Footie's Other Giggs
Byline: Charles Legge
QUESTION HOW many places in the football pyramid separate Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and his brother, Salford City's Rhodri Giggs?
RYAN GIGGS'S younger brother Rhodri is no mean footballer. He was born in Cardiff in 1977, but his family soon moved to Swinton in Greater Manchester after his father Danny Wilson, one-time Cardiff RFC fly-half, switched codes and went to play rugby league for Swinton Lions.
Giggs first played football for Salford Boys before joining Torquay as a YTS trainee, going under the name Rhodri Jones to avoid comparisons with his famous brother. His time as a trainee wasn't happy and he left halfway through the scheme.
Three years later, aged 19, he attempted to resurrect his footballing career, having trials in Scotland with Hearts and ending up playing with Livingston, though this lasted only six months. Rhodri returned to Manchester where he worked for a time as an estate agent.
In 1999, he was arrested, having been accused by the News Of the World of supplying cocaine to 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood. He lost his job, but was found not guilty.
In 2001, Rhodri was imprisoned for assault for nine months, along with his friend Christopher Doyle, who received 15 months for an altercation between them and a group of Manchester City fans outside a nightclub.
Since then he has turned his life around. He is raising a son, Louis, and has become a stalwart of the lower football divisions, plying his trade at several clubs including Salford, Mossley, Bangor and Curzon Ashton before returning to Salford, operating as a flying right-winger. Salford City lie 17th in the Evo Stik League Division One North.
There are eight divisions separating the brothers, the Premier League (20 teams), Championship (24), Football League One (24), Football League Two (24), Football Conference (24), Conference North (21), Evostick Northern Premier league (22) and First North Division (23). With Manchester United third in the Premier League, there are 173 places separating the brothers' teams.
John Collins, Wolverhampton.
QUESTION AS a child, my mother regularly told me to hold my whisht, so I am interested to hear Brian Cowen use the same word at the recent Fianna Fail drink-in. What's its derivation?
WHEN the Taoiseach announced to his gathering 'Whisht up, this is a classic' before belting into song at the recent Fianna Fail Galway drink-in, he was using a word that has been in popular use in Ireland for 300 years.
The word - which is an onomatoepic command meaning be quiet -owes its origins to cards and the game of whist.
Whist is a classic trick-taking game that first became popular in England in the early 17th-century.
Originally called whisk, it was derived from the game of trump and bears a strong resemblance to a French card game called ecarte.
Whist was always played in silence and was soon used in common-day parlance to demand quiet.
While whisht can be used on its own, for even greater effect try 'ara be whisht' (shut up) and 'houl, or hold, your whist' (hold your mouth) and even as Cowen displayed to such effect in Galway, 'Whisht up'.
Jimmy Moloney, Dublin.
QUESTION HOW common were the signs in England 'Irish Need Not Apply' in Victorian times?
THESE signs, popularly known as 'Nina' (No Irish need apply) were frequently used to prevent emigrants from this country getting work or accommodation.
So prolific was the practice that in the 1820s, many upper and middleclass houses in London put Nina signs in their front windows.
Victorians stereotyped the Irish as being inferior and alcoholic, an attitude stirred up by the political uprisings against the 'mother country', particularly the 1798 rebellion. This prejudice was also strong in Scotland where the indigenous Presbyterian population stood firmly against Catholicism.
The Nina syndrome was captured in a popular music hall song, No Irish Need Apply, from 1962.
It wasn't just the Irish who were discriminated against, with some signs stating, 'No blacks, Irish or dogs'.
The Irish also had their problems in the U.S., where they went in their numbers after the Famine, only to find themselves cast as dirty, drunken and disease-ridden.
The late Ted Kennedy recalled that growing up in the most Irish city in the U.S., Boston, he was met with Nina signs. Anti-Irish feelings in Britain were intensified during the Second World War as the Free State remained neutral.
And the IRA campaign in the Seventies and Eighties whipped up much resentment.
However, with this ill-feeling came kneejerk justice and Bloody Sunday, the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four incidents threatened to do irreparable damage to Irish-British relations.
That thankfully has been redressed in large part by the Anglo-Irish agreement and the Good Friday peace process.
These days, most anti-Irish prejudice in Britain centres on members of Ireland's Traveller community who have moved there.
Thankfully, the British have become more accepting and you can hardly switch on the TV or radio without hearing an Irish voice.
Terry Wogan was an early trailblazer and now we have the likes of Graham Norton and Grainne Seoige following in his footsteps.
Unfortunately, although attitudes have changed in Britain and the U.S,, the Irish have been pilloried in new frontiers, namely Poland.
Angered by how some of their compatriots had been treated while working in Ireland, a few employers started putting up signs reading 'No Irish need apply'.
Mike O'Dea, Limerick.
QUESTION ST PATRICK'S Day is a holiday in Newfoundland, Labrador and Montserrat. What are the links between these places and Ireland?
THE Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Caribbean island of Montserrat are the only places in the world outside Ireland where St Patrick's Day is celebrated as a public holiday.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the fishing grounds off Newfoundland, once rich in cod stocks, started attracting fishermen from Ireland.
In the 18th-century, this emigration trickle turned into a flood and during the first two decades of the 19th-century, so many people from Ireland had settled in Newfoundland that half the island's population was Irish.
The English fishing vessels that crossed the Atlantic used to stop en route in the ports of south-east Ireland, New Ross, Waterford and Wexford.
They took on supplies and also hired local people.
In time, many of the people from the south-east who took jobs in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishing industry stayed, rather than come home again after a season there, which ran to two winters and the summer in between.
Virtually all the Irish emigration to Newfoundland and Labrador came from south-east Ireland and even today, the Newfoundland accent is remarkably similar to what you will hear in the streets of Waterford
Many other aspects of Irish life, including traditional music, have had an impact on Newfoundland.
Laborador, which is part of the Canadian mainland, is nearly three times larger than Newfoundland, but it has a much smaller population, less than 30,000 compared to over half a million for Newfoundland
But up to 60 per cent of the population of this area claim Irish descent.
The island of Montserrat was first settled by Anglo-Irish colonists in 1632.
After Cromwell's sacking of Drogheda in 1649, many people captured there were exiled to Montserrat, where they went to work on the sugar plantations.
By 1678, more than half the population of the island was Irish.
Over the years, the population of Montserrat became largely a mix of Irish and African. Surnames like O'Garra, Riley and O'Connell became commonplace.
A local dialect regarded as a creole brogue took hold and Montserrat - the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean - boasted such towns as Cork, Kinsale and Sweeney's Well.
Its postage stamps featured the Irish harp and even today the shamrock is still used in passport stamps for the island.
Disaster struck the island in 1995 when the Soufriere Hills volcano erupted, burying the capital, Plymouth, and the airport, in ash.
Most of the population of the island had to leave so that today, fewer than 6,000 people still live in the northern part of Montserrat.
Ronnie Farrell, Cork.
Q: What do the stars on the U.S. flag stand for?
Pat O'Connor, Dublin. : How many different species of plankton have been identified?
QD. Roman, Flint, Wales.
Q: In 2002, science correspondent James Chapman warned us that Asteroid 2002 NT7 could have devastating consequences if it struck Earth in the year 2019. Eight years on, what is the latest knowledge on this subject?
Dave Barnes, Welling, Kent.
IS THERE a question to which you have always wanted to know the answer? Or do you know the answer to a question raised here? Send your questions and answers to: Charles Legge, Answers To Correspondents, Irish Daily Mail, Embassy House, Herbert Park Lane, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. You can also fax them to 0044 1952 510906 or you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. A selection will be published but we are not able to enter into individual correspondence.
Soccer sibling: Rhodri Giggs followed Ryan (inset)
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Footie's Other Giggs. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Daily Mail (London). Publication date: September 22, 2010. Page number: 36. © 2007 Daily Mail. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.