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Bigotry problem hasn't gone away

Regarding a piece by John Greene about the allegations made by he Armagh County Board against a Laois player [Apr 1], he states that in a joint statement issued by both county boards Armagh reversed their first position, but fails to mention that in the same statement it says that "inappropriate comments were made". Everyone can judge for themselves what these might have been.

Also the fact that it was dealt with quickly and put to rest is nothing to be applauded when the matter was not addressed properly. It's time this issue was spoken about and dealt with properly. I have been to many games as an Armagh supporter and we always have had a certain amount of this kind of abuse but however when attending any game where Laois has been involved, the abuse from the fans has been worse. We have been called f****** Brits, Orange bastards among a myriad of other names and this in the presence of children.

We are just as Irish as the rest of Ireland. It was partition in 1922 that decided our fate, we had no choice or say in which jurisdiction we ended up in. We are born in Ireland, grow up there and can hold an Irish passport so we have as much right to be called Irish as anyone else.

We have held on to our Irish traditions and culture under great duress and probably value them more because of this. So please cut out this bigotry and let's all enjoy what is best about the GAA together.

Mary Russell

Ngog still has Reds scratching heads

In response to Gabriel Lau [Have Your Say, Apr 8], I have to comment on his point, 'Liverpool were losing to a lower-level club, Rafa subbed Torres and Gerrard scratched his head' and he said 'Liverpool did snatch a point'.

The game was against Birmingham away, it was 1-1 with 15 minutes to go (Gerrard having scored) and Rafa decided to take off Torres and bring on Ngog. It wasn't just Gerrard scratching his head, tv commentators, radio commentators, pundits and fans were all mystified at this decision. Ngog had never scored in two games in a row, the game is up for grabs and he takes off his top scorer. Liverpool didn't 'snatch a point' as the score remained 1-1 and Ngog missed two easy chances.

Four days later, Liverpool played Benfica in the Europa League and Torres scored twice (both in the last 10 minutes) and Ngog didn't even make the squad for that game . . . work that one out.

Fergus O'Donovan

Niland shows way for tennis hopefuls

I would like to wish Conor Niland the best of luck in his premature retirement brought on by a persistent hip problem.

Who can forget the great match he played with Adrian Mannarino on Court 17 at Wimbledon last year when he just fell short of a Centre Court match with Roger Federer? To hear The Fields of Athenry sung at the All England Club was something special. Conor also qualified for the US Open where food poisoning forced his retirement during his first-round match with Novak Djokovic.

He has left a great legacy for future Irish tennis players and has proven to them that with hard work and a good attitude they can play on the highest stage.

Conor Carroll

A blueprint for hurling change

With regard to opinions on the hurling league, I agree that teams should be exposed to more games. It is time to come up with a format that proves resilient. After some thought, I came up with the following:

1 In Division 1, divide 12 teams into four seeding pots.

2 Draw one from each pot to form three groups of four.

3 Each of the 12 teams plays eight games, that is, against all 11 EXCEPT the three in its own group.

4 Each team hosts all teams from another group, while exclusively playing away against another.

5 One 12-team table, with top six to knockouts, two to semi-finals and four to quarter-finals

6 Two up, two down, with 10th joining third, fourth and fifth from Division 2 in play-offs for a Division 1 spot.

7 In Division 2, 12 teams also form three groups of four, with similar eight-game schedule.

8 Top two contest Division 2 Final, with both promoted.

9 One down to Division 3 with 11th joining second, third and fourth from Division 3 in play-offs.

10 In Division 3, all remaining teams (say 10) play a full round robin of nine games.

11 Top team is Division 3 champion, with promotion to Division 2 without a play-off.

What do you think ?

Anthony O'Mahony

Sunday Indo Sport