Consistently remarkable Celtic-Inverness in the Cup


Inverness Caledonian Thistle were actually eliminated from the Scottish Cup in January, after losing 0-2 at home to Queen’s Park.  In true Sion/Legia fashion, that result was overturned as Queen’s fielded in illegible player – Hearts loanee Euan Henderson.

That break saw the Championship side away to Livingston in the next round.  Livi were midtable in the Premiership at the time but Billy McKay scored twice at the visitors recorded an impressive 0-3 win.  The quarter finals saw Inverness home to Kilmarnock, who took an early lead, but McKay was there to level and Killie’s vulnerabilities got the better of them.

Having binned two Premiership clubs, few gave League One’s Falkirk much hope against Inverness.  Billy McKay scored another double along with near-namesake Daniel Mackay at Hampden. That game was one month ago today, Inverness were in the Scottish Cup Final, were on form and occupied a play-off spot with one league game remaining.

That game was home to Ayr United, who were below Inverness on goal difference.  Inverness scored an 81st minute equaliser but results elsewhere meant that a point was not good enough for either side.  Both pressed for a winner, which Ayr got with two minutes remaining.

Inverness went from beating two Premiership clubs during an eight-game unbeaten run, hoping and expecting promotion, to being dumped out of contention and having a blank calendar for 29 days before meeting Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final.

It would be enormously difficult for Pep Guardiola to devise a fitness plan that prepares his side for a final without a game in 29 days.  They would be unable to get much in the way of bounce games.  The Highland League broke up for the summer before the Championship.  Clubs not involved in the play-offs, or the topflight, would not have a squad to play anyone behind closed doors.  And let’s remember, Inverness manager Billy Dodds is no Pep Guardiola.

If you are a betting punter, you can get 18/1 against Inverness on Saturday.  For a two-horse race, that is exceptional.  I don’t know the odds on an Inverness win when we faced them in this competition in February 2000, or when we faced them again just days after becoming Uefa Cup semi-finalists in March 2003.  On paper, Inverness did not have a hope on either occasion.

They would have been shorter odds when we met them in the Cup semi-final in 2015, when a bizarre referee error kept them in the tie long enough to benefit from a useful red card and penalty combo.  The only consistency we see with Inverness in the Scottish Cup is that they can find ways to beat Celtic in remarkably unlikely circumstances.  Billy McKay and Inverness fans will have no fears for the week ahead.

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  1. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from the Laurieston Bar. Bridge Street looking radiant in the Glasgow sunshine. Braw.

  2. An Tearmann .


    I got your message on Saturday but couldn’t reply due to a “can’t reply to this short code” error in Google messages .


    I think I need to roll back to a prior revision 😕


    Anyhow , all good here and hoping you are feeling champion 🤪

  3. BRRB , the Laurieston bar , 5 stars on trip adviser .


    Has the Laurieston won fifty titles ? 🤪

  4. !!Bada Bing!! on

    EdinburghBhoys- I asked last week about overnight Park and Ride for the Tram,was it Edinburgh Park? Thanks

  5. ” … when a bizarre referee error kept them in the tie long enough to benefit from a useful red card and penalty combo.” – It’s interesting and possibly not unintentional that John Beaton has been chosen to referee this game.

  6. bigrailroadblues on

    Fred Colon 12.33


    Surely has J. Great pub and a lovely family that own it. And they are Tims, which is a nice bonus. 👍 🍻🇮🇪

  7. bigrailroadblues on

    Aipple 12.26


    If I ever grow up it’ll be a fecking miracle K.



  8. Who was the Queens Park player with the difficult name to read and why were they punished for that?

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Season tickets renewed after a bit of a blip and a bit of a gulp.



    Online Hub thought I was a bot.



    For the record – I’m not.

  10. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “…. in the Cup semi-final in 2015, when a bizarre referee error kept them in the tie long enough to benefit from a useful red card and penalty combo”



    Yip. Remember it well.



    I understand the SFA were so incensed by the performance of the official who was standing a few yards away from one of the most blatant hand balls preventing a certain goal in history …



    …. that they dismissed the official for gross incompetence and for embarrassing the SFA worldwide. They then undertook a comprehensive review of recruitment, training and culture of officials.



    BTW – where was Alan Muir between 12:30 and 14:30 on Saturday?

  11. There was a great moment on Saturday -JH walked pout of his box to pick up a flare, hold is up to the crowd on the way back which they loved – Calmac told him to calm it down – brilliant.

  12. 18/1 on Caley isn’t exceptional value. It’s throwing money away.



    I thought 11/4 on us with a three goal handicap was good value. So I went for it.



    Its a two horse race but ones a thoroughbred and the other is a work horse.

  13. Tom McLaughlin on




    It’s Hermiston Gait Park n Ride, which is located next to Edinburgh Park.

  14. McPhail Bhoy on

    bizarre referee error



    Your are obviously feeling very generous, Paul 67 after Celtic picked up the troppy on Saturday, you have a bank holiday in Scotland and the sun is shining. It was no error, it was cheating, the referee, man behind the goals and linseman saw the ICT clear the ball with his hand, it’s called cheating, pure and simple.








    How’s yer heid? 😂🍻”





    Tx for asking.



    If you find it anywhere- you can ask it.



    I dissociated myself from it last night when it started talking absolute pish.

  16. Melbourne Mick on



    Wins the podium race again, phew ! that must be nearly


    as many times as Celtic winning the league 🇮🇪 🤪


    H H. Mick

  17. Tom McLaughlin on




    At the end of the M8 you’ll see Hermiston Gait roundabout. Stay right to go right onto City Bypass southbound. Veer left up ramp to take first exit – Calder Junction – take right lane at roundabout for Calder Road westbound. Park n Ride is on left at next roundabout.

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Inverness Caledonian Thistle were actually eliminated from the Scottish Cup in January, after losing 0-2 at home to Queen’s Park. In true Sion/Legia fashion, that result was overturned as Queen’s fielded in illegible player”




    I wonder who said this ( about the possibility of EBT title stripping) and whether he still feels so strongly about the integrity of sticking with results ON THE PITCH? – “I genuinely, I really don’t think so. The players genuinely went out onto the pitch and earned the titles, sweated blood and guts to go and try and win the titles.”


    Did the Queens Park players not earn their win ON THE PITCH???

  19. Well that was the weekend eh


    Champions again


    Had an early breaki start with breaki with some good friend Paddy was over from Galway,meeting with cqn’rs old n new.



    I was looking thro old papers and files last week ,digging bout looking for something a friend who was researching something else.i found an old biz diary from 1994,smiling as I read,on 1.3.94 I flew up from London to a Celtic game,I smiled when I seen the entry


    Fox!!! Those who were there will smile.i was down again on 1st shuttle Thurs morn and back up again on fate Friday,the 4.3.94.the day that Celtic and its ship changed direction.i smiled and thought of that as I watched the joy exuding from any follower of Celtic.


    My we have come a wee bit. It was lovely to think on them days,how chaotic it was in our club,the previous 4 years etc,to contrast there was more in High St than attended the fox match…..if I may Foog the Bank of Scotland!!



    A few drinks in merchant City then my Celtic diaspora had to disperse, planes,trains,family picked up.


    Home sober but my drink on Saturday was the Smiling Celts,they were there;they always are :-))



    The good ship Celtic set afloat by Brother Walfrid


    Is sailing well


    The ‘boats of faces’ become the smiling faces looked down via drone at Glasgow cross.but we are humble enough to keep working,changing and impacting our society for its betterment.We are here.



    Have a good day Celts,value these times,take nothing for granted… inhibitions on geein it lalldy tho :-))



    All the best



    Hail Hail

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    BTW – belated congratulations to the Celtic ladies yesterday.



    Terrific season and more to come.



    What can you say about the disgraceful conduct of the so called Sevco captain.



    Hot on the heels of their coach assaulting our manager.



    The entire holding company is rabid out of control from top to bottom.

  21. Fred Colon David66






    Great day.hope the craic was mighty at your bit



    Hail Hail

  22. Wonder if the SFA mistook the ineligible player for Ewan Henderson….


    “Isn’t that guy a Tim?”

  23. We should never forget many of ours have been wrongly labelled, marginalised and discriminated against in bonny scotland. Today it is more subtle for the most part, but still lurking like a bad smell.



    No one is illegal, we welcome all to join us in paradise




  24. WHAT IS THE STARZ on 29TH MAY 2023 2:33 PM



    Without immigration there would be no Glasgow Celtic





    Good article Wits,it shows what potential we could be missing out.look at the impact 1 person,


    makes,Andrew Kerins made.His friend mcGettrick(sp) who he stole the sheep with to get the money to get the boat from Sligo to Broomielaw,his descendant became 1st top professor at Glasgow Uni in his field.A first for the Irish/Scots.there are a few more now….always aiming to get a wee bit better



    Hope you celebrated well Wits





  25. Catholic Church was a ‘net winner’ from Ireland’s Great Famine, historian says


    High numbers of people attending Mass was a modern phenomenon, NUI Galway professor tells history festival






    Taoiseach Micheál Martin with speakers on the Great Famine at the West Cork History Festival in Skibbereen, from left, Prof Breandán Mac Suibhne, Dr Charles Read and Prof Melissa Fegan. Photograph: West Cork History Festival


    Barry Roche Southern Correspondent


    Sun Aug 7 2022 – 14:49



    The Catholic Church was a “net winner” from the Great Famine as the urban Catholics who survived it were more likely to be regular Mass-goers than the largely rural poor who died, enabling the church to increase its influence on the population at large, a prominent academic has claimed.



    Prof Breandán Mac Suibhne of National University of Ireland, Galway told the West Cork History Festival in Skibbereen that it was perhaps “vaguely perverse” to suggest the Great Famine assisted Irish Catholicism to become a dominant force in the lives of Irish people, but it did influence how religion impacted on people’s lives.



    “There was a survey in the 1830s on religious practices in Ireland where Catholic priests were asked by the State how many hearers were at Sunday Mass, and attendance at Sunday Mass is a canonical requirement among Roman Catholics, if you don’t go to Sunday Mass, you are going to hell,” he said.



    “As late as the 1970s the figure was like 92 per cent or 93 per cent, but back in the 1830s, the figure for the country, as a whole, was something like 30 per cent so high Mass attendance by Irish Catholics is very much a modern phenomenon and, certainly back in the 1830s, it was nothing like it was in the 1970s.




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    “In fact, the only place in the 1830s where Mass attendance among Irish Catholics was anywhere near the 1970s level were places like the southeast, in Wexford and the big cities, Dublin, Belfast and Cork, but in traditional parts of the country, like here and the west, generally levels were low.



    “For people in these areas, religion was not chapel-oriented and clerically directed devotion like Sunday Mass was not important to them… their religion was one of holy wells, and season festivals, and prayers and priests were important for only a couple of things – Baptism, marriage and death.



    “So before the famine, people did not take any great interest in many of the devotions… Confession and Communion and Confirmation didn’t matter to them – they cared that their children were baptised, that people got married and that the dead received the last rites – these are the biggies.”



    Prof Mac Suibhne said the low rate of Mass attendance among people in more rural western counties could not be explained by a lack of churches and priests as there were an abundance of both churches and clergy throughout the country by the time the potato blight struck in the 1840s.



    “The Catholic Church was a net winner out of the famine in that the people who died out of the famine were disproportionately people who didn’t go to Mass – the highest levels of mortality among people in Mayo, for example, were people who wouldn’t know Sunday Mass.”



    Prof Mac Suibhne pointed out that the 10 counties in which excess mortality was highest during the famine were, in descending order: Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Galway, Leitrim, Cavan, Cork, Clare, Fermanagh and Monaghan – all counties with large rural populations.



    [ Ireland has duty to lead on food security due to famine history – Taoiseach ]



    The net effect was that as the population fell due to death and emigration, the Catholic Church was increasing both its numbers of churches and personnel with both the ratio of priests to people and the ratio of nuns to people both increasing throughout the 19th century.



    “What you get in the 1850s is serious hard-core proselytisers hitting the country in the form of the Redemptorists – these are the storm troopers of Roman Catholicism, ‘Do you reject Satan and his works?’ and they made Confession, Communion and Confirmation rites of passage in Catholicism.”



    He said that by the 1870s, Mass attendance among Catholics had reached the 90 per cent level and the State had played a role in helping the Catholic Church become such a dominant force when it allowed Catholic priests become school managers when rolling out the national school system.



    “You ended up with a de facto Catholic school with a Catholic priest as manager and a de facto Church of Ireland school with a Church of Ireland rector as manager – that gave immense power to the Catholic Church who could pick the teacher and be responsible for the operation of those schools.”



    Prof Mac Suibhne said souperism, where evangelical Protestants offered food to starving peasantry if they converted to Protestantism, did occur but the impact the famine had on Irish Catholicism through the disproportionate deaths of non-Mass going Catholics should not be underestimated.



    Focusing on how people actually died from diseases such as dysentery, typhus and cholera, Prof Mac Suibhne said it was not correct, as John B Keane had his character Bull McCabe say in The Field, that no priest died during the famine as clergymen of all denominations died in numbers.



    [ Irish Catholic Church set to go back to the future by embracing laity and women ]



    He said scholarly analysis put the numbers who died during the Great Famine in the years 1846-1851 at somewhere between 1.08 million and 1.49 million with death more likely to come from disease due to increased transmissibility resulting from social dislocation than to lowered resistance.



    “Predictably, the weakest, the most dependent in society were disproportionately represented among the dead. Infants and elderly people died in great numbers,” Prof Mac Suibhne said, who has documented the social impact of the Famine in rural Ireland in his book The End of Outrage.



    In addition to the huge death toll and the ensuing decades of emigration, the other notable impact of the famine was the moral degradation – “the brute reality of famine is that it ‘reduces’ people, pushes them below the waterline of what had [been] understood to be civilised behaviour”.



    Speaking in Skibbereen, Prof Mac Suibhne related the story of how 12-year-old Johnny Finn, of Carhoogarriff in nearby Rosscarbery, had cut the throats of neighbours, Mary (6) and Jerry Donoghue (4), and stolen a bag of oatmeal flour that their mother had in the house in the spring of 1847.



    Finn was arrested eight days later in the poorhouse in Skibbereen and a local magistrate, Philip Somerville, took a statement from him with the assistance of Constable Michael Jordan translating from Irish, because Johnny Finn could speak no English.



    Mr Somerville noted Finn said “the two children were there by themselves, that he found a knife in the house and that with the knife, he killed both children… and that he killed the two children to get the flour as he was hungry”, and that he gave the flour to his family but never said how he got it.



    A local dispensary doctor in Skibbereen, Daniel O’Donovan (39), relayed another story how a woman called O’Driscoll came to his surgery to get medicine for her husband only for another woman to enter the surgery and beg him for something for a sick child.



    The O’Driscoll woman berated the other woman and remarked that she effectively wished all her own children dead so ill were they as a result of famine and disease. “Bad luck to them for children, I have five of them sick and I would think myself lucky if they were all dead before morning.”



    It led Dr O’Donovan to observe: “The most singular effect produced by the horrors of the famine now raging is the severance of the ties of consanguinity… the destruction… of the ardent domestic affections that formed perhaps the strongest trait in the character of the Irish peasant.”



    Prof Mac Suibhne noted that the old Fenian leader, Jeremiah O Donovan Rossa, who was a teenage neighbour of 12-year-old Johnny Finn in Rosscarbery during the famine, similarly noted “the degradation into which want, and hunger will reduce human nature”.



    And he noted how O’Donovan Rossa told a fellow émigré in New York much later in life how he had gone home to Ross one evening during the famine and his mother had no dinner for him, so he went and bought a bun for a penny but never shared it with his mother or his sister or his brothers.



    And he told how O’Donovan Rossa later wrote of his selfishness: “I am proud of my life, one way or another, but that penny bun is a thorn in my side, a thorn in the pride of my life – it was only four ounces of bread… but if ever I feel any pride in myself, that little loaf comes before me to humble me.”



    Barry Roche


    Barry Roche

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