Have Your Say
Underdog has to have his day
As usual Eamonn Sweeney was bang on the money with his article 'A triumph for the little guy' [Dec 8]. There has to be a place for the underdog in sport as perfectly illustrated by Connacht inflicting the first home Heineken Cup defeat on Toulouse in five years after everyone had written them off, myself included.
Sport should offer the prospect of improvement and the chance for the little guy to have a rattle at the big guns. If the elite want to have a monopoly then the All-Ireland hurling and football championships could limit entry to six counties in hurling and nine in football as these are the number of counties that have won their respective championships in the last 20 years. No place for Dublin, Waterford or Limerick in hurling or Kildare, Laois or Wexford in football. No fairytales for London to experience or no place for the recent minor football champions from Tipperary to go.
Being from a small club myself we waited 38 years to finally get to a divisional hurling final in North Tipperary. Unfortunately, we are still waiting to add to our only success in 1974 but at least we have the chance to try again. Please don't deny players at club or county level the chance to have their day in the sun.
Galway focus too negative
I read with interest John O'Brien's piece about the new Galway FC entity [Dec 1]. Considering how much work has been done by all concerned to pull this together, it seems a little narrow in focus to concentrate on the gripes of former members of one of the parties involved, namely GUST.
Of course GUST did a lot of Trojan work to keep the previous club alive when its existence was threatened but it is notable that claims that 'players left high and dry were taken care of' were later disputed by the players' union.
People who love football in Galway have been extremely frustrated at the bitterness and rancour which has presented our game in a bad light in the past few years and picking out a small coterie of disaffected souls is never going to be that hard to find in a process like this.
Given that members of the two clubs Mervue United and Salthill Devon, the Galway FA and the remaining members of GUST have all come together to try to make Galway FC work for the benefit of the local game, surely it was worth highlighting the positive aspects of this partnership before the entity had even introduced itself to the world?
Dubs must be made to share
Several people have voiced an opinion recently about the sharing of sponsorship money in the GAA.
Dublin maintain they owe nobody anything and their AIG sponsorship deal is their own concern. I beg to differ. Firstly, they have been benefiting from a substantial "development grant" for a number of years which has directly led to them climbing the ladder in both hurling and football. Surely this money would have been better spent in promoting the games in weaker counties. Secondly, the AIG deal would be based on the Dubs maintaining a high profile through playing games in Croke Park, such as the Spring Series and early rounds of the championship, so it then becomes the property of us all.
The GAA could easily recoup the money by substantially increasing the fee to hire Croke Park. Moreover, in these tough times Dublin travelling to provincial towns to play would be a welcome boost to local economies.
The attitude of Dublin's usual spokesperson has one great comparison over the last few months -- Mark McCafferty, the chief executive of Premiership Rugby Limited. McCafferty's manner in managing to isolate the big English clubs is akin to Dublin GAA's attitude. Just as the rugby clubs should answer to their rugby union, Dublin should answer to the GAA and not vice-versa.
There is no doubt that Dublin were the best team in the country this year, but if they had played more than two of their 15 games outside Croke Park, their success might be applauded a bit more.
Madigan time has arrived
What a wondrous occasion it was for us to witness the heroic performance of the Irish team in their narrow defeat by the All Blacks. It was a disaster to lose it the way we did. To think if Johnny Sexton's efforts had been successful. The Irish selectors should be braver in the future. Sexton is far too committed to his new club, and has missed too many vital kicks for Ireland. Ian Madigan is a far more reliable up-and-coming talent based here and Jackson and Keatley are both doing well, and should be tried out in preference, for the time being at least.