have your say
Everton's record speaks for itself
I just would like to make a few points on your article 'Sense of Injustice Driving Force Behind the Irish People's Club' [Feb 28]. I feel the article rather damns Everton with faint praise.
I would like to take issue with the comment that the club has "massive grandiosity tempered by feelings of tremendous inferiority". I don't think we (as a lifelong Toffee) have a tremendous sense of inferiority, rather we have high standards and expectations.
In this postmodern age of Sky historicism, you may be forgiven for not knowing that Everton are the fourth most successful English football club and had more league titles than both Manchester United and Arsenal as recently as 1988. The club has also spent 107 years in the top flight, the only club to be over the 100 year mark.
While it is true that many Catholics in Liverpool supported (and support) Everton, the club's Irish links are mostly due to the numerous Irish players who played for the club, especially pre-1960s. The Catholic support in Liverpool can be partly explained by the fact that Everton's directors were members of the Liberal political bloc in the city (which backed Home Rule) while Liverpool's directors were Tories. Both clubs have a Methodist background (Liverpool only coming into existence due to the split within Everton in 1892).
Any notions of historical religious sectarian division between the Liverpool clubs are the indirect result of the Liberal-Tory divisions. Having said all that, I am sure some Everton fans in Ireland in the past did "talk up" the "Catholicness" of Everton, probably as a dig aimed at (the few) Liverpool fans in the country in the times before Liverpool won promotion to the top division in the 1960s. Regarding Mr Moyes, it seems that non-Everton supporters think higher of him than fans of the club.
An announcement not worth making
As a sports fan, and a rugby man in particular, can I ask Philip Browne and the IRFU to ensure we do not have a public address announcement on Saturday against Wales with seven minutes to go announcing: 'All stewards and match officials to end of match positions.'
Can we not communicate same in the pre-match briefing or through modern communications? We don't hear it at any other international venue. The last seven minutes can be, and is, when most games of the modern era are won and lost in the fierce heat of battle. It is so off-putting for tv viewing -- what must it be like to hear this live at the game?
Cancer of violence hasn't gone away
Well done to Eamonn Sweeney on today's column [Feb 28].
Around 1965, as a 10-year-old, I witnessed a baying crowd gather outside the referee's dressing room after a Leinster Championship match between Louth and Longford. Even today, I can still recall this event.
Not much has changed in 45 years. The GAA continues to adopt an ambivalent attitude towards violence on the field and also towards threats to referees. It takes good writers like yourself and Eugene McGee to come out and say the brave things that need to be said. The GAA has such an influence on our young people that it behoves those in power here to be unequivocal in its dealings with this cancer of violence that continues to stalk our games.
Too much division has devalued titles
In Have Your Say [Feb 28], the comments of Colin Dixon regarding Tommy Conlon (on Bernard Dunne) are completely unfounded. He certainly has no understanding of world professional boxing.
Professional boxing is now a conglomerate of organisational bodies with 17 weight divisions, where heretofore there were only eight. Nine of these weight divisions, in my opinion are spurious. There are now at least 68 world champions and professional boxing is a mess.
Bernard Dunne was champion in one of these spurious divisions, namely super bantamweight. On the world sporting stage, professional boxing has been pushed to the fringes. The IBF, WBA and WBC are considered the most legitimate organisations, and by the end of 1990 two more organisations had been formed to cause even more confusion.
Bernard Dunne was a journeyman fighter in an unimpressive division. Had he won a title at bantamweight or featherweight, some credence might have been given to him as a champion.