With Brexit looming we ask: "What have the Brits ever done for us?"
Britain’s Brexit vote is getting closer. And the closer it gets, the more we’re going to be told what will happen to us if they go.
Or what will happen to us if they stay. So. Does it matter at all? Will it make a blind bit of difference one way or the other?
It all comes down to this, doesn’t it? What have the Brits ever done for us?
Well, we’ve been with them in the EU for 43 years.
So here are 43 things they’ve done for us since they first poked their noses – and swords – into our business 800 years ago
1. The Famine. And Sir Walter Raleigh for giving us potatoes in the first place.
2. EastEnders – and Crossroads, Hollyoaks and El Dorado.
3. Maggie Thatcher. A Sullivan from Bonane, Co. Kerry.
4. The News of the World and The Sun.
5. Football Hooligans. Though the Gardaí had a message for the lads who wrecked Lansdowne Road in 1995. And it hurt.
6. Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter and Stuart Hall.
7. Simon Cowell.
8. Katie Price. And Katie Hopkins as well.
9. Gary Lineker – and John Motson.
10. Padraig Pearse, well, his daddy. But Thomas Clarke and James Connolly, no argument.
11. The Penal Laws.
12. Nigel Farage. And Boris Johnson.
13. July 30, 1966 and THAT World Cup final.
14. The Helga. No, not when it was shelling Dublin in 1916, when we bought it off them in 1923, called it the Muirchú and it became the pride of our navy.
15. The Black and Tans.
16. Oliver Cromwell.
17. Jeffrey Archer.
18. Captain J.C. Bowen-Colthurst.
20. Jeremy Clarkson.
21. Warm beer.
22. General John Maxwell.
23. The Somme.
24. Piers Morgan.
25. Kelvin McKenzie.
26. Tim Henman – Batman, Superman, SpiderMan, and they gave us Henman.
28. Foot and Mouth.
29. Birmingham Six and Guildford Four.
30. Bloody Sunday. Twice.
31. Jeremy Kyle. And his guests.
32. Essex. And Birmingham. And Newcastle. And Blackpool. And Leeds.
33. Posh accents and titles. Lah di bloody dah Lord This and Lady That.
34. Clive Woodward and Martin Johnson.
35. Britain’s Got Talent. And The X Factor.
36. Russell Brand. And Alan Carr. And Jimmy Carr.
37. John Terry. And Joey Barton. And Ashley Cole. And Wayne Rooney. And Ashley Young.
38. Lewis Hamilton.
39. Wayne Barnes.
40. Phil Collins. And Rick Astley. And Brotherhood of Man. And Little Mix and Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez Versini etc.
41. Boxing Day. It’s creeping in.
42. The Union Jack.
43. The Royals. Unless they’re over here on a visit, in which case we love them.
Mind you, we gave them one or two things as well.
1. Footballers. Rooney. Carragher. Keown. Bruce.
2. Actors. They still claim them. Saoirse Ronan. Michael Fassbender. Sinead Cusack. Fiona Shaw.
3. Writers. From Swift all the way to Heaney and everything in between.
4. Words... Boycott. Hooligan. Smithereens. Whiskey. Limerick and, of course, craic.
5. Soldiers. The tens of thousands who died in WWI and WWII.
6. St Patrick’s Cross. It’s the red X in the Union Jack.
7. Christianity. Well, they gave us Patrick and we converted them.
8. The Queen. A lot of German, but lots of Irish blood in there too.
9. Blair, Thatcher and Cameron. Yes. They all have Irish heritage.
10. Gerry Adams. Well… seems fair.
Now, in fairness, not everything they gave us was bad. There are a few things, just a few, we’re kind of grateful for.
1. The Royal Hospital, RDS and Royal College of Surgeons, and lots of other fine buildings.
2. The Hugh Lane Collection (given reluctantly).
3. Georgian Dublin – the bits we didn’t destroy.
4. Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Fair dues to Captain Bligh, whose survey identified the need for it.
5. Jack Charlton. God bless him.
6. English. Love Irish, but English is kind of handy.
7. BBC. And the Graham Norton Show and Jules Holland and their news broadcasts and David Attenborough and so on.
8. Comedy. The Goons. Monty Python. Only Fools and Horses. Absolutely Fabulous. Blackadder. Yes, Minister. Reggie Perrin. Porridge. The Young Ones…
9. Phoenix Park. Heaven.
10. St Patrick. Getting us to Heaven.