Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


You’re not a clever man, are you Mr Larkin?

poor otis dead and gone
Gotta don my Snopes cap and call bullshit on this one, I’m afraid. This story has done the rounds of virtually all the bulletin boards today. It’s funny, it involves someone pissing in SuperValu and it casts a Roscommon person in the role of national idiot. Of course, I’d fucking love if it were true. But upon cursory examination, it’s hard to see how anyone ever fell for it. From Board.ie

Saw this in the regionals today

Irish plasterer urinated on French loaves in protest at Henry handball, court told


A drunken unemployed plasterer who was found urinating on the French loaves section of a large supermarket in protest at the infamous handball incident in the France vs Ireland World Cup qualifier, was this week given a suspended sentence, fined and bound over to keep the peace.

Frances “Smokie” Larkin, The Meadows, Killareagh, Co Roscommon pleaded guilty to the incident at Maher’s ValueStore supermarket, Killareagh, one week after the match which Ireland controversially drew after the French goal was deemed to have scored despite a blatant handball by French striker Thierry Henry.

Staff found the 46-year-old urinating on the Cuisine de France section of the bread shelves in Maher’s, shouting “this will teach ye, ye cheating French bastards,” before he was taken away by local gardai.
Gardai Anthony Flanagan told the court that he had been called to the store at 11.15 on the morning of November 25.

“When I reached the shop, I was informed that Mr Larkin was causing a disturbance in the bread section and when I got there, he was urinating on the French bread section and stamping on a loaf. I later ascertained that the loaves were brioches, a sort of French bread.

“When he saw me, he tried to run away but I apprehended him and grabbed him by the arm. He said ‘that’s for Thierry Henry, guard. If you have any pride in your country, you’ll let me go.

“Then he said ‘that’ll teach them, the cheating French bastards.”

Addressing the court, Angela Roche, solicitor for the defendant said that her client had a problem with drink and that normally he was a placcid character. “It is when he mixes alcohol with his passion for sport that he gets himself into situations like this.

She said that Mr Larkin had become quite agitated with the result of the World Cup match and had worn an “I shot Thierry Henry” t-shirt that was made up in a local t-shirt shop,” she said.

In evidence, Mr Larkin apologised to Mahers store and said that he “had no axe to grind with them,” but that they had been caught up in what he said was “friendly fire.”

He said that he wanted to make a grand gesture to show that the Irish were not going to take the controversial incident lying down.

“The French loaf is the symbol of France and so by doing what I did, I was standing up for Irish pride,” he said.

Mr Larkin had a previous conviction for setting fire to a tennis club shed in his teens, an incident from which he had earned the nickname Smokie.

In his summary, Judge Fergus O’Halloran said that what Mr Larkin had done was despicable and was also a threat to public hygiene.

“You did this without any thought to the consquences for the unfortunate shoppers who had to buy that bread.

“If it was in my power to recommend that you seek help for your alcohol addiction, I would do so and also suggest that you take some responsibility for your temper and inappropriate behaviour.

“We cannot have louts like yourself with half-baked ideas about national pride carrying out acts like this,” he said, before sentencing Larkin to six months in jail, suspended on condition he doesn’t breach the peace for one year, fining him €500 and ordering him to pay €1,000 to Michael Maher for the clean up of the bread shelf areas.

Just a couple of pretty obvious points off the bat:

* The newspaper in which the story is purported to have run is not identified.
* The town in which the court case is purported to have been heard in is not identified.
* The story has not been carried in any national or regional newspaper. (Don’t you think a story like this might have interested the tabloids?)
* How many supermarkets do you know, rural or otherwise, that have a “French loaves section”?
* The town in which offense is alleged to have taken place (Killareagh, Co. Roscommon) does not exist.
* Ditto for the judge who heard the case.
* Even if you left everything else aside, the quoted testimony alone should be a mile-high giveaway sign. (“When he saw me, he tried to run away but I apprehended him and grabbed him by the arm. He said ‘that’s for Thierry Henry, guard. If you have any pride in your country, you’ll let me go.”) Jesus H. Christ, even Twenty Major could write more believable dialogue than that.

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January 28th, 2010.

14 Responses to “You’re not a clever man, are you Mr Larkin?”

  1. massey Says:

    Roscommon people are much too smart for that carry on. More believable if they’d said it happened in Mayo or some shithole like there.

  2. Eoin Says:

    That was the most credible part of the story for me Massey. I was going to email and see was he a cousin of yours!

  3. Emer Says:

    What his solicitor is alleged to have said is even less likely than garda testimony.

    “It is when he mixes alcohol with his passion for sport that he gets himself into situations like this.”

  4. Chris Says:

    Also the line ‘When he saw me, he tried to run away but I apprehended him and grabbed him by the arm’ doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

    And “The French loaf is the symbol of France and so by doing what I did, I was standing up for Irish pride”. I wonder if there’s a bread pun intended there.

  5. Eoin Says:

    @ Emer – Situations? Plural? You mean he pulls stunts like this regularly? Yeah… pretty dumbass for a defense solicitor.

    @ Chris – Possibly! Also the implication that he was pissing, the guards were called and they were on the scene before he’d finished pissing.

    Has the person who wrote this piece ever tried ringing the guards themselves? Jesus Christ, you could raise a family in the time it takes to get them around.

  6. jimbo Says:

    Hmmm looking at the website that’s taken from (newsfromireland.com) I find it hard to believe any of their news is real?!

    Though it’s not an obviously satirical / made up news site.

    Ireland’s answer to the national enquirer?!

  7. john Says:

    Actually, the most realistic thing about this is the dialogue. Believe me I spend a lot of time in court (I work in one) and those sorts of quotations are par for the course.

  8. ger Says:

    * judges CAN order you to undergo treatment for alcoholism
    * if there’s a tennis club in Roscommon then I’m Angelina Jolie

  9. Eoin Says:

    @ John – I wasn’t saying that people don’t speak like that in court. I was saying that people don’t speak like that anywhere. Like Twenty Major, that writer has no ear for the difference between the way people write and the way they speak.

  10. Angela Says:

    ah lads sure it’s only a bit of craic.. losen up would yis. love the “half-baked” pun. massey you’re right too Mayo is an awful shithole 🙂

  11. Colin Says:

    Funny as a spoof, but surely a few months late on the joke at newsfromireland.com. Then doesnt seem to be much updating done on the site anyway.

    Though interestingly there’s a “got a yarn section?”. There you’re asked:

    “We’re always on the look-out for a good yarn. One of the ways we monetise our efforts here is by selling stories to the national papers. So, just tell us, and we can spread the word.”

  12. adam Says:

    I’ve never seen the term ‘bound over to keep the peace’ before either – it’s usually just ‘bound to the peace’.
    I’m a sub ed for a regional paper in South Dublin though so usually the sentences I come across are ’15 years for the first murder, 15 for the second murder and a year suspended for masturbating on the victim’s car after twenty pints in the Laurels in Clondalkin’

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