The "Jakes M'Carthy" whom Myles Crawford mentions in
the context of Stephen's future in journalism is not a generic
name for random Irishmen. He was a well-known sports reporter,
and the editor seems to regard him with the same professional
pride that he feels for Ignatius Gallaher, whom he brings up
in the following section of Aeolus.
John M'Carthy, who used the pen name "Jacques," pronounced "Jakes,"
covered Irish football teams from the 1870s until his death in
1901. Vivien Igoe calls him "a conspicuous figure in the world
of sport, whose wit, genial temperament and kindly nature won
him friends in many circles." She cites his most famous piece
of reportage, an account of an Irish rugby player's brilliant
try against an English team: "Ryan crossed the line festooned
with Saxons." (Fans of American football will hear in this
account an echo of the "beast mode" style of running practiced
by Marshawn Lynch.) The phrase "festooned with Saxons" lives
on in Irish rugby lore to this day.
Igoe supplies other anecdotes. Asked at some point to define
the three forms of football, M'Carthy considered the question
and replied, "In rugby you kick the ball; in soccer you kick
the man if you can't kick the ball; in Gaelic you kick the
ball if you can't kick the man; and the use of the knife is
forbidden before half time." ("Football" largely meant rugby
in Joyce's day, not soccer.) The same wit was on display when,
during one of his periodic spells of unemployment, M'Carthy
was talking to a friend on O'Connell Bridge and saw a newsboy
run past with a placard announcing trouble between Russia and
Japan: "Situation in the Far East." He said to his friend, "I
wonder, should I apply for it."
In a personal communication, Senan Molony notes that M'Carthy
wrote for Sport, the same weekly paper, published by
the Freeman's Journal, whose just-released "tissues"
(flimsy racing forms) Lenehan has brought into the Evening
Telegraph office. Crawford may well be gesturing toward
those sheets when he says, "Father, Son and Holy Ghost and
Jakes M'Carthy." Molony adds that "Joyce as a good
Belvederian loved rugby (even if he preferred to play cricket). He attended the Stade
de Colombes for Irish rugby internationals against France when
he lived in Paris."