None of you will be one bit surprised that I am about to exclusively reveal here in this special space exactly how our generally shocking show at the Olympics in Rio can be totally transformed for the next outing in Tokyo in four years time.

We badly need that transformation. for sure.

As I write this, the South American tragedy is just ended and the plight of the Irish bigwigs in charge of our athletes is worsening by the minute.

Hopefully matters may improve a bit by the time ye are reading this but, just now, two Paddies are in jail in a notorious local prison, and the passports of a few more have been seized by the police, so they will be unable to fly home when they wish to.

In addition to that, a rake of allegedly suspicious unsold tickets have been seized, together with laptops and mobile phones and files, and there are other top Olympic Council members who are lucky to be at home in Ireland, because the Brazilian police are looking for their passports too.

It is all high octane world news, and that is the pure truth.

What is also sadly true at the end of the fortnight is that more than a few of the athletes who went out to Rio to represent us were way below the necessary standard for any kind of success in their disciplines.

I eventually wearied of hearing the phrase, “Best of the Irish....”

And praise being sought for somebody even reaching a final or finishing in the top thirty in some competition or other. I don’t think I am alone in that view.

However, because of my exhaustive research, I am in the exclusive position of being able to offer a solution.

We can perform infinitely better in Japan in four years time, if I am heeded.

This is because my research yielded the complete answer to the under-performance of so many of our athletes.

I cannot offer any advice to any of their IOC bosses, but the athletes would be well advised to heed MacConnell over the next four years.

The pure truth, yet again.

The answer, I have discovered, lies in the strength of the food chain, which is so critical for athletes.

It is a solid fact that the Irish athletes who performed best and won silver medals had one dietary element in common.

Both the O’Donovan brothers from Skibbereen and Annalise Murphy of the sailing world devoured large quantities of spuds and bacon and cabbage during their training sessions.

I assert that with confidence, because the young Dublin sailor did much of her training on my local Lough Derg and, I am reliably informed, devoured plates of spuds, bacon and cabbage after her sessions.

The same is true, out of their own mouths, of the likeable O’Donovan brothers.

It is sadly clear now, however, that many of their athletic colleagues were led astray by the more modern and allegedly more organic foods such as pastas and pestos and generally vegan stuff.

This does not really work well inside an Irish belly which, in the end, for generations, was fuelled and fortified by bacon and spuds and cabbage.

Again, as always, the pure truth.

The bigwigs will eventually escape jail and return home. Some of them will be replaced by others.

New coaches will be appointed for the various codes, and will attempt to effect an improvement.

I earnestly hope that some of them will be informed by some of you good folk about the crucial importance for the Irish gut of good floury spuds steaming on a plate alongside a good charge of collar bacon and green cabbage.

With profound sympathy to Katie Taylor especially, I will leave it there for now.


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