Gilroy paranoia an unhealthy outlook
How refreshing to read Colm O'Rourke's common sense and well-balanced opinion of GAA football in Ireland at the moment. Not only was Colm a beautiful footballer in his time but he has also become a notable writer and analyst of the game.
In my neck of the woods, some years ago, what happened on the field certainly did not stay on the field, and both players and supporters continued their rivalry long after the game was over and even on to the dance floors on the Sunday night. It wasn't unusual for some of us to be looking proudly over nothing worse than a swollen nose through two shiny black eyes on a Monday morning, having cleared the air the night before. Then we were the best of friends till the next encounter.
To my mind, the attitude of Dublin manager Pat Gilroy about his team being disliked and that it was always 31 counties against one is a step in the wrong direction. He also felt the Dublin team were very popular when they won the All-Ireland last September, but within weeks he believes jealousy set in again. He has the same opinion about his club. Unfortunately, he has a very unhealthy outlook.
Dublin are in possession of the Sam Maguire. Who knows, perhaps they will hold it again next year. In the meantime, we look forward to a lot of entertaining games. Dublin, put your best 15 out . . . they are fine men and well able to look after themselves and will be hailed by a multitude of supporters, but bear in mind you have the largest population and the highest number of clubs from which to draw. So come September, may the best team win.
James J Heslin
Shame on FAI for selling out Irish kit
So, Ireland's international soccer team have given the green light to the FAI to award the contract to supply the Irish team's official clothing for the Euro 2012 finals to a British tailoring company. Apparently, the company chosen, Chess London, has agreed to supply the attire free of charge. Why does this behaviour by the FAI not surprise me? Where is the FAI's moral compass?
This same organisation, which shares the benefits to the tune of €191m of Irish taxpayers' money that was channelled into the Aviva Stadium, has no problem finding the money to pay its chief executive John Delaney a healthy salary and has no hang-up allowing billionaire entrepreneur Denis O'Brien pay part of the salary of team manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
I am calling on those in the FAI who have a modicum of patriotism and national pride to ensure that those representing the Irish nation in the finals of Euro 2012 have their outfits made in this country. It is the working classes in Ireland who have traditionally supported Irish soccer, at both domestic and international level, and if the FAI does not support Irish workers, I will not support the FAI.
Despite decades of attracting huge attendances at international football fixtures, which in turn generated massive revenue for the FAI, nothing was done to secure a national stadium for Ireland's soccer team and supporters. Indeed, the same FAI stood by as Glenmalure Park in Milltown, home of the famous Hoops, became victim to one of the greatest acts of sporting and social vandalism in Irish footballing history. That such an iconic Dublin soccer landmark was allowed to be turned into a housing estate was an act of national football sabotage.
I had the honour of seeing footballing greats in the 1940s, '50s and '60s like Paddy Coad, Liam Tuohy, Gerry Mackey, Frank O'Neill and the great Mick Leech give exhibitions of football in Glenmalure Park which would match those seen today at Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. The commitment to Irish soccer by those who wore Irish football jerseys is, unfortunately, not matched by those wearing suits in Abbotstown.