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Ireland's coolest of the cool

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Ireland's coolest of the cool Empty Ireland's coolest of the cool

Post by Admin on Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:38 pm

Ireland's coolest of the cool
As Prince Harry is hailed 'world's coolest man', Ed Power rates our own homegrown talent

Roisin Murphy and David O'Doherty make Ed Power's cool list.

Celebrity News & Gossip Home

By Ed Power

Friday June 04 2010

The English are known for their surreal sense of humour -- which may explain why ginger royal Prince Harry has been hailed the 'world's coolest man' by the British edition of GQ magazine.

The tearaway toff -- whose catalogue of indiscretions include posing in a Nazi outfit at a fancy dress party, biffing paparazzi and chugging marijuana as a teenager -- was praised as a 'soldier, ambassador, polo player and playboy'. You could almost hear the editors at GQ ripping chunks of hair out in envy at Harry's Austin Powers lifestyle.

Still, as a quick scan of the GQ top 10 makes it clear, 'cool' is very much in the eye of the beholder. Behind Harry at number two was undead hunk Robert Pattinson, who may possess the largest forehead of any living movie star but is hardly likely to be mistaken for the new Al Pacino.

Similarly, while it's easy to see why the judges plumped for rude boy rapper Dizzee Rascal and record-smashing athlete Usain Bolt, the inclusion of Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders is harder to fathom. Granted, he seems a louche fellow.

However, would you recognise him were he to walk past you in the street? And hasn't GQ overlooked the first rule of rock and roll -- the drummer is never the cool one in the band?

Quibbles aside, the survey has several important things to say about the state of cool in 2010. First, we still have a weak spot for bad boys. Tellingly, it was Harry who got the nod from GQ, rather than squeaky clean elder brother Will. Also, one should never be caught actively trying to be cool. Lady Gaga, Marc Ronson and Samuel L Jackson are all so desperate to be the coolest person on the planet they actually come over as a little desperate. Perhaps that's why Helders makes the countdown -- idling behind his drum-kit it's clear he couldn't care less what anyone thinks of him. Which is of course the very essence of cool.

This set us to thinking. Who would make a top list of Irish 'cool'? Unlike British GQ we've decided our countdown ought to be a gender neutral affair. Also, we don't think any one individual stands out as the epitome of Irish cool. So the following list has been set down in no particular order -- there is no winner, just people we believe can wear the 'cool' badge without it seeming as if they're trying too hard.

Brian Cody

Kilkenny hurling manager

Say what you like about his side's physical style of play, Cody himself comes over like a cross between Alex Ferguson and the Dalai Lama.

You can easily picture him giving the hair-dryer treatment to a player not living up to their potential.

And yet there's an air of Zen calm to Cody -- he almost floats above the kicking and grunting of Irish sport.

Michael Fassbender


Colin Farrell and Jonathan Rhys Meyers are immediately disqualified on the grounds that their boozy antics are that bit too cliched for our post-modern age (besides, Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris did the sozzled Irish thespian routine so much better).

Cillian Murphy is both clean living and, with his vast blue peepers, faintly menacing -- definitely not cool. And everyman actor Brendan Gleeson would never claim to be a screen icon. Which leaves Fassbender, the Kerry-raised actor of German extraction whose performances always seem effortless and who, in the flesh, projects a laid-back instructibility.

Michael O'Leary

Ryanair boss

Yes, he's blunt and you do wish he'd drop the schoolyard rebel thing and put on a tie now and then.

Nonetheless, O'Leary is one of the few Irish business people of the past decade whose wealth came not from property or arcane financial sorcery but from selling a real product. You won't catch him wearing a skinny leather jacket, listening to Interpol or wafting down South William Street with an iPad under his arm.

Roisin Murphy

Pop star

We reckon Lady GaGa owes everything to this Wicklow-born disco diva. From wacky couture to sizzling club beats, the two are clearly drinking the same Kool Aid -- and Murphy got there first. A stultifying worthiness has always defined Irish music -- even pop acts such as Westlife and Boyzone are mired in sentimental gloop.

Murphy, in contrast, romps across the stage in flying saucer hats and gowns made from random bits of sofa and refuse bags. Cool? Oh yes.

Adam Clayton

U2 bassist

Bono, obviously, is one of the least cool people in the universe. Second, possibly, only to Chris Martin. As for The Edge and Larry Mullen -- well, they seem like decent chaps but that's not quite the same thing as cool, is it?

Clayton, however, is the genuine rock artifact. Looking like a mild-mannered architect , he nevertheless provides a counterpoint to Bono's steamroller worthiness. Consider the facts: in 1989 he was arrested for drug possession and in 1993 he missed a U2 concert in Australia because he was hungover (prompting him to give up alcohol).

David O'Doherty


Irish comedians tick many boxes. Mouthy and shocking (Tommy Tiernan), endearingly bumbling (Ardal O'Hanlon), chatty and meandering (Dylan Moran). Few qualify as cool. Step forward David O'Doherty, a man so nakedly nerdy it actually bleeds into a weird kind of cool.

If you are looking for an outstanding example of Irish nerd chic, he's the undisputed champ. Sitting at his Casio keyboard he bashes out hilarious songs about Facebook, Twitter and the Doobie Brothers. Way cooler than unleashing a volley of 'f' and 'c' bombs or riffing about the funny thing that happened in the shower.

Sharon Ní Bheoláin


The inscrutable sphinx of Irish current affairs broadcasting. Behind that elusive smile, who knows what she's thinking? The fact that many of us couldn't even properly pronounce her name when she first popped up on Nuacht merely enhanced her allure. Well, who else do you suggest? Anne Doyle?

Declan Kidney

Rugby coach

Never before have rugby players loomed so ubiquitously over the sporting landscape. And yet, the modern game has failed to produce a George Best or Alex Higgins. Brian O'Driscoll may have a glint of schoolboy mischief in his eye -- but you know he's as much the consummate pro off-field as on. Ditto Paul O'Connell, Gordon Darcy et al.

The role of bad-boy does not come naturally to them.

One man in Irish rugby, however, does transmit an indefinable cool: Ireland head coach Declan Kidney. Shrinking from the limelight, he speaks in Clint Eastwood monosyllables, preferring to let his team say what needs to be said on the field.

- Ed Power

Irish Independent

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Join date : 2009-09-20
Location : California

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