Saturday 30 November 2013

Irresponsible Behaviour

With Ireland showing many signs of slowly recovering from the disastrous economic situation which came to a head five years ago, the anarchistic types are becoming more vocal in their urging of people to agitate and engage in protest. This carrot is being dangled mainly by the media who, like the predator in the animal world, thrive on other people's trouble. Bad news gets more listeners, viewers and readers. They facilitate, without question, the rubbish being spouted that the present government is just as culpable as the previous one because they continued the austerity programme. These individuals are never asked how they would deal with the situation.

At the present time the ESB trade unions have served strike notice on their management to come into force on 16th December next. They are doing this without any justification. This is the curse of having a single company monopoly controlling an essential service—especially a state-owned company with a pro-communist trade union. The leaders of the ATGWU have paid visits to the communist government of Cuba. It is a bizarre situation when one considers that free trade unions are not allowed under communist regimes, merely government puppet unions.

Monday 25 November 2013

The Jimmy Cooney Case

In 1938 Tipperary beat Clare by 3-10 to 2-3 in the Munster Senior Hurling championship game played at Limerick, but later lost the game in the Council chambers after a controversy that is now recalled as the Cooney Case.

Tipperary star hurling mid fielder, Jimmy Cooney, who played with the Carrick-on-Suir Davins club, and was based in Dublin as an officer in the Irish Army, fell foul of the notorious GAA Rule 27, commonly known as the 'ban'. In February 1938, he accompanied his brother, who was on holiday from his priestly duties in New Zealand, to a rugby international in Dublin. He received three months suspension and in due course was reinstated by the Leinster GAA Council. Tipperary were delighted that he would be available for duty in the Munster championship.

But alas, their dream was shattered!

Ten days before attending the rugby game, Cooney forwarded his signed declaration form to the Tipperary County Board, as was required at that time, but for some reason it was not forwarded to Central Council until around Easter and the then President of the GAA, Padraig McNamee from Antrim, ruled the declaration invalid because Jimmy Cooney was debarred from all GAA activities (even making a declaration) while suspended, and would thus be unable to play in the Munster championship.

The Tipperary County Board were furious over the decision and threw caution to the wind by playing Cooney in the Whit Tournament in London and in the Munster semi-final against Clare. Before the game, Clare captain Paddy Callaghan informed referee Jim O'Regan from Cork that Clare would object if Tipperary won.

Clare duly objected to Cooney and were awarded the game by the Munster Council. Tippperary counter-objected on the grounds that a member of the Clare team also attended the same rugby match. The only evidence was a statement by Jimmy Cooney which was not admissible because of his status as a suspended player. A further objection to another Clare player whose declaration was held to be invalid was not proved to the Council's satisfaction.

Tipperary, who had been impressive winners of the 1937 All-Ireland championship, only won a solitary All-Ireland title in 1945—when five members of the 1937 team played—until 1949 ushered in a golden era for the county.

Back through the years, having spoken to hurlers and supporters from that era, I became aware that Jimmy Cooney was the greatest mid-fielder of his time. However, his star waned after the 1938 debacle.

Leaving aside the demerits of the 'ban' rule, which was kept in place by brain-washed extremists, the fault for what happened lay squarely with the Tipperary County Board. Firstly, for not forwarding Jimmy Cooney's declaration form to Central Council promptly; and, secondly, by playing the player when they knew that it would be in breach of the rules and would result in loss of the game.

After winning the objection in 1938, Clare lost to Waterford in the Munster final—played at the Cork Athletic Grounds—on a score of 3-5 to 2-5 giving the Decies their first Munster Senior Championship title. Waterford overcame Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final, but were beaten by Dublin in the All-Ireland final.

An interesting aspect of the 1938 All-Ireland hurling final was that both captains were born in Carrick-on-Suir. Mick Hickey, the Waterford captain, was born in Carrickbeg on the Waterford side of the river. As a youth he moved with his family about 8 miles to a farm south of Portlaw, Co.Waterford. Mick Daniels, the Dublin captain, was born on the Tipperary side of the River Suir, and was a member of the Irish Army based in Dublin in 1938.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Where was 'Knocknagow'?

From the James Maher edited Romantic Slievenamon

Writing in Tipperary's Annual for 1911 (page 105), Richard M.O'Hanrahan, of Fethard, states :
An erroneous idea prevails amongst a section of Tipperary men regarding the location of 'Knocknagow'. It has been stated that Mocklershill, mid-way between Cashel and Fethard is 'Knocknagow'. Such is not the case, as 'Knocknagow', as Kickham wished it to be understood, embraced the parishes of Mullinahone, Grangemockler, Drangan and Cloneen, though some of the characters, such as Fr.McMahon (who was in reality Dean MacDonnell of Cashel) were drawn from other places, notably Fethard, Cashel and Killenaule districts. Charles J.Kickham gave the title 'Knocknagow' to the book for the simple reason that 'Crickeenagow' (the smith's little hill) was his mother's native place, and I have it on reliable authority that it was at Crickeennagow—and not Mullinahone—that Kickham was born. At the same time Mullinahone can claim Kickham as her own, as his home was there from his infancy, and the best part of his boyhood and manhood days were spent in the historic little town that nestles beside the Anner, at the foot of Slievenamon.

Monday 11 November 2013

Armistice Day

Today is known as Armistice Day.

In the First World War, the Armistice sought by the Germans from the Allies came into force on November 11, 1918 and ended all fighting in that war. The Armistice had to be renewed three times before the Allied peace terms were finally presented to the Germans on May 7, 1919.

During the period 1919-38, the date "November 11" was kept as Armistice Day (also known as Poppy Day and Remembrance Day) when two minutes silence was observed throughout the British Commonwealth, starting at 11 am.

The ceremony lapsed during the Second World War but was resumed in 1945. The following year it was decided to observe a Remembrance Day for both World Wars, to be held annually on the Sunday before Nov 11, unless either Nov 11 or 12 was itself a Sunday.

Monday 4 November 2013

Notable Double for Tipp Champions

County Tipperary SFC Final:

Loughmore-Castleiney 3-10; Aherlow Gaels 0-9

At Semple Stadium, Thurles, yesterday, Loughmore-Castleiney became the first club in Tipperary to win both hurling and football senior championships in the same year. Very few clubs in other counties, where there are serious championships in both codes, have achieved this—when it happens it is nearly always by clubs situated in populous urban areas. Loughmore-Castleiney is a rural club in a small parish. In the face of so much negativity, they are a great example of what can be achieved when the proper spirit and ambition is present. Yesterday was the fourth Sunday in a row in which they were engaged in tough competitive games. Last Sunday (27th October) at Semple Stadium, they played Limerick champions, Na Piarsaigh, in the Munster club senior hurling quarter final. One of their players was sent to the line after 4 minutes; another suffered the same fate later in the game; and they were beaten by a last minute goal.

While rightly praising the winners of yesterday's game, we must give credit to Aherlow. They are drawn from half-a-parish, with a small population, on the slopes of the Galtee Mountains. They have produced fine teams, with some great players, especially over the last 20 years. They won the county Intermediate hurling championship some years back and were beaten by 1 point in the Munster club final. On this occasion they were helped by players from Lattin-Cullen, their neighbours, on the west side of the mountain.