Sarsfields Newsletter

November 8, 2018

The Weekly Online Newsletter of Sarsfields GAA Club




Sarsfields 1-2 Moorefield 0-13


In an extremely disappointing start to the league to the league the seniors lost out to our archrivals Moorefield. After the three victories in a row in the early rounds of the Aldridge Cup the senior team have now lost two in a row.



Wexford will go ahead with appeal


WEXFORD will press ahead with their appeal against the decision of the
Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) to award Waterford and
Kilkenny the Allianz NHL points from the two games Cork were unable to
fulfil against them because of the player strike.

Wexford maintain that the CCCC decision was unconstitutional and
speaking after yesterday’s defeat in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, new board
secretary Margaret Doyle confirmed that they were continuing with the
appeal. ‘We always felt strongly about it, because what was done was
wrong. Everybody should have got points or nobody should have got them,’
she commented.

‘We have our appeal in now and we will be seeing it through. We’ll see
how we get on.’

Understandably, the Cork manager Gerald McCarthy delighted to see his
team in the quarter-finals: ‘We were short these two big matches with
Waterford and Kilkenny.

‘We are playing catch-up all the time with our fitness.

‘We are trying to make up as much as we can. But, it’s impossible really
to get back to where we were.’

Dublin, Wexford face play-off tie

Monday March 24 2008

GALWAY and Kilkenny are through to the Allianz Hurling League Division 1
semi-finals. Antrim, Laois and Offaly are relegated.

Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Waterford have booked quarter-finals
places, while Dublin and Wexford will almost certainly face a play-off
to decide who drops down to Division 2.

The Central Competitions Control Committee will meet tomorrow to decide
what happens next following complications over scoring difference in
Division 1A which impact on the quarter-final pairings and the
Dublin-Wexford relegation issue.

Scoring difference cannot be used to decide placings because of Cork’s
no-show for their first two games. That means a play-off is likely to be
required to decide who drops into Division 2.

Dublin have a better scoring difference but that won’t apply, although
Dublin are likely to argue it should, since both they and Wexford
completed their full quota of five games.

With Cork and Waterford both qualified for the quarter-finals on six
points, lots may be drawn to decide who meets Limerick and Tipperary in
the quarter-finals on Sunday week.



Professionalism: ‘Grants’ are latest step on the road; not the first



By Dermot Crowe
Sunday March 23 2008

TWENTY-ONE years ago, like mannequins modelling a revolutionary age,
Tipperary hurlers paraded their brand new blazers and uniform look.
Their tailor’s palm was greased by a freshly established supporters’
club, famous for its largesse and flamboyant fundraising style. County
hurlers would be pampered and raised performance levels expected in
return. In manner; and in practice, the movement was undeniably elitist.

There were reservations at the time, as there had been previously, but
where was the outcry? No amateur laws were breached and, in a sense, the
GAA was classically exporting the problem, freeing itself of the stain
of corporate Ireland but benefiting indirectly. Yet a culture of
‘looking after’ players and managers had taken root. Through the
emergence of supporters’ clubs, the GAA was forming a strong and
unequivocal bond with commerce.

Sport and business have always sought one another out, and the GAA, for
all its protestations to the contrary, is no innocent by-stander. Such
clubs became the most visible and loudest display of the connection
between big money interests and the players. It is worth recalling that
years before the GPA arrived, wealthy benefactors found a willing
partner — not among the mavericks, and fringe elements, but right there
in the heart of the establishment.

Those who bemoan the creation of an elite playing structure because of
the imminent arrival of Government payments, dressed as expenses, for
inter-county footballers and hurlers, might recall that supporters’
clubs, for one thing, were driven by elite concerns. To that extent,
there appears an obvious contradiction in the position of Mark Conway,
wearing his Of One Belief hat, stridently opposing the current
Government support scheme, while allied, until recently, to Club Tyrone,
a thriving cash cow which has directly or indirectly contributed to
players’ remuneration.

Critics of Conway, who himself says he has risen from obscurity and will
return once the issue is dealt with at Congress in less then three
weeks, argue, not without justification, that his position is too
absolute to hold water and ignores the competing realities. As one
observer put it: ‘People who are that fundamentalist — you could look
at Ian Paisley as a perfect example — run the risk of totally
contradicting themselves, of making a complete volte-face.’

From here, Conway says the need for his organisation is ‘clarification’
on the ‘eligible expenses’ involved under the proposed revised scheme.
‘We are being asked to sign a blank cheque, we need to know what we are
voting for. I know the GPA have mentioned situations where a farmer
might need to get someone to milk his cows, or a player might need a
baby-sitter — there are costs like that. If that is being proposed, we
need to be clear about it and have it discussed. The problem is that we
are still in the dark.’

Conway says the GAA has made a contribution to his life ‘that money
can’t buy’ but to expect GAA players not to desire to be paid, or to
have the time and freedom to be full-time professionals and maximise
their potential, is indeed idealistic. For ambitious athletes, it is as
natural a progression as night following day. Conway counters that
idealism is his starting point, his calling-card; it was idealism which
moved him to help found Club Tyrone. ‘That is why we ask people to give
£500 (subscription) annually and expect nothing back. We are

Club Tyrone arose out of the ashes of the Millennium Club which started
in 1995 and Conway says that Joe Brolly, a staunch amateur ally,
jokingly likens their recruitment gatherings to a cult or a Nazi rally.
But it has proved effective and others have wanted to copy the same
template. In the past couple of years, Conway and his colleagues have
been consulted and had a hand in the formation of similar clubs in
Derry, Antrim, Down and Fermanagh, as well as Wexford, Cavan, Kildare
and even Kerry. He said all assistance was free of charge.

In 2006, the year of their last published accounts, they had an
operating profit of £248,000 which went into the county board’s
coffers. The county board itself was no begging bowl; it had an
operating surplus of £467,000. The agreement is that Club Tyrone has
no say in how the money is administered, unlike some similar groups who
have tried to wield greater influence, even to dictate the composition
of the county executive and management. ‘Every penny spent was by our
own county committee,’ Conway insists.

But there have been accusations of double-standards. After winning the
2003 All-Ireland, Tyrone embarked on a foreign holiday and there were
claims that as much as £3,000 was handed over for spending to each
player. For what they achieved, it is still a modest amount but within
the parameters of the GAA’s rules on amateur status, it is a clear
violation. In Conway’s world it amounts to sacrilege.

‘I am not a member of the county committee dealing with that money so I
don’t actually know what was decided,’ he says, ‘but I am led to believe
they did get very generous spending money. What I can say is that after
it a lot of eyebrows were raised and people were saying: ‘Is this what
we are about?’ Because, once you start, where do you stop? It might be
£3,000 this time, maybe five the next and eight after that.’

He accepts that there is a valid point to be raised in asking why people
like him did not raise the issues of under-the-table payments to
managers in the past if their concern about the GAA’s future was that
pronounced. ‘Maybe people like me have to hold their hands up. That is a
valid point. I was opposed to opening up Croke Park, not because I
didn’t like the English, or because of the anthem, but for different
commercial and marketing reasons.’

He says the decision to mobilise opposition to the Government scheme may
have been inspired by being previously exercised by the Croke Park
issue. He felt that something had to be done or the GAA would profoundly
regret the error of its ways. ‘I am old-fashioned; I am talking maybe of
an era that is gone by. Playing for your county is a badge of honour I
could never aspire to, but the badge of honour, that is what it is about
for me, what the GAA is about.’

But the notion that this current scheme of vouched expenses being
presented to Congress, or even in its previous form as grant payments,
fatally wounds the amateur status is also misleading and self-serving.

That blow was firmly landed when the Amateur Status Committee, appointed
by Jack Boothman, introduced a set of recommendations which included the
right that players benefit from endorsements. Straight away there was an
undermining of the Rule 11 principle that a player would not benefit
financially ‘in conjunction’ with the playing of Gaelic games. Clearly,
this new provision meant he or she would.

By then, the GAA realised they could not ignore the fact that players
had some commercial value and were entitled to benefit from it.
Previously, a player could only endorse a product which was linked to
his line of work — hence a slew of agricultural ads. A black market
thrived. It is not that long ago that one of the country’s greatest
hurlers provided a coaching session to a Dublin club and when it had
ended found himself being shadowed to his car by one of the club
officials who, looking as embarrassed and unprepared as his invited
guest, began rooting in his pockets for cash.

Supporters’ clubs upped the bar commercially but they were also a
response to a wider societal influence: to growing wealth and interest
from the corporate sector. One man remembers a Dublin supporters’ club
in the 1970s leading a march of clubs to Croke Park for that year’s
All-Ireland final with the express wish of drumming up more support for
the team. That was a supporters’ club in the truest sense of the word.

When Mick O’Dwyer came to manage Wicklow, it coincided with the
establishment of a vibrant supporters’ club — the two seemed to go
hand-in-hand. O’Dwyer has always denied being paid more than the going
rate for expenses but the suspicion lingers when it is generally
accepted that most managers get more than the rules entitle them to,
especially at club level. Is it any wonder players are fed up being
accused of asking for too much?

Conway says he is happy that this does not apply to Mickey Harte. ‘I am
as confident as I can be that the county team managements in Tyrone are
squeaky clean. The club scene is a different story.’

Tyrone is one of the highest employers of outside coaches, with the
majority of the clubs going beyond the locality. Conway’s home club,
Kildress, had a Fermanagh-based manager last year, used the services of
Tony Scullion in the past, and in 1977 was the first club to have Eamonn
Coleman as coach because he worked with people from there. Conway is a
club trustee.

‘When I go to watch Kildress teams play, I go to see local players and I
want the person running them to be from Kildress as well. That I think
is the way it should be. It has become almost an article of faith among
GAA clubs that the manager has to come from outside. When Tyrone won the
All-Ireland in 2003, it would have been flawed for me had the manager
not also been a Tyrone man.’

Conway has parted ways with Club Tyrone since the Central Council agreed
to back the Government payment scheme last year. But it would not have
been the thriving success it has been without him. The irony is that he
may have, unintentionally, created a greater likelihood of players
demanding remuneration through his own efforts to put something back
into an association he confesses that he loves.

‘It’s a group of astute businessmen, rather than county board officers
— that’s where they score,’ says one source of Club Tyrone. ‘They have
brought a level of professionalism to the GAA.’

Conway, the supreme idealist, who says he is an ‘ordinary GAA man’,
would not like that analysis. But could he convincingly tell you it
isn’t true?








Galway cross Shannon in new proposal


By Martin Breheny
Saturday March 22 2008

BY the end of this year, the All-Ireland hurling championships will have
undergone six format changes in 11 years. Add in as many more for the
National Leagues, and it becomes clear why hurling supporters are
totally bewildered.

How many details of the formats can you recall? Do you know exactly how
this year’s championship will work? And can you recall the system that
was passed overwhelmingly by a full Congress last April, only to be
scrapped by a Special Congress in October?


That really was quite bizarre. The GAA’s supreme ruling body made a
decision, only to see it overturned by a subsidiary unit six months
later. Worse still, Special Congress made an appalling call, coldly
cutting Antrim adrift, while hypocritically claiming it was done in the
best interests of hurling.

It was evident to just about everybody outside the Congress room that
the new format was doomed because of its shameful inequality. For
example, Kilkenny can reach this year’s All-Ireland semi-final in two
games by beating Laois/Offaly and Dublin/Wexford/Westmeath, while Antrim
might have to play four games against Galway, Clare or Waterford, a
beaten semi-finalist from Leinster or Munster and a beaten provincial
finalist to reach the last four.

Mercifully, that blatant injustice will last for just one year because
the Hurling Development Committee has produced outline proposals for yet
another new championship formula, starting in 2009. It’s pretty radical
too, as it proposes running off the Leinster and Munster championships
on a round robin basis initially, while Galway would finally make the
switch to Leinster.

The champions in Leinster/ Galway and Munster would go directly to the
All-Ireland semi-finals, while the next two from each province, plus the
top two from the second tier would play off in quarter-finals.

On the plus side, it provides teams with more games in summer, but it
remains to be seen what the reaction will be to effectively turning the
early stages of the championships into Munster and Leinster (including
Galway) Leagues.

It would take 10 games to produce the finalists for the Leinster/Galway
and Munster championships, which, in theory, sounds exciting ,but would
they have the same appeal as the knock-out clashes?

Still, Munster would be competitive as the gap between any of the five
counties isn’t all that wide, but what of Leinster, featuring Kilkenny,
Wexford, Offaly, Dublin and Galway. Kilkenny and Galway would be hot
favourites for two of the All-Ireland qualification spots with the
remaining one being fought out between Wexford, Offaly and Dublin.

The round robin qualification system guarantees every county two home
games, something that’s not happening at present, so for that alone it’s
to be welcomed. It also gives teams every chance of reaching the
knock-out stages and crucially in terms of selling the concept to the
Munster and Leinster Councils, who are mighty protective of their
championships, it retains the provincial series.

The attraction of a guaranteed two home games should be a major selling
point. Several counties rarely get a home game, which is absolutely
crazy. Wexford redeveloped Wexford Park into a 25,000-capacity stadium,
yet it rarely hosts a senior championship game, whereas under the new
system they would be guaranteed two. What’s more, the likes of Kilkenny
and Galway would have to go there every second year.

The proposal to move Galway into Leinster makes perfect sense, just as
it has for several years.

However, there are still very influential elements in Galway who will
oppose it on the basis that it’s a contrived solution and that if a
county can switch province that easily, why retain the provincial system
in the first place?

Nevertheless, the benefits of playing in Leinster would be enormous for
Galway. Apart from guaranteeing them two competitive homes games in
Pearse Stadium every year, it would put them on a par with all their
main rivals, rather than entering the championship later than everybody

Some Galway people still retain doubts about life across the Shannon,
and there’s also the question of how some of the Leinster counties would
react to the arrival of a very big cuckoo intent on gobbling up a lot of
their food, especially at underage level. Certainly, there were
mutterings of discontent from some when it was mooted a few years ago.

GAA President Nickey Brennan has repeatedly urged counties to think of
the broader good of hurling rather than their own narrow interests, but
ultimately that will work only up to a point. No county will vote for a
plan that they perceive to in any way reduce their status, while the
Provincial Councils don’t want to have their championships diluted in
any way, lest it weakens their control.

The latest HDC plan looks like a stop-off point on the road to
eventually scrapping the provincial championships in favour of a
Champions League style format, involving 12 to 16 counties.


Ultimately, that’s the way to go, of course, because the provincial
system in its present form, with Galway coming in later at the
qualification stages, is unwieldy and, apart from Munster, quite

Failing that, the only other option is to improve the League and return
to the old straight knock-out system, only this time with Galway and
Antrim competing in Leinster. However, there isn’t much of an appetite
for that.

What can’t be allowed to continue is the frequent tinkering with the
system. The latest HDC proposals are currently being considered by the
counties, who will report back to Central Council. They’re well worth a
try. HDC chairman Ned Quinn and his colleagues have put a huge amount of
work into drafting them and hopefully, they will be considered on its
merits, rather than undermined by people who acknowledge that the
current format is flawed but who fail to offer viable alternatives.

‘We think there’s something in this proposal for everybody. Those
outside the top 10 will be given every incentive — financial and
otherwise — to make the breakthrough. Besides, the top two from the six
teams closest to the top ten will get a chance to qualify for the
All-Ireland quarter-finals,’ said Quinn.

Given the complicated circumstances which apply in hurling, the HDC have
done well. If the proposal is accepted, the new format will apply for
four years from 2009 which is also a good idea because constant changing
has damaged the Championship brand. It’s time to settle on a format and
given it an extended run. The new proposal, unlike its predecessors,
deserves that.


Spreading the Gospel


One of the Sash’s own, Colm “Benjamin” Breen was recently appointed as manager of Two Mile House U14 team. Colm lives in Two Mile House. We wish him all the best in his first managerial position.



GAA and Other Quotes




Ger Loughnane was fair, he treated us all the same during training-like dogs.ANONYMOUS CLARE HURLER.

”Any chance of an autograph. Its for the wife. She really hates you.” TIPP FAN

”I’m not giving away any secrets like that to Tipp. If I had my way, I
wouldn’t even tell them the time of the throw-in.” GER LOUGHNANE on his controversial selection policy


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


Q: What’s the difference between Paddy Cullen and a turnstile?
A: A turnstile only lets in one at a time. – Kerry fan after Cullen conceded five goals in the 1978 All-Ireland final.


The first half was even, the second half was even worse. – Pat Spillane reflects on an Ulster Championship clash.


“This is a really  lovely filly, I once rode her mother at Punchestown”(Ted Walsh – Horse Racing Commentator)

‘Moses Kiptanui – the 19 year old Kenyan, who turned 20 a few weeks ago’ (David Coleman)

 ‘We’ll still be happy if we lose. It’s on at the same time as the Beer Festival’ (Noel O’ Mahony, Cork City boss before the game in Munich)

* ‘I’d like to play for an Italian club, like Barcelona’ (Mark Draper – Aston Villa)

* ‘We actually got the winner three minutes from the end but then they equalized’ (Ian McNail)

* ‘I’ve never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body’ (Winston Bennett)

* ‘The lead car is absolutely unique, except for the one behind it which is identical’ (Murray Walker)

* ‘I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat’ Ron Atkinson)

Top Twenty Bizarre GAA-Related Moments!


The Day The GAA Woz Robbed.

Shortly after half time on the day of the Munster Hurling Final between Cork and Clare (1977) three men armed with revolvers opened the unlocked door of the counting room in Semple Stadium, Thurles; one of the men held three officials and a nine year old boy at bay while the others helped themselves to the cash and made off with £24,000 approximately. One scallywag later remarked that had the armed men asked the officials to empty their pockets they have made off with a lot more. Theories concerning the brains behind the operation abound to this day.

Where’s My Hurl?
As the 2001 All-Ireland Club Hurling Final raced to its conclusion the boys from Graigue-Ballycallan began to wobble and Athenry sensed it. Athenry would eventually win the day in extra time but in a grandstand finish in normal time Eugene Cloonan scored the equalizing goal. Only moments later, and with the benefit of the action replay, did everyone realize that in the struggle to secure the three points Cloonan had wrestled the hurl of the opposing full back away for him to deliver this killer blow.

When Cork Shagged Off To The Train Station!
A Dublin v Cork Football League Semi-Final (1987) which ended in a draw. Over the PA it had been announced that extra time would be played. Cork however headed for the train station insisting that they had their tickets bought. Dublin lined out for the extra period, the ball was thrown in and Dublin sauntered down the field was the easiest goal Barney Rock ever scored. For once Frank Murphy failed to get his way in the smoky committee rooms.

Kerry & Bendix.
A week before the 1985 All-Ireland final the Kerry panel stripped off, wrapped themselves in towels and posed around a Bendix washing machine in a Tralee dressing room. The following Sunday, several newspapers carried a full-page advertisement of the scene with the accompanying slogan: only Bendix could whitewash this lot.It was intended to mark the beginning of a three-year campaign with Bendix which would generate funding to improve the GAA grounds in Kerry. The deal caused absolute ructions.

Jimmy Cooney’s Lost Minutes.
The 1998 All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final between Clare and Offaly. As the Clare men clung to a three point lead, Galway referee Jimmy Cooney blew the game with two minutes of normal time remaining. By the time he realized his mistake he had been ushered from the field. The Offaly fans staged a sit-in and won the replay in Thurles.

When Tipperary Invented The Media Ban.
The now defunct Irish Press ran a photograph on the front page which recorded a dust-up in the league final between Tipp and Kilkenny in 1968. The headline underneath asked: is this sport? Later in the year as Tipp prepared for their All-Ireland final against Wexford, certain journalists were banned from Tipp training sessions. In response the NUJ instructed its members not to refer to the Tipp players by name in reports.

The Three Stripes Affair.
Before the Munster Football Final (1976) Cork were generously offered a set of Adidas jerseys. The sight of the logo sent county board officials into convulsions and with a mere twenty minutes before the throw-in tape was being attached to the cloth while officials pleaded unsuccessfully with the players to wear the traditional blood and bandage.

You’re Off!
Changes in GAA refereeing legislation always ensure pandemonium. 1999 saw the introduction of the modern red card/yellow card ˜cautioningsystem. The interpretation of Cork ref Niall Barrett left a lot to be desired in a Leinster championship tie between Carlow and Westmeath. Barrett dished out fourteen yellow cards and gave six the line, four from Carlow.

Two Yellows You’re Off!
All-Ireland Minor Football Semi-Final (2000) Cork v Derry. Cork midfielder Kieran Murphy received two yellows but Roscommon referee Gerry Kinneavy neglected to send him off. Quick to notice the mistake the Cork bench substituted Murphy and proceeded to win the game. The miss was of course highlighted to the referee in the aftermath, Frank Murphy however arrived into the Cork dressing room and instructed them not to worry about anything and to prepare for the final as best they could, and he would ‘sort it out.’ The Cork minors went on the win the All-Ireland.

The Maverick.
The Roscommon keeper Shane Curran has built himself quite a reputation. As legend has it while on trial with Manchester United the Connacht man assured Alec Ferguson that if the Scot thought he had trouble with Paul McGrath he was now in for something entirely different. Curran’s most enduring claim to fame however comes from the Connacht Minor Final (1989). As the game against Galway drew to its conclusion Roscommon trailed by a point, crucially they were awarded a penalty. Curran, lining out at wing forward, was more than enthusiastic about taking it. After a brief conversation between those interested another player lined up to take it while Curran hovered nearby. At the very last moment however Curran sprinted past and blasted his shot home. Reputably Curran had a comment to make as sprinted to the placed ball: ˜I told you I was f*****g taking it. The ref involved blew the whistle immediately, Roscommon assumed they had won and headed off to collect the cup. The Galway boys agreed to a replay, which Roscommon won.

Get Off For God’s Sake!
The All-Ireland Football Final 1995. Dublin’s Charlie Redmond was sent off by Tipp’s Paddy Russell against Tyrone. Obstinate to the last Charlie stayed on the field for the next few minutes before Russell spotted him and corrected the oversight. Tyrone lost by a point and to their eternal credit made no official complaint.

The Kerry Family Jewels.
The Munster Football Final between Cork and Kerry and centre back Conor Counihan takes it upon himself to feel up Jack O’Sheass privates, Vinny Jones style, and on live TV too. A near riot ensued with the Bomber Liston distinguishing himself with the haymakers he delivered in the ensuing melee.

The Day Enon Gavin Brought The House Down.
The Connacht Football Final (1992) between Mayo and Roscommon. In the excitement Enon took it upon himself to swing out of a crossbar only for it to give way and come crashing down. Apparently Enon still gets the traditional ribbing about the whole affair to this day.

The Battle Of Aughrim.
Laois v Wicklow (1986). Laois to their delight had just won the National League and considered their first round clash with Wicklow a minor detail. Carthage Buckley from Offaly was the unfortunate referee. Wicklow didn’t stand back to admire the ambitions of the Laois men. The Laois players got a little frustrated with the whole affair and three of same got the line. The Laois fans chased the referee from the field at the final whistle which of course greeted a famous Wicklow win.

That Feckin Eejagh!
Many moons ago when The Sunday Game decided to do a feature on the GAA careers of famous Irish people Mick Hand told a story about a visit to Inniskeen he made at the behest of RTE. Hand was instructed to assess the locals memories of the poet Patrick Kavanagh. A couple of local ould lads soon opened his eyes. They remembered Kavanagh not for his poetry but for his ineptitude in the goal. They described Patrick as a f****n eegahat and described the scene of a crucial game which occurred on a particularly hot day. With play at the opposite end Kavanagh spotted an ice cream vendor and trotted over to indulge himself, in the mean time however the opposition raced up the field to score the winning goal. Kavanagh’s name was synonymous with infamy in Monaghan thereafter.

The Meath Calamity?
Meath v Kerry All-Ireland Semi-Final 1986. Brian Stafford is dispossessed out the field. Ogie Moran drills a hopeful ball forward. Mick Lyons, Joe Cassells and Mickey McQuillan all decide to go for the one ball. Roguishly Lyons tries to push Ger Power (Kerry) out of the way, but collides with the advancing McQuillan while Cassells is tripped by Lyons outstretched leg. The ball bounces helpfully into Power’s path and the resultant goal decides the course of the encounter.

Why Paddy Cullen Has Such A Good Sense Of Humour!
Dublin leads Kerry (1978). Cullen advances off his line to deal with an easy clearance. He collects and fists to Robbie Kelleher but brushes off Kerry’s Ger Power on his way back to the house. Kildare ref Seamus Aldridge blows for a free. The gentleman he is Kelleher hands the ball to Mikey Sheehy while Cullen argues with Aldridge. A realization hits Cullen. The Dublin publican later described that he could ˜see in his face what he was going to do. But perhaps Con Houlihan made a better description: Cullen raced back to the goal not unlike a woman who could smell something burning in her oven.’ Kerry went on to win by seventeen points.

Ken Hogan’s Boob.
The 1993 All-Ireland Semi-Final, Tipp v Galway. Although only trailing by two points the Connacht men were making little headway and as Michael McGrath lobbed a hopeful ball forward, which would drop short, Ger Canning was already bored. The current Tipp manager Ken Hogan must have taken pity on the tribesmen. The weak looping effort bounced in front of the Lorrha man and instead of coming off his chest and down to his hurl as intended it struck him on the shoulder and trickled home. Galway won.

Anyone Seen Sam?
In 1959 Kerry won their 19th All-Ireland, and the great Mick O’Connell must have been bored with the whole affair. After hammering Galway that September day O’Connell as captain was responsible for Sam Maguire but left it in the dressing room. O’Connell had been married the previous day and perhaps there was something else on his mind. Sam rested among the kit bags for a few hours before someone asked about its whereabouts.

Get Me To The Match On Time!
The Longford footballers had their patience well and truly tested in 2001. Forty minutes before their big day out against Dublin in Croke Park there was no sign of the team bus. Luckily they thumbed a lift off the Na Fianna Camogie team. When they arrived at Croker, kit on shoulders, security asked them some harsh questions. Bizarrely a mere six days later in the qualifier series against Wicklow they were again stranded. At the team hotel the panel waited out front while the bus waited out back. Again they lost.






A certain Kerrymans diary

Extracts from a GAA Pundits diary ( this is an entirely fictional character and any similarities with any individual, living or dead, are completely coincidental).

Day 1

Another Monday, another cheque in the back pocket from RTE thanks to my witty, outrageous and controversial ‘Monday Feedback’ corner on the Monday Game. The moneys good but it would want to be – dragging me up to this shitheap every week away from my beautiful Kingdom. On the upside though, I was backstage in ‘makeup’ this evening, when who should walk in but Sharon Ni Bheoilan, the chick from the News I wouldn’t mind going up for a 50/50ball with her-if you catch my meaning. I think I’ll give her a signed copy of my excellent autobiography that usually has the babes begging for some Kingdom-Love.

I don’t know why I have to go into makeup anyway-they usually sit me beside those gobshites O’Rourke and Lyster in the studio – sure no makeup could clean those two feckers up -especially O’Rourke, the fuckwit looks like some horrible genetic experiment gone wrong. I read through my emails, phonecalls and letters – you know I don’t like Clare feckers but that psycho Loughnane made one good point in his life – its only nutters that bother ringing into these programs they should get a life – in fact I think I’ll bring that into my rant this evening.

Joe Brolly is the other guest tonight, the nordy fecker. Thinks he’s as outspoken as me, what the fuck would he know – with only one All-Ireland to his name. Lyster that smarmy bollix seems to like him though I don’t trust that fucker Apparently Brolly is a barrister . What kind of nordy Catholic is a barrister? an orange one I’d say. He’ll take some watching

Day 2:

 It’s great being a GAA pundit – spout some shite a couple of times (for the great unwashed who haven’t a clue) a week and laugh all the way to the bank. Take today for instance; I was sitting in the jacks having a nice dump when all of a sudden I remember ‘shit I have to have my Sunday Worst column submitted by this evening’. Its fucking demeaning to have to write for that rag, what do they know about the beautiful sport of Gaelic Football anyway the shower of jackeen bastards?

Anyway, back to the column – I write a splendid piece of prose about how great the Munster Final is when its Cork and Kerry competing and those inbreds in Clare and Tipp are knocked out. I suppose I’ll be getting death threats from the Clare feckers again – they’re so fucking touchy. They know they have no right to be even on the same pitch as the mighty, majestic is provoke, to analyse, to spout shit – and I do it so well.

Day Number 3 Back on the Monday Game for the ‘Feedback’ slot. No sign of Sharon in makeup, pity. Brolly comes into the studio – he’s becoming a bit of a fixture around here. I start whistling ‘The Sash’ – I think it throws him off his stride a bit. Lyster brought up the subject of Offaly football. Offaly -those cheating bastards – I’ll never forgive them for ’82, Babs was right about them; sheep in a heap – thats all they are.

I tell the nation what I feel – shoot from the hip. Brolly tries to cut across me, tell him to shut up, he hasn’t got enough All-Ireland medals to interrupt me. After the show, he won’t talk to me – what would you expect from an Orange bastard?

Day4 I met Micko the other day. Kildare are out (not fucking suprising really, the shower of cripples) and he’s contemplating his future. All the papers were saying he was the greatest football manager of all time. In fairness its easy to be a good manager when you havethe greatest player (me) ever to grace a sports pitch of any description on your side.

I told him so as well – I said’Mick, I’m the reason we won so much, not your fucking training routines and diets – what good did they do Kildare? You had to bring that useless garsoon offspring of yours up there with you and he was their best player’ That says a lot about the locals.

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