Friday 9 December 2016

Vincent Hogan: So the Portlaoise brawl was symptomatic of an association in chaos through violence?

Published 28/01/2012 | 05:00

On Tuesday morning, Colm O'Rourke was on Newstalk, confidently batting away any notion of a problem with violence in the GAA.

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O'Rourke is a good deal brighter than he sounded. The interview with Ivan Yates, sadly, bore the air of an old soldier defending his regiment through no greater calling than loyalty. Colm stopped just short of feigning boredom over the story of junior footballers brawling in Portlaoise. It was, he argued, not the "worst scrap" he'd ever seen. "To me, t'was harmless enough," said the Meath man.

It was a view wide open to lampooning and, throughout the day, the invitation would be accepted in many quarters. When one of the GAA's more benign, intelligent commentators comes across as being so impervious to the pathetic images broadcast nationwide from O'Moore Park, the Association itself faces a problem.

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