HAVE YOUR SAY
Letter writer way off target
Just a comment on Mr John Delaney's response to Eamonn Sweeney's article 'Answering Apartheid's Call' the previous Sunday.
I cannot for the life of me see where Mr Sweeney in any part of the article "berated or bad-mouthed" the sport of rugby.
He just called it as he saw it in relation to that particular ill-advised tour to South Africa which at the time was a practising Apartheid state where the vast majority of its disenfranchised people were subject to a reign of terror by the governing establishment of that particular period.
It wasn't, as Mr Delaney flippantly states, "a daft tour", it was a tour that should never have taken place full stop. The players that took a stand against it did so on personal principle; those that went did what they believed was okay. Whether they were wrong or right only they can make that call. Who am I to judge them?
As regards the "sport of rugby being a unifying force during dark times in this Island", this is a matter of conjecture. There are many who would believe it may have been and swathes more who certainly wouldn't concur with Mr Delaney's view, that's for sure; especially if you were from the green side and even the working-class red and white side north of the border.
Thankfully, the Ulster Rugby brethren have worked very hard at making the game more "all-inclusive" in the province. Labelling both the GAA and Northern Ireland soccer as "bigoted" is just crass ignorance on Mr Delaney's part and a total insult to people that give their time to coach youngsters and help them to become good citizens through their respective sports.
As regards Celtic being a sectarian-ridden club, it's so clichéd I won't even honour Mr Delaney's accusation with a comment -- I know better as I've been a supporter for nigh on 50 years and heard this type of stuff so often from people who have no knowledge of what Celtic is about.
Like many others, sport has played a big part in the life of my family and I would like to think that I embrace achievements in all sports equally. In future, if and when Mr Delaney is irked by an article, he should just sit back, take stock and reply when he is in a calmer state of mind and more au fait with his subject matter.
It will for all intent and purposes stop him making an ass of himself -- trust me I know from personal experience.
Diving shame has returned
I thought when Ashley Young was exposed as a diver or whatever they call it now, simulation I believe, that David Moyes would act quickly to stamp it out.
I believe the former manager Alex Ferguson would have been very strong on this.
Now it has reared its ugly head again in the person of Adnan Januzaj.
It is cheating! No fancy words like the aforementioned simulation can change that.
Shame on those players who do it and shame on managers who tolerate it.
When Januzaj was substituted after his dive, Ashley Young was brought on.
Pat Burke Walsh
Rovers insult to other teams
AS a regular football supporter, I cannot understand why the powers that be won't promote football in areas such as Longford, Waterford, Galway and other places.
These towns want premier football, and what do they get? A seven-team league, plus Shamrock Rovers' second team. What an insult.
Very few people will go to see their team play Rovers in poor weather, whereas if it was Rovers' first team the place would be full. Furthermore, what an insult to Shelbourne, playing Rovers' second team five or six times in the season.
The Premier Division will consist of St Pat's, Sligo Rovers, Shamrock Rovers and nine other teams. These three teams are buying every good player in every other team, which is going to make a lopsided league.
Perhaps it is time to make one 18- or 20-team league, like the Premier League in England and unlike the Scottish Premier Division. Two or three teams might dominate, but the other 17 would fight very hard to be next in line.
'Culchies' get tongue-lashing
When the Irish provinces are playing rugby, Leinster are always on RTE 2 in English, Munster are mostly always on TG4 in Irish, but most of us "culchies" down the country don't understand Irish very well.
I would appreciate an explanation as to why this is.