This brilliant article from Eamon Lynch of Golfweek looks at the 2019 Open Championship in light of the murder of Derry journalist Lyra McKee last week and the ongoing inability of squabbling (elected) politicians to get their shit together and re-open the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Lynch points out that it wont be taking Clarke, McIlroy, McDowell and co that'll be taking credit for the  Open being brought to Portrush....oh'll be those same politicians.....with their necks as thick as a jockey's bollox.

Lynch sets the scene.

Golf nourishes itself with low-hanging narratives, those saccharine, feel-good tales about lives redeemed or neighborhoods rejuvenated thanks to the royal and ancient game. Stories of golf as a power for good often hold a seed of truth that eventually reaps an acre of corn. Eighty-seven days from now, folks who peddle this kind of claptrap will have a field day as the 148th Open Championship kicks off at Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

Then he really tees off.

It has been two decades since the Good Friday Agreement nominally ended the 30-year conflict euphemistically known as “the Troubles.” Ours was a grubby, low-intensity war characterized more by doorstep shootings than artillery fire. It claimed more than 3,500 lives, a total that may seem relatively insignificant unless your loved ones number among them. The pace at which Northern Ireland fills its body bags has mercifully slowed, but it has not completely halted.
The most recent victim was Lyra McKee. She was a 29-year-old journalist killed last week when a gunman from an IRA splinter group fired on police lines during a riot in the city of Derry, 35 miles west of Royal Portrush.
I didn’t know McKee, save a long-ago exchange of emails. Friends of mine did and considered her a formidable voice among her “ceasefire babies” peers. “We were the Good Friday Agreement generation, destined not to witness the horrors of war but to reap the spoils of peace,” McKee once wrote. “The spoils never seemed to reach us.”
The Open Championship is a spoil, of sorts. Just as the Claret Jug will be held aloft by the champion golfer of the year, the Open itself will be brandished as a symbol of normalcy and progress by the very politicians whose stone-age squabbles have left Northern Ireland without a functioning government for years, whose intransigence and bigotry sent generations of Lyra McKees fleeing for airports and ferry terminals.
Self-congratulatory back-slapping by elected blowhards is so familiar a part of professional golf that it won’t really register with those who travel to Portrush. But it will be a galling spectacle for the people who must continue to live with increasing tribal tensions, sporadic violence and diminishing opportunities long after the Open caravan leaves town.

Lets hope the "politicians" look up from just shouting "No" and listen.

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