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Bombs on and off the pitch

TELEVISION It started with fighting talk from Leo and ended with a GAA bust up, says Declan Lynch

AS someone who has been routinely describing the activities of the money men as a form of international terrorism, I was not surprised to hear Leo Varadkar on The Week in Politics talking about bombs going off in Dublin. I was just surprised that he was openly quoting the words of our cruel rulers that "it's on your head... we don't want you to default on these payments, it is your decision ultimately, but a bomb will go off, and the bomb will go off in Dublin, not in Frankfurt."

Gusty Spence himself eventually grew out of such blackguardism, and even the Provos have gone quiet. Now it is the money men who brag about their bombs.

An evil ideology, be it nationalism or fascism or this global financial gangsterism, tends to have no limits to its ambition, and no doubts about the rightness of its cause. And though it is clearly in league with the devil, it can be regarded for long periods as quite a reasonable point of view, held by respectable people who are entitled to their opinion.

So the money men, whose brethren have largely destroyed the world, will propose solutions to the problem which involve dark threats of bombs going off and so forth, when in truth, they are now the problem. We know how this works, indeed in this country we are almost uniquely placed to recognise the way that a twisted ideology -- in our case, nationalism -- can claim to be slaying some dark invader, when in fact the ideology itself is the dark invader.

And of course that sense of powerlessness we feel in the face of all this badness is deeply familiar. I have advocated a sort of a Section 31 which would ban all voices even vaguely related to the financial services sector from the airwaves, indefinitely. Or until they stop.

We don't need these characters in our heads, with their heathen gibberish.

But it looks like they will have to destroy the world a few more times before we send them back to the shrunken universe from which they have emerged, along with their terrible bullshit. For example all news programmes last week brought us to Davos, where the great minds of global economics meet every year, and yet haven't figured out a way to explain to the money-men that Greece, for example, has as much chance of paying all those billions as Fr Peter McVerry has of servicing the national debt of the Congo from the Post Office savings accounts of the homeless people in his care -- even if he wanted to, which is somewhat unlikely.

But they carry on anyway, schmoozing in the snow, and lads are sent from RTE to listen to them.

OUTSIDE the walls of their six-star chalets in Davos, they can hardly be trusted to offer guidance on even the lightest of topics, such as that latest outbreak of hostilities at a gaelic match.

In situations such as this, you need advisers who are aware of a certain moral and philosophical dimension to the human experience -- not to mention the desire to get stuck in, when the battle is raging.

So as I observed the pictures on the RTE News of the lads from Derryflesk and Dromid Pearses getting stuck in, I felt that the best policy in these situations is to give an honest reaction -- to say how much I, and many other viewers, enjoyed the fighting to begin with, and then to question its place in the greater scheme.

Certainly this stuff couldn't keep happening for about 130 years if men were not deriving some deep enjoyment from it, both as participants and as spectators. And after all that time, it is also fair to say that these "incidents" are not just some optional extra, they are an intrinsic part of the game.

And I have no problem with it, as long as they refrain from being moralistic about my game, association football. Football has its hooligans off the park, rugby has its hooligans on the park, but Gaelic games are perhaps unique in having both of these, with players, spectators, officials, and mentors all joining in when required. It is, as they say, rooted in the community.

Sunday Indo Living