Vinny had a new canine pal, Connie, a chestnut mutt with four white paws, and a white blaze on her nose, which reminded Vinny of Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Burly busman’s old nemesis Lugs O’Leary looms large in the frame once again

Trainer Willie Mullins leads his famous team from the gallops at  Closutton, Carlow, Ireland. Photo:  Niall Carson/PA

Burly busman chuffed as he enjoys a memorable trip to Willie Mullins yard in Carlow

“We could call it the Garden of Renewal, to reflect the Easter theme of rebirth,” said Vinny. Photograph: Getty Images.

A period of reflection in holy service leads to overhearing a heated exchange

 Vinny’s confession hadn’t offered the cathartic release he was searching for. If anything, he plunged deeper into the pit of shame.

Fate intervenes to prevent a murder but our hero remains in his own living hell

Tony McCoy salutes the adoring crowds as he celebrates his Hennessy Gold Cup victory on Carlingford Lough at Leopardstown Racecourse. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The crowds come out to see AP McCoy but the burly busman’s eyes seek another man

New England Patriots’  Malcolm Butler  makes a vital interception to deny  Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette  during the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX  at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, USA. Photo: Larry Smith/EPA

The burly bus driver is all set to blame the ‘Dodger’ for his marriage breakdown

What appeared to be a successful day concludes on an ominous note

 Cliff Avril (56) of the Seattle Seahawks tackles Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers during the  NFC Championship game  at CenturyLink Field  in Seattle, Washington. Photo:  Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Cheese party host left speechless as Seattle Seahawks swoop for victory

Republic of Ireland International Stephanie Roche with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the Ballon d’Or awards in Zurich. Valeriano Di Domenico/Inpho

After a liquid lunch, the ladies give it bit of Stephanie Roche in the back garden

Everton’s predicament this season has been bothering Vinny. Seamus Coleman has been a wonder going forward but if Vinny was in charge he’d remind him of his primary duty – defending. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire.

Shrieking woman ruins attempt to achieve a PB on the promenade

 Joan and Aideen Goggin  with passengers on a Cork bus demanding that   a tradition of bus drivers dressing as Santa be reinstated. Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Having entertained his passengers all day, the burly busman has a final trick up his sleeve

 Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.  Photo:  Owen Humphreys/PA

Burly busman and his buddies try to fathom a great sporting injustice

Christmas trees awaiting  a good home. Photo: Bart Maat/EPA

Burly bus driver abandons his chariot to right a grievous wrong

The late Dessie Hughes: “Dessie was Dessie to everyone, from the well-heeled to the down at heel and all those in between.” Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Thoughts of his new fitness regime disappear as he raises a toast to National Hunt hero Dessie

The new-look Darren Clarke shows the fruits of his fitness regime. Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images

Inspired by golfer Darren Clarke, the burly busman vows to shed a few stone by St Stephen’s Day

Water charge protesters from Dublin gather in front of the GPO last week.  Photo: Barbara Lindberg.

Burly busman bustled into becoming an advocate for conroversial new utility company

“We’re about to ramp up the installation of water meters on the northside, specifically the working-class areas, which you drive through every day,” said Tabitha.   Photograph: Alan Betson

Tempting Irish Water PR lady uncorks the genie in Vinny’s bottle

“Vinny had first cried foul over the upheaval made on the pavement outside the house by the meter installation folk.”

With her shock of flame hair, she was like Maureen O’Hara in her prime

Everton’s Aiden McGeady: “Capable of lighting up any game, the Glaswegian conjurer could also vanish down a tunnel by the corner flag at the start of games”. Photograph: Getty Images.

Europa distraction threatens to bring 60-year stay in top flight to an end

The USA’s Webb Simpson on the first tee during day one of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles Golf Course, Perthshire. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA.

Five days in the high sierra of Perthshire took its toll on our five-ball from Dublin

 Victor Dubuisson and Graeme McDowell of Europe warm up on the first tee during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at  Gleneagles  in Auchterarder, Scotland. Photo: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Ryder Cup fever is all the rage as Clontarf’s finest five decamp to Scotland

Port Vale hailed from Burslem in nearby Stoke, they had a decent travelling support, who filled most of the enclosures opposite, bizarrely named the Ice Cream Van Stand at Grest Road.  Photograph:  Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Our hero takes family matters into his own hands at Gresty Road

Heartbreaking visit from daughter and grandson sparks journey to tackle a swarthy ex-pro footballer

Paul McGinley: “The Donegal link reminded the lads of their darkest hour on Sunday, and there was no joy either as McGinley flourished his wild card trio.” Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

McGinley’s wild card selections leave Foley’s finest nonplussed

“The stretch of water between the Bull Island and St Anne’s Park was the venue for a unique rowing challenge involving the four pubs fronting Clontarf Road – The Schooner, Foley’s, Shingles and The Dollymount Inn”. Photograph: Frank Miller.

The busdriver and his pals strike out for the Blue Lagoon Row fundraiser

Clontarf Harriers’ annual women’s two-mile race concludes in a somewhat unusual fashion

Rory McIlroy:  Vinny’s shout of encouragement for the bould Rors seemed a tad half-hearted. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Our hero isn’t the first to succumb to temptation and he won’t be the last

Northern Ireland’s Paddy Barnes (left) on his way to gold against India’s Devendro Laishram during the light flyweight bout at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Charlie Vernon unwittingly hits a teatime raw nerve in Foley’s bar

It had been a grim Sunday, only a part of which was to do with the mauling suffered by the Dublin hurlers in Thurles, a result which cost Vinny a score, as he felt evens on a plus four-point advantage was worth a punt. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Vinnie and the gang nervously make their way to the Curragh for an equine vigil

Gerry McIlroy’s successful  lucrative bet on his son’s British Open success inspired Vinny Fitzpatrick to wager on his son’s future sporting successes. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/RPA

Little Oisín’s art prowess a more likely path to fame and fortune

Vinny Fitzpatrick’s efforts at building the biggest sandcastle ever seen on Kilmore Quay beach in Wexford were looking good until the tide turned.

Bereft busman’s beach bailiwick battered and broken

 The sun shines along the passage floor into the inner chamber at newgrange during the  Winter Solstice at Newgrange. The passage tomb in Co  Meath was built over 5000 years ago. Photograph: Alan Betson

What he was doing in a darkened tomb at dawn was a mystery the ancient druids would have struggled to solve

A spectator emerging from the gorse during an  Irish Amateur Open Championship  at Portmarnock Golf Club. Photo: Alan Betson

Six hours caddying for his pall ensures a pleasant and profitable day at the famed Portmarnock course

 Tonalist (Joel Rosario) lands the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, New York.

Clontarf’s finest has to pinch himself as wife Angie sets up a trip to Belmont Park

Runners, joggers and walkers of  all sorts were part of  the  40,000 people who took to  the streets of Dublin for the annual  Women’s Mini-Marathon. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Five amigos don bear outfits and pink singlets for a great cause

Good deed backfires when the burly bus driver steps forward to aid an old pal in a sudden crisis

Vinny Fitzpatrick’s pal Nicolas Roche leads his Tinkoff-Saxo team-mates across the line during the Team Time Trial of the  Giro D’Italia in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Our steward for the day helps out team Roche and pulls a cheeky stunt

‘May Day Scramble’ ends on a high as Vinny makes a return to his youth

Cardiff City fans show their support during the Premier League match against Stoke City at Cardiff City Stadium. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Awash in Liverpool livery, Foleys was no place to be for a wiry Welsh Cardiff blue

 St Anne’s Park, Raheny over the  Easter weekend as Dublin City Council staged the largest-ever living history battle re-enactment in Ireland at the Battle of Clontarf Festival. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Burly busdriver nearly cremed as Dollymount Gaels Easter Egg Hunt goes wrong

Masters winner Bubba Watson is presented with his green jacket by 2013 winner Adam Scott after winning the US Masters  at the Augusta National golf club in Augusta, Georgia. Photo: Jim Young/Reuters

Dial-A-Smile’s dramatic late intervention changes the course of what had seemed a perfect day

Pineau de Re, ridden by Leighton Aspell, on his way to victory in the 2014 Grand National Steeple Chase at Aintree, with not a penny of  Vinny Fitzpatrick’s money on him. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

A Grand National faller, the burly busman bounces back up to seek Masters salvation

Grand Marshall Stephen Roche waves to the Dublin crowds.

Oh la la as Pamela saves the day while the Grand Marshall looks on in alarm

Court adjourns as accused and magistrate head for the bookies

Over 20 lads agreed to give a weekend night for the cause of the community

Vinny comes a cropper bumping into the wrong sort of company

The only thing former Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer and Soiled and Ancient skipper Vinny Fitzpatrick had in common on the golf course was their year of birth, 1957. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Sullen barman’s sharp practice leaves Mulligan Medal captain lost for words

Up, up and away on the hot air balloon

Instead of the usual Valentine’s reliables Vinny had another idea

Seattle Seahawks’ players dump Gatorade on head coach Pete Carroll with Super Bowl victory against the Denver Broncos in sight at MetLife Stadium  in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Seattle Seahawks won 43-8. Photograph:  Rob Carr/Getty Images

Vinny Fitzpatrick and his pals made the guest list for the eagerly awaited game

Angie and her husband have done their best to play fair in redrawing their will

After a particularly indulgent festive period Vinny gets back on his bike to shed some pounds

The Hole In The Trousers Syndicate agog as their horse Eggo Bleu takes off like a rocket

High tide at Clontarf, Dublin last  Friday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Burly busman’s local knowledge proves key in saving homes from imminent flooding

Vinny on duty at the checkouts for the Dollymount Gaels annual fundraiser at Dolan’s supermarket.

All was going swimmingly as the little Dollymount Gaels packed the bags until . . .

On a guided tour of St Francis Hospice Vinny gets a festive fasting idea

Sides were taken among friends and the battle lines were drawn

 World number two Adam Scott is Vinny’s lay in the Australian Open.

Rarely had Vinny Fitzpatrick felt more content. A few weeks earlier, he had been alone and miserable, now he was on top of the wor(...)

Back in the bosom of his family again, Lady Luck deals a top hand for Vinny

Foley’s is alive with the banter over the merits of the new Republic of Ireland management team of manager Martin O’Neill  and his assistant Roy Keane.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

A family crisis sees the Fitzpatricks putting their marital differences to one side

What seemed like a good idea now felt like a marathon mistake

Visiting times smack bang in the middle of the Saturday racing

Old habits prove costly as Angie calls a sudden halt to her husband’s gallop

Drama unfolds as Vinny and his pals’ runaway horse causes consternation in leafy suburbs

Bernard Brogan, whose two goals with his mitts did most to win the day for Dublin, parades the  Sam Maguire Cup in front of  Hill 16 watched by Ger Brennan. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Vinny and his ex-Army pals visit the tomb of the original supremo

 Hill 16, Vinny Fitzpatrick’s usual perch on All-Ireland final day.

Middle-aged busman loses the plot in Foley’s as All-Ireland final looms

Vinny Fitzpatrick was already ensconced in the premium level area of the Hogan Stand as the Cork and Clare players paraded before Sunday’s  All-Ireland hurling final at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

A great day out at Croker comes to an unexpected finish

Not even younger driver’s revelation can spoil Croker victory for Vinny

But a shock lies in store as he clocks into Clontarf garage for work

Brian Boru about to be put to the sword.

‘Vinny, we’ve been thinking about the key roles in our Battle of Clontarf reconstruction and feel you’re the ideal candidate to pl(...)

The Wedding Bus gig is one drivers try to  avoid.

Job was a long, lonely, slog and Vinny disliked it, not just because there was the risk of folk getting rowdy, randy and retching,(...)

Scene of Vinny’s dismay as Dublin busses are left in the garages in Dublin (not actually Vinny in photograph). Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Clontarf bus man’s mind troubled by the rows of tethered buses

But he soon regains a sense of perspective on the receipt of some really sad news

At Howth Summit, Vinny Fitzpatrick pulled in at the car park, where they all admired the grandeur of Dublin harbour and mountain.  Photograph: Bord Fáilte

Retiring bus driver’s Skylark trip with his pals ends with an unexpected bump

Dollymount Strand made a fine venue for the 33rd staging of the Banana Cup. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / THE IRISH TIMES

Vinnie’s efforts on Dollymount Strand are overshadowed by some grim news

Clontarf’s finest strolls the beach at Curracloe. Photograph: Gearóid Gibbs/PA Wire

Clontarf’s finest strolls the beach at Curracloe tasked with an onerous responsibility for the Hole In The Trousers Synicate

Guinness interruptus as gin girl Ginny’s promotion relegates Vinny’s pints of plain

The energetic dash of Dublin half-back Jack McCaffrey caught Vinny’s eye and reminded him of a curly-haired tyro who once scored 3-7 against Dollymount Gaels in an underage challenge match in St Anne’s. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As the Dubs run riot, Vinnie’s mind drifts back to a century ago

A whirlwind day as Vinny and daughter get to Champions League final

Thorbjorn Olesen: Vinny’s 50/1 fancy for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

A visitor from Manchester brings sad news

David Moyes: Farewell to Goddison. Photograph: Getty Images

Ending of the Moyes era a blow for the proudest of Irish Evertonians

Two smart Alecs get more than what they bargained for on a school tour

Bernhard Langer of Germany rolled back the years at Augusta this year as he seemed to conquer his infamous yips to mount a challenge early in his final round. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

Hopes of a fifth Lagging Jacket go west as his putter refuses to play ball

Liberty Counsel with jockey Ben Dalton on their way to Grand National success on Monday. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

Will the lure of a free bet prove too strong?

Unexpected trauma for Vinny as his step-daughter ends up in intensive care

Vinny’s loyalties are divided as punters go to war on Boru Betting . . . and Angie

Against the Odds: The view from Howth Summit on a chilly Monday night was spectacular

When the final putt was holed, the cards signed, and the clubs flung in the rear of Fran’s shiny new Passat, Vinny Fitzpatrick…

AGAINST THE ODDS: As the bell dinged, and Brennie sprung from his stool towards the centre of the ring, Vinny Fitzpatrick felt…

Against the Odds: Not even a biting polar gust could shake the gait of the burly figure skipping deftly up the steps of the …

AGAINST THE ODDS: One man puts the ordinary punter first as bus workers take militant path

Against the Odds: The Aviva Stadium was bathed in jade and the pitch glistened like a shimmering outdoor pool

AGAINST THE ODDS: The pacing in Foley’s began in earnest just after half past one on Sunday

Against the odds: CCTV evidence helps Angie turn the tables on her obnoxious employer

AGAINST THE ODDS: Retribution, not winners, on his mind as he arrives at Leopardstown

As the going begins to get tough Vinny bares his soul to his old mate Fran

AGAINST THE ODDS: AS ‘BARNEY’S Bus’ crawled up Knockmaroon Hill in the lowest of gears, Vinny Fitzpatrick half-expected the ‘…

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