As everyone who knows her is aware, Coach Eilis is a shy, retiring person not given to public expressions of opinion. It takes a lot for her to feel she needs to comment on a situation or event in swimming and then only in the calmest, most supportive and encouraging way. I was therefore surprised to receive a phone call from the Coach, the content of which I have tried to capture below. It is – believe me – almost verbatim. I just took out the bad stuff she said about the three bandidos. This is a family site, after all.
Me: Hello, Eilis?
Coach Eilis: Damian, listen to me, did you hear about that round-Cork swim last night?
Me: Well, I….
Coach Eilis: What the hell is going on with that Myrtleville crowd? Jim and Bernard and Liam?? Myrtlevillians? Myrtlewasters more like it. Ned? Ned, like? They let that geriatric feckin’ Yank win?
Me: Ah, well….
Coach Eilis: The excuses? He swam under the wall out of the current and they wouldn’t? Why not? Afraid of a bit of sewage and a few dead animals and shopping trolleys? WIMPS! They’re a disgrace. They must have known he’d swim through shite backwards to get ahead – but he’s ancient, sure, half the man he used to be – and he still beat them!
Me: Yes, ah…
Coach Eilis: Get the word out – they’re nothing to do with me. They obviously forgot everything I taught them before Covid arrived. Useless. When they come crawling back, I’ll have them doing drills with the beginners. At the back of the lane too. Useless.
Me: Oh, ah, right…
Coach Eilis: At least Rosie did a great swim – no cheating or messing. Fantastic swimmer.
Me: Yes, she…
Coach Eilis: But that other three!!! Useless!! What a shower – beaten by a half-dead ould fella. A disgrace!! Nothing to do with me. Nothing. He even gave them a head start!
Me: He wha..?
Coach Eilis: Yeah, Ned left them head off into the sunset and stood there to give them odds then beat them anyway. USELESS!! I’ll have the three of them lying on the pool deck up here to bend and twist them like morla and everyone laughing at them.
The call continued in this vein for a while longer. It was unprintable. Lads, I wouldn’t be heading towards Silver Springs any time soon if I were ye. She’s waiting.