Sunday, December 14, 2008
The basic fate of club teams is they train like dogs in the blue cold of January and February and the best two football and hurling teams in Ireland play for their great prize on St Patrick's Day. League promotion and relegation duties are taken care of through the April showers.
Then, the sun comes out in May and the clubs are told to run laps until late September, when it is getting dark and rainy and the glories of the All-Ireland are finished with. It means most clubs worth their salt are training for practically every month of the year and that the truly great club franchises, like Crossmaglen Rangers, can go a full decade without taking a break from training.
What he should of said is that it is a disgrace and shouldn't be allowed to happen.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
“All units at all levels provide a coordinated programme of meaningful games for players, appropriate to their needs and abilities. All games are regulated so that players experience fair play and can take part in well-planned and scheduled games as part of a balanced lifestyle. We have in place a locally effective and efficient, nationally co-ordinated, fixtures planning system.”
Committee: we will appoint a National Fixtures Planning Committee (NFPC).
Three-year plan: We will put in place a three-year rolling National Fixtures Plan.
Fixtures planners: We will recruit and train volunteer fixtures planners at all levels of the Association. They will plan and monitor fixtures plans in all units.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"Much energy and ink is expended on the apparent indignities suffered by our unfortunate inter-county footballers and hurlers. But at least they're getting the opportunity to play. Pity the poor clubman, denied games when the pitches are good and forced into wars of attrition on days not fit for man nor beast when the weather can turn the game into a lottery".
Why do the County Board's let this happen? Why do the clubs tolerate this situation?
Friday, November 14, 2008
This year’s conference is focused on improving the capacity of clubs and volunteers across the province as the theme of this year’s conference: “Strengthening community cohesion though the development of the GAA clubs and volunteers” underlines.
As part of the consultation process for the new Ulster GAA strategy 2009-2015 a specific part of the conference has been set aside where participants will take part in a one-hour club feedback forum were club officials can make their voice heard on the issues currently facing the GAA in the province of Ulster.
Every province should take note and follow suit.
What Ó hAilpin's comments ultimately reveal is the growing tension between expectations of the elite players and standards in GAA. The GPA has been beating the GAA over the head with the stick that some administrators (officially) and managers (unofficially) get paid so why shouldn't they receive some financial incentives for their participation too. At the same time they are demanding that the game be run like a professional sport and that the conditions under which they train and play--from facilities, to medical advice, to nutrition etc.--should also be as high as any other professional sport out there. That's fair enough, given the time, effort and commitment they put into the game and the money generated from large attendances at matches.
But, if the GAA wants to protect funding for the majority of the people involved at local level, and rightly refuses to officially pay managers, then where are the mangers with the expertise and experience of a sufficiently high standard to meet the elite players' demands going to come from? Many county boards and clubs refuse to pay (and that's still the case with a lot out there despite the current perception...this is based on my own anecdotal evidence, just like the counter prevailing view) and look internally to appoint the best available.
The problem is that the players have deemed McCarthy "not good enough". That's the spark that has ignited this dispute, although it is now being used to settle a long running grudge between Murphy and the players.
How long before other county panels adopt the same attitude?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Almost all of Ireland's GAA clubs have now been marked on Google maps. Want to find your way to Kiltoom to watch an Inter-provincial match. Maybe not. More likely you're heading down the country to play a friendly against another club to fill time the six to ten weeks that usually divides championship matches in the GAA and want to know where it's located. Now it's easy to find.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Kevin Sheedy, who along with Jim Stynes, has probably done more damage to the International Rules series than any of the on field barbarism, has the shamelessness to preach fair play, honesty and integrity AND call Sean Boylan a leprechaun in the same breath.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The following links are to mapping sites, where aerial photographs can be used to pinpoint pitches. They both have a double 6 digit map reference, and this is what I am looking for(centered on pitch)
For Northern Ireland, follow this link HERE
For Rep Ireland, follow this link HERE
The following are the clubs I'm still trying to locate:
Henry Joy McCrackens - Falls Park???,
John Mitchels - Pantridge Rd?, Brians Well Rd?, Twinbrook?
Michael Dwyers - Falls Park?, Twinbrook?,
Sean McDermotts - Cherryvale??
Grange GFC - around Fermoy somewhere, but I can't find it.
Youghal - can't find it.
Dripsey - new club, new pitch?
Ballyphehane GFC - around Tramore Rd?
Rochestown GFC - closer to passage???
Fr O'Callaghans - North side/south side???
Brian Dillons - Murmont Rd/Ave?
Shandun Rovers/Gurranbraher - Any Pitch?
Coleraine Eoghan Rua - University Pitches or do they have their own now???
Gale Rangers - Near Listowel?
St Pats East Kerry HC - which pitch do they play on most regularily?
Naomh Brid HC - same as Round Towers???
Glengar - Near Doon?
Knock - near Roscrea???
St Josephs - any pitch in town, training even?
St Pauls - near Waterford Crystal?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Would have liked to have commented on this earlier, but was prevented from doing so by my participation in a GAA tournament at the weekend. So, the excuse for my tardiness is a good 'un.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
How often have we heard the Compromise Rules series defended as the only international outlet for our beloved national games? Merde, if you'll pardon my French.
- Spain - Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Pamplona
- France - Brest, Rennes, Paris, Lyons
- The Netherlands - The Hague, Amsterdam, Maastricht
- Belgium - Brussels
- Austria - Vienna
- Denmark - Copehagen
- Germany - Munich, Dusseldorf
- Sweden - Gotenburg
- Hungary - Budapest
The Belfast Telegraph has been weighing in with a series of articles some positive, some negative, all demonstrating that we've a long, long way to go yet. Pity there's not more like Ed Curran, the editor-in-chief of the Telegraph group, who today provides the best analysis on situation yet. Well worth a read.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
- Objectives for players, head coach and management.
- A code of conduct for everyone.
- Team policies and procedures.
- Notes about getting ready for an international match.
- A "Who's Who" of players, staff and officials.
- Information about the support teams: medical, technical, media, sponsorship.
- A schedule up to the World Cup.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Yes would be my answer, but thanks to the Irish Times' backward subscription model I can't read the rest of the article and don't know of anywhere close by that I can buy a copy of the "Protestant rag" as Frank McCourt's mother referred to it (I live abroad, you see). I'll try over on GAAboard.ie, hopefully someone has copied it to there to generate a discussion.
It's terrible that 2008 has seen the emergence of the term "grassroots" to describe the majority of GAA members. Before there was no distinction among GAA members, nor a need to distinguish between them, but since the "grants" fiasco and the GAA HQs money-hungry approach which has created difficulties for the local GAA we are seeing the term used more and more frequently. It's a sad sign of the times and the direction the GAA is taking.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
The GAA and ESB have announced a major environmental initiative-Cúl Green-aimed to make Croke Park a carbon-free stadium.
It's great to see the GAA taking the lead and raising awareness. For once they are ahead of the game!
Maybe they could do like Manchester City and install a wind turbine that supplys energy to the stadium and to thousands of nearby homes. Sustainable energy, a significant contribution to tackling to global warming and a means of buying-off the objections of the Croke Park Residents Association!
I hope that you, like me, will be watching the GAA An Spailpin describes this summer, not craving for the Sky Sports version that Martin Breheny would prefer to see created.
Of course, this news is not exciting enough for the Indo or the Irish Times so it was left to BBC Sport Gaelic Games to report it.
It does make one wonder, however, why GAA HQ cannot publish the sum of money they are contributing and make a bit of noise over their contributions to such projects. It's an opportunity missed to generate postive coverage and show what the GAA, unlike soccer, rugby etc. does with its money.
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
No, wait! Before you depart, I'm not going to get into grants, or expenses, or whatever we should call it.
Of One Belief may be no more, but their brief existence taught us an important lesson. Although vilified and pillorised by some, with Martin Breheny leading the lynch mob, Mark Conway and Of One Belief were a critical counterbalance to the money-driven and elitist GPA in the "grants" "debate".
Without Of One Belief there was no other point of view than the GPA's. Croke Park and the GAA hierarchy were easily cowed by the GPA threats and did their utmost to whisper through an agreement with them. Nicky and the suits certainly made no effort to inform the GAA members of the details of the agreement and what the potential consequences were. wasn't until Of One Belief was formed that some semblance of a debate began and the pro's and con's of the agreement were properly aired.
Now that the GPA have got what they wanted they have firmly established themselves as an important and acknowledged constituency within the GAA, the next step will be to recognise them as the inter-county (always important to make that distinction) players official union. Talks to do so are already under way. Not before its time, some would say, and that's a fair point.
With the GPA's emergence as a force in GAA decision-making we can expect that the frequency of occasions when what's good for the GPA is not necessarily good for the rest of the association to increase. The problem is that there will be no voice for the majority of the GAA's members to put their point of view across. If the media wants a quote it needs someone to go to. Without a spokesperson or focal point for the majority of the GAA's members the GPA will once again have free reign in the national media for their bullyboy tactics.
But, the clubs don't have direct representation, despite desperately needing it. There's a whole range of problems, from fixtures (some go weeks and even months without matches during the summer freeze) to volunteering, which are neglected because Croke Park and the County Boards' give more weighting to the inter-county scene.
Friday, April 11, 2008
The "grants" rigmarole finally come to a close yesterday when the GAA Annual Congress rubber stamped the deal.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Now, while the content may not be too exciting, it's a start at least and means that GAA supporters from Brisbane to Berlin won’t miss any of the key decisions made, including the election of a new president to take over from Nickey Brennan in April 2009. I hope this is a success and that the GAA realizes that it would be worthwhile for them to stream GAA live overseas for the many, many emigrants who would like to watch their counties play but don't have an option to see the game live, or have to pay $20 dollars into a grubby Irish pub at 6 a.m. to see the game. The higlights of National League Games shown on RTÉ.ie are great for those of us living abroad. Why can't it be extended so that those overseas can pay to watch games live?
It also seems that quite a lot of GAA members closer to home could do with keeping an eye on proceedings because GAA democracy is not functioning as it should. According to Nicky Brennan, the motion in favour of teams in Division 4 of the National Football League making a return to the All-Ireland qualifiers (from Wicklow to be debated this weekend) was passed by a previous Congress without many people realizing it was passed or the reasons for doing so. What does that tell us about decision-making in the GAA?
This year’s Congress takes place in the Radisson Hotel in Sligo and RTÉ.ie will be streaming day 2 live from 10am to 4.30pm. The full details are availabe on RTÉ should you wish to tune in.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
The GAA is still accepting nominations for the 2007 McNamee Awards. The closing date is Tuesday, April 15th 2008.
Apparently, the McNamee awards are presented annually by the GAA in recognition of outstanding contributions made by individuals in the area of communications. The concept evolved as a result of the McNamee report published in 1971.
I can't find any further information about the McNamee report on the web, apart from a reference that says it took 20 years to implement the findings, so if someone is knows some more, please fill us in.
Sadly, there's no category for bloggers, but then that's not surprising is it. :)
Awards will be made in the following categories:
- Best Club Media Publication (club histories, yearbooks, annual reports etc)
- Best GAA Website (county or club)
- Best GAA Photograph
- Best County Final Programme
- Best County Media Presentation (to include Yearbooks, County Histories, Fixture Booklets, DVD's etc)
- Best Local Radio Programme on a GAA Theme
- Best Newspaper Article
All entries should be sent to:-
Páirc an Chrócaigh,
Websites can be nominated by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
It didn't take long for my effort at trying to 'big up' GAA fans in comparison to those of a certain foreign sport to be exposed as a fraud. If I'd paid more attention to John Maughan's resignation yesterday I would have seen that it had less to do with results on the field, and more to to do with the ongoing abuse he has suffered from a mob of "Roscommon supporters".
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
- Just what are “Eligible Expenses”? It’s time to show us the beef! Give us a list of what’s in and make it clear what’s out. If that fairly simple exercise can’t be done … well, why can’t it be done?
- On whose authority is the GPA to be unilaterally introduced to important decision-making roles within the GAA?
- Why is the GPA the only party to all this not defined in the document?
- What are the legal liabilities for the GAA in involving a non-constituted body like the GPA in its corporate governance?
- Will team mentors/back-room people be eligible for these “enhanced expenses”? If not, why not?
- Ditto re people involved in inter-County Under 21 and Minor teams
- Ditto re referees, in many ways among the most important GAA people of all
- And what about the driver who brings County Players to training etc in his/her car: does the inter-County player then revert back to being a 50-cents-a-mile as opposed to a €1.27-a-mile burden?
- Who’s going to handle the administrative nightmare this will introduce at County level?
- What kind of expenses regime is it that’s performance-based? Expenses are expenses are expenses: if they’re tied in to some sort of performance-related arrangement they’re not bona fide expenses. Are we seeing a major GAA Trojan Horse here?
- Any encouragement of pooled player travel (and another stated government policy) now goes out the window
- Most seriously of all, after all the honeyed words about player burnout we’re now about to lever even more training/performance demands onto inter-County players: that’s simply not what we should be doing"