Saturday 29 April 2017

GAA Confidential: Sign of times as briquettes come before beauty

FURTHER proof that the Celtic Tiger has well and truly gone the way of Irish snakes is underlined by GAA fund-raising efforts this summer.

A pretty little imported Belgian Blue heifer has been prominent outside several Ulster senior football championship games, including last weekend's final in Clones.

No, she is not a spectator. She is first prize in a fund-raising raffle for Corduff (home club of referee, Pat McEnaney) in Monaghan where, noticeably, second prize is a weekend in the Slieve Russell Hotel and third prize is two tickets to Boyzone!

At a recent match in Tullamore, Sam & Liam were persuaded to buy a ticket for Offaly ladies footballers' fundraiser, whose prize list was equally demonstrative of Ireland's new recessionary priorities.

Yes, they're offering vouchers for a prominent midlands ladies boutique, a dinner and B&B package and a spa treatment, but such extravagances are now down the prize list.

The Faithful's footballing females clearly understand that, in these economically straitened times, everyone's needs are much more prosaic. Hence, 'First Prize' is 80 bales of briquettes and 'Second Prize' is 500 litres of home heating oil!

Snappers miss out on shot at Rebels

CORK footballers brought a new meaning to the phrase 'emptying the bench' last Sunday in Wexford Park. Wexford were out on the pitch first and duly sat on the assigned benches for the ritual team photos.

Cork emerged a few minutes later. By then the snappers had congregated downfield. Rebel captain Graham Canty led the lads out and sat down on the bench. Almost immediately Canty realised there were no photographers in place and quickly hopped up and jogged away with team-mates in tow.

A vain plea by the snappers was met with a dismissive wave of the hand. 'Ye had yer chance,' the gesture said.

Not a bad move. Imagine if Cork had lost their first senior championship meeting with Wexford in 116 years. There would have been no souvenir photograph of the shamed Rebels to haunt them!

As it happened, Cork had no reason to worry as they won well.

Cold water pours on Meehan's summer

We mentioned two weeks ago how Derry footballer Enda Muldoon mucked in on the basics, such as selling refreshments at his local club in Ballinderry during the very successful Feile Peil na n-Og weekend, and last week another famous name showed exactly what the GAA means in community life.

Galway's 'maor uisce' for the Connacht MFC final against Mayo in Castlebar was none other than senior star Michael Meehan. His older brother Noel was a selector with Gerry Fahy (manager) and John Conole.

No doubt there were times when Michael's thoughts drifted to what it might have been like if injury hadn't wrecked his season. Given how close the Galway-Sligo semi-final was, there's every chance a fit Meehan would have swung it the way of the Tribesmen.

In which case, he wouldn't have been running the line for the minors last Sunday. In fact, he wouldn't even have been in Castlebar as a Galway-Roscommon final would have gone to Dr Hyde Park.

Irish Independent

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