Friday 24 June 2016

Democracy in Wrong Hands

The vote by the British electorate to leave the European Union has sent economic shock-waves around the world. Countries within the Union are more seriously concerned — especially our own. Ireland relies heavily on exports and any tremors in our market countries affect us greatly. The UK is our biggest purchaser of goods, especially agricultural produce. They are now in a situation where they are not subject to common market rules and can purchase their goods wherever possible. It is imperative for Ireland that the EU strikes a trade deal with the UK as soon as possible.

On the positive side, this result may increase foreign direct investment into Ireland much of which in the past would have gone to the UK.

There are many reasons why people vote in a particular way: it could be based on mature, responsible thinking; or being completely influenced by others — especially the media; or vindictiveness by people who feel marginalized and are very anti-establishment.

Let us hope that the doomsday scenario can be avoided.

Sunday 19 June 2016

Tipp through to Munster Final

Munster SHC Semi-Final: 

Tipperary 3-12; Limerick 1-16

Tipperary senior hurlers withstood a late Limerick goal, and the loss of a man to a red card after 14 minutes, to qualify for the Munster final following today's game at Semple Stadium, Thurles. The wet conditions before, and at times during the game, led to some scrappy play. Tipperary played well but spoilt their good work through faulty, and at times unnecessary, hand passing. Some of their players have a tendency to use their arm to stop an opponent's progress thereby conceding simple scores from frees.

Limerick hadn't much to offer, yet if they had got their goal with more time remaining, they could have snatched a win. Tipperary were lucky to have the cushion of two early opportunist goals helped by the slippery conditions. It indicates that they have plenty of work to do before taking on Waterford in the Munster final on July 10th.

Monday 13 June 2016

Famous Tipperary Win

Munster SFC Semi-Final

Tipperary 3-15; Cork 2-16

Yesterday, at Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary achieved their first senior football championship win over Cork since 1944 which brought joy to the hearts of every true Tipperary supporter.

Depleted by the loss of key players — particularly Colin O'Riordan, Seamus Kennedy and Stephen O'Brien who would rank with the best in the land — the Tipperary team was given little hope against a Cork side anxious to atone for recent disappointments.

Availing of poor Cork defending, Tipperary built up a nine point lead. When Cork got back on level terms, thanks to a ricochet goal, things were looking ominous. To their credit, Tipperary got the vital points from a forty-five and a free by Kevin O'Halloran who represents a club which had no adult Gaelic Football team last year.

Reverting back to 1944, Tipperary beat Waterford by 1-10 to 0-5 in the first round of the Munster championship. They then surprised Cork in the semi-final by beating them by 1-9 to 1-3. Tipperary had a well-trained team which included a number of players serving with the Irish Army at Templemore and Clonmel barracks. The Munster final, played in atrocious weather conditions at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, was won by Kerry 1-6 to 0-5. Due to the great mid-field displays of 18-year-old Mick Cahill and Bunny Lamb, the Tipperary forwards enjoyed a lot of possession but their shooting was off target on the day.

There have many near misses against the big guns down the years with the notable exception of the glorious All-Ireland Minor victory in 2011. Let us hope that the time is near for the seniors to reach the holy grail.

Saturday 11 June 2016

Great Irish Rugby Wins

Rugby U-20 World Cup

Ireland 33;  New Zealand 24

Ireland's under-20 rugby team, under manager Nigel Carolan, became the first men's team representing the country to beat New Zealand's All Blacks. This afternoon, at Manchester City Academy Stadium, they had an emphatic victory over the current world champions whose country is the king-pin of international rugby. Max Deegan got the match-winning try. While there were heroes throughout the team, the great place-kicking of Bill Johnston and the superb Irish pack proved decisive.

International Test Series

South Africa 20; Ireland 26

Today, 14-man Ireland beat the Springboks on South African soil for the first time in front of 42,000 stunned fans at Newlands. Paddy Jackson, who played superbly at fly-half, kicked a drop-goal to level the score at the break; he also converted three penalty kicks as well as tries by Jared Payne and Conor Murray.

While I am primarily a GAA person, I have great affection for Irish Rugby whose teams unite the whole island.