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Celtic Tiger Golfing Porn?

Irish Golf Course in County ClareThis weekend is the Ryder Cup; the biggest event in a sport invented a stone’s throw from Ireland. I suppose it makes sense, Ireland presents an ideal environment for it – gently rippling landscape covered with perpetually green grass. There are at least five golf courses that I’m aware of just here in Athlone.

Statue of President Clinton Golfing in IrelandThe thing is, when you combine Irish hospitality with golf you sometimes get strange results. President Clinton, for example, stopped into the small village of Ballybunion in County Clare to play a round of golf.

They built him a statue.

There he is, in all his glory, perpetually swinging a golf club in front of the Ballybunion garda station. It happens to be, as far as I know, the only existing statue of President Clinton in the world.

Tiger WoodsUnfortunately, the most recent mixture of Irishness and golf has produced a much more noxious result. Tiger Woods, arguably the most famous golfer in history, has arrived on the emerald isle to, not a statue, but to slanderous stories about his wife being a former porn star from a little known Dublin tabloid magazine seeking publicity. The article, entitled, “Ryder Cup filth for Ireland.” reads:

“Most American golfers are married to women who cannot keep their clothes on in public. Is it too much to ask that they leave them at home for the Ryder Cup? Consider the evidence – Tiger Woods’s wife Elin Nordegren – pictured left – can be found in a variety of sweaty poses on porn sites across the web…”

The displayed picture was a photoshopped image of the head of Tiger Woods’ wife carefully imposed onto a a pornographic image (with the naughty bits blacked out, of course).

For feck’s sake. Obviously, Tiger wasn’t impressed. The magazine later issued an apology, but accompanied it by saying that the article was meant as a parody of tabloids and they didn’t have any reason to expect any legal action to be made against them.

Sure, why should they? It’s all a bit of fun, making damaging accusations in public about someone’s wife. Maybe this is the real shame about modern Ireland – this once pastoral society concerned with hospitality and self-effacing humour is now being flushed with success and losing a grip on its mores, its humility and, most tragically, its once apt sense of humour.