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From the stands: Flood bill forces Oz exiles to raise 150k

THE increasing number of young emigrants has thrown the spotlight once more on the GAA abroad.

Clubs in far-flung places are among the first ports of call for GAA members who want to keep playing and they often double as a source of employment and accommodation. One such club however, Queensland GAA, suffered severe damage in the recent floods that caused such devastation in that part of Australia and they are appealing for help.

Seamus Sullivan has written to every county board in the country seeking to raise a total of €150,000 to repair the damage. The club's grounds in Willawong host an annual St Patrick's Day fundraiser and they are now locked in a race against time to have the venue ready.

Hopefully county boards and clubs will be able to help the club in their hour of need. Mail floodappeal@gaelicfootballqld.com.au for details of how to contribute.

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Should their paths cross in Tucson this week, Tiger Woods can expect no sympathy from Pádraig Harrington regarding a European Tour fine, understood to be €1,200, for spitting on a Dubai green last Sunday.

According to Harrington, spitting has "no place whatsoever in golf."

"You simply shouldn't be caught spitting on a golf course. There's nothing worse if you're watching TV and the camera's panning in, than a guy adopting some facial expression about holing a putt or missing a putt, then you see him spitting.

"Tiger has been rapped a few times for that sort of thing. I don't even like seeing it when I'm watching a football match. But there's a difference. What's so good about golf is that players are brought up from a very young age to self-manage and rule themselves. And they need reminders from time to time."

Even to the point of incurring a more meaningful fine than loose change for a wealthy player? Here, Harrington demurred. "I wouldn't see it as an official thing," he said.

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Last week was a busy one for Dublin's Eamonn Fennell. He began by pleading with 30 girls to take him out on a TV3 dating show, then he successfully begged the Dublin County Board to take him out of O'Tooles and clear the way for him to step out with new love St Vincent's. And after all that he managed to find the time to persuade John Compton's agency to sign him up as a model.

If Dublin meet Kerry in Croke Park later in the year, hopefully Fennall and Paul Galvin won't get into a clothes-related argument at half-time. God forbid we end up with a tunnel incident that the fashion police have to sort out.

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A shock defeat by the University of Limerick on Thursday saw Galvin's team, DIT, crash out of the Sigerson Cup. The Kerry star missed out on the action due to an injury.

Galvin became eligible for this year's competition when he signed up for a one-year fashion course at the college. He also attended the official launch of the Sigerson Cup but declined to be interviewed, even though the media invitation issued by the Higher Education Committee stated that he would be available.

So the Kerry forward missed the opportunity to become the first player to compete in the premier third-level football competition in three different decades.

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Former South of Ireland winner Peter Sheehan pulled of a remarkable feat on the Cashen course at Ballybunion last week. The Limerickman, who plays off one, recorded two holes-in-one in the same round, the first on the 145-yard 11th with a wedge and the second on the 165-yard 16th with a seven iron.

Sheehan has now hit four holes in one but fortunately for him he didn't have to double up on the drinks in the clubhouse this time round.

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Olympic rower Gearóid Towey will open an exhibition of adventure sports photography by John Shiels at the Basecamp store in Dublin's Middle Abbey Street next Wednesday at 6.30. The exhibition, which features images from mountain running, surfing, mountain biking and canoeing, runs until February 26.

Fergus McDonnell, Dermot Gilleece and Marie Crowe


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