Hurling needs to get priorities right
Eamonn Sweeney's excellent column tackles many major sporting issues but I feel his stated bias towards Kilkenny is clouding his judgement on this one [May 12].
Both Lar Corbett and JJ Delaney are, as he admits, exemplary sportsmen. It appears Lar came off worst, sustaining cracked ribs, but this is not a serious injury. He'll be back playing in a few weeks, unlike Michael Rice, who had his hand shattered, or TJ Reid, whose kneecap was smashed. Both of these injuries were sustained live on TV and the evidence is there to see. Yet no journalists have raised the issue. Is it because there is a view held amongst journalists that Kilkenny are over-physical? To be physical is one thing but to perpetrate a dirty stroke is another thing entirely. Michael missed seven months and TJ will miss eight at least.
I'm sure Eamonn can't dedicate another entire column to the issue but if we are serious about cleaning up hurling, we need to get our priorities straight and deal with the serious incidents first.
Rose-tinted views unfair to Kilkenny
It is with dismay that I read your article in relation to the harsh treatment of one Lar Corbett in the league final. You have a very short memory in relation to harsh treatment handed out to Kilkenny players and in particular in the All-Ireland semi-final of 2012. I refer to the swing on Michael Rice.
You mention amateurism and injury that can affect a man's ability to earn a living. Michael Rice was lucky he did not lose a couple of fingers, the possible ending of his hurling career, not to mention the inconvenience with his teaching career. Where was the justice in that match?
Please in future take off your Tipperary rose-tinted glasses and report on the greats of our perfect game, and give credit where credit is due to the finest hurling team ever to entertain us.
Skill not bulk the secret for Cats
John Mullane's assertion that Kilkenny's dominance is down to their gym work is way off the mark. True, the gym plays a part in their overall preparation, but to suggest that they are All-Ireland champions because of it is complete nonsense. They are champions because they are better than every other team and they have proved it time and time again.
That they are the greatest team of all time is beyond argument. No team comes anywhere near them. To suggest this is primarily because of their physicality is misleading. Their wonderful skill levels, allied to a great determination and attitude, are attributes you won't find in any gym.
John Mullane was a great forward who has given great service to his native Waterford. Perhaps as a Munster man he finds it difficult to comprehend why this Kilkenny team is head and shoulders above any other team. Don't think it's down to their size John.
GAA must get tough on violence
There has been an increasing number of cases again of biting, sectarian or sly racist abuse being aimed at some GAA players, particularly in football. It reached its nadir with the photo in the Donegal Democrat recently of a young club player with closed swollen eyes and a swollen face after being allegedly not only hit, but kicked in the head as well, according to an eyewitness, in a two-way fight that was minutes long.
The GAA has a poor record in dealing with these cases if it's not videoed and this is why on-field incidents are getting bad again, like what happened to Tipperary hurler Lar Corbett, who has a couple of broken ribs. He is not going to make a complaint, believing that what happens on the field stays on the field – but it cannot be okay in the GAA to get one's ribs broken at any time.
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Cosy cartel hurts domestic soccer
One thing that's noticeable about the current Man Utd frenzy is that a lot of it is being stoked up by GAA types. It would reaffirm one's view that a 'cosy cartel' has now developed between the Premiership fan, the GAA and the Irish print and broadcast media.
Twenty years ago the GAA man could rant about the influences of English soccer, but now he has become more refined. The GAA has already ceded ground to provincial rugby. It can't afford to cede any ground to domestic soccer. The lads can wear their United and Chelsea shirts as long as they are not going through the turnstiles at Tallaght Stadium or Turners Cross.
Long-term I fail to see any tangible benefit to Ireland either from the Premiership or the GAA. Rory McIlroy may be a United fan, but I don't see him showing much enthusiasm in joining the Irish Olympic set-up. The real Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea fans will be booing the Irish anthem at Wembley come the end of May.