This piece from the Bray People suggests the GAA could learn from Rugby’s progression from the loose amateur refereeing from the 70s and 80s to tighter professional standards that constrain the passions of modern players from spilling over as with the Dublin Tyrone match a few weeks ago.
what is important now is that the GAA lets the punishment fit the crime for the two teams. Had this happened in a challenge match in the back of beyond in front of four men and a dog, that would be one thing. But the fact that this game was live on TG4 meant that the impact of the fighting was all the greater.
The most negative knock-on effect this row will have is that old chestnut about parents up and down the country who will be that bit less likely to let their eight year old take up Gaelic football – but it’s true. And correspondingly, the GAA will have to be seen to come down hard on those involved. Tough policing hasn’t done the game of rugby any harm.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty