Sport Gaelic Football

Friday 20 January 2017

Club bust-up victim of GAA silly season

Published 28/01/2012 | 05:00

If you've goofed politically, try to make sure your bit of bad news gets out around budget time. The papers will be so full of troikas, bondholders and septic tanks, your embarrassment will be hidden away in the forgotten backwaters of nethermost page 32.

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And, if you have been involved in a clandestine affair or have given a job to a loved one or both, make sure it doesn't get out in the month of August when the political journalists are scavenging for scraps of information that wouldn't make it as far as the waste paper bin in July.

January is truly the GAA silly season. There are people in Derrytresk who never heard of Derrytresk.

The Tyrone men took on Dromid Pearses of Kerry in the All-Ireland Junior Club Championship last Sunday.

Dromid Pearses is the home club of Kerry manager Jack O'Connor and All-Ireland-winning captain Declan O'Sullivan, who got a belt of a handbag.

Some handbags are heavier than 'Operation Transformation' contestants were in Episode One and contain more heavy metal than a nail bomb, but Declan will survive and the only post-traumatic stress he'll suffer will be when he returns to an unmerciful slagging at Kerry training.

I wasn't there, so I cannot really comment on the rights or wrongs of the Battle of Portlaoise. We did manage to see the video, or part of the video, and what it did show was the Derrytresk subs jumping the wall.

You have to look at this from the point of view of the bench. There they are sitting in the cold on the biggest day in the history of their club, every man among them believing he should be on the field of play. I suppose it's one way of getting a game.

Alas, their misguided one-in, all-in loyalty landed their club on the main news.

RTE Sport were worn out from reporting out-of-season 'Eastern European lady shot-putter grows willy' stories, and the like.

Radio Kerry, sick of the constant economic gloom, lit up the dreary winter mornings with tales of men and women grieving for the fallen.

The GAA silly season also gives an opportunity to those whose voices are seldom heard nowadays.

A former chairman of Tyrone GAA stated the worst tackle he had ever seen was Tadhg Kennelly's challenge on Nicholas Murphy in the 2009 All-Ireland final. The former chairman really needs to get out a bit more.

Tyrone have had more than their fair share of bother at club games, remember when the oft-targeted Peter Canavan had his jaw broken, but presumably the former chairman wasn't present for that one.

People in straw houses shouldn't light fires. A referee from Dromid Pearses was the victim of a Kung Fu kick and there's hardly a county in Ireland where the players haven't invaded the crowd.

The shifting of the spotlight must be a great relief to Wicklow football and Galway hurling who are now enjoying a period of comparative peace.

The GAA courts will deal with the matter.

I would not like to see Derrytresk thrown out of the competition.

We must remember the Northern clubs were under siege for years and, while the Troubles have eased considerably, the GAA in the North have suffered a lot more than Dromid Pearses did last Sunday.

Men were murdered because of the membership card they carried in their pockets.

Derrytresk have worked so hard and risked so much to get to an All-Ireland final. That said, sometimes the intensity is disproportionate for a sporting occasion, however understandable that response may be.

As for all this talk of hate between Kerry and Tyrone, let me remind the rabble-rousers of our unqualified respect for the Tyrone teams who beat us by playing the better football in two All-Ireland finals.

No one in Kerry disputes that and I have never met a good loser who ever won anything. Yes, we hurt, but we know a great team when we meet one.

A year ago the real Kerry travelled north for Michaela McAreavey's funeral. The men who represented us told of how they were overwhelmed by Tyrone friendship and hospitality.

Irish Independent

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