Wednesday 18 September 2019

Letters to the Editor: 'Bonner is right - but teams need to stand up for the fans'

'Declan, his county board and team are key players in this and they could, if they felt strong enough about how their supporters are being mistreated, insist that the game is relayed free-to-air.' Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
'Declan, his county board and team are key players in this and they could, if they felt strong enough about how their supporters are being mistreated, insist that the game is relayed free-to-air.' Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Donegal manager Declan Bonner made the following observation about the crazy situation where next Saturday’s Mayo v Donegal game – a stand-out fixture of the year – won’t be broadcast free-to-air: “it’s far from ideal that this crucial Super 8s clash with Mayo won’t be broadcast on terrestrial television”. (“‘I’m sure somebody, somewhere is making money’ – Donegal boss Bonner not happy crunch Mayo clash is not on RTÉ”, Irish Independent, July 30).

But surely such hand-wringing cannot be let go. Declan, his county board and team are key players in this and they could, if they felt strong enough about how their supporters are being mistreated, insist that the game is relayed free-to-air. The game cannot happen without their participation.

The silence generally from those within the GAA bubble is also deafening.

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After all the wasted words attacking the success of the Dublin team with claims that their dominance is harming the game, it is interesting that few of the “expert” pundits are saying much about the selling-off of games to exclusive pay-for-view which is, without doubt, the greater threat to the sport.

Supporters, the life-blood of any sport, are being treated appallingly here and many will simply walk away.

But there could be a silver lining in this particular cloud for Sky Sports. Wouldn’t it be a brilliant gesture on their part if they agreed to allow RTÉ and TV3 relay the game? What a PR coup that would be.

Whatever happens, one thing is certain, this must be the last time that supporters are denied access to games in these shoddy deals for rights. The GAA needs to be reminded that these are our amateur games.

Jim O’Sullivan

Rathedmond, Co Sligo

Britain’s road to Europe was more tortuous than Ireland’s

John Downing said in an article yesterday that Britain and Ireland happily joined the EEC in January 1973.

However, this is only partially correct. Ireland joined via a referendum with a five-to-one majority in favour. Britain’s entry was not exactly a unanimous decision. The Heath government allowed a free vote, 41 Tory MPs voted against entering the common market.

Labour’s official position was that it could not support membership of the common market, however within Labour there were 50 or so pro Europe MPs led by Roy Jenkins, who abstained from crucial Commons’ votes. After the votes were counted, Britain decided to join the EEC by a margin of just four votes.

Roy Jenkins would go on to serve as Britain’s first commissioner and Labour to cover itself would go on to hold an ‘in-out’ referendum in 1975. Britain’s entry to the common market in 1973 was as tortuous as its exit from the EU in 2019.

Kieran O’Regan

Address with Editor

Of course Boris ignored Leo, all he does is parrot Brussels

So Leo Varadkar is miffed at not being consulted by Boris Johnson? All he does is parrot the diktats from Brussels… to call Varadkar a nonentity is to exaggerate his importance.

It is obvious that nobody in the British Isles wants a hard Border. Why doesn’t Varadkar ever say this? The EU has plenty of borders with its other neighbours, and there is never any difficulty. Container transport is checked electronically at point of origin and point of delivery, not at the borders.

Theresa May was apparently conned into believing that a hard Border couldn’t be avoided, and Varadkar has painted himself into a corner.

When was the last time he put the interests of Ireland ahead of the wishes of the unelected bureaucrats of the EU, who have never once been able to balance their books in public?

The hard Border is being insisted upon by Brussels, nobody else, with the sole purpose of making Brexit as difficult as possible. Boris Johnson and his allies can see this clearly, and they are calling the EU’s bluff. Meanwhile, Leo Varadkar is as impotent as he ever was.

Micheál Ó Fearghail

Glanmire, Co Cork

It’s good to talk – but better to know who began conversation

Why the reluctance among the media to tell us who actually initiated the long-waited phone call between the UK and Irish leaders?

John Jennings

Westport, Co Mayo

Other children’s hospital hit by delays – but better value

Edinburgh’s new 230-bed children’s hospital, due in 2017, has been delayed again. It has only cost £150m (€156m), though.

Dr John Doherty

Gaoth Dobhair, Co Dhún na nGall

Irish Independent

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