Tuesday 23 January 2018

Croker tannoy leaves Gilroy lost for words

IF you thought things couldn't get any worse for Pat Gilroy after last Sunday's defeat, then you weren't in the post-match interview room deep in the bowels of Croke Park.

Gilroy had just started answering the first question when he was interrupted by the booming tannoy, relaying a public message about a lost child. It was so loud that nobody could hear his reply, so he was forced to stop and wait for it to finish ... and wait ... and wait ... and wait.

The message was repeated three times and, for what seemed like an eternity, Gilroy was forced to sit stony-faced and silent until it finally ended and questioning could resume.

Given how he must have been feeling, he showed great composure and good manners not to lose his cool and it can only be hoped that the suits upstairs will shut off the public address to this area to avoid any other managers being similarly tortured.

Incidentally, the small child who had gone missing was wearing a Dublin jersey, but, as if to underline the demographics of the now extinct Celtic Tiger, was from Celbridge.

Sheedy's saintly Shefflin statement

It's our intention to begin a campaign for the canonisation of St William of Portroe, otherwise known as Liam Sheedy. Of course, if he presides over an All-Ireland win on Sunday week, he will be automatically declared a saint in Tipperary.

However, we think it should happen immediately following his statement that he wants Henry Shefflin to play in the final because it would be "good for hurling." Such generosity of spirit deserves spiritual recognition and is something that wizened old devils like us could never countenance.

If we were in charge of Tipperary, we'd be hoping that King Henry was confined to his castle for the day. Not very sporting we know, but we'd reckon that our job was to win the game and stop Kilkenny's five-in-a-row march. If the gods helped us along, so be it.

Luckily for the world, Liam Sheedy is a much nicer person.

Tyrone, Wicklow share an unusual distinction

What do Tyrone and Wicklow footballers have in common? Nothing in terms of provincial, All-Ireland or NFL successes, but they do share the distinction of being the only two teams to have beaten both of Sunday's All-Ireland semi-finalists in the championship over the past three seasons.

It comes as no surprise that Tyrone beat Kildare and Down (although they also lost to the latter), but Wicklow managed it too. They beat Kildare (0-13 to 0-9) in 2008 and Down (1-15 to 0-17) last year, results which will leave them looking at Sunday's semi-final with wistful 'what if' thoughts.

It shows how very little there is between so many teams nowadays, which suggests a levelling up or down of standards. As for Wicklow, any wonder they're trying to fight off counties chasing Mick O'Dwyer to bring his brand of magic their way?

Stockholm top of the Swedish Gaels

There hasn't been a cow milked or a hen fed for days in Stockholm following the GAA club's success in the Scandinavian football championships.

Stockholm Gaels, only formed last February, beat Gothenburg in the final in an event which also featured teams from Malmo, Copenhagen and Oslo.

Stockholm are now planning to run a seven-a-side competition in the Swedish capital to further promote the game.

It's all part of the extension of GAA activities around the world as Irish communities ensure they retain their sporting culture. It's especially important in the current climate when, sadly, so many Irish people are back on the emigration trail.

Stockholm Gaels would love to hear from Irish people who have moved to the city. Chairman Philip O'Connor can be contacted on: philipjoconnor@gmail.com.

Irish Independent

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