Friday 28 December 2012

Window on 1936: Spain

The following report appeared in the Clonmel Nationalist on September 19th 1936:
Cashel Council adopts Clonmel resolution
Suggestions to Prohibit Communist Meetings and Publications 
When the Clonmel Corporation resolution, protesting against the barbaric atrocities being perpetrated in Spain against Christians and Catholics, and pledged support to any movement which may be established to safeguard the interests of the Catholics in Spain, came before Cashel Urban Council at their meeting on Tuesday night, the resolution was unanimously adopted, on the motion of the chairman, Francis Phillips, seconded by Mr. Price. 
Mr. Price said the Council should not only adopt the Clonmel resolution, protesting against the barbarities of the communists in Spain but, he thought, the Council should pass a resolution asking the Government of the Free State to prohibit any communists meetings in the country. They should go further, and request the Government to prohibit all communist literature and publications.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Tipperary GAA Football Board

I was disappointed that Michael Power was not elected chairman of the Tipperary GAA football board at the recent AGM. It makes it harder to take when one knows that most of those who did not vote for him never supported a Tipperary Gaelic football team in their lives.

Michael has given more than 30 years of his life to the promotion of Gaelic football in Tipperary. He did this in good times and bad—mostly the latter except for the last two years when the minor footballers achieved something that some of us have dreamed of for more than 60 years: a cherished All-Ireland followed by a second in a row Munster title, both secured under the management of Michael's son David.

Shane McEntee TD RIP

The tragic and untimely passing of Shane McEntee T.D.—a man of the highest integrity—was made so much more sad by the fact that he became so affected by the bile being spewed out by faceless cowards through Twitter and other means. They should be treated with the contempt of silence: "click delete".

They mainly consist of terrorist and communist lackeys who are facilitated by certain sections of the media. Their efforts to cause anarchy in the past failed. They are now trying more insidious methods to cause chaos. They will fail again as long as the decent people stay united and focused.

As sad as it was to witness Shane's funeral, I felt great pride to see this noble Irish man's coffin draped with the national flag. The flag has been abused and demeaned for many years by evil terrorists.

Tuesday 4 December 2012

Sadness and Pride

It was with a certain amount of sadness that I became aware that those two great exponents of Gaelic Football, Padraig Joyce of Galway and Brian McGuigan of Tyrone, had decided to leave the county scene. They were two brilliant players and exemplary sportsmen. When we witness the behaviour of many of the grossly overpaid participants at the highest level in the major cross-channel game we should appreciate all the more the positive example that Padraig and Brian have been to the youth of the country. I feel proud to have been around during their playing days.

I would like to comment on Dr.Crokes (Kerry) 0-19 to 0-12 victory over Castlehaven (Cork) in the Munster senior football club final played at Pairc Ui Caoimh on Sunday last. Crokes played football as it should be played. They did not engage in "circular"passing. They were capable of giving foot passes of 40 or 50 yards into a colleague's arms: reminiscent of MickO'Connell, Tom Long and Seamus Murphy at their best. Their hand passing was always going forward with players getting into space to take the pass. While I would love to see St.Brigids (Roscommon) winning the All-Ireland club championship, the presence of Dr.Crokes is a tonic for the game. If every club and county team in the country tried to emulate their style of play the G.A.A.need have no worries about the game.

Monday 26 November 2012

Well Done Thurles Sarsfields

Munster Club SHC Final:

Thurles Sarsfields 1-21; De La Salle 1-16

At Pairc Ui Caoimh, Cork yesterday, in terrible weather conditions, Thurles Sarsfields beat an excellent De La Salle side with a display of skill and determination, to win the club's first Munster club championship. It is surprising that a club that has won so many county titles in Tipperary has not previously been successful in Munster. The Munster club championship was inaugurated in 1964 when it was won by Glen Rovers,Cork county champions; the following year it was won again by Cork champions, St.Finbarrs. The golden era of Thurles Sarsfields was between 1955 and 1965 when they won 10 Tipperary senior hurling titles. During that period they were recognized as one of the top club teams in Ireland with Glen Rovers of Cork, Mount Sion of Waterford and Rathnure of Wexford. They had a very lean period since then when they won but one county title until a few years ago. The first Tipperary club to win a Munster senior title was Carrick-on-Suir Davins in 1966 beating Waterford champions, Ballygunner in a great final played in Clonmel.

The outstanding traits of Sarsfields yesterday were their great close-control and their ability to find a colleague with a pass: this always put a lot pressure on opponents especially when tiredness becomes more acute near the end of the game. If they could include first air and ground strokes in their play they would be unbeatable ;maybe they still are. Best of luck

Monday 12 November 2012

Good Win for Thurles Sarsfields

Munster Club SHC Semi-Final:

Thurles Sarsfields 2-20; Cork Sarsfields 2-15

Tipperary champions Thurles Sarsfields reached the Munster Senior Hurling club final, where they will meet Waterford champions DeLaSalle, with a 5 points victory over Cork champions, also named Sarsfields, at Semple Stadium Thurles yesterday. The Thurles side showed a lot of skill for most of the game, and great determination and commitment to score a goal and two points in the final few minutes of an exciting game when the tide of victory seemed to be slipping away. Their lapses, which have occurred in previous games, would be fatal against a team of the calibre of DeLaSalle. I am of the opinion that the sluggishness in their play at times is a result of competing, most of the time, against sub-standard opposition in Tipperary club competitions in which at least half of the teams playing in the senior grade are of intermediate or junior club standard. On a general point, I find it very sad to see players, who display great skill in other facets of play, unable to strike the ball on the ground or in the air without taking it in their hand. Their method of tackling a member of the opposing team is to hold the hurley in one hand and putting the other hand on their opponent, more often than not conceding a free. The huge amount of coaching that is taking place for a good number of years would need a serious overhaul.

Monday 5 November 2012

Congrats to Clonmel Commercials

County Tipperary SFC Final:

Clonmel Commercials 1-9; Thomas McDonagh’s 0-5

It was very good for Tipperary football that Clonmel Commercials won the Tipperary senior football championship at Semple Stadium yesterday. Since their foundation in the 30's they have always striven to promote Gaelic football in Tipperary. Their opponents yesterday never have—nor have expressed no intention of doing so in future—promoted gaelic football in their clubs. The seven or more clubs that supplied players to yesterday's team would contain members and players who would have a positive attitude to the promotion of the game in the county, but they have been so outnumbered that noting positive ever happens. I am writing this with memories going back more than 60 years. The Commercials have a lot of good young players at the moment and if they can keep most of them involved, they have a bright future which would be very good for Tipperary football

Monday 15 October 2012

Excellent Tipperary Decider

County Tipperary SHC Final:

Thurles Sarsfields 1-21; Drom-Inch 2-15

I was delighted that the Tipperary Senior Hurling Final between near neighbours, Thurles Sarsfields and Drom-Inch, produced such skillful striking and fine sportsmanship. It was a credit to both teams. There were fine individual performances on both sides with two players outstanding: Aidan McCormack, especially in the first half, for Sarsfields and Johnny Ryan, all through, for Drom. There were others. Johnny Enright, like good whiskey, is getting better with age. Well done to Sarsfields on winning their 32nd title. I hope that Drom-Inch are back at the victory podium soon as this fine group of players deserves more than one title.

Moving to Galway: I was sorry to learn that Portumna were beaten. Whenever I have seen their games on television they have always produced hurling out of the top drawer, and their conduct has been impeccable.

I don't feel that it is out of place here to express my delight at Shane Lowry's victory in the Portugal Masters at the Victoria golf course in Villamoura. He is a very likable young man, and I know that with his skill and temperament he will win more majors in the future.

Monday 24 September 2012

Heartbreak Again for Mayo

All-Ireland SFC Final:

Donegal 2-11; Mayo 0-13

Another day of great disappointment for Mayo's players, management and great supporters. For the first 20 minutes they played very nervously. The concession of two early goals was a huge blow. The backs coped well following the early blitz. The midfield, which had been so effective against Dublin, could not get into the game in the early stages and only performed in spasms thereafter. The forwards needed a better plan to overcome the blanket defending of Donegal; more support for the man with the ball, and quicker release to a colleague or when shooting. Mayo have a team well capable of winning an All-Ireland. I hope it comes soon. In the meantime, well done to Donegal!

Saturday 22 September 2012

General Eoin O'Duffy

General Eoin O'Duffy
Down through the years, many good people have been demonized by communist and terrorist lackeys with the connivance of a weak-kneed media. None more so than General Eoin O'Duffy (1892-1944) who, only a few years ago, was the subject of yet another diatribe of calumny by a certain bearded journalist in a major Sunday newspaper. The fuzzy phizog was, no doubt, in homage to Vladim Lenin (Ulyanov) who, through treachery and brutality against the provisional government of Kerenesky, established the supremacy of the Soviet system. This "dictatorship of the proletariat" employed the most brutal and pitiless methods which were expanded into much of Eastern Europe after World War II for 75 years or more.

Eoin O'Duffy was born at Cargaghdoo, Lough Egish, Co. Monaghan on 30th October 1892. He became a leading light in the struggle for independence in Monaghan and the adjoining counties during the 1918-21 period. He was one of the most prominent figures in the history of the GAA in Ulster. Having qualified as an engineer, he worked as a surveyor with Monaghan County Council in the Clones area. He was involved in the Irish Volunteers from a young age and by September 1918, he had been appointed Brigade Officer for Monaghan, having displayed great qualities as an organizer. His deputy was Dan Hogan, a native of Curasilla, Grangemockler, Co.Tipperary, who was employed as a clerk with Monaghan County Council. Dan Hogan's brother, Michael, was shot dead by a gang of British Army Auxiliaries while playing in a football match for Tipperary against Dublin in Croke Park in November 1920. O'Duffy was appointed Secretary of the Monaghan County Board in 1912 when only 20 years of age. He was appointed Ulster Secretary the following year and remained in that position until 1923. He was Treasurer of the Ulster Council from 1925 until 1934. He was jailed in 1918 and released the following year. On 4th August 1918, he organized "Gaelic Sunday" in defiance of the authorities who had banned the Ulster final from being played in Clones the previous month. On the 4th August, 100,000 players were involved in the playing of GAA games at venues throughout the country.

O'Duffy led a group of Volunteers from companies in Monaghan and South Armagh in an attack on Ballytrain RIC barracks on 13th February 1920. At the Ulster convention of that year, which took place at Conlan's Hotel Clones, he escaped arrest by using a disguise, however he was arrested while attending the reconvened convention in Armagh. He went on hunger strike with the Monaghan prisoners in Crumlin Road Prison until they were finally released.

During the Civil War, O'Duffy was OC of the Southern Command of the National Army. The anti-treatyites, in defying Dail Eireann and the votes of the Irish people, set about attempting to destroy the fledgling state by carrying out atrocities against its institutions, public servants and civilians. With the country facing into the abyss, the army responded at times in a brutal fashion. This happened mainly in Kerry where the Dublin Brigade led by Captain Paddy Daly was involved. General O'Duffy later became Chief of Staff of the National Army to be followed by his appointment as Commissioner of the Garda Siochana. He was Chief Marshall at the Catholic Emancipation Centenary celebrations in 1929 and again at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932. He was dismissed from his post by Eamonn DeValera on 22nd February 1933. I will later quote extracts from a letter to the media by Mr. Gegory Allen who, having served as a member of An Garda Siochána for more than 30 years, was in a position to give a cogent appraisal of O'Duffy.

Following his dismissal by DeValera, O'Duffy joined the Army Comrades Association (ACA), a welfare group for former soldiers which was also used to protect Cumann na nGaedheal meetings from attacks by terrorist supporters who had the tacit support of DeValera's newly elected Fianna Fáil government. The ACA was joined by groups of farmers who were in penury from the affects of DeValera's Economic War with Great Britain and whose cattle were being seized for the non-payment of rates. This informal grouping later became known as the "Blue Shirts" on account of their attire.

In 1936, O'Duffy led the Irish Brigade to Spain to support General Franco in his fight against a communist takeover of his country. There was huge support for this action in Ireland at the time. In the period preceding the outbreak of World War II, O'Duffy never uttered a single word of support for Adolf Hitler. The support for Hitler from Irish sources came primarily from communist/terrorist groups and from two individuals most notable for being ardent communists and admirers of the brutal tyrant Josef Stalin, namely Sean O'Casey and George Bernard Shaw. That says a lot about the perverted mindset of communists during that era and ever since.

Having given 22 years of tireless service to the GAA in Ulster, including his role as Central Council representative, O'Duffy was elected President of the NACA, the body that controlled Irish athletics. He held this post until his death on 30th November 1944. On 2nd December 1944, O'Duffy was given a full military funeral and was laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetry, Dublin along side his friend and ally Michael Collins.

Gregory Allen writes:
...In 25 years of research for my recently published history of the Garda Siochana, including conversations with older colleagues who had known O'Duffy, I did not pick up even a breath of scandal touching his life. Instead I discovered the real personality of the dedicated man behind the prejudice that has tended to distort the history of that period. The mutiny at the Garda Depot in Kildare in the Summer of 1922 left the nascent police force in disarray. The Civic Guard needed "firm handling by some outstanding personality", the new Minister for Home Affairs, Kevin O'Higgins, wrote to the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Richard Mulcahy. The new commissioner "must be a disciplinarian and himself a model to the men of efficiency and self-restraint". He pleaded with Mulcahy to release O'Duffy, knowing that he was asking the Army "for its right arm". With an assurance from the Provisional Government that he would be given a free hand, the charismatic soldier began his life's work and in an astonishingly short time put heart back into a demoralised force...
Gregory Allen also quotes from a political associate of O'Duffy, Professor Michael Tierney, who wrote of: amiable and attractive man without any real tendency to dictatorship, whose career had ended so tragically. It was a tragedy in which those of us who had induced him to get involved in politics were really more to blame than he was...
And Gregory Allen left us with the following conclusion:
In the evening of his life, he admitted that he had made two great mistakes: "I did not marry, and I entered politics"

Thursday 13 September 2012

Another Batch from Cashel

The following report appeared in the Clonmel Nationalist on December 19th 1936:
Another Batch from Cashel
Enthusiastic scenes were witnessed in Cashel on Saturday night when a party of young Cashel men left en route for Spain where they will join General O'Duffy's Irish Brigade. As the three motors in which they travelled moved off, cheers were given for the volunteers and for General Franco, General O'Duffy and the Irish Brigade. The names of the eight young men who have volunteered are: Patrick Mc Donnell, builder, Boherclough Street, assistant librarian in the Cashel Carnegie Library. Thomas Griffin, Upper Friar Street, served five years in the British Army and four years in the National Army of which latter he was a Musketry and Lewis Gun Instructor. John Barron, The Kiln, saw active service throughout the Great War and was three years in the National Army. Patrick Dwyer, Upper Friar Street, a member of the league of youth. Edward Hogan, Kilpeak, was a member of the local Volunteer Sluagh. Edward Dwyer, Upper Friar Street, was three years in the National Army. John Donoghue, Camus Road, served a short period in the British Army. Francis King, Windmill Cottage, Cashel, was for 12 years in the British Army, joined the IRA during the Anglo-Irish struggle and subsequently enlisted in the National Army.
While these men succeeded in their goal of preventing Spain from falling to Communist tyranny, they cannot have been happy with the type of government that was put in place. On the anti-Franco side were communist groups from all over the world including from Stalin's notorious Red Army; no doubt fresh from the killing fields and Gulags of the Siberian island of Nazino and other hell holes where many millions were worked to death or murdered, including a group of nuns. They were assisted by a group from Ireland, precursors of Saor Eireann and the INLA, who were guilty of terrible atrocities in this country in the years since, especially during the 1970-2000 period.

Friday 31 August 2012

Patrick McGilligan TD

Statesman and Academic 

A snide reference to Patrick McGilligan by Brendan Keenan in the Irish Independent has prompted me to put some pertinent facts on my blog. McGilligan was one of the most brilliant of many outstanding people who helped to found our state and to serve it throughout it's formative decades.

Patrick McGilligan TD
He was born in Castlerock, Co. Derry in 1889 and he died in 1979 at Our Lady's Manor, Co. Dublin where he had been a patient for some years. The son of a former Parnellite Nationalist MP for South Armagh, he served as Minister for Industry and Commerce, Minister for External Affairs, Minister for Finance and Attorney General in successive governments. But his name will be forever linked with the building of the Ardnacrusha power scheme and the founding of the ESB.

In economic terms, the building of the Shannon Scheme and the establishment of the ESB was a major achievement. Attacked by every vested interest group, refused financing by the banks, scoffed at by the engineers and political opponents, McGilligan gave the country the essential prerequisite for later industrial development and put in place the first ever State body. While in London, he had met a young Irish engineer, Dr.Tommy McLaughlin, who then worked for the giant Siemens Schuckert firm and whose dream was to harness the waters of the River Shannon for the generation of electricity.

With Desmond Fitzgerald at the Imperial Conference in 1931, McGilligan secured agreement on the rights of Commonwealth States to be recognised as separate entities "in voluntary association". This enabled the Free State to order it's own constitutional destiny as it so wished. This is how the Treaty of 1922 was designed to work; move gradually, with agreement, towards the desired goal. The extremists wanted all or nothing—and always ended up with nothing. The change of government in 1932 brought a period of economic stagnation. Fianna Fail's attitude was to avoid involvement with other countries whether it was to our advantage or not. The cry "the English market is gone for ever, thank God" was nothing short of lunacy.

In his 16 years in opposition, McGilligan built up a strong legal practice. Eventually he was appointed Professor of Constitutional and International Law, Criminal Law and Procedure at UCD. He also read widely in economics and international finance and when the first inter-party government was formed in 1948, the Taoiseach, John A. Costello, appointed him Minister for Finance. During his tenure, Keynesian principals were introduced for the first time and McGilligan backed the economic changes proposed by Costello's advisers Patrick Lynch and Alexis Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, the Inter-Party government lost office too quickly in 1951 as a result of internal cabinet problems.When they returned to power in 1954, McGilligan was in frail health and was appointed Attorney-General. However the appointment of Gerard Sweetman as Minister for Finance was also an excellent one. Sweetman initiated a Programme of Economic Development and appointed Dr.Ken Whitaker, at the age of 40, as Secretary of the Dept. of Finance.

The introduction of Export Profits Tax Relief (EPTR), a forerunner of the low corporation tax introduced the following year, would shape industrial policy and overall development strategy for the next 50 years. The IDA had been set up by the first inter-party government, in the face of Fianna Fail opposition, to initiate proposals for the creation of industries and to attract foreign industrialists. The second coalition extended it's powers. Manufacturing exports, which had remained stagnant for years, grew by 18% in the year following the introduction of EPTR and doubled between 1956 and 1960. Manufacturing output and employment grew inexorably from 1957 onwards.

Much more could be written on the same theme. But I will finish with the observation that men of Patrick McGilligan's brilliance and achievement often attracted jealousy from those who were far less accomplished.

Monday 27 August 2012

Donegal Directness Pays Dividends

All-Ireland SFC Semi-Final:

Donegal 0-16; Cork 1-11

For a good number of years, Cork have had the best panel of gaelic footballers in the country. But they fail to achieve their potential. The problem is that when they get within 40 yards of their opponents goal, they engage in a "basket-ball style" ritual of circular passing. This enables the opposition to gather their forces to defend the goal, getting closer to the man in possession all the time. He is then forced to make a hurried pass which is most times lost; or a hurried kick, mostly wide or into the goalie's hands. The attitude should be to get the ball forward as fast as possible. Two players should support the player in possession with the others moving into space to take a pass, where appropriate, or to draw the backs. This action, when done swiftly, will put the defenders under pressure and enable the attacker to get closer to the goal and give him more space to have a shot.

Well done to Donegal. They played some very good stuff. However, if Mayo get to the final, my heart will be with them. It would bring back pleasant childhood memories. In my mind, I will hear again the great voice of Micheal O Heithir intoning the names Sean Wynne, John Forde and Sean Flanagan; and others like Dixon, Mongey, Carney, Mick Flanagan, Solan, Langan and the Mulderrigs. Sorry I omitted the great Paddy Prendergast from the full back position, which I have now rectified.

Monday 20 August 2012

Tipp Minors Show Craft and Skill

All-Ireland MHC Semi-Final:

Tipperary 2-16; Galway 1-14

Tipperary minor hurlers had a nice win over a highly rated Galway fifteen. They showed great skill in handling and striking. I liked the way they harried and blocked opponents when possession was lost. On the negative side, they seemed to take a doze at times; also over elaborate passing at other times. More concentration and 60 minutes of determination will see them over the line in the final. It would give me extra pleasure this year as the team is captained by fellow parishioner and fine young sportsman Bill Maher. Finally, if Galway had been playing anyone else yesterday I would have been backing them to the hilt because they always produce such skillful players when one considers that they have ploughed a lone furrow in the West since the G.A.A. was founded

Dark Day for Tipp Senior Hurlers

All-Ireland SHC Semi-Final:

Kilkenny 4-24; Tipperary 1-15

Tipperary suffered their heaviest defeat ever in an All-Ireland semi-final, or final, in Croke Park yesterday. The All-Ireland final of '64 was well avenged. I could throw in another one before I was born - Killarney 1937; remembered especially for the outstanding displays by the two greats from Carrick-on-Suir, Willie Wall and Jimmy Cooney - when Tipperary's victory margin was a point less than yesterday's defeat. The obsession to get the ball into the hand which has permeated through hurling for more than 30 years eminently suits certain counties - not Tipperary. If Tipperary's senior All-Ireland's are not to be even more sparse than they have been for the past 47 years, they will have to return to their traditional style of first time striking on the ground and in the air and avoid handling when ever possible. In the scrummages, the ball should be worked out to an alerted team mate, by hurley or boot, who should move it towards the opponents goal as quickly as possible thereby avoiding the mostly unproductive attempts to get the ball into the hand. There are times when it is more beneficial to handle the ball and place it to the best advantage of a team mate—a player's instinct will dictate when this should happen.

For hurling in general, the great skill of ground and air striking should be cultivated in players from a young age. This is not happening at present despite the fact that large amounts of cash are being apportioned to coaching. Referees should receive directions from Central Council as to how they should react when a player "pulls" on a ball and contact is made with an opponent accidentally in the process. They are making erratic decisions at present.

Monday 6 August 2012

Donegal Determination and Skill

All-Ireland SFC Quarter Final:

Donegal 1-12; Kerry 1-10

Donegal's victory over Kerry was based on tremendous physical fitness and presence; top class organization and skillful use of the ball. When they moved the ball forward at a fast pace—as they did on a few occasions—they got terrific scores. I do not think there would be much envy, anywhere, to a Donegal-Mayo final!

Bridge Too Far for Gallant Crew

All-Ireland MFC Quarter-Final:

Tipperary 1-8; Mayo 0-19

The defeat of the Tipperary minor footballers was a very sad moment for me. I believe that complacency was the main cause of this setback. No matter how hard a manager and selectors try to dispel such notions, it seeps into the players minds and the underdog is given the opportunity to capitalize. Having longed for football success at national level for more than sixty years, I want to say to every member of the panel of players, to the manager and his fellow selectors: "Thank you". I have witnessed many false dawns in the past but, with youth at the helm, I feel that on this occasion it will prove to be a springboard for future success. I would like to see young people with good football lineage filling key positions at board level.

Monday 16 July 2012

Trio of Triumphs for Tipp

A very good week-end for Tipperary G.A.A. teams:

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers:

Tipperary 1-13; Wexford 0-15

On Saturday, the senior footballers displayed determination, courage and skill to see off the challenge of Wexford. A further display of these characteristics and more confidence will thwart the new found ambitions of Antrim at Semple Stadium next Saturday. The best of luck in that game.

Munster MHC Final:

Tipperary 1-16; Clare 1-12

On Sunday the minor hurlers regained the Munster championship after a lapse of five years. Extra pleasing was the fact that Bill Maher became the first player from the Kilsheelan-Kilcash club to captain a championship-winning Tipperary hurling team. I may be wrong, but as far as I am aware, the only other occasions when players from the South division captained Munster and All-Ireland winning Tipperary hurling teams were in 1996 when the present minor hurling manager, William Maher of Ballingarry, achieved the honours; and going back to 1953 when that fine forward, the late Tommy Foran of Carrick-on-Suir Davins, led the junior team to victory. The best of luck in the next game.

Familiarity breeds contempt. I omitted mentioning Mullinahone's Eoin Kelly—one of the greatest players of his generation—who captained the senior hurlers on their great victory in 2010—Sorry.

Munster SHC Final:

Tipperary 3-19; Waterford 1-18

Congratulations to the senior hurlers on retaining the Munster crown. It was a tough physical battle.

The positives:
  • The determination shown by the players in their efforts to gain possession and in preventing their opponents from using the ball when possession was lost.
  • The good showing of the two corners of defence despite a somewhat shaky start, and also the centre
  • The physical presence and skill of Brian O'Meara and Patrick (Bonnar)Maher in the forward line is a great addition to the team's armory.
  • The non-concession of too many frees—most of those conceded were accidental. Many frees are being awarded to players at present in hurling, and gaelic football, where no contact has been made on the player receiving them.
  • The return of Eoin Kelly to near his past form is a huge plus.
The negatives:
  • Too much hand passing in an effort to score a goal when points are there for the taking. A player's instinct will let him know when a goal is on.
  • Eliminate wayward passing.
  • More ground hurling to open up play for the forwards, all of whom are capable of scoring.
The best of luck at the next outing which I believe will be at Beechers Brook.

Monday 9 July 2012

Galway Shock Mighty Cats

Leinster SHC Final:

Galway 2-21; Kilkenny 2-11

Galway's achievement has given a badly needed boost to hurling. It was achieved with strong motivation, undoubted skill and a determination often lacking in the past. A combination of these factors knocked Kilkenny out of their stride in the first half. In that situation the underdog will achieve things that would not come easy on other occasions. Kilkenny showed how lethal they still are by outscoring Galway in the second half. The Galway forwards contributed to this by adopting a more defensive role—understandable in the circumstances, I suppose—but it made their attack very disjointed. Great to see Joe Canning back to his best. He exudes class in everything he does since his minor days. He is a fine role model for the youth of the country when it is so badly needed as certain elements try their worst to drive society further into the mire.

Tipp Minors Retain Crown

Munster MFC Final:

Tipperary 2-14; Kerry 1-14

Many congratulations to Tipperary minor footballers. They may be minor in name but not in achievement. It takes a mighty effort to beat Kerry three times in a row in the minor championship—twice in the same competition. Despite the great efforts of a gallant few, Tipperary have been serfs to royal masters for longer than I can remember except for the occasional uprising - Kilarney and Thurles in 1955 and Kilarney again in 1984. The foundations have been laid and I hope on this occasion that success will blossom at senior level. Best of luck in our remaining games—which may involve another meeting with Kerry—especially to my neighbours David Power and Bill Maher.

Monday 2 July 2012

Meath Derail Kildare

Leinster SFC Semi-Final:

Meath 1-17; Kildare 1-11

Some great football in this game. It showed what a great game Gaelic football can be when the ball is moved forward all the time—cut the lateral and back passing. Some great fielding and long kicking in this game. Meath bring something special to the game when they are at, or near, their best. Following some of their displays in recent times it shows what can be done with proper motivation when the ability is there as it is in most other counties. I was sorry for Kildare, though. They have produced fine players over a long number of years without getting the rewards they deserve. They tried the long ball yesterday. It would have worked for them if the target man had proper support—there did not appear to be any plan in that regard. Playing Johnny Doyle around the middle of the field was a waste. Meath had two great fielders there who were very tall. Doyle would have been much better employed near the opponents goal. Kildare will still be there for the shake up. With a little more fine-tuning, Meath will put it up to Dublin.

All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers:

Tipperary 1-12; Offaly 0-10

Well done to Tipperary on their win against Offaly—a tough one coming up against Wexford, but they can do it with plenty of the Meath-like motivation

Monday 25 June 2012

Tipp Edge Out Rebels

Munster SHC Semi-Final:

Tipperary 1-22; Cork 0-24

Congratulations to Tipperary on their victory against Cork in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final. It was achieved with a lot of determination and no little skill, especially in the second-half. For future games the players will need to be more composed and cuter in their general play. They should try and eliminate faulty passing of the ball; a quicker use of the ball by the man in possession would eliminate a lot of errors. More discipline is required to reduce the concession of needless frees. More ground hurling is needed. A big improvement in both corners of defence is required for the Waterford game.

Monday 4 June 2012

Thoughts on Tipperary GAA

Tipperary's successes in senior hurling will remain scant if a different approach is not taken. On the playing field, I would like to see the following in the play of the county team:

  • More determination and confidence in seeking primary possession of the ball; quicker delivery of the ball; it should be done instinctively.
  • Far more use of ground hurling - Tipperary's forte when they were very successful.
  • Refraining from going in to tackle the man with the ball with one hand on the hurley and the left arm around the side of the opponent. All that does is concede a free. Players should go in with two hands on the hurley and move the feet to use the body to prevent the opponent from using the ball. Many times I have seen two, and sometimes three, Tipperary players going to a Kilkenny forward and he being still able to pass to an unmarked colleague who has all the time in the world to blast the net from 15 or 20 yards.
  • When a Tipperary player is involved in a schmozzle some tactic such as scooping it on the ground to a colleague should be planned, rather than trying to get it into the hand which, even if successful, very seldom results it being used to any advantage.

A big difficulty in Tipperary is that the standard of club hurling is so low due to the fact that about 20 clubs have teams playing senior hurling when they are only fit for intermediate or junior. The championship is arranged so that a team is guaranteed at least 4 or 5 games even if they never win one. When the word "relegation" is mentioned you hear a remark like "relegation is no good for any club". My answer to that is that it is no good to any club with no spirit or no ambition. Until an attitude prevails in the county that a club that goes the ranks should do what's needed to get back up stronger than ever, the poor return of All-Irelands over the last 45 years will continue. No need for half of the league and championship club fixtures. Quality rather than quantity should be the order of the day—and get all championships completed at a respectable month of the year.

As regards football I look on the players and officials who have given unstinted service to the playing and promotion of the game in the county now, and down the years, as heroes. The wonderful success of the minor footballers will not automatically bring success up the line without a big effort to improve the standard of club competition within the county. The present situation where 6 or 7 clubs that have only token attachment to the promotion of Gaelic football in the county supply players to a team that succeeds in beating a single club that has traditionally promoted Gaelic football as well as hurling, does nothing to promote the game. Maybe a greater emphasis on grading teams should be tried. Ignore divisional boundaries for the championship where the weaker teams would have to play preliminary games to get into the championship proper in an effort to get more quality and intensity into the competition.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Life As I See It Today

Attitudes in this country are driven in a significant way by the prevalence of inferiority complex—which is fairly rampant in various degrees among the populace. Ireland is not the only country where this situation prevails. It is a frame of mind that causes vindictiveness, anger and jealousy and the problems that they create.

The communist concept was driven by hatred of individual success. The bourgeois were portrayed as the enemy; the gullible were brainwashed with ideas that if this enemy were destroyed their lives would blossom—nothing could be further from the truth.

Attitudes should focus on uplifting society as whole both economically and socially. This situation would not please the sinister forces in society from the misery of others and would not want their support base eroded. They produce spurious arguments, and twist the facts in an effort to make them themselves relevant. They present criminality as being caused by the existence of deprived areas where in fact the deprivation is caused by the scurrilous destruction carried out by those criminals, having been fed a diet of victimhood by those so-called socialists and terrorists. The real sufferers are the decent people who live nearby and have to suffer an endurable situation in silence through fear. They don't count in the vile world of the communist and terrorist.

Monday 9 April 2012

The Sindo and Dennis O'Brien

There is a lot of rubbish in the Sunday Independent about ministers having meetings with T.D. Michael Lowry and successful business man Dennis O' Brien because a judge forms an opinion after fifteen years of deliberation in an outrageously costly tribunal. Of course this is all based on the internal politics of Independent Newspapers. In the opinion of certain individuals who are trying to fill space in newspapers, the aforementioned are persona non grata yet some of those who had close contact with the representatives of communist and terrorist regimes are above board.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Household Charge

The fact that the big majority of "antis" to the house hold charge are associated with terrorists and communists should encourage the decent law abiding people of the country to pay and support the charge . I think that this is happening at the moment. When you note that a group of a certain hue gang together it is time for the decent people of the country to assert themselves. With the country badly wounded at the moment, and making small steps to recover, the anarchists feel that they can use the issue of the household charge to weaken the country further. Something similar was tried in England in the eighties when the communist trade unions tried to wreck the country with the support of evil communist regimes from around the world. Thankfully the Government of the day defeated them and heralded a very successful period for the British economy.