Just north of Barcelona, Calella is a town on the Mediterranean where years ago Pádraig and his sisters spent a week or two on a training camp our swimming club had organised. The hotel they staid in and the Olympic pool are just around the corner. I am sitting on a balcony of my room in one of these gigantic hotels in Capella, just arrived from Dublin. There are dozens of crickets downstairs in the garden, it’s warm and there is a soft breeze coming in from the sea.

It’s late and I’ll be getting up really early tomorrow morning to sea one of Pádraig’s sisters doing an Ironman. I think I’m probably more nervous than she is tonight. but I am already immensely proud of her. I know what it is like to run a marathon, but she’s going to swim nearly 4 km and cycle 180 km tomorrow before she’ll start running 42 km. It’ll be a long day for her.


Thejournal.ie runs a page every week called: News Quiz: How well do you remember the week that was? Pádraig, over the last few weeks, has been doing this quiz and surprised us each time by getting more answers right than myself.

“Incredible”, I hear you say. “Incredible”, that’s what I thought.

Here is a sample of the quiz, from a week or two back, Check it out. How well would you have done?


1. Which Irish political leader said that the Take Back The City housing activist group is something they ‘wouldn’t be associated with’.

  • The Greens’ Eamon Ryan
  • Labour’s Brendan Howlin x
  • Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald
  • Social Democrats’ Róisín Shortall

2. What did former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson refer to the so-called Brexit backstop as?

  • A load of shite
  • A bad idea
  • A monstrosity x
  • An unworkable plan

3. What will Conor McGregor now be calling his own brand whiskey?

  • Fighting Irish
  • 188 Bottled
  • Notoriously Smooth – that’s one he got wrong
  • Proper No. 12

4. Peter Casey became the third Dragon’s Den star to get his name on the Presidential ballot, but who became the first person to drop out of the race?

  • Gemma O’Doherty
  • Kevin Sharkey x
  • Bunty Twuntingdon-McFuff
  • Sarah Louise Mulligan

5. What was the name of the storm that assaulted Ireland in midweek, killing two people and leaving half the country without power?

  • Alan
  • Alex
  • Alistair
  • Ali x

Incredible? – Why? We just have to give him the chance to try!