Saturday 18 November 2017

Roadblock to recovery a bum deal for Croker

We here at FTS can only presume that the GAA rues the day it ever allowed its prized possession, Croke Park, to be used as the venue which ultimately gave rise to what's now unfortunately known as the 'Croke Park deal'.

To hear politicians over recent weeks refer to the agreement colloquially as 'Croke Park' is to just hammer home the point that a place which was known for all the great virtues of humanity -- daring, adventure, heroism, athleticism, skill, community spirit, and so on -- has now been tarnished by some of the worst, including greed and self-interest. Where the stadium stood as a monument to the Irish spirit, it is in danger of being tarnished by its association with a deal struck by politicians and trade unions which now appears to be one of the roadblocks to the country's recovery.

Perhaps the GAA could start a campaign to have the deal renamed -- or maybe even sue the government and trade unions for the damage they have done to its good name.

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WE are grateful to Scotland's Daily Record for the story of a chef who was suspended from his position at Rangers football club after posting photos of himself at IRA shrines on Facebook.

Jamie McGinness was sent home from the club's training ground after pictures of him posing beside a mural of Bobby Sands and at an IRA garden of remembrance appeared on his profile page.

The photos led Rangers fans to flood supporters' websites with calls for McGinness to be sacked immediately and catering chiefs at Murray Park, near Glasgow, suspended McGinness pending a probe.

Steven Smith of the Rangers Supporters' Trust, told the Record: "I have seen the pictures and find them abhorrent. It raises questions about how someone who follows that kind of terrorist agenda can work for Rangers. It is terrible that a man who supports any proscribed terrorist organisation can end up with a job at a football club."

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THE appointment of Chris Coleman as manager of Wales brings to mind the little-known fact that he was once on the radar of the Irish youths, then under the control of Maurice Setters.

Coleman's father, Paddy, is a native of Dublin's East Wall, as was his grandfather, who rejoiced in the nickname 'Trousers' and worked on the docks. A near neighbour on Russell Avenue were the Peyton family, who provided two outstanding footballers in Noel and Willie.

Coleman had been capped by Wales at youth level, but not competitively, when he came to the notice of the Irish officials, but the tip-off wasn't followed up. The Wales boss hasn't forgotten his Irish roots, and on his last visit to Dublin was shown around the East Wall and docks area by his uncle, Barney McDonagh.

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The old adage of 'better late than never' surely applies to the patient hurlers of Monivea in Galway who will finally receive medals for their 1911 junior championship win on Saturday next.

Well, not exactly. None of them have survived to see the day so relatives will accept the medals on their behalf in McGann's, Monivea from the Connacht chairman Frank Burke. The event date will mark the exact centenary of the county final in which they defeated Claregalway. The original medals were stolen from a local house prior to the planned presentation.

A booklet about the team and the times they lived in will be on sale on the night with all proceeds going to Galway Hospice. And you thought it was a long time since Galway lifted the MacCarthy Cup.

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THERE may be some delight among Celtic supporters about the plight facing rivals Rangers who are being pursued by British tax authorities for £49m, but such feelings would be short-sighted.

Celtic supporters should remember that the clubs are two sides of the same coin and coinage would be in short supply if either club ceased to exist. Imagine a Scottish Premier League without Celtic or Rangers. Would anyone pay to televise it? And if they did, would anyone watch?

John Greene, Fergus McDonnell and Seán Ryan, Dermot Crowe

ssport@independent.ie

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