Saturday 1 October 2016

Joe Brolly's sad attack on Laochra stank

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

Sir - It was very sad to see Joe Brolly's outrageous and downright cynical column (Sunday Independent, May 1) regarding the recent GAA Laochra celebrations in Croke Park. His remarks were those of a whinging corner boy who laughs at just about everything.

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He said the GAA went for a mix of 'Braveheart and The Quiet Man' and that Croke Park was full of "toothless simpletons waving swords" and an "Irish cailin with red hair". All that was missing, he said, was an appearance by the "King of Leprechauns".

It must be so hurtful to Brolly that over 70,000 patrons stayed in the stadium after the two league finals to savour this superb pageant and give it a standing ovation at the end. Maybe inside Brolly's small mind they too are toothless simpletons.

The Laochra pageant was a superb tribute to Ireland, of which the GAA authorities can be justly proud. In a short time frame of 30 minutes, it was a noble effort that captured our history (a lot of it tragic) in song, dance, poetry and brilliantly choreographed pageantry. It was spectacular in the extreme. To all those involved, especially the young participants, well done.

Brolly went on to label the Kerry football team as a "bitter and mean-spirited."

There is an old saying for you Joe: people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Pat O'Connor,


Co Cork

Ben Morgan's trust and strength

Sir - Ben Morgan (son of the late famous Dermot Morgan) has it right, when he says: "Why Wouldn't Men Cry?" (Sunday Independent, April 23). It's the best help towards getting him over his Hodgkin's lymphoma.

In my book, it's a sign of masculine strength, not weakness, and he is his own man. But I'll swear we are only passing through here to hopefully a better place and put his trust in God (not modern I know) but He will answer when badgered and with belief in Him.

He sends crosses to call us close to Him, I firmly believe.

Father Ted is up there and will see to Ben, I just know it.

Kathleen Corrigan,


Co Cavan

Slow cyclists a real menace

Sir - Having spent the past few years commuting daily by bicycle through Dublin's city centre, my experience is somewhat counter to common preconception that most badly behaved cyclists are young men racing around. The worst-behaved cyclists are typically the slow movers.

Whether such people feel they need to break the rules in order to keep up with other riders or whether they feel their slowness removes the danger and consequently the illegality of their behaviour is an interesting question.

I was recently passed at a red light by an elderly man, who caused some alarm as he weaved lazily between a similarly elderly lady and a woman pushing a buggy as they crossed on the green-man. When I caught up with him a little later and challenged him as to why he had broken the light, he answered: "It's alright, I was going slowly."

Such riders are a strong catalyst for others to break the rules. Not only do they flaunt the benefits of rule-breaking without consequence, but they are slow-moving obstacles that block progress and are difficult to pass.

For car drivers, imagine finally passing out that tractor that has been blocking your way on a country road for the past 10 miles, only for the tractor to break the rules, sail blithely past you at the next junction and block you again for the next 10 miles too. Now imagine how it would feel for this to happen repeatedly at every junction thereafter and for this to happen every day, morning and evening as you do your daily commute.

Overtaking is a dangerous manoeuvre on a bike, as in a car, and repeated overtaking increases the danger. How long would it be before you began bending the rules to stay ahead? Many normally law-abiding cyclists mutate under similar provocation into rule-breakers.

John Thompson


Dublin 7

Sunday Independent

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