In sport and politics, the Northerners are coming!

Interesting southern take on how Kerry’s footballing genius has been eclipsed by Tyrone’s northern (Protestant?) virtues of hard work and discipline. Although on the day, I counted at least two blows to the face landed by frustrated ‘Brazilians’ of Kerry, its the eye gouging of Colm Cooper that features up front analysis of ‘hard’ northern football. Check out last week’s sports call programme before it’s lifted from the site tomorrow evening.

  • George

    it’s all part of the deep-seated southern inferiority complex, which only our northern brethren, Protestant or Catholic, can cure. 🙂

    Keith Duggan had something similar Saturday in the Irish Times as well as tackling the Pat Spillane issue.

    He also pointed out that southern teachers no longer volunteer and the church is gone.

    “In the past 15 years, the Republic has become rich, selfish, fast, bloated and complacent.

    “It has forced its teachers to conclude that the smartest thing they can do is teach and go home. It has demoralised all men of the cloth. The people who made the GAA what it was in this country are disappearing and their replacements are few and far between. Soon, very soon, the GAA will be in trouble in the Republic unless there is pause for thought.

    “In the meantime, the North has managed to evolve into a perfect breeding ground for the GAA ethos. It is a perfect reflection of what has been lost in the South.

    “They have relative peace now but not so much that it dissolves the Nationalist ethos. They have some wealth but nothing as obscene or ostentatious as down South.

    “They have the convenient imposition of the British colleges and sporting-grants system. And they have time on their hands and common courtesy to burn and pride in their locality.”

    He concludes:

    “They (Northerners) are no longer inhibited or fearful or deferential and no longer care what Down South thinks.

    “They don’t have to. They ball game has changed. Up There makes the rules. And the fun is only beginning.”

  • irishman

    Mick, bit disappointed that you re-hash that old stereotype of the hard-working protestant values. Surely we’ve moved beyond that?


    Anyone see Eoin Harris’s article about the northern Irish master race having long term plans for the softie southerners,it was quite amusing.

  • GavBelfast

    That’s an enjoyable and even incisive article with some pretty convincing arguments.

    Irishman, from your contribution on this thread and elsewhere, you may give people the (wrong?) impression that you are just a wee bit precious.

    In fact, exactly what the article that launched this thread suggests Northern GAA people are mostly not.

    If I may dare to ask, are you Northern, or even really Irish?


  • smcgiff

    For Fup sake, it’s not as if it’s a real man’s game we’re talking about. Come back to us when ye can compete in hurling and we might consider ye worthy of disdain!

  • irishman

    Affirmative on both counts- that’s northern and Irish, Gav.

    What I was hoping to provoke was a discussion on what I’ve always believed to be the mythical idea of the northern protestants adhering to a more rigourous work ethic than the rest of us.

    I may have failed to get that debate started, but if you’d like to take up the baton than I’d welcome it Gav.

  • Billy Pilgrim


    Any chance you could email Duggan’s article to me? I usually try to read Locker Room on a Saturday but I missed it this week.

  • dessy

    Derry City’s young star Kevin Deery has been called up into the Ireland under 21 squad for the Cyprus game on Friday.Kevin has represented his country at under 19 level and this is a great chance for the Creggan lad to impress at u21 level.

  • Dandyman

    You won’t hear any bitching and moaning down in Kerry, we know how to lose with dignity. As for Pat Spillane that guy is laughing his head off all the way to the bank. He admitted a couple of weeks ago in an in-depth interview with the Irish Times that when he started appearing on the Sunday Game it was his ambition to be as or more controversial than Eamon Dunphy and in fairness, the SG really needed a bit of a spark to liven it up. He also claims he’s very well-liked up in the north and is always being invited to club and county functions. He’s just a typical kerryman who loves blackguarding people, winding up dour GAA folk who take offence easily and gets very well paid for it.

    As regards Duggan, Harris, T. Humphries et al:
    Be very wary of these chin-stroking ‘soothsayers’ who come along the week of an All-Ireland final making bold predictions about what the future holds for Gaelic football. We were told 12,13 years ago as well when 3 northern teams (Down, Derry and Donegal)won consecutive all-irelands that the North was about to enter a period of dominance the likes of which had never been seen. Instead Meath and Galway shared the next 4 or 5 all-Irelands, with Kerry getting in there as well to take their famine-ending title of 1997. Since then Kerry have contested 4 All-Ireland finals, 2 of which we’ve won, and 3 semi-finals. That’s not a bad record.

    And let’s not forget it is 10 years ago this year that Clare made their big breakthrough in Hurling. They got beaten the following year but came back in ’97 to claim their second title in 3 years, just as Tyrone have done. I was at that final and I remember the aftermath, people were on about the sophistication and dedication of their training regime, how their desire and hunger for success and work-rate on the pitch couldn’t be matched and that they’d taken hurling to a new level and left the traditionalists behind them etc, etc…

    Clare haven’t won an All-Ireland since and in the meantime Cork & Kilkenny have returned to dominate the game. A lot of people have run off at the mouth in the last fortnight or so, saying Kerry can’t beat Northern teams, Kerry only win soft All-Irelands, Kerry can’t do this, that etc.
    The grins on the faces of Kerry people will be all the wider the next time we take Sam down to the glorious Kingdom.

    Ciarraí Abú!

  • Cui bono?

    Football and hurling. Apples, and, well, oranges my friend. Not a valid comparison.

    You were comprehensively stuffed on 25th September. Have some grace. 33 titles are enough. You’re going to have work now for any more.

    Whereas hurling is and has always been an oligarchy, governed on the principle of noblesse oblige, football is now gloriously democratic, and has never been more exciting and entertaining to watch for it, thanks to the contribution and dedication of Northern sides.

    Read Keith Duggan’s piece: the days of saying to Ulster sides, “thanks for turning up lads, now have a sangitch and a cuppa tae and feck off back to the bombs” are now long gone.

    By the way, how can you tell the Gooch from a black taxi?

    A black taxi only carries six.

    Tir Eoghain abu!