Sunday 25 September 2016

Eamon Carr: Ó Sé's poisonous ramblings do Gaelic football a disservice

Eamon Carr

Published 26/06/2015 | 20:12

Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, in action against Neil McAdam, Monaghan
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, in action against Neil McAdam, Monaghan

It was French philosopher Voltaire who said, "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." A bit like Kerry being obsessed with Dublin.

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We now have Darragh Ó Sé confirming the obvious.

It's not enough that Ó Sé regards Diarmuid Connolly as a "beautifully balanced player", he's urging players to take him out.

The former Kerry midfielder would like it to become the accepted canon that skilful Dublin players are neutralised, one way or another. So that in case Kerry meet Dublin, Jim Gavin's men will already be depleted or know they'll be subjected to cynical off-the-ball harassment.

Thanks to Ó Sé's poisonous advice, Diarmuid Connolly might as well have a target painted on his back for every sniping bullyboy who's let loose in a county shirt.

Referees and officials are on hand to deal with unsporting behaviour on the pitch. But surely HQ must consider how best to spank errant pot-stirrers like Ó Sé, whose weasel words make a mockery of fair play.

You can't legislate for men talking in a pub where a language of excess is the domain of the drunk. But allowing a respected pundit a public platform to suggest targeting a player is not the kind of public image the GAA need. Especially when video footage of men in Waterford attacking each other with hurleys on a GAA pitch is going viral around the civilised world.

This sort of appalling behaviour is only a knee in the coccyx or a dig in the kidneys away from the garbage Ó Sé vomits up as sporting commentary.

It's possible that they'll love it in Kerry where a commodity called "cuteness" is celebrated as a defining trait. But there's a slim line between this type of smart-arse behaviour and a sly thing called "sleevenism".

He was a formidable footballer, but sadly, with his advice on how to shackle a player of notable ability, Ó Sé is becoming a caricature.

There was uproar once when Ó Sé's own uncle, Páidí, described Kerry football enthusiasts as "the worst kind of f***ing animals you could ever deal with." Darragh Ó Sé seems intent on re-enforcing such an unwarranted assertion.

"As a player and a man, Darragh would have absorbed a lot of the fear laidir culture," explained former Kerry manager Jack O'Connor in his book.

His dangerous guff yesterday suggests the lad is having difficulty adjusting to civvy street where his tantrums are no longer tolerated.

The Dubs would be best advised to ignore the sordid ramblings of a former great of the game and concentrate on doing what they do best - playing stylish, roboust football without malice aforethought.

And remember, to paraphrase John Lennon, Dublin's a concept by which Kerry measure their pain.

Read more: Ciaran Whelan: I really hope Kildare can put it up to the Dubs

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