Sarsfields Newsletter

November 8, 2018





The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club



Aldridge Cup final: Sarsfields 0-7 Confey 2-8



Sarsfields Seniors suffered their first defeat of the pre season in the Aldridge Cup final when going down to Confey by seven points on Saturday in Allenwood. Two early first half goals for Confey against the wind proved decisive especially when Sarsfields failed to score against the wind in the second half while Confey added six to their first half total of 2-2.

The minors will play Na Fianna away on Sunday morning at 11.30 in the league semi-final.  


Second class citizens


By Cliona Foley
Friday March 07 2008

ANTRIM hurlers are up in arms that their request for a time change for
this weekend’s NHL game with Waterford has been refused.

And, not for the first time, they have accused the GAA of treating them
‘like second-class citizens’.

The Saffrons, faced with almost a 300-mile journey to Dungarvan on
Sunday, had pleaded with the Central Competitions Control Committee
(CCCC) to move the match from its original 2.30pm throw-in to a 1pm
start to accommodate their lengthy return trip.

Yet, despite Waterford’s willingness to accede to the change, the CCCC
have refused to budge on the basis that they have already turned down a
raft of similar requests this season and are firmly sticking with a
blanket throw-in time of 2.30pm.

‘Many of our players face a 285-mile [Dungarvan to Ballycastle] trip
back on Sunday which will not begin until 4.30pm,’ Antrim chairman John
McSparran fumed.

‘This means that many of the players will not return home until after
midnight. They all have to go to work the next morning and some have
young families,’ he stressed.

He added: ‘We cannot understand the intransigence of the CCCC to
accommodate amateur players and supporters with this simple request.’

McSparran said Antrim were particularly annoyed because the CCCC have
already patently broken their own strict new throw-in policy — not
once, but twice — this season.
Antrim’s last NHL home game against Wexford in Dunloy was brought
forward to a 1pm throw-in. The NFL game between Kildare and Galway was
also brought forward to allow fans of Moycullen to attend it and the
All-Ireland club finals in Croke Park on the same afternoon.

 But CCCC chairman Jimmy Dunne insisted that the only changes his
committee agreed to were two exceptional cases that would not be
repeated as the Croke Park top brass is hell-bent on clamping-down on
time changes, which they feel were all too common last season.

‘This is nothing personal against Antrim, we understand that they have a
genuine reason for their request,’ Dunne stressed.

‘But we have had between seven and nine other similar requests so far
this year and consistently said no, including one from Derry footballers
last weekend,’ he revealed.*

‘We allowed a time change in Dunloy because we viewed that as an
exception,’ he explained. ‘That was a League game that coincided with a
pitch-opening which would involve formalities before and after the game,
so we had to allow for that.

‘The Galway/Kildare situation was also exceptional because it was
related to an All-Ireland [club] final,’ he added yesterday.

‘Tipperary had a similar request in line with the club finals which we
were happy to grant them, but their opposition did not agree to it so
their throw-in was not altered,’ Dunne revealed.

He said that all counties were warned of this new hard-line approach at
a Central Council meeting last November and were asked to make a
submission if they had any problems with specific games. Several
counties had approached them, he said, but not Antrim.

The CCCC are also adamant that the 2.30 throw-in will continue for the
year and not change for the championship.

But Antrim are livid, clearly feeling that this is the latest in a
series of boardroom decisions which have gone against them, despite
their status as the sort of disadvantaged county which the GAA professes
they want to help onto the next rung of the hurling ladder.

‘Everyone is extremely angry and disappointed at this second-class
treatment of Antrim hurling,’ Chairman McSparran said, pointing out that
it was equally ‘ridiculous’ there was no avenue of appeal.

He said that the county had formally approached both GAA President
Nickey Brennan and Director General Paraic Duffy but both had admitted
their hands were tied because of official rules.

Antrim’s players issued their own protest through the GPA, saying:
‘Given that a significant proportion of the squad will be travelling
from north Antrim, the appeal made by the Antrim County Board is
perfectly reasonable on player welfare grounds.

‘It is worth pointing out just how accommodating players have been in
recent years where fixture scheduling has taken place to facilitate TV,
Saturday ties and mid-week games,’ the Antrim players added.

* Mr Dunne has a short memory as regards consistently turning down requests for time changes as only last month his committee granted Galway a request for an earlier starting time of 1.30 against Kildare in the NFL game in Newbridge. It seems that increasingly that committees in their ivory towers in Croke Park are making decisions without regard to the GAA’s most important asset; the players.





Farrell responds to O’Neill’s critical comments


By Colm O’Connor
GAELIC Players Association Chief Executive Dessie Farrell last night hit
back at critical comments made by the Association’s founder Donal

O’Neill, who quit his post as Commercial Director last November, claimed
in a weekend newspaper interview that secretary Donal Óg Cusack and
not Farrell is running the group and that pay for play was inevitable.

He also revealed he stepped down due to the executive’s decision to
ballot for all-out strike action in the ill tempered row over grants for
intercounty players before Christmas.

Farrell last night issued a strongly worded response claiming much of
O’Neill’s comments were ‘almostirrelevant.’

Blasted the GPA boss: ‘We are all aware that Donal has moved on. These
are just his personal opinions and I think they are almost irrelevant to
the here and now, now he has moved on. One of biggest issues I would
have is Donal’s insistence that the grants deal undermines the amateur

‘Donal would have been well aware that as part of thrashing out the deal
with the GAA and the Irish Sports Council, we gave an undertaking to
uphold the amateur status of the GAA. In fact at the last Central
Council meeting we gave another undertaking to enhance that amateur
status section in the agreement.

‘That is being done to ring fence and protect the amateur status of the
GAA. That is the main issue that I want to put to bed. Short and simply
the grants don’t contravene the amateur status. The GPA operates like
any business. Our policy is dictated by membership and at no stage has
any player or member of the executive tabled a motion on the issue of
pay for play. That speaks volume for our mindset and out objectives.’

When asked if was concerned with the timing of O’Neill’s comments
regarding the controversial grants agreement which is due to be debated
at next month’s Congress, Farrell replied: ‘Not at all. These comments
are irrelevant. We have to deal in facts. They speak for themselves.’

O’Neill said of Farrell’s tenure at the helm: ‘I employed him originally
and I think he has done a good job but the Association needs new blood
and Dessie should be replaced in the next year or two. You need to keep
the target moving and we’ve had those discussions.’

However, the former All-Ireland winner says he wouldn’t be pressurised
into when he should step aside.

‘That will be a decision for myself and no-one else. We are always
looking for fresh new things and part of my responsibility is to keep
abreast of that. In fact we hope to announce a new staff member in the
next week or two.’

Farrell also dismissed O’Neill’s concerns that the vote for strike was
wrong. O’Neill had claimed: ‘I am all for aggressive action because I
think that is the only action that the GAA understands. But what should
have happened – and would arguably have achieved the same result without
the very negative kickback from the grassroots was a refusal to play in
front of the live tv cameras. I was surprised they adopted the more
radical approach because the grants were a Government issue and it could
so easily have been linked with the TV rights issue on the basis that
everyone pays a tv licence.’

But Farrell countered: ‘My own feeling is that Donal felt the GPA were
not militant enough!’

Farrell also revealed he discussed the contents of the interview with
executive board members Kieran McGeeney and Donal Óg Cusack last
night. When asked if this attack by the Association’s founder will cause
lasting damage to the GPA, Farrell responded: ‘Not in the slightest.’




GAA Quotes

‘Sheep in a heap’ – Babs Keating description of Offaly in 1998
‘Babs Keating ‘resigned’ as coach because of illness and fatigue. The players were sick and tired of him’ – Offaly fan in 1998
‘And as for you. You’re not even good enough to play for this shower of useless no-hopers’ – Former Clare mentor to one of his subs after a heavy defeat
‘Babs Keating was arrested in Nenagh for shaking a cigarette machine,but the gardai let him off when he said he only wanted to borrow twenty
players’ – Waterford fan after 2002 Munster final
‘They have a forward line that couldn’t punch holes in a paper bag’ – Pat Spillane on the Cavan football team

‘Sean Óg O’ Hailpín….his father’s from Fermanagh, his mother’s from Fiji, neither a hurling stronghold. ‘ Michael O Muircheartaigh, legendary Radio Commentator.

‘I love Cork so much that if I caught one of their hurlers in bed with my missus, I’d tiptoe downstairs and make him a cup of
Joe Lynch, actor.

‘Sylvie Linnane would start a riot in a graveyard’ — Tipp fan


Dublin’s blue-eyed boy MarkVaughan tells the assembled press in Croke Park that he was burnt out and fed up of football last year.

“The burnout may have had something to do with all the bleach he puts in his hair” quoted on Setanta Sports Website


‘The thing is with the Johnny Doyle’s of this world, people expect them to be brilliant all the time.’ Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney to the assembled media about Johnny Doyle after he had scored 5 points in Kildare’s league win over Donegal in Newbridge.


‘Pat Fox has it on his hurl and is motoring well now….but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail…I’ve seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park !’ Michael O Muircheartaigh

‘God would you rise it McMahon! If ‘twas a skirt you’d lift it quick enough!…’ –
A spectator’s words of encouragement at Athenry, in county Galway as a player struggled to heroically to lift the sliothar.


“That referee must have no wipers on his glasses!”


“And the referee is looking around and acting the mickey!”


 “That ref’s only a b****x.  Ya b****x of a ref.” Eddie Moroney in his famous “unbiased” commentary of the 1992 Tipperary U21 final.


A Meathman’s Perspective on Hurling….

‘Coming from Meath, I don’t know much about any sport other than football. I’ve seen handball once. I’ve heard there’s a game called ’rounders’ and I’m even told that there’s a women’s version of Gaelic football, where they’re allowed to pick the ball off the ground and a point is worth three goals. But all I knew, until recently, about the other sport administered by the GAA was that it involves the use of weapons and that only Kilkenny, Tipperary and Cork are allowed to play it. (For the information of football people, Kilkenny, apparently, is a county in Leinster).

I’ve never met people from Kilkenny or Tipperary because those places are very far in off the main roads, so the only hurling fans I’ve ever met were from Cork. (I can understand why Cork people follow hurling, because I’ve seen their football teams). Anyway, these people told me without being  asked) that hurling is ‘de fastest field game in de world (boy)’ and ‘de most skilful sport of ’em all (like)’. So I decided that I should plug this gap in my education and rented a few tapes of big matches to try and figure out how hurling works. I was immediately surprised to find out that, unlike most field games, hurling doesn’t involve the use of a ball. Look as closely as you like at any game of hurling and you’ll see no ball. At first, I thought the ball must be too small and travelling at too great a speed to be visible to the naked, non-Corkonian, Kilkennian or Tipperarian eye. But I quickly  realised that hurling is, in fact, a stick-breaking competition, in which the object of the game is to break your weapon, a thick ash stick, either against your opponent’s stick (like the reverse of the principle of conkers) or, failing that, against his limbs, torso, head etc.

While the weapon remains unbroken, it is used to weaken the opponent’s resistance and thus make it easier to chase him down and improve your chances of a successful break.  The stick is called a hurley and there are three parts to it – the warhead, which is the heavy end of the weapon, usually reinforced with steel bands. It is used for cudgelling, bludgeoning and inflicting contusions, concussion and localised damage to the head and body of the opponent; – the blade this is the sharpened, curved part of the device, just above the warhead area, which is effective in slicing through fleshy tissue and in routine amputation applications; – the butt, which is the stabbing end of the apparatus, used for tenderising the opponent’s rib cartilage. The only protective equipment used is the helmet. Helmets come in a variety of styles. Many players wear knee-pads tied to the tops of their heads, some stick their heads up through the bottom of a canary-cage and one lad from Cork wears a deep-fat fryer. The headgear also comes in various colours because, apparently, no two players on any team are allowed to wear the same colour.

The game starts with two players from each side standing, fully armed, in the middle of the field. On a signal from the referee, they start to beat each other about the ankles with their sticks until the referee blows a whistle. When he blows it again, other sets of combatants lay into each other, trying to break their sticks, either overhead against their opponent’s weapon in a sort of aerial fencing (known as ‘the clash of the ash’) or on the opponent himself (the gash of the ash). When a player succeeds in breaking his stick – a smash of the ash – a  huge roar goes up from the crowd, the player waves his broken stick above his head in triumph and immediately he is thrown a replacement weapon from a store that is kept on the sideline (the stash of the ash). The crowd roars at other random occasions also, in what appears to be a side competition between the two sets of supporters, because when they roar, a man in a white coat holds up a white flag, in the manner of an umpire in football. If the roar is really loud, he waves a green flag.

If a player manages to strike his opponent on the hand or in the stomach area, this is known as a ‘dirty pull’ and is one of the principal skills of the game. The only form of violence not permitted is pushing an opponent in the back and referees deal mercilessly with offenders against this rule. On the other hand, crippling, mangling, maiming and disembowelling and all other forms of ‘lash with the ash’ are quite in order. The contest continues until there are no spare sticks left and the referee declares a winner, presumably based on a combination of broken stick count and number of casualties which, considering the weaponry deployed and the ferocity of the conflict is usually remarkably few. As a result of this preliminary research, I came to a few obvious conclusions: Kilkenny must be disarmed – by force if necessary; weapons inspectors must be given access to Cork and Tipperary and there is finally an explanation for the fact that the Romans never came to Ireland.

I discovered also that only teachers, students and policemen play the game. This makes sense, everybody else has work to go to. One final mystery remains: where are the Gardai when all this is going on? When will the blue lights flash on the clash of the ash?’



Funny Courtroom Exchanges

Doctor being questioned by a lawyer.

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.

Q: Did you check for blood pressure?
A: No.

Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.

Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.

Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?
A: It is possible that he could have been alive and practising law somewhere!


The Jury:

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defence’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.

‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all, ‘the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. ‘Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will

walk into this courtroom. ‘He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened.

Finally the lawyer said, ‘Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed, and I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.’

The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty.

‘But how?’ inquired the lawyer. ‘You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door.’ The jury foreman replied, ‘Yes, we did look, but your client didn’t.’


The local District Judge had given the defendant a lecture on the evils of drink. But in view of the fact that this was the first time the man had been drunk and incapable, the case was dismissed on payment of €20 costs.

‘Now don’t let me ever see your face again, ‘said the Justice sternly as the defendant turned to go.

‘I’m afraid I can’t promise that, sir, ‘said the released man.

‘And why not?’

‘Because I’m the barman at your regular pub.’


True Newspaper Stories


From The Atlanta Daily:

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cosy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I’m yours. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy.

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week old black Labrador retriever.


From The Guardian Newspaper in England

Concerning a sign seen in a Police canteen in Christchurch, New Zealand:

‘Will the person who took a slice of cake from the Commissioner’s Office return it immediately. It is needed as evidence in a poisoning case.’

From The Gloucester Citizen:

‘A caller complained to Trading Standards. After dialling an 0891 number from an advertisement entitled, ‘Hear Me Moan’, the caller was played a tape of a woman nagging her husband for failing to do jobs around the house. Consumer Watchdogs in Dorset refused to look into the complaint, saying, ‘He got what he deserved.’

Safety film – Report
A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety goggles on the job. According to the Health and Safety Council News, the film’s depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that twenty-five workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave the screening room. Thirteen others fainted, and one man required seven stitches after he cut his head falling off a chair while watching the film.

Norwegian business consultant Hendrik Pedersen worked for 13 years on a book about Norwegian economic solutions. He took the 250-page manuscript to be copied, only to have it reduced to 50,000 strips of paper in seconds when a worker confused the copier with the shredder!

Mechanic v Doctor Story

Allan, a mechanic, was removing a cylinder head from a Harley-Davidson motorbike, when he spotted a world-famous heart surgeon in his garage. The heart surgeon was waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at his bike.

Allan shouted across the garage, ‘Hey Doc can I ask you a question?’  The famous surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to Allan.  Allan straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, ‘So Doc, look at this engine.  I also can open hearts, take valves out, fix ’em, put in new parts and when I finish this will work just like a new one.  So how come I work for a pittance and you get the really big money, when you and I are doing basically the same work?’

The surgeon paused, smiled and leaned over and whispered in Allan’s ear, ‘Try doing it with the engine running.’

How old is old

 Paddy, Sean and Seamus, were stumbling home from the pub late one night and found themselves on the road which led past the old graveyard.

‘Come have a look over here, ‘says Paddy, ‘It’s Michael O’ Grady’s grave, God bless his soul. He lived to the ripe old age of 87.’

‘That’s nothing, ‘says Sean, ‘here’s one named Patrick O’ Toole, it says here that he was 95 when he died.’

Just then, Seamus yells out, ‘Good God, here’s a fella that got to be 145!’

‘What was his name?’ asks Paddy.

Seamus stumbles around a bit, awkwardly lights a match to see what else is written on the stone marker and exclaims: ‘Miles, from Dublin.’


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