Mr Macgregor offers his hope

Date: 19th May 2021

The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart.

Master MacGregor and Master Desmond cannot agree, and both want to make something at the sand pit.

It looks like it is likely to get ugly at the Nursery…

Picture the scene…

Master MacGregor is all bulging muscle and bravado at the corner of the room. His background has been mentioned more than a few times – often to explain his aggressive behaviour by the principal of the Nursery from the backstreets of Dublin. The burr in his voice is a standard, straight out of a bad gangster movie, if said gangster movie was to be set in a downtrodden part of Dublin type.

He growls much more than he talks.

In the opposite corner, so to speak, is Master Desmond. From a similar background but a shrewd and often manipulative kid from the same backstreets, his own background gets very little mention as he seldom finds himself in any kind of trouble. The Principal is not, however fooled. She knows that oftentimes, Master Desmond makes the bullets and gets the other kids to load them in their guns, take aim and fire. This allows him to escape any kind of blame.

The whole nursery is busy and not taking much notice apart from one.

Master Kennedy has noticed that his turn at the sand pit is now under threat.

A shy young man who has always been a steady presence in the room, his early health issues took him away from being a full participatory member of the nursery into being the one who goes to the sand pit regularly to play but not be the one who has managed to build any of the objects that the others do; though he always seems to get to the sand pit when the previous player has left it an absolute mess.

Master MacGregor is whispering to Master Desmond and the Principal can only hear a few words wafting over the room. She decides to get a little closer in case she may have to intervene when she hears Master MacGregor promise “big things” for the sand pit and any hook up between the two plotters.

These two being in contact with each other is not great news and she decides she needs to take action  and do so pretty soon. Just at that point a wailing in the opposite corner diverts hers and others’ attention to a ruckus. Master Pressley has been banging the table and not getting his own way again. It looks like this time he is being ignored by the wee girl Budge who has given all her toys to Master Neilson and refused to play with Master Pressley.

This happens at least once a week and the Principal heads over to console wee Pressley.

Master Kennedy is not to be distracted. He stares directly at both Master MacGregor and Desmond. His scowl is not ignored but hardly intimidates either of them. In fact, Master MacGregor smirks at its presence.

Remembering that last week MacGregor was talking to the wee boy from Manchester about a similar hook up, Kennedy is now convinced that his future at the sand pit is in serious danger. He decides to take action.

Then the Principal intervenes.

She goes over to try and break up the two at the sand pit, because the time has come for a change.

Master Kennedy rises from the floor of where he was sitting ready to go over to the sand pit and build the castle he had always dreamed of. Over the last week the chance to take all that sand and make something out of it had been in his mind, part of his dreams and now he just wants to make it all happen. Once he has finished with it, he knows that people will stop seeing him as the wee boy to be ignored in the place, recognise his genius and nobody, and he means nobody shall ever put him down again.

Just at that, the Principal, misreads the script and calls over Master Howe from the other corner. The wee English dude who just arrived at the nursery gets up and wanders over.

The Principal is giving him the sand pit to play in.

Kennedy gets upset and wails, “it’s not fair!” as a consoling hand from one of the Early Year’s Assistants is placed over his shoulder and he burrows into hers for a greet.

What he misses is the smirking assassins, MacGregor and Desmond walking to the reading table with the Principal for the next part of their day. They have managed the ultimate feat of getting the Principal to do their bidding and there is nothing going to wipe that grin off their faces.

Kennedy is being told by the assistant not to be so worried as there is nothing at all in what he is upset about saying, “There is nothing in this at all, John. The sand pit is a place he likes, for sure but you will have another opportunity… some time… somewhere else… maybe.”

Kennedy looks out over her shoulder at the scenes and thinks his time at this nursery may be over. It may be time to move on and find a new place to go and play in the sandpit. What he realises more than most though, is that that decision is not in his hands.


Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that a MacGregor, a Desmond or Kennedy were ever in a nursery together so this is clearly untrue. However, some of the principals of the tale have a connection around the future of Celtic FC.

During the week, Connor MacGregor was suggested as having had discussions with Dermot Desmond over investing in Celtic FC. Along with an interest in Manchester United his investment  may prove to be quicker to materialise than Eddie Howe as the new boss. John Kennedy meanwhile should be making way for new people in the dressing room; who knows where he may end up…

Posted in: Latest News