There’s plenty in the papers today about the fall-out from the decision to stage our replay with Kerry down in Limerick and while none of this will help to calm you down some of it is still worth a read.
A lot of focus has understandably been given to the high-handed, arrogant and utterly crass remarks made on the issue yesterday by GAA President Liam O’Neill. First of all he patronised us by telling us it’s in our “best interests to get on with it” and then he followed this up by insulting us with his asinine “end their barren spell” jibe.
I had to read those remarks a few times to realise that this was what he’d actually said. This is, after all, the President of the GAA saying all this, not some backwoods gobshite, so the least you could expect is a degree of even-handedness in what he might have to say on the issue. Instead we get a waspish put-down, one designed to put us firmly in our place and let us know that it’s up to others of higher standing in the world to make the decisions that count.
I’ve never been one to slag off the GAA. I’m a proud member of it and I fully appreciate the way that all the money they raise is ploughed back into facilities and all the rest. I even understand the need to maximise the use of Croke Park on a commercial basis. In light of this decision, however, and the cack-handed and downright objectionable way it’s been defended by the top brass, I’ve never felt the degree of contempt for the organisation that I do now.
It’s abundantly clear even to someone as pro-GAA as me that something is radically wrong at the heart of the organisation and I firmly believe that can all be traced back to the way in which financial decisions involving Croke Park are now made. This was front and centre in the case of the Garth Brooks fuck-up, it’s the reason why Dublin will be playing their 47th championship match in a row at home next Sunday and why we will never, ever, ever see them sent anywhere else to play a championship match in the future.
The need to avoid the slightest chance that Dublin might have to play outside Croke Park is, of course, the real reason why we’re being shunted off to Limerick on Saturday, a point Keith Duggan nails beautifully in his piece in today’s Irish Times where he says:
The official explanation – that the GAA had to take into account the possibility of a draw between Dublin and Donegal next Sunday – is flawed. It inadvertently suggests – or perhaps betrays- the sense that the Dublin/Donegal fixture is somehow pre-eminent in the minds of those who run these matters.
That’s the nub of it. We truly are Children of a Lesser God.
I know it’s no help to us but Keith goes on to suggest two workable alternatives to the Limerick option and even poor old Martin Breheny in the Irish Independent manages to do the same. The point being that if what the GAA says is true – which their chief spindoctor Alan Milton stated on Off The Ball last night – and this American football nonsense has been planned for 18 months then surely those fine minds on Jones’s Road could have come up with these kind of options as well. They didn’t because, bluntly, they don’t give two flying fucks about ourselves and Kerry. Money, and only money, is what concerns these people.
The contempt shown by GAA HQ towards us poor benighted boggers was further underscored today when Alan Milton – whose job title, don’t forget, is Head of Media Relations at the GAA – refused to come on Midwest Radio this morning despite numerous requests for him to do so. The brazen arrogance is just breathtaking.
So Limerick it is on Saturday and as it’s already Tuesday we need to start focusing on the replay facing us. Some good news comes in the form of this piece by Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News confirming that we’ve no new injury worries ahead of Saturday. Mike says we’re likely to appeal Lee’s suspension but that Brendan Harrison, Chris Barrett or Richie Feeney are all options to start should the need arise. Tom Parsons is also likely to come into the reckoning after his positive second half showing off the bench on Sunday.
Keeping the focus on Saturday, let’s end with a poll – how do you think the replay will go?