Thursday 14 December 2017

Keating deserves better than short memories

'Keating brought a whole new dynamic to Tipp – on and off the field – while also adding greatly to broader GAA life through his effervescent character'
'Keating brought a whole new dynamic to Tipp – on and off the field – while also adding greatly to broader GAA life through his effervescent character'
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Having been refused tickets by the Tipperary County Board for the All-Ireland hurling final because of his analysis of the semi-final defeat by Galway, 'Babs' Keating has taken another hit in an unflattering depiction of his second managerial term with his native county in 2006-07.

The extracts from Brendan Cummins' autobiography, carried in last Saturday's Irish Independent, weren't the words of a man best pleased with his Ballybacon-Grange clubmate. The goalkeeper paints a picture of a rather chaotic camp.

It's hardly unexpected, since Keating dropped Cummins during the 2007 championship.

What with Babs being refused All-Ireland tickets by his own county board and a former player all but ridiculing his methods, it would be easy for a younger generation to forget the massive contribution he has made to Tipperary, first as a dual player and then as hurling manager.

It would also be very unfair, since no one did more to change the course of Tipperary history at a time when they ended a 16-year wait for a Munster title in 1987.

He brought a whole new dynamic to Tipp - on and off the field - while also adding greatly to broader GAA life through his effervescent character.

Babs presided over two All-Ireland, five Munster and two Allianz League title wins by Tipp in eight seasons (1987-94). Tipp have won two All-Ireland, one via the 'back door', six Munster and three League titles in 21 seasons since then, which puts his achievements into context.

It's a pity the Tipp board saw fit to ignore that when his ticket request arrived. A short memory is not a nice characteristic.

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