” Boland. For the record, I must ask Indo (Irish Independent) Saturday’s resident humorist Billy Keane (son of John B for you HC Irish) this question: Was that your work, Billy Boy?