Monthly Archives: September 2016
Posted: September 30, 2016
There are a lot of conversations overheard sitting on the fence this last few days. The heart says Mayo, the head says Dublin. We’ve heard them all.
It’s like Al Pacino says it is. A game of inches. What differences will we see on Saturday? Who has learned the most in the last two weeks? What tactical changes will we see? What match ups will there be?
“Dublin won’t be as poor again. Mayo won’t have as many things go in their favour again. It was a freak result those two own goals.”
“Bernard Brogan is like Wayne Rooney. Nonsense, Bernard’s at the peak of his powers, he’ll strike gold the next day, always does.”
“McManamon’s better coming off the bench.”
“Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly. Less said.”
“Tony McEntee’s influence is vital, he’s been involved in 21 replays with Crossmaglen
Posted: September 28, 2016
Much has been made in the media of Lee Keegan’s match up with Diarmuid Connolly. The advent of sweeper systems in recent years had brought into question whether the concept of man marking still existed as a role in Gaelic football. With sweepers and defenders marking zonally, picking up space and tracking runs the day of the mano a mano contest seemed to have disappeared. But not so, thank the stars.
In the Burlington the night before all Irelands the question would have been who will mark who? The danger man on the opposition team always
Posted: September 19, 2016
What a week to be Irish. First the All Ireland Final and now the Ploughing Championships. Whether your agricultural vehicle of choice is John Deere, Zettor or Massey. Hitch up your linkbox and plough on down to Scraggan in County Offaly. With over a quarter of a million visitors and 1,500 exhibitors ewe can be sure you’ll find something to your taste.
The Annual Ploughing showcases the very best of Irish Food, farming and culture and to mark this jewel in the crown of the Irish calendar O’Neills have once again produced a range of stellar Ploughing Championships jerseys. Originally designed as a one off, the jerseys have become a real collectors’ item.
Here’s Seven Places to Wear Your New Ploughing Jersey.
Seamie Callanan’s Heifer Raffle
Where else would you get it? Shooting Kilkenny’s lights out one week, giving the full back a torrid time, and a fortnight later raffling a heifer in aid of Bothar at the Ploughing.
Posted: September 16, 2016
Is Mayo ready for an All Ireland win? In fact is the world ready for a Mayo All Ireland win? God Bless us all, seeing Mayo captain lift Sam on Sunday evening could have seismic implications worldwide.
It is a county that has suffered particularly from the curse of emigration. Almost every Irish community worldwide has a few Mayo men and women. ‘He’s from Mayo’ they’d say. These people go about their business like everyone else, but when the football team get near the business end of things they become withdrawn, agitated, as if there is a great weight upon their mind. And to be fair there is. The Gaels of Mayo are fed up with people harking back to 1951 and talk of curses. Time to march on. These are the people that go up the Reek in their bare feet for God’s sake!
If they win the cliché’s will come bursting from the West. There won’t be a reek climbed, shore caressed, ocean kissed, sheep
Posted: September 14, 2016
A week is a long time in the GAA. Especially All Ireland Final week. Means one thing. Tickets. If you're from Dublin or Mayo and you meet people walking about with a smug semi permanent grin on their face you know they're sorted. Are you sorted? If you’re a committed Gael from either of the counties, hopefully the smugness is on your own face. But sometimes the sweat can be on right up until late on Saturday night. We’ve all been there, meeting some lad outside the Burlington or at the corner of James Gill’s pub.
If you’re feeling the heat, here’s our desperado ticket guide. We can’t promise you anything though.
Enter the club draw
So obvious it's simple. Pay your membership and get your name in the hat. And your ma's, the husband or wife or partner, and any children. And your dad? Why not. If you’re not in you can't win. Rumour has it some people still pay memberships for deceased relatives decades long gone
Posted: September 09, 2016
With freedom. Passion. Skill. Abandonment. Express ourselves.
Driving from the north southwards to the All Ireland hurling Final has a number of rituals. It’s like an annual pilgrimage to one of the great holy sites. Tipperary GAA and Kilkenny GAA in a hurling Final. What else would you do on the First Sunday in September.
Families that have scraped together the cash to bring 3,4 or even five children to Croke Park. At €70 its not a day out to be taken lightly. The obligatory stop off in Applegreen for a Costa milk shake, a slushie, an Americano and a choc chip cookie. A bit of nervous expectation. Tickets tucked securely in an inside pocket, checked fifty times in a day. You know they’re there
Posted: September 09, 2016
Cork and Kilkenny Tradition
If banging on a door doesn't work then you have to kick it it. Whether it's a pair of hypervenom boots or a high heel doesn't matter. For the Camogie players of Kilkenny for years they’ve laboured in the shadow of successful hurling teams. Unknown much outside their county and the circles of their sport. Times are changing, slowly but they’re getting there. Armagh and Carlow, emerging teams deserving their day in Croke Park.
For years Camogie has been viewed under the glass ceiling of media coverage. Not enough interest out there they’ve been told. 'No one wants to read about women's sport'. The everyday sexism and misogyny is all around us, in every break in the game. It's been the same story for too long. With notable exceptions Camogie tends to be ignored or treated with ignorance. A prominent GAA writer told us once he hated the game. Clearly had never been to watch one was my response. The days of the pinafore long
Posted: September 08, 2016
It’s getting near that time. Keys to the flat. Freshers’ week. Can’t wait to blow the loan on some new gear. Had the eye on a few of those World Games jerseys? New pair of skinnys. The 1916 jersey. Time to get back to college and get in the groove.
You never know who you’d run into the next few weeks. You know what its like - catch his eye across the supermarket shelf. I remember this one time at Cúl Camp. It's the same lad, ten years later!
It’s not just yourself that’s glad to see the start of another new term. Across the country Irish mammies can look forward to life without
Posted: September 02, 2016
Kilkenny GAA. They've bled us black and Amber....They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
Yeah. All right, Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?
Ok I'll give you that great player. King Henry. Best player ever maybe but apart from that?
JJ Delaney's block.
Ok, true but apart from Henry Shefflin and JJ Delaney's block, what have Kilkenny ever given us?
Intensity. Remember what hurling used to be like?
Right I'll give you that, but apart from Henry Shefflin, and intensity what have Kilkenny ever given us?