Reilly was shooting the breeze with his old buddy Pat Harrold the other day. Harry has just spent the last two years helping the good people of Nenagh and North Tipperary deal with the Coronavirus pandemic as the Radio Doctor on Tipp FM. His articles in the Health supplement of the Irish Times and the Irish Medical Times are witty, erudite and positively uplifting on medical and health matters.

‘It’s a pity now that the Coronavirus is ending that you’ll have to focus on the real disease in society,’ says Reilly, drawing the first drop of blood.

‘And what disease might that be Reilly? says Harry, amiably entertaining the canard.

‘Excusitis! I hear tell it’s fatal to success and there’s no known vaccine. In fact, I hear it’s very diagnosis and treatment is so toxic that it’s not even taught at Medical School.

‘And what are the main symptoms Reilly as you appear to be quite the expert on the matter?

‘There’s only one symptom Harry. These patients are infected with the disease of making excuses in the face of achieving worthy ideals that would benefit them and those around them.

‘There are three main strains of the disease. The most common version presents itself in the form of the expression ‘I’m (either) too young or too old. That particular strain of the disease is running at pandemic levels at the moment.

‘The second one is ‘I don’t have the education or the schooling or the degree.’ You wouldn’t believe how insidious that form of the disease is. I see the finest and sharpest of minds capitulate in the face of that strain.

‘And the third form is ‘Nobody from our family or county or country ever achieved that.’

‘And where is ‘Excusitis’ most commonly contacted Reilly?

‘Good question Harry. It’s rife on an island called ‘Someday Isle.’ Those with big goals frequently take a holiday on ‘Someday Isle’ prior to taking action on their goal.

‘And on ‘Someday Isle’ you’ll meet people from all over the world with the same interest. They sit drinking by the pool each day and night fantasising about the great things they’re going to do someday.

  • Someday I’ll start a business.
  • Someday I’ll get debt free.
  • Someday I’ll get in shape.
  • Someday I’ll learn the guitar.
  • Someday I’ll go back to College and finish that course I started.
  • Someday I’ll…

And year after year, these same people return to Someday Isle, and regale each other with the excuses as to why they’re back on the island.

  • I couldn’t start a business during Covid. The wife’d be scared stiff.
  • The vulture fund managers have no personalities.
  • The weight is in my genes (jeans). There’s no point exercising or eating sensibly.
  • I haven’t a note in my head.
  • I haven’t the time to do a course.
  • I’m too young.
  • I’m too old.
  • I never got the schooling.

‘Sounds like a shocking affliction Reilly. And you say there’s no drug or vaccine that can ameliorate the condition?

‘None approved by the FDA at least. The only cure for those afflicted is to vote themselves off ‘Someday Isle’ and stop making excuses. Not many do it but the following have done it down the years. See if you recognise any of them.

  • Tiger Woods was 3 when he shot 48 for 9 holes on his hometown course in Cypress, California.
  • Julie Andrews was 8 when she mastered an astounding four-octave singing range.
  • Mozart too was 8 when he wrote his first symphony.
  • Wee Rory was 9 when he appeared live on TV effortlessly chipping golf balls into a laundry basket.
  • Charles Dickens was 12 when he quit school to work in a factory because his father had been imprisoned for debt.
  • Anne Frank was 13 when she began her diary.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Reillys favourite philosopher, was 14 when he enrolled at Harvard.
  • Paul McCartney was 15 when a guy called John Lennon asked him to join a band.
  • Bill Gates was 19 when he founded Microsoft.
  • Winger and tycoon, Tony O’Reilly, holds the distinction of scoring the most tries by a British and Irish Lion and a Barbarian. In 1955, having just turned 19 he scored 16 tries in 15 matches for the Lions. Four years later he amassed a staggering 22 tries in 24 appearances. His total of 38 tries for the Lions on two tours remains a record. Incidentally, on his spare time on that first tour, he also read the entire works of Somerset Maugham!
  • Ralph Lauren was 29 when he created Polo.
  • William Shakespeare was 31 when he wrote Romeo and Juliet.
  • Bill Gates too was 31 when he became a billionaire.
  • Coco Chanel was 38 when she introduced Chanel No. 5.
  • Mother Teresa was 41 when she founded the Missionaries of Mary.
  • Jack Nicklaus was 46 when he shot 65 in the final round, and 30 on the back 9, to win the Masters.
  • Ray Kroc was 52 when, as a milkshake machine salesman, he bought out Mac and Dick McDonald.
  • Henry Ford was 55 when he started his first manufacturing line.
  • Dom Pérignon was 60 when he first produced champagne.
  • Nelson Mandela was 71 when he was released from prison and 75 when he was elected president of South Africa.
  • Michelangelo was 72 when he designed the dome of St Peters Basilica in Rome.
  • August Rodin was 76 when he finally married Rose Beuret, whom he met when he was 23.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright was 91 when he completed his work on the Guggenheim Museum.
  • Dimitrion Yordanidis was 98 when he ran a marathon in 7 hours and 33 minutes in Athens.
  • Ichijiriou Araya was 100 when he climbed Mount Fuji.


  1. What’s your excuse?


I’m a big preacher of dreams, and I was this little kid from Hollywood, County Down, a town of 12000 people. My parents were two very working-class people and you know I’ve got to this point in my life just because I believed in myself and I had people around me that believed in me.’
—Rory McIlroy on not making excuses.


If you could use some help in believing about yourself, and getting around others who believe in you too, please call Pádraic atp@omaille.ieHe’s commencing some new exciting courses in April.

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