Friday 24 January 2020

It is time for Cork supporters to ditch the Confederate flag for good

Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Conor McKeon

THIS week’s villain is whichever Cork supporter(s) deemed it appropriate to bring the Confederate flag to Croke Park yesterday and wave it on Hill 16.

At the end of the week when the same banner was hoisted in Virginia by white supremacists as they protested against plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee, it seemed like a rather insensitive thing to do.

And while it is unanimously accepted the flag holds no particular racial connotations when it appears - as it regularly does - at Cork matches, it’s original symbolism came in to sharp focus again last weekend.

Time to put the flag away for good.

Cusack has a pop at negativity

Having spent the year working with Clare’s, it was good to have Donal Óg Cusack back as a pundit yesterday on The Sunday Game’s live show.

Cusack’s disdain for sitting on the fence is obvious and his criticism of the tone of punditry on the same programme that he appeared on yesterday was refreshing.

“And there have been negative connotations all over the commentary,” he pointed out.

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“We saw in the 2000s, there was a departure in Gaelic football,” said Cusack (above).

“And all we got from these seats was ‘puke football,’ negative this and negative that.

“I felt this summer, that we were on the cusp or in danger of knocking someone in the exact same way that football was knocked at that stage.

“And I think today, we all got our answer.”

McGrath in high spirits

The sterility of Croke Park's post match press conferences tend to negate anything surprising being said but we had a couple of good ones yesterday and predictably enough, they came from Waterford's irrepressible manager, Derek McGrath.

After dissecting the match and its events, McGrath was asked of his memories of the 2008 All-Ireland final, Waterford's last appearance in hurling's show-piece.

"I went up on a bus," he recalled.

"My wife went to the banquet that was on in the Burlington, she was John Mullane’s sister, so there was a connection there.

"She still is, by the way," he added for clarity.

"And she is still my wife as well, by the way."

Kingston pays Keady tribute

Kieran Kingston couldn’t have been any more magnanimous in defeat in Croke Park yesterday and as his final press conference of 2017 wound to a natural conclusion, he asked to put something on the record.

“I think it would be remiss of me, for the day that’s in it, not to mention Margaret Keady and her family,” he said a day on from the burial of Galway legend, Tony Keady (inset).

“None of us can be there from Cork hurling because of the game but that puts sport in perspective.

“And on behalf of Cork hurling, the management team and players, we send sincere condolences to Margaret and the Keady family.”

A very nice touch in the circumstances from the Cork manager.

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