This just had to be seen to be believed, as the Moulin Rouge in Paris hosted a Can Can dancer like none ever seen before.
We got there late on Monday night, the visit arranged by a great young lady from Meath called Ciara Swan who just happens to manage the Irish bar next door.
O’Sullivan’s, one of the many Irish pubs hosting the thousands of Irish fans in Paris all week, also acts as a regular after work venue for the girls in the Moulin Rouge chorus line. That’s why Ciara was able to organize the visit for myself, a photographer from the Star and a special guest.
Our guest in question is a man who has been all over the world with the Irish soccer team, a man whose flag is actually more famous than he is.
I’m sure you’ve seen it. There hasn’t been a match at home or away for years when the “Davy Keogh Says Hello” Tricolor hasn’t been caught by the television cameras or featured in our national newspapers.
Davy, a proud Dubliner who backs Bohemians and his Ivy Celtic club with equal passion, has been at every major and minor Irish match over the last 20 plus years.
He has befriended everyone from Jack Charlton to Giovanni Trapattoni, and this week even the Coca-Cola organization used a cartoon image of his famous flag in their latest football advert in the Irish media.
Not even the Coca-Cola marketing department could have come up with the photographic opportunity for Davy Keogh and the Star on Monday night, however, as he joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge at one of their sell-out Paris shows.
Davy was in his element as he regaled the girls with his “Ole Ole Ole” number, and they posed happily with his Tricolor in front of them.
But then he let them down, gently, as he explained that they’d have to take second place in his affections from here on in.
“The flag has been all around the globe and this is certainly the most unique photograph I’ve ever had taken with, it but it’s not the best,” Keogh said.
“The girls are lovely and it’s always been an ambition of both myself and my wife Esther to see the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret which was breathtaking.
“But I have to tell you that it’s only the second best moment I’ve had with the flag in all the years I’m supporting Ireland.
“These girls are beautiful but they will never replace Jack Charlton at the top of the Davy Keogh Says Hello charts.
“I have a great photo at home of myself and Jack with the flag in taken in Austria when we played there in the 1996 European Championship qualifiers.
“That takes pride of place and always will. The girls are lovely but Big Jack is a Saint in my eyes and they’ll never surpass him.”
The girls didn’t hold that against Davy. They didn’t really hold anything against him if truth be told, but they did wish Ireland the best of luck in Wednesday night’s World Cup showdown with the French.
That, of course, is the real reason why Davy Keogh and about 15,000 other Irish natives were in Paris this week, to see if Giovanni Trapattoni really is a miracle worker.
By the time you read this Ireland’s World Cup fate will probably be known, and I’m no psychic so I won’t even hazard a guess at the final result.
All I can tell you is that I have never seen anything quite like the Moulin Rouge dancers with an Irish fan in their midst as I did on Monday night.
And I hope, I really hope, that Davy Keogh gets to say hello to the world and the World Cup in South Africa next summer.
With all the doom and gloom back home right now it’s the least we all deserve, you and me and Davy Keogh.