Although there was a little council business to do over the weekend, the majority of Saturday and Sunday were blocked out to watch the Ryder Cup on TV. What a fantastic competition played in such a fantastic spirit. The way the crowd and players from both sides supported Darren Clarke after the recent loss of his wife, his perfect response in the quality of his play and the sportsmanship of Padriag Harrington in allowing JJ Henry to tie their final match after the overall result had been decided was uplifting.

However the political anorak in me and subsequent press coverage got me thinking. Lord Patten has written about how the European team spirit shows that closer integration in the EU can be a good thing. In response, I’ll just point out two things. The three Irish players (from both sides of the border) showed enormous national pride as did the Irish crowd and rightly so. Secondly, the campaign to have only one European Parliament building based in Brussels has reached one million petitioners, demanding that the monthly 500 mile round trip to Strasbourg just to pacify the French is ended. Can you imagine the Ryder Cup being held in Belgium with the Saturday afternoon foursomes being held in France, only for the players, entourage and supporters to return to Belgium for the Sunday singles? (For the non-golfing readers, I’m already stretching the point with the metaphor but just trust me it would be tedious.)