COLM O'REGAN: Next year, Met Offices, put Colm on the list

Storm Eleanor hit in January

The Atlantic storms name list is out. This year could be a turning point. A sea-change, if you will.

Niamhs all over the UK will finally be in with a chance of having their name spelled and pronounced correctly.

Now I’m not saying that Niamhs would be so selfish a cohort to wish 13 storms to batter these islands just so they could see their name scrawled in some recognisable form on a coffee cup in a coffee chain that doesn’t pay any tax. 

But still if it meant one less, slowly dictated name for a doubting great-grandchild of a Black and Tan working in Dixons, then they would put up with a few gales.

Saoirses are probably fine. 

There was a time when they would have been itching for the climate-changed North Atlantic to front-up for the 19th time, but since Saoirse Ronan became famous, they have gained at least some understanding.

It is possible for the English to appreciate that not all vowel sounds are as they expect and not all consontants do an obvious job. 

Some work behind the scenes.

Niamhs on the other hand, apart from the odd well-regarded stage actress haven’t featured. 

It’s often spelled Neve or Neave and there’s no point in telling a Cockney costermonger about Niamh in Fair City. 

He’ll look at you and wonder if you’re having a larf. But now is the Age of Niamh.

Next year, Met Offices, put Colm on the list

The full list of storm names comprises Ali, Bronagh, Callum, Deirdre, Erik, Freya, Gareth, Hannah, Idris, Jane, Kevin, Lily, Max, Niamh, Oliver, Peggy, Ross, Saoirse, Tristan, Violet and Wyn.

I think they sound like quite a fun bunch. 

Perhaps they are on a team building weekend on the Cotswolds — middle management from two recently merged companies doing zip-line and trust exercises before figuring out the redundancies. 

There might be a good bit of ‘banter’. 

Gentle, slightly racist ribbing of Bronagh, Deirdre, Niamh and Saoirse by saying they probably love the pints. 

Maybe Bronagh has a shift with Wyn, who’s actually not bad-looking. He does Ironmans but talks about it a lot.

That’s the vibe I get from them anyway. 

It feels a bit more modern than the first year of the storms in 2015. 

Poor Clodagh and Orla sounded like the only two guests at a fierce small and fairly dry wedding at a registry office in Walthamstow of two people they were on nursing training with. 

And are still terrified of the formidable Rhonda and the rather haughty Imogen who, it was said, came from money.

It’s great to see Gareth getting back in there (Into the list I mean, him and Rhonda were just friends). 

Hopefully this will save the name Gary. Gary has been in decline for years as a name. 

There are thousands of grown-up Garys but few being dandled by proud bearded dads on Instagram. 

I think the main reason is that no one can imagine a baby called Gary. 

Gary is the name of someone who will be out to you at Thursday at the latest because he’s snowed under with jobs all this week, what with the bank holiday and all. 

It’s one of those indubitably adult names, a capable man. Not a baby.

And once again Colm has been overlooked. I don’t know what’s going on with Colm. There are no baby Colms. 

A proud Irish name with Latin roots, it means dove. Perhaps it has been conflated with pigeon. And pigeons are up there with seagulls in our affections.

There is a Callum. But frankly telling me there’s a Callum instead of a Colm is like telling me there’s Liptons instead of Barry’s. 

It is NOT the same at all.

I don’t know what’s happened with Colm. We used to make things in this country ya know? 

Columba and Colmcille kept learning alive during the Dark Ages for fecks sake. 

What’s the matter with you people? What’s ‘Jaden’ ever done for you?

So next year, Met Offices, put Colm on the list. 

Let’s make this dove fly again.

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