Tuesday 27 September 2016

Labour Unrest

The present labour agitation at Dublin Bus is driven, to a large extent, by trade union leaders trying to justify their huge salaries and showing their claws.

Trade unions have no place amongst the major employers in this country where workers are well represented by committees. The weak position of the present government, due to the idiotic — and, in some cases, vindictive — voting patterns in the recent general election, has given extra leverage to the public sector trade unions.

I am old enough to remember the 1950's when employment in this country was provided, in the main, by inefficient state companies while young men and women were leaving in droves to work in the UK and further afield. The national debt rose rapidly to unsustainable levels and, despite the efforts of some governments in the intervening years, it has remained that way ever since.

In the 70's and 80's, trade unions caused much disruption in this country while taking their cue, to a large extent, from Militant Tendency in the UK. This anarchist group tried hard to destroy the British economy and would have succeeded except for the tough line taken by Margaret Thatcher and her government.

In this country, one trade union leader made the public comment that "company profits were unpaid wages!". This is a line drawn from the writings of German economist, Karl Marx, whose ideology sowed the seeds for a movement which wreaked death, terror and poverty on millions of people in Europe, Russia and beyond throughout most of the 20th century.

In the case of Dublin Bus, the government should heed the lessons of our thriving national bus network by gradually putting routes out to tender under fair and equitable conditions.

Monday 19 September 2016

Mayo's Long Wait Goes On

All-Ireland SFC Final:

Dublin 2-09; Mayo 0-15

Mayo's 65-year wait for the return of 'Sam' has to be put in abeyance until Saturday, October 1st, when yesterday's drawn All-Ireland Senior Football final will be replayed at Croke Park.

In yesterday's game, Mayo were unfortunate to concede two goals that were deflected into the net by their own players. The first came after eight-and-a-half minutes as the ball rolled loose after Mayo goalkeeper, David Clarke, made a fine save. Dublin corner-forward, Bernard Brogan, drew on the ball with his left foot only to see it going wide. Unfortunately for Mayo, it struck the leg of their back-man, Kevin McLoughlin, and rolled into the corner of the net. In the 22nd minute, as Mayo centre-back Colm Boyle turned towards his own goal, he had the misfortune to strike the emerging ball with his foot and put it past his own keeper.

Mayo deserve great credit for recovering from these set backs. The wet conditions yesterday made the modern-day Croke Park very slippery — especially near the side-lines. The replay will be decided in favour of the team with the most "hunger" on the day.

Monday 5 September 2016

Great Day for Tipperary

All-Ireland SHC Final:

Tipperary 2-29; Kilkenny 2-20

All-Ireland MHC Final:

Tipperary 1-21; Limerick 0-17

Having suffered defeats at the hands of Kilkenny in recent years, this win was especially sweet for the Tipperary senior hurlers. Their attitude seemed to be 'now or never' and this hunger morphed into fierce determination and work-rate throughout the field. Allied to skilled forward play — especially from the lethal inside trio —  it made Tipperary an unstoppable force on the day. Tipperary had stars throughout the team but two players stood out for me, namely Seamus Callanan and John O'Dwyer.

In the minor final Tipperary started as strong favourites having inflicted a 17 points defeat on the same opponents in the Munster final. It was a heavy mantle for Tipperary to carry with Limerick determined to make amends for their humiliation on the last occasion. The first half was one of swaying fortunes with little between the teams at half-time. An early second-half goal gave Tipperary breathing space which enabled them to finish out the game with a reasonably comfortable margin of victory.

I found it hard to believe that this was the first time since 1949 that Tipperary achieved the senior and minor double. 1949 brings back fond childhood memories. It was the first year that I have a memory of the Tipperary GAA campaign. The late Pat Stakelum, from the Holycross-Ballycahill club, led the senior hurlers to a final victory over Laois by 3-11 to 0-3. Goalkeeper John O'Grady, from the Moycarkey-Borris club, captained the minor hurlers to victory over Kilkenny