Choose The Walk-In Tune For Andy Lee vs Belghecham

ANDY Lee wants Irish fight fans to suggest a walk-in tune for his next fight at the University of Limerick (UL).   Lee meets French middleweight Affif Belghecham, the current European Union champ, in a battle of the southpaws in his home town on Saturday November 14.   The former Irish Olympian is winding down his training for the clash at the Fight House gym in Manhattan, New York, this week and will arrive in Limerick next Saturday.

Lee, 25, used Phil Collins’s  In the Air Tonight – with the emphasis on the drum break – as his walk in music for his last fight at UL.   However, the Limerickman exclusively told Bock the Robber that he can be persuaded to change his tune and says he’ll take your suggestions on board ahead of the 21st fight of his pro career.

Meanwhile, promoter Brian Peters has assured sports fans planning to attend UL for the fight that they won’t miss the crucial Ireland versus France World Cup play-off match at Croke Park on the same night.

The Yanjing Fight Night at the University Arena in Limerick on Saturday, November 14th is shaping up to be a huge night of live sport for the sports mad city. Not only will fight fans get to see Lee taking on reigning European Union and French Champion Affif Belghecham but they will also get their sporting kicks when the crucial World Cup playoff match between Ireland and France is shown live in the big screens in the arena.

It won’t be the first time that a major match has clashed with a big fight night. Back in March fans at The O2 in Dublin got to watch Ireland win the Grand Slam on the big screens before Bernard Dunne capped a famous day for Irish sport by winning the World title with a sensational 11th-round stoppage of Ricardo Cordoba.

Fans in attendance at the University Arena on Saturday week will be hoping for a similar double as both the Irish soccer team and Lee attempt to topple the French. Promoter Brian Peters believes that the Ireland and France game will whet the appetite nicely for Lee’s clash with Belghecham.

With Limerick being such a sports mad city we didn’t want people having to choose between Andy’s fight and the Ireland match so the game will be live on the big screens so that people don’t miss out on any of the action, said Peters.

Hopefully it will be just like that Saturday back in March when Ireland won the Grand Slam and Bernard won the World title. I don’t think anyone who was at The O2 will ever forget that night so hopefully Andy and the Irish team can make it another night to remember on the 14th.

Other facilities in the University Arena will include a full bar and food court and Peters believes those in attendance are in for a great night out. We’ve taken on board feedback from previous shows in Limerick so for this event we will have a full bar and food court in place thanks to the support of our sponsors, Yanjing. The facilities really promise to be top class so it should be a night with a bit of everything and hopefully Andy can do the business to make sure everyone goes home happy.

Peters is under no illusions about the threat that Belghecham poses to Lee’s European and World title prospects.  It’s going to be a very hard night’s work for Andy, he admitted Peters.  Belghecham is rated ahead of him in both the World and the European ratings and he is the current European Union and French Champion so you cannot disregard that kind of pedigree. He’s a very capable fighter and he’s in the best form of his career right now but home advantage is always crucial and Andy will be a very hard man to beat in Limerick.

Limerick will have no shortage of local heroes to cheer on at the University Arena with city natives Jamie Power and Willie Casey also in action on the card. Tickets for the Yanjing Fight Night priced from €40 are available from Ticketmaster (phone 0818 719 300 or visit, The George Boutique Hotel in Limerick and all usual outlets.

Bock's People


Last night was the feast of Saint Halloween, patron saint of feral children.

This is the day, every year, when urchins gather by the roadside to practise the traditional art of flinging eggs at cars, and when their parents stand around a huge bonfire drinking Dutch Gold and freeing the spirit of the god, Dioxin.


Once a year, on this day, even hardened atheists pray: for rain, and our prayers were answered last night when it started to rain heavily at about 11 o’clock, sending thousand of disappointed pyjama people home, too sober and too early, their celebrations in ruins, a heap of half-melted wheelie-bins and smouldering mattresses.

Our prayer wasn’t answered too early though.  The day started bright, crisp and sunny.  Just the thing for a walk by the river, followed by a browse around the market004

People-watching and nibbling little treats before wandering off for a coffee and a read of the paper.009

This is the last time we’ll see the market  in its present form, open to the elements.  It closes for six months while they put  a giant umbrella over it.


Traders have mixed views about this, and I have misgivings myself but we’ll have to give it a chance.


Time for a coffee in Nancy’s and a chat.

The world’s funniest German is in good form.  He kills us with his latest joke: Hello.  Can I help you?


Things are looking grim here too.  A harsh disciplinary regime means that cheeky customers can expect no mercy:


It’s a busy day.  We’re off to Thomond Park to meet Ulster in a Magners League match.  Bullet and myself got lucky and secured stand tickets through a kind friend.



Ulster are tough opposition, but Munster grind out a good victory, securing a bonus point for four tries and winning 24-10.  How bad?


After that, what else can you do only get down to some serious partying?  Saint Halloween delivered, bless him, providing rain, music and drink.

What more could one ask from the patron saint of feral children?


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TV3’s Donal MacIntyre – the Laziest Journalist In Ireland?

I’m watching a TV3 documentary about my town as I type this.

j001Donal MacIntyre recites a litany of crime in Limerick over a sinister backing track as the camera pans across a terrace of derelict houses.

A voice-over describes Limerick as the murder capital of Europe with a murder rate exceeding 7 per 100,000 people.  An interesting concept in a town of 120,000 people where one killing can increase the murder rate by 15%.

One murder in a village of 1,000 people would bring the rate there to 100 per 100,000, making it the murder capital of the entire world by this half-witted measure,  but numeracy was never a prerequisite to get into journalism in Ireland, and neither, it seems, was logic.

According to Donal MacIntyre’s website, he’s an investigative journalist, specialising in hard hitting investigations, undercover operations and television exposes. He has won praise for his courage, and campaigning zeal particularly his consistent work in the area of care homes for the elderly and the learning disabled.

Going on the evidence of what we saw tonight, this is nonsense.

Donal Macintyre is a lazy, cynical journalist.

In the TV3 documentary, the camera closes in on children tearing apart a burnt-out car and follows two hooded children driving a motorbike on a pedestrian footpath while Donal provides the commentary.  Those children were encouraged by TV3 to commit crime for the camera.

[Update: it later emerged that TV3 used stock footage of feral  children they filmed in Dublin two years ago. ]

001-7What am I looking at here?

Do I recognise this town in which I thought I  lived and where I grew up?

Well, yes and no.

I recognise those estates on the television where poor people live in the desperation of poverty.  The same sort of places as they have in Dublin and Cork and Liverpool and Hull and Baltimore. (Ref: Dublin has highest rate of gun murder)

But I don’t recognise the town that’s home to the World Music Centre, or the Irish Chamber Orchestra, or Munster Rugby.  I don’t recognise the town where 046my son hopes to attend a University course in sustainable energy.  I don’t recognise the place where the creative people I know play music and perform  theatre and laugh and tell jokes and cook and eat and make love and swim and fish and play sports and enjoy life.

I’m looking at a sterile vision, given to us by the incompetent, cynical and unimaginative failure that Irish telejournalism has become.

I’m looking at child-abuse, perpetrated by TV3, as the track-suited children of  mendicant poor tear a stolen car apart for the benefit of their cameras.  I’m watching TV3 further brutalise children already damaged by poverty and it doesn’t matter that these children were filmed in Dublin rather than Limerick.  They’re still children, playing up to the cynical attentions of a tabloid TV station and a hack reporter pretending to be what he isn’t.

TV3 pays children to commit crime, denounces it, and holds its nose against my town.  The fact that they pretended these children were filmed in Limerick is neither here nor there.  We have feral children just like Dublin.

003I feel disgust, truly, and that disgust is misdirected because it ought to be aimed at the filth who defile our country, but which instead is diverted towards those who ought to know better.  People who think of themselves as journalists but who have no moral standards apart from hunger for the next cheap headline.

People who prefer to rely on the cliché and the stereotype instead of applying genuine analysis and intelligent thinking.


001We have criminals in this town, and it’s about time our authorities devoted the resources to crush those low-lifes, as I have been saying since I started writing this site.  But I won’t accept this shallow and facile  characterisation of my town.

The more I see of these documentaries, the more I realise that the phrase “television journalism” is an oxymoron.

Journalism doesn’t exist in television.

With all the things going on here, the best that Donal MacIntyre can come up with is a few hackneyed shots of burnt-out houses?  Is he not embarrassed?  I certainly thought he looked a bit sheepish repeating clichés to the camera, and though it could easily have been my imagination, I felt I knew what he was thinking.

The Paddies will buy the kind of shite I’d be sacked for in England.

He’s right of course.  Our standards are lower, and shame on us for it.  But he’s wrong to act on such venal and grasping urges.  He should have more principles as a journalist.

Yes, we have social problems, and yes, we have crime problems, but tell me this.  Is your town free of them?

I believed Donal MacIntyre was a credible journalist, but when I saw his manipulative use of Shane Geoghegan’s murder, and that of Roy Collins, I realised he’s no more than a hack like all the rest of them, and that’s a pity.

Unlike Donal MacIntyre, I personally know people who were hurt by the loss of Shane Geoghegan and it pains me to see him use this tragedy as a prop in his portrayal of my town.  He’s not of our community.  He didn’t earn the right to use our injury this way.  It does him no justice and it diminishes him as a journalist to sink that low.

Nobody can deny that our country is beset by savage criminal elements and nobody can deny that we need intelligent journalists.

It seems we don’t have them.

Isn’t that sad?


Welcome to Hell.  This is Limerick.


Biffo Buys Bananas

I was wondering why there were so many cops around the market this morning, including an exceptionally well-turned-out senior-looking guy.  The leather gloves are the giveaway.

What the fuck? I thought. Times must be hard when a chief superintendent has to walk the beat in the market on a Saturday morning.

But no.  It turns out that Biffo was in town, with his entourage of baggy-suited fixers, like a crowd of drunken uncles at a country funeral.

Desperation is a terrible thing, and I suppose Biffo was trying to raise his satisfaction ratings from minus ten million to about zero by pressing the flesh of market traders and the ordinary people.

You know: the people his party has robbed, cheated, embezzled and landed in a state of complete economic disaster.

Yes.  Those ordinary people.

Cowen was out of luck.  Nobody was interested in talking to a sweaty old troll as he led his bunch of mumbling gobshites from stall to stall, trying to look like living human beings but managing only to look like terrified Fianna Fail hacks without an adult thought between them.

Cowen paused at a fruit and vegetable stall, nodding to Peter Power, who obligingly bought a bunch of bananas and handed them out to the Lads as they moved away.

Well, said a woman buying fruit at the stall.  That’s about right for a banana republic.


Boxing Nickname Shortage

What is it with Limerick pro boxers and their avoidance of nicknames?

Jamie Power, a former stable-mate of Andy Lee’s at the St Francis club in Limerick, stretched his unbeaten run to six after Lithuanian light heavyweight Kirill Pshonko failed to answer the bell for the start of the fourth round at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin last night.

Jamie Power v Kirill Pshonko

Pshonko, nicknamed Pitbull, spent most of his time in the intervals between frames  throwing up into a bucket after being hit with the type of body shots that would have brought down the walls of King Johns Castle.

Jamie Power v Kirill Pshonko (1)

Power wobbled the Lithuanian with a body punch in the second frame which must have been felt all the way back in Vilnius. The Pitbull had his tail between his legs from that point on and declined to leave his stool at the end of the third, giving ref Emile Tiedt, a son of Fred Tiedt who won  welterweight silver for Ireland at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, no option but to stop the fight.

Jamie Power v Kirill Pshonko (2)

Power has no nickname – and neither has Lee, although an “informed source” tells me Lee’s manager Emanuel Stewart, who was trained and managed over 30 World champs, including Thomas “the hit man” Hearns, (now there’s a nickname), is referring to the ex Irish Olympian as “sharpshooter.”

Lads, we need nicknames here, particularly if you, to use Limerick vernacular, continue to “bate” all round you  on the international circuit.

Here is a sample of some of the more colourful boxing nicknames: Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins. (Roberto “Manos de Piedra/Hands of Stone” Duran.  James “Lights Out” Toney. Juan “The Hispanic Causing Panic” Lazcano. Michael “Second to” Nunn. Mike “The Body Snatcher” McCallum. Jermaine “Bad Intentions” Taylor and, last but not least,  The Count of Monte Fisto (Apollo Creed).

Good solid nicknames there lads. So about it? Meanwhile, congratulations to Jamie and backroom team of Ken, Finbar and Mario on another impressive win last night.

The victory stretches the 28-year-old Limerick boxer’s career record to a half dozen unbowed and improves his KO percentage to 50%.

Power was trading leather on the Eddie Hyland and Oisin “Gael Force” Fagan undercard at the Basketball Arena. Hyland, with Bernardo Checa, who once worked with Roberto Duran, working his corner, earned a unanimous decision to claim the vacant IBF International super featherweight crown.

Hyland’s brother, Patrick, also claimed a vacant IBF belt, while a third Hyland brother, Paul, won along with Cork’s Gary O’Sullivan,Robbie Long and Anthony Fitzgerald.

Power and Lee are Limerick’s only two pro boxers. Both men learned their trade as amateurs with the St Francis club on Shannonside.  Power is an ex Irish Intermediate champ and New York Golden Gloves semi finalist.

Limerick Live recording Speakeasy Jazz Venues

Downtown Dixieland at Speakeasy Jazz — Limerick

Here’s a few videos from the most recent Speakeasy Jazz session in Limerick.


Limerick Speakeasy Jazz

Speakeasy Jazz

dixiejazzleadimageHarry Hockedy and his merry band (Joe, Toni, John, Andrew, Anthony and Tom) are at the Speakeasy Jazz session next Thursday, with a happy, peppy, rip snortin’, up-tempo New Orleans jazz set.

Go along and grab a little bit of the singin’, dancin’, drinkin’ till late. Feck, it’s great, and the perfect excuse to get all glammed up retro style !!

Go for it. You know you deserve it. Down with all this misery.

According to the press release, the band will be followed by a DJ, but I don’t think that’s what they mean. There won’t be an axe-waving disc jockey trying to dismember the musicians. No. I think what will happen is that a DJ will play vinyl until somebody pulls the plug and the partying has to stop, but I don’t think that will happen too early.

It’s at Shannon Rowing Club. You know the place, on Sarsfield Bridge. July 9th.
Doors open at 9.30 and it’s €8 admission if you get in before 10pm. €10 after that.



Rod Stewart in Limerick

Rod Stewart is playing here in Limerick tonight, and somebody offered me a ticket, but I couldn’t accept because I was going to a family thing.  The dreaded Significant Birthday.


But why, perhaps you’re wondering.  Why might you be thinking of attending a Rod Stewart concert?

To which I might answer, Because he’s fucking great.

Because Rod Stewart has credibility going all the way back as far as The Faces and Jeff Beck.  Because this guy was instrumental in the creation of  blues-rock.  Because he has a voice as raw and dirty as anything you’ve ever heard and because he lives and breathes rock and roll.

This guy is the fucking business.  The real deal.

And you know, people try to sneer at him, but Rod has been there and done that.  He’s the genuine article.  This fella has played with Long John Baldry, Brian Auger, Julie Christie, the Stones and the Walker Brothers.  He played with Peter Green and Ronnie Wood.

Jesus Christ, how much credibility does one man need?

I’m as pissed off as one human being can be that I can’t blunder out to Thomond Park and listen to the great Rod Stewart singing Gasoline Alley and The  Killing of Georgie.

I don’t wanna talk about it …


Coiscéim Eile Lokomat Appeal

joanadeleJoan Ryan was partially blinded in a car crash and her daughter Adele was paralysed from the chest down.That was six years ago and Adele is now 12 years old. They’ve moved on, and they live with their injuries. They’re good people, from a good, solid, rural community that doesn’t lie down under adversity, but looks to the future.

The sort of strong community and family, in other words, that set up a charity like Coiscéim Eile to help people recover from their traumatic injuries.

The Lokomat machine is a device that helps people with partial paralysis and many other debilitating disorders, and while it won’t give Adele back the power to walk, it provides her with the exercise she needs. Apart from Adele, this machine has helped many local people to walk properly again after serious accidents and also helps to keep people’s organs working even if they can’t learn to walk again.It’s available six days a week in Patrickswell and it does the work of five physiotherapists.

It costs a fortune and the charity needs to collect €150,000 before November to keep it in place.


Bruff Rugby Club is on the case, and has organised a range of fundraising events, like this:

But they don’t expect you to pull a jeep or even do a bungee jump.

All they want you to do is enjoy an evening of music and insane humour with Jon Kenny and friends, and maybe join in the auction of sports memorabilia. You never know what you might manage to grab.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Buy a ticket at €15 for the show on the 7th August, turn up and have a great night.
  • Donate some decent sports memorabilia for the auction.
  • Donate a few euros to the fund. They’re not asking a lot: even a €5 donation (the price of a pint or ten cigarettes) will go a long way. Please leave your name and address, and other necessary details in the €œAdd instructions to Seller box in Paypal to get a receipt. It’s safe and secure. You can use either your own Paypal account or just a credit card to donate and nobody will see any of your financial information.

Click here to Donate using Paypal

Limerick Live recording Music Venues

Limerick Music

Here’s a few videos I made recently on a random scoot around town.