“Chaps, we have the bus, so let’s use it, I say,” said Charlie. “I suggest our first port of call should be Leopardstown . . .”.

Barney’s Bus had just tottered through Tulsk on Sunday at noon when Vinny Fitzpatrick tilted his large head against the window pane and began to nod o(...)

It was Monday morning, the first day of spring, and from the west-facing corner of Beaumont Hospital, Vinny spied a cluster of daffodils enjoying a sprightly dance.

For his mid-morning visit, Vinny Fitzpatrick could see Angie had made an effort. She was sitting up in bed, her auburn locks were untied, and she’d a(...)

Players from both sides react to Everton’s Irish defender Seamus Coleman’s late miss against Swansea at Goodison Park.  Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP /Getty

From the moment his alarm first pinged at 5.50am on Monday, Vinny Fitzpatrick was in a mood most foul. Was is it the cold shower (he had forgotten to(...)

As dead-eye Dick rolled four bowls in a tight cluster around the jack, Vinny’s frailties were exposed. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

As play unfolded at a funereal pace, and in a monastic silence broken only by the occasional clink, Vinny Fitzpatrick questioned his sanity. “How did(...)

Vinny made it to Howth harbour but he was forced to take the Dart home. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The guy looking back at Vinny Fitzpatrick in the mirror was no longer middle-aged; he was officially old. Not as aged as Methuselah perhaps but defini(...)

Derek O’Connor riding Gurteen to victory at Leopardstown. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

As the lads alighted Barney’s bone-shaker at the gates to Leopardstown on Monday, Vinny Fitzpatrick did his customary head count and identified a post(...)

Rush golf club in north county Dublin, where Vinny struggled to find the fairways

Vinny Fitzpatrick always got a big buzz from the year-ending turkey shoot outing of the Soiled and Ancient Golf Society. He loved the scramble format,(...)

Proven master:  Willie Mullins on the gallops at Cheltenham racecourse. Photo:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

The deeper he journeyed into the back nine of life, the more Vinny Fitzpatrick preferred a pint that bit earlier of an evening. It was an arrangement (...)

‘And then, after a bit, all went quiet. Except for the raucous starlings, and the sobbing of the middle-aged man in the schoolyard.’ Photograph: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

Mornings at Mount Prospect NS in Clontarf were a noisy affair as mothers and minders engaged in chatter and natter, and kids ran amok. Such was the di(...)

“You can also take these,” said Vinny,  reaching for Socket’s envelope. “Go home to your Ma and tell them you’re going to the match.” Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

When Vinny Fitzpatrick appeared in the canteen at Clontarf bus garage on Monday morning, his fellow workers stood to their feet and applauded loudly. (...)