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Sport an antidote to cult of fulfilment
Leinster's great rugby win over Toulouse and Dublin's hurling victory should be an example to us as a nation. When we work together as team and are single-minded for the common good, we can overcome almost anything: adversity, powerful opposition, our own individual weaknesses and failings.
But when we accept and excuse individual selfishness and glorify unbridled greed, cheating, lying, low moral and ethical standards in high and low places, then we destroy ourselves as team and nation.
In recent years many old values have been discarded in the haste to accept a modern liberal ideology that glorifies personal freedom and independence. As a result, standards have been steadily eroded in praise of this new god and we see our country on the brink of destruction due to greed under the guise of entrepreneurship and business flair.
And so too lack of personal responsibility and discipline have blighted the lives of individuals and families. Love of family, care of neighbour, good of country have been shattered by the sacred cow of personal fulfilment before anything. In today's Ireland the individual's wants and needs rule supreme. But are our public leaders concerned? And indeed, do we, does anyone care?
Munster and Cats deserve high praise
I just want to compliment Eamonn Sweeney on his piece on Hold The Back Page [May 8].
There is no doubt we are privileged to have witnessed the extraordinary achievements of both the Munster rugby team and the Kilkenny hurling side over the past decade. Since the turn of the millennium, both these sides have scaled unprecedented heights in their respective disciplines.
I am an avid Munster fan and have closely followed their journey over the years. They continued to defy the odds by producing the unbelievable against the most inferior of match-ups and coming out on the right side. Their amazing feats have been motivational to teams in other codes.
Also the Kilkenny hurling team have no doubt taken our national game to a new level. Quite possibly the best combination ever they say, and they may be right. Hurling is my first love and, coming from the heartland of Tipperary, means it is perceived as a religion in most parts. Stopping the five-in-a-row last September was hugely rewarding but recognising Kilkenny's place in history also deserves mention as correctly said by Tipp captain Eoin Kelly in his victory speech. They have set the benchmark that others aspire to.
However, I just want to correct Eamonn on two counts, the first of which is on Kilkenny's demise in '76 after taking five of the six All-Irelands in the early '70s. It was said that they didn't return to the winner's circle for a further six years. Subsequently, the Cats added the '79 All-Ireland title to their list of national titles under the captaincy of Ger Fennelly that clipped the Joe McDonagh-led Galway's wings in the decider.
Also on the short epitaph on Seve Ballesteros it was said that his World Match Play titles is a record jointly held with the South African Gary Player. It is true that both players hold five titles but another South African, Ernie Els, is out in front with seven. Apologies Eamonn, as nobody's perfect!
an insult to Louth
The appointment of Martin Sludden to the referee panel for the football championship is a direct insult from Croke Park to the players in this year's competition, and in particular to the Louth County Board and players.
Do they realise the amount of training and time it takes to prepare a team to win a provincial championship, something that Louth had not done in a vast number of years, and then to deprive them of that honour by an inept referee, who is appointed to referee more championship games this year, is unbelievable.
Lynch on the mark with RTE criticism
Please convey my gratitude to Declan Lynch for his article regarding the inept sports news coverage RTE Sport provides [May 1]. I only wish I knew this article was being written as I would have been able to forward Declan a further catalogue of RTE errors that my friends and I have noticed over the years. Bravo Declan. I hope your article will lead to RTE Sport getting their act together.
Sunday Indo Sport