Tuesday 24 October 2017

Debate has to get real

John Greene

John Greene

Memo to the seven presidential candidates: sport is not a dirty word.

A lot of the bland debate of the last few days since the campaign for the áras officially began has lacked the kind of earthiness which might appeal to the masses. The rhetoric is far too grand, lacking in the kind of substance which gives us an insight into the seven hopefuls. What does it matter what they think about the economy, or the IMF, or the bond holders, or the banks when the President has no role in those areas?

So why can't one of them be brave enough and innovative enough to shift the 'debate' to real areas that they can influence. Mary McAleese's term in office will be remembered for a few things, one of which is her and her husband's work on rural isolation and involving the GAA in helping to combat it.

Let's see the next president do something similar. Here are some suggestions to start with: tackle obesity in the young by encouraging participation in sport; restore community togetherness through local sporting organisations and promote Ireland as a sports tourism destination.


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