Wednesday 20 November 2019

Sigerson lecture fails to convince

Eamonn Sweeney

Eamonn Sweeney

Niall 'The Incredible Sulk' Moyna is at it again. Around this time last year the DCU football manager accused Jim McGuinness of not caring about Martin McElhinney's education because the Donegal boss had taken the outlandish step of asking the player to play for his county rather than his college one weekend.

This time round Moyna is even crosser. And even sillier, reacting to the decision by third-level GAA authorities to refuse Cork's Aidan Walsh and Mayo's Michael Boyle permission to play in the Sigerson Cup for DCU because they didn't fulfil the eligibility criteria by ranting, "Michael Murphy is going to be a PE teacher, so is Paul Flynn and Aidan Walsh. Why should they promote Gaelic games if that is the way they are going to be treated?"

He went on with reference to Walsh, "I certainly won't be encouraging him to promote Gaelic games and I mean that. In my class from now on, I have no intention of promoting Gaelic games."

Ah diddums.

Seeing as Niall Moyna doesn't see why Michael Murphy, Paul Flynn and Aidan Walsh should promote Gaelic games, I'll try and explain it to him. Because the game has been good to them. Because it's given them enjoyment since they were kids. Because it's enabled them to win All-Ireland medals and All Stars and enjoy the admiration of their counties and their country.

And because, most importantly, by promoting Gaelic games they will be saying thank you to the guys in their clubs, in Glenswilly and Fingallians and Kanturk, who passed on the gift of Gaelic football and hurling to them when they were kids and, unlike Niall Moyna, did this work without hauling in a large salary for doing so. Yet in the weird and wonderful world of Niall Moyna all that Murphy and Flynn and Walsh have got from the GAA is rendered unimportant by the fact that their manager didn't get his way the other day. Which can only lead us to believe that Niall Moyna thinks he's a very important man indeed, perhaps more important than the GAA itself.

As for his threat to stop promoting Gaelic games in his classes? I think the GAA might survive this calamity, don't you? You might think that there's an inconsistency between Moyna's stated reluctance to promote Gaelic games and his continued presence as manager of DCU in this year's Sigerson Cup. An unkind explanation would be that it's not Gaelic games he's promoting in that competition, it's himself.

The most worrying thing is that Moyna claims Michael Murphy mentioned the possibility of giving up after the decision went against Walsh and Boyle. The man from DCU's tantrums are ultimately his own business but it's a pity to see him getting players involved in them. Even if Murphy did say that, Moyna should have refrained from using a much younger man, who presumably wouldn't quit the Donegal set-up in a million years, just to make a debating point.

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Twelve months ago, Jim McGuinness described Moyna's comments as "pure nonsense". Say what you like about the Niallster, at least he's consistent.

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