Sunday 23 October 2016

Point scoring will only end in tears for begrudgers

Published 23/07/2014 | 02:30

Bernard Brogan: Dublin GAA star’s team has a lot to look forward to. Photo: Collins
Bernard Brogan: Dublin GAA star’s team has a lot to look forward to. Photo: Collins

* I attended Croke Park last Sunday where I watched a wonderful minor Leinster final between Dublin and Kildare.

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I then watched a one-sided Leinster senior final where it was all over bar the shouting by half time.

It was not what I expected.

Yes, Dublin are indeed a class act. Yet there are TV, radio and newspaper pundits who still labour on about this team not yet being tested as if to say that there are better teams out there who will finally take the scalp of the All-Ireland champions.

There are some who go so far as to say that Dublin's superiority is no help to the other teams in Leinster or to any of the other provinces.

It might be no harm to remind these whimpering pundits that the mighty Kerry won the All-Ireland no less than 14 times from 1975 onwards, while the wonderful Kilkenny hurlers have lifted the championship nine times since 2000.

I don't recall any moaning when either of these teams dominated their respective games.

They forced other teams to step up to their class.

They made other teams realise that it can be done, only if the will is there and it is allied to help and encouragement from the county boards.

Everyone secretly wants to see the matador gored no matter how great he may be.

And for a long time the world of boxing wanted to see Cassius Clay, later the great Muhammad Ali, being defeated until they finally grudgingly bowed to his superiority.

And so it goes on and on. It's called human nature – or to be more precise, the secret wish of the begrudger.

To all of the aforementioned, bow your heads now and ask for forgiveness before the time comes when this great Dublin team have long since retired and you will probably whisper between the slugs from your pint: "Ah yeah, that Dublin team was great alright."




* I realise that we are a dying breed – by which I mean those who can remember the newspaper reports from the late 1940s when the Stern Gang, the Irgun Guerrillas and, to a lesser extent, Haganah were establishing the Jewish homeland as promised in the Balfour Declaration.

With the Arabs trying to keep their land from Jewish immigrants (legal and illegal), the French police were saving London when they stopped a group from the Stern Gang who were planning an aerial bombardment.

The retaliation was similar to today, more noisy but less effective.

Some years ago Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote an interesting article in 'The Daily Telegraph', drawing attention to how much of the Earth's troubles derive from the Old Testament, inter-Jewish, inter-Christian and inter-Islam factions and the three main bodies carrying out Crusades and Jihads.

I feel Christians are now moving towards the message of Christ through ecumenism but the other two are still in the mire, believing in a vengeful, unforgiving and self-righteous God. For their sakes, I hope when they finally meet him he is not.




* I have just read the Ian O'Doherty piece on Israel and was slightly shocked by his take on the situation in Gaza, with him believing that we are being fed lies by the media and receiving incorrect information. What the facts tell us is that France and Britain organised there to be an area for European Jews to live in Palestine over a century ago.

What the facts tell us is that the UN partitioned Palestine in 1947 to allow the creation of Israel, which the Israelis subsequently ignored and have since proceeded to invade and cross over international lines to give themselves a larger area to control. They have destroyed a nation and pushed people to live in a cramped open-air prison.

How is that not an occupation? How is that not reminiscent of 'lebensraum'?




* Two hundred and ninety-eight lives were lost when a civilian airliner was shot down by a missile available to only the most advanced armies in the world and fired from an area controlled by Ukrainian rebels.

Such weapons had previously been used to shoot down Ukrainian military aircraft. Whether it was operated by insurgents, Russian "advisers", or regular Russian troops, is almost immaterial. Putin and the Russian federation are ultimately responsible. And yet European leaders do little but wring their hands and complain about the chaotic crash scene investigation and the recovery of bodies.

No one expects European leaders to go to war with a nuclear power like Russia over such a provocation – but the repeated mincing of words by Obama and his NATO allies is embarrassing.

Well might Putin obfuscate until the outcry dies down. But isn't it about time that the EU took some concerted action? How about a strategic EU energy policy and plan to reduce all dependence on Russian gas within 10 years to zero by building a European super-grid powered from largely sustainable sources?

Irish and Scottish wind, wave and tidal turbines allied to eastern European and Mediterranean solar farms could make up a huge amount of the energy deficit created by a progressive reduction in Russian energy imports, whilst at the same time providing a much-needed boost to investment across the EU.




* Irony always springs to mind when I hear RTE personnel asking questions about high salaries, especially when you know that the questioners are themselves earning very high salaries – in some cases, for the minimum of time and effort.

It would be in the public interest to have the whole organisation opened up to scrutiny by the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee on behalf of the licence payer.

One of the questions that could be put to them would be on their position as an equal opportunity employer. And the whole area of expenditure and expenses as well as salaries and fees.




* Angela Kerins says she suffered an 'ordeal' under questioning by PAC. Poor baby. After eight years of living it large as a very well paid CEO, she had to answer some questions about the taxpayers' money.

I've spent 12 years working for Rehab, on about 15pc of what she earned annually.

Am I asked regularly what I am doing? Of course.

Do I have to constantly prove my effectiveness? Yes.

Is my spending planned, checked and verified? All the time.

Like me, Angela knows the work, knows the sector, knows who the money is coming from and exactly what will be asked of her.

Like any member of staff, she had a spotlight shone on her – at the intensity suitable for her abilities and paygrade. Unlike the thousands still working (and working very well) for Rehab, she chose to resign.



Irish Independent

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