Friday 15 December 2017

Have Your Say

Blurring lines about Lions

What is it with Irish people and the 'Lions', I don't get it! People complain about Brian O'Driscoll being dropped; my view is why was he there in the first place?

The Scots and the Welsh refer to the 'British Lions', the Irish talk about the Four Nations, what Four Nations? There's the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Why is it when there's a clear 'demarcation' line drawn between Britain and Ireland as in the Rory McIlroy case, it causes so much hassle while as in the Lions and Premiership case when the, if you'll pardon the pun, lines are blurred, everything is sweetness and light. In other words, why do we always have to feel the need to apologise for being an independent country?

I am Irish and feel no empathy whatsoever with the Lions. In fact I used to follow the national team and provinces passionately but after this Lions thing I see no difference in Leinster, Munster, Northampton and the Ospreys.

Commentators and officials are now saying there needs to be structural changes before the next Lions tour. I have one for them, why not 'grow a pair' Ireland and pull all Republic of Ireland players out of this uber-Britannia jingo-fest.

Mike Brennan

BOD affair a  little OTT

I wish to compliment you on your article on 'The BOD Affair' in the Sunday Independent of July 7. What a refreshing article and one which puts some proper, badly-needed perspective on this matter! For the past week the nation has apparently been convulsed so much so that you would believe that an act of unimaginable sabotage had been inflicted upon the country.

Like you, I too believe that BOD merited selection for the final Lions Test but the reaction among the general public, and the vast majority of the media, here was way over the top and took little cognisance of the possibility that it may have been tactical and driven by the coach's desire to pick his best possible 15 players for that game? Surely that is the prerogative of the management?

I have tremendous admiration for Brian O'Driscoll but being dropped is an occupational hazard of all team sports. It has happened so many sporting icons in the past and will surely do so again in the future. Reading that Irish supporters would be visiting the bookies to support Australia, that Gatland was being barred from Irish pubs etc shows the degree to which the silliness had gone and genuine supporters of sport were looking on with incredulity not alone in Ireland but all over the rugby world. What a shocking insult to the team ethos that Brian O'Driscoll has so gloriously embellished for so long.

Barry Walsh

A testimonial for Davy?

I am writing to express my utter abhorrence and disbelief at the treatment meted out to one of the Republic of Ireland's greatest defenders, Davy Langan, who for years played a Trojan role for club and country only to treated at the end as a pariah by the powers that be, while former Ireland manager John Giles, along with other players, were given testimonials whether they needed them or not.

Surely it behoves the Fai, Giles et al to step up to the plate and acknowledge one of our all-time greats with a testimonial befitting his status. The Irish soccer public would surely concur and hopefully this would put the Fai in a good light for a change.

Raymond Turner

Poor decisions unfair on Cats

As a lifelong supporter of Kilkenny, what a joy it has been to watch them win nine All-Irelands in recent years.

I would venture to say that their performance against Waterford on Saturday night was the greatest display of courage, skill and sportsmanship I have ever witnessed. I am not forgetting the fine display given by Waterford in a clean game which was a joy to watch.

One crib, however. The decisions of the umpires on two occasions left a lot to be desired. I refer to the penalty, a clear goal, and the awarding of a Waterford goal, when the forward was clearly in the square. The decision of the referee to disallow Ruth's winning point was a disgrace.

James Butler

Swoosh deal wrecking Rory

Rory McIlroy is a naturally gifted golfer. But as long as he stays with Nike and their clubs, the slump that he has experienced since he signed on with them will continue. The wisest move would be for Nike to release him from the contract – otherwise the top-class golfer they signed on for this super contract will disappear.

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