Friday 23 March 2018

Have your say: Minor minnows are victims of system

I think that there should be no re-entry for losing provincial finalists into the All-Ireland minor series. This gives them unfair parity with provincial winners. In addition, there is no back door in provincial championships except in Leinster where first-round losers get a second chance which guarantees weaker counties at least two matches.

Under the current system, the big beneficiaries are big guns, Cork, Kerry, Mayo and Galway, who can guarantee qualification for All-Ireland quarter-finals by winning one match in the province. This year Galway beat Sligo to qualify. Contrast that with Longford, who played six matches (no replays) in capturing a famous Leinster title. It's time to close the back door for provincial runners-up. Minnows Longford were a casualty of an unfair system.

Anthony McKenna

Dion gets to heart of Liverpool matter

Thank you to Dion Fanning for being one of the few journalists out there with a bit of integrity [Aug 29]. That [article on Liverpool FC] was a superb piece and while not a pleasure to read because of the nature of it and the truth it possessed, it was the first article I have read in a long time that didn't make me angry at the author rather than the owners.

Michael Simpson

Praise for Fanning's grasp of real issues

Congratulations yet again to Dion Fanning on being one of only a handful of journalists who know their subject matter and aren't afraid to deal with it directly.

While the rest of the media is blindly and busily focusing on buzzwords like stability and zonal marking, he is consistently dealing with the actual issues at hand and I, and many others who've been effectively talking to the wall for the past few years, applaud him for it.

Ronan Prendergast

Micheál has been our real President

It was a happy coincidence that Micheál ó Muircheartaigh shared a birth date with another whose voice rivals his for sheer mellifluousness, Gentleman Jim Reeves. It was as if August 20 was the date designated by the Deity to dole out the great male voices of the 20th Century, first to an East Texan and then to a West Kerryman.

The absence of bias is the gem in Micheál's commentating crown. Those Baskerville cases who bay rather than broadcast for Ireland when an Irish team is engaged in an international game would do worse than lend an ear to the sophisticated methodology of ó Muircheartaigh.

Micheál likes to sprinkle a soupcon of Irish on his commentaries. From time to time some sad and dreary Irishmen (alas, usually of the UberIrish variety) like to pose a tedious whinge of a question: what use is Irish? They are not unlike those sad and dreary tourists on the frangipani-scented verandah of Raffles Hotel who, when presented with a Singapore Sling, like to pose this tedious whinge of a question: 'what's the use of the juice of a Sarawack pineapple?'

The answer to both questions is the same: the foamy top, sir, the foamy top.

It was an unhappy coincidence that when Micheál was celebrating his 80 years a-growing, the Joe Duffy Show with becoming modesty was staging a rehearsal of the forthcoming race for the Presidency. During the programme, a shortlist of ten candidates was whittled down to a pair of, er, media types. This is all an irrelevancy. For the past 50 years, áras an Uachtaráin has been a mobile home, ie, in whatever Portacabin the great Micheál ó Muircheartaigh just happened to be broadcasting from. The Portacabin with the Foamy Top, sir.

Dermot Devitt

Refreshing take on Masters athletics

I am writing to congratulate Eamonn Sweeney on the wonderful piece [Aug 22] about the Irish Masters Track and Field championship held recently in Tullamore.

Eamonn covered very well the astounding achievements of some of the athletes who competed on the day. By giving us the ages of the athletes and the times that they achieved, he showed a remarkable level of understanding of the level of commitment that these athletes had to put in to get the results they did on the day.

I was lucky enough to be competing on the day also. It is always an inspiration to me to see the array of athletes competing at the highest level in different events in all age categories

Most athletes who compete in track and field athletics at all levels will tell you how frustrated they are at the lack of knowledge that is out there about the sport. In particular in relation to the amount of training and hard work that athletes put in to compete.

It was refreshing to read a piece on athletics by someone who knew what he was talking about

Gerry O'Connor

Sunday Independent

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