As a blushing Santa retreated to the brighter lights of the lounge, Vinny called for a refill. Photograph: Sebastian Kahnert/AFP/Getty Images

Out of work and out of sorts, but charity raffle presents an opportunity

Vinny was shortlisted for driver of the year four times but never won the award. “A scurrilous oversight” said Brennie

Vinny’s colleagues pay respect to a man who gave 38 years of unstinting service

Vinny had long since kicked religion into touch. He only bothered to go to church now on Christmas Day, and for funerals

Trip to annual outdoor mass offers a chance for bus driver to unwind

Enjoying the spectacular sunshine on Dollymount Strand, Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Competition not best pleased as battle for seasonal ice-cream business hots up

On one side was Angie, slim, dark and tanned; on the other was Norma Farquarhson, stumpy, straw-haired and pale as a bottle of milk.

Misfortune for Angie in tennis final sees her devoted husband lose the plot

“This is the big kahuna, lads. This isn’t a loose change gig like the Irish Lotto where a million between us would barely cover the holliers”

Time at the dogs, or the ‘Lotto on legs’, might ease the pain of not winning EuroMillions

 Christy O’Connor: inspired generations of golfers during his long successful career. Photograph: A. Jones/Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Lads pay a ‘Homage to Himself’ at golfer’s beloved Royal Dublin club

For Fonsie, clean pipes were vital to proper porter and the pints he pulled weren’t just plain, they were perfect.

Stories are told and songs are sung as Mr Clontarf makes his final journey

The ball crossed the apex of Vinny’s upright and  Vinny quickly signalled a point. But the ‘Go Go Gobnait’s’ Gael waved his arms furiously  to indicate a wide. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Burly busman has the vital final say as Dollymount lads scale new heights at Féile

For all of Martinez’s hand-wringing about giving young players their chance, of transfer market prudence, of progress, the stark facts were as bald as Vinny’s dome. Under the reign of Roberto, Everton were rooted in the bottom half of the table

Fran’s attempt to stand up to United fans turns out to be our hero’s downfall

Everton flags  outside Goodison Park in Liverpool.  It was time for Vinny to show solidarity with his boys in blue. Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Our hero makes it clear that drivers do not renege on their responsibilities

K for Jackie stood back and pointed to a screen overhead. “Perhaps you can explain what are we all doing in the wrong terminal?”Photograph: David Sleator

Burly busman in flying form as he leads welcoming crew for his beloved wife

Ger Fox celebrates on Rogue Angel after winning the Boylesports Irish Grand National Chase at the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse.  Photograph: PA Wire

Decision to back number eight at Fairyhouse in memory of Ashbourne dead proves lucky

“I’m like Kojak,” grinned Vinny as he looked in the mirror as he went to pay his bill. “Who loves ya, baby?” he said, popping a complimentary lollypop on offer into his mouth and reaching for his shades.  Photograph: Photoshot/Getty Images

He’s dubious about parade to commemorate Rising but he still wants to look like shiny pin

There was only one way Vinny’s happy lot could be improved, and that was by way of a bountiful Cheltenham. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

With Cheltenham here, lucky Vinny hopes to stay out of trouble on the home stretch

Like many of his colleagues, Vinny was aghast at the strong-arm tactics of the Dublin Bus hierarchy in banning the use of radios in the drivers’ cabins. Photograph: Alan Betson

Busman carpeted for fighting fire with fire as employer bans the use of radios in the cab

Like the rowing heroes of The Boys in the Boat, Angie now facing her biggest battle

It struck Vinny that the politicos might have missed a trick with the Gaels

‘Vinny had always taken comfort in Mother Nature’s whims, and the way her moods affected the seas, skies, and soil.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Desperate busman grasps at chance to let Angie undergo radical treatment in USA

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

Burly busman gets out and about as he puts worries about Angie on hold

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.

Burly busman told to prepare for the worst as his wife’s condition deteriorates

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

Everton’s struggles leave normally chirpy busman in an unusually foul mood

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)

Burly busman steps into the breach to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

 A Green Bay Packers fan wears a cheese hat as he supports his favourite team. Photograph:  Joel Auerbach/Getty

Costly night for Washington fan The Reverend as Rodgers proves Green Bay’s hero

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

Size of those love handles inspires our roly-poly hero to get back on the bike

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

It all started so well, with a pint of porter and a wallet full of crisp €50 notes

When I hear that Barry’s Tea ad on the radio, each toot from the toy train prompts a tear, as I think of me Ma and Da, and all they did for me.

Burly busman firmly focused on wife Angie’s ongoing health battle

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

A comedy of errors on the golf course leads to downfall of The Three Stooges

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

Burly busman convinces Foley’s crew renowned trainer is ‘real’ manager of the year

‘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

Burly busman scared as his beloved Angie undergoes major surgery

“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.

Football and Foleys take a back seat as Angie’s health concerns come first

““I’m growing one for Movember. So are the lads. Everyone is doing it. It’s part of male health awareness,” said Vinny.

Humdrum cares about Movember fade away as threat of a serious illness emerges

For most of his 57 years, Vinny had lived off the fat of the pig, from sausies, rasher rinds and pork chops, to black and white pudding and his Ma’s honey-baked ham. Photo: Eitan Abramovich/AFP/Getty

Foley’s regulars go on the offensive disregarding UN warning on processed meat

Right to the end, the gimlet-eyed spinster had been a demon for the twos in rummy.

Burly busman and his sisters head to solicitors to hear details of a will

“How has it comes to this? How can a true-blue supporter, who has been at every All-Ireland final involving the Dubs since ’63, and whose Da played against Heffo, be turned away?”

Vinny Fitzpatrick did something he had never done before; he ditched his bus and high-tailing it to Croker

The Great Dublin Bike Ride: against the odds, Vinny was at the head of the Great Dublin Bike peloton which numbered 3,267, including celebs such as Ray D’Arcy, and his stumpy 57-year-old pins were pumping like pistons. Photograph: Sportsfile

A short-cut turns out to be the long way home for Vinny Fitzpatrick and some ‘friends’

 Aiden McGeady: “While he vividly recalled McGeady’s wonder goal against Georgia a year ago, few other imprints sprang to mind.” Photograph: Inpho.

The lads in Foley’s rake their studs over the Republic of Ireland’s reputation

Some 500 Vikings descend on St Anne’s Park, Raheny as Dublin City Council staged the largest-ever living history battle re-enactment in Ireland at the Battle of Clontarf Festival.  Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Stint promoting famous Clontarf landmark finishes on a real high note for burly busman

Renovations had been helping Vinny pack up his troubles

News of Angie’s imminent return sees our hero’s eyes well up

The Perseid meteor shower: lighting up the night sky - and Vinny’s day. Photograph: Getty Images

Foray into ‘Fantasy Football’ is a fiasco but Roddy’s night is saved by a close encounter

Vinny’s remarks were tantamount to an accusation of cheating, the worst slur on any golfer’s character

Photographic evidence turns the tables on Vinny’s cheating golf rival

Dial-A-Smile stole a glance up towards the green – there was no one there – reached in to his pocket and placed a second ball in an advantageous lie.  Photograph: Getty

Dial-A-Smile stoops low to conquer burly busman in match play showdown

Pádraig Harrington in action  during the final round of the British Open. After his round as the wind died down, a Dublin voice called out. “Sorry, I couldn’t find your Titleist, Pádraig.” Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

Despite the efforts of Foley’s fab four, their hero’s lost Titleist proves elusive at St Andrews

The pinniped barked, rolled on to its back and flapped its flippers across its belly, like it was having a laugh

It was time for Vinny to seek sanctuary in a caravan bolt-hole in Curracloe

Khan lived a frugal life – except when it came to cricket

The future looks grim for the former  Driver of the Year award for Dublin Bus.. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

That old adversary Lugs should be his executioner seemed, sadly, almost inevitable

Always a nimble climber, Vinny was quickly up and over, and soon dodging between the snorting steeds of the road, as he shimmied towards Foley’s.

Lithuanian lovely Petra encourages burly busman to take up Fran’s kind offer

When the burly bus driver heard Eircom were being asked by politicians to remove all phone boxes in the city, on the claim they were attracting anti-social elements, he raged.

Burly bus driver’s public-spirited action backfires with a vengeance

‘As the telly beamed out pictures of the throng gathered in Dublin Castle, Vinny felt a sense of pride in the steps taken by the ordinary folk of little ol’ Ireland.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Busy Foley’s falls silent as two locals take courage from referendum

Vinny fancies Juventus to finish the job against Real Madrid in the Bernabéu and qualify for the Champions League final in Berlin. Photograph: Andrea di Marco/EPA

A First Holy Communion to forget becomes memorable when his nemesis arrives

Horses in the winners enclosure after the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes during the The Craven Meeting at Newmarket Racecourse. Photo:  David Davies/PA

Inadvertent sneeze almost proves very costly for the accident-prone burly busman

Kevin Mirallas celebrates scoring the third goal for Everton against Manchester United at Goodison Park. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Sporting success and a fine night in Foley’s marred by big late-night news

Events of the past days had forced Vinny tto disown the values shaped by his old man and by his own 35 years behind the wheel. Photograph: Frank Miller.

His cause may not be a popular one but he is determined to fight for it

Vinny proves he has his finger on the pulse as Many Clouds wins the Grand National at Aintree. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Umpire duties get a little complicated when a certain lady arrives on the scene

Vinny and Ms Mysterious found they shared a passion for the movies of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

A romantic overture swiftly becomes an embarrassing scene for our leading man

“It was Passion Sunday, which he felt was appropriate for the day that was in it, and Vinny was needed for the 11.30 Mass.”  Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Lonely separated dad gets a quick response to his ad on a dating online website

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

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