Have your say
Published 05/02/2012 | 05:00
One owner seeks some free wheels
Hey Audi, remember me, the guy with the red A3, the one I bought with half my lump sum a few years ago? You do, great. Well, Jeez I hate to say it but it's kinda in need of changing and well, you know, since Paul Galvin got a nice new one for driving about in you might consider throwing me an auld one if there are any left over like.
Oh, I see. I am not famous. Okay. Still I bought one off ye, indeed I actually bought another when I was a younger man. Would that count? No. I thought so. You wouldn't have one with any auld roadkill on it that some of the ladies might be a bit squeamish about. I don't mind driving a One or a Two. No, no . . . alright.
So how do I go about this then? Bear in mind I am nearly 60 so I wouldn't get on the Mayo team never mind Kerry and I definitely would not get into a pair of my son's skinnys. A rather wide-sized 40 would bust the old zip. As for the croc shoes well I am kinda a Doc Martin man at this stage, blisters, bunions etc. And, before you ask, I am ashamed to admit, yes I actually own two pairs of them.
You'll contact me then? Okay, okay, sorry for bothering ye, but anything will do, even a couple of remoulds at this stage. . . Hello . . . hello, you still there? Hello?
Genuine fans want an end to thuggery
I wish to disagree with Eamonn Sweeney on a number of points he raises in relation to the All-Ireland junior football semi-final between Dromid Pearses and Derrytresk [Jan 29].
Firstly, his article has all the hallmarks of someone who was not in attendance at the match so therefore he could not accurately comment on what went on. He said it was heart-warming to see a tiny club from the shores of Lough Neagh contest a match of this importance. He is quite right in that assessment but that does not give them the right to behave as they did as a club that Sunday. What he did not say is that Dromid Pearses is a very small rural club from South Kerry, an area ravaged by emigration even in Celtic Tiger times; that they have managed to survive at all let alone contest an All-Ireland semi-final is a minor miracle and a credit to the people who run the club.
He indicated that the media made it out to be a north v south issue. I could not disagree more. It was plainly a case of one team setting out to perpetrate acts of intimidation on the other team to advance their chances of winning. This was clear to anybody who was in attendance and can be borne out by the comments of GAA officers from different counties who were at the match.
Mr Sweeney listed several incidents where this kind of behaviour has happened in the past. Does this make it acceptable? I think it does not and that Croke Park should act now before this can be added to the list.
Mr Sweeney makes reference to the usual fall guy in these type of situations, Paul Galvin, and refers to trial by media. Why? The situations are poles apart. This was not a trial by media but the views and concerns of genuine GAA people who want this kind of thuggery stamped out of our games once and for all.
Managers must share the blame
Congratulations to Eamonn Sweeney on bringing a bit of common sense to the GAA violence debate.
Nobody wants to see violence rear its ugly head but as long as GAA games are played by human beings it is inevitable that there will be occasions when players lose control of their emotions.
What is even more detestable are sneaky attempts at provocation that are premeditated and not an emotional reaction. The Association should ensure that as many steps as possible are taken to prevent outbreaks and these steps would include adequate stewarding, making team managers more responsible for their players' behaviour, stiff penalties on offending clubs as well as individual penalties on culprits.
I have always held that if we laud managers for team performances, we should equally lay blame at their feet if their charges misbehave. It is probably too much to expect clubs to be honest and own up and take action when their players step out of line.
I am reminded of an episode in a game over 60 years ago when I was about 10 years old. This was at a time when pitches were not yet developed and games were played in a farmer's unfenced field. The first thing a referee had to do then was to get the field clear of 'blackcoats' before the game could be commenced. A hurling game was fixed for my village pitch between two neighbouring clubs. There was the usual gathering in the middle of the field comprising both players and 'blackcoats' before throw-in. A 'blackcoat' reached over a few heads and struck an opposing player on the head with a hurley. All hell broke loose and the game never started.
Well, we have come a long way since then but, obviously, we are not there yet.
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