Liam and Sam: Search on for new Micheal
The search is on for the next Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh. Raidió na Gaeltachta have launched a competition asking prospective Irish language commentators to send in a 60-second recording of themselves 'as Gaeilge.'.
The top entrants will be invited to a workshop in RnaG headquarters in Galway next month and the winner will receive tickets to the All-Ireland hurling final and a chance to be in the commentary box on the day.
Horses may lead punters to water
ANYONE looking for an omen for Sunday's Cork v Kilkenny hurling quarter-final might well have studied unusual form-pointers at Ballinrobe on Tuesday evening.
The first race was won by The Ring Is King – a horse named after the man Cork folk will tell you was the greatest hurler of all time, Christy Ring.
Later on the same card, a horse trained by former Kilkenny All-Ireland winner Kieran Purcell would have attracted plenty of attention from followers of the black and amber.
Top Cat Henry (who is he named after, we wonder?) took part in the feature event, but could only finish fifth. Mind you, Henry Shefflin has been struggling for fitness all season, so it was hardly surprising.
Raise bar and your club may be flying
CLUBS all over the country are getting the chance to win some badly needed funds, courtesy of a new campaign, entitled 'Raise The Bar'.
Etihad Airways, sponsor of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, are running the competition for which the winning club will receive a €10,000 cash sponsorship fund, new branded playing and training kit, mentoring and coaching from leading personalities, plus fundraising prizes such as Etihad Airways flights and All-Ireland final tickets.
Clubs can enter the competition by submitting written and video entries that show how they 'Raise The Bar' and why they deserve to win the sponsorship package.
Achievement comes in many forms, not just silverware. For details, check out www.etihadgaa.ie.
'Pella' can make coaching fun
Meath coach Sean Kelly and physio Frank Foley are involved in a new game similar to five-a-side football but in a GAA context. Pella (indoor football) and Puc Pella (indoor hurling) are part of Pella Games, a concept built around a games-based approach to coaching.
With their unique circular portable goals, which can be adapted for an indoor or an all-weather setting, the games have been installed at 14 locations around Leinster and will be on display at the Donaghmore/ Ashbourne GAA complex in Meath tomorrow and at Salthill and Edgeworthstown in August. See www.pella.ie for more details.
Number of the week
13 Number of counties who have lost All-Ireland qualifier Round 4 games the weekend after being beaten in a provincial final. Donegal be warned. Only two counties have won on the quick turnaround (Dublin in 2001 and Down last year).
Quote of the week
"I think it's a case of chimney pots – we don't have enough of them in Ireland to support two more professional games"
– Jim McGuinness on why pay-for-play could never work in the GAA.
O'Neill swerves 'Poc' challenge
AMERICAN rap vernacular is regularly used by young GAA players (hence their indecipherable twitter feeds), so they'll be impressed to hear that camogie chief Aileen Lawlor 'called out' Liam O'Neill at the Poc Fada launch and challenged him to a high-profile 'smackdown.'
The 52nd edition of the competition, which will take place in the Cooley Mountains tomorrow week, will see most of the country's best goalkeepers battling it out for senior men's and women's titles.
There is also an U-16 section, and Lawlor would like an 'Uachtarans' category.
She publicly threw down the gauntlet to Liam O'Neill to take her on in a special 'presidential' section.
The Laois man politely declined, and given Lawlor's credentials, maybe discretion was the better part of valour.
One of the many Redmond sisters who played for Dublin, she not only refereed at All-Ireland level but won a national league medal and Leinster titles with both Dublin and Westmeath and an All-Ireland club medal with Crumlin.