Slugger at the Ulster Football Final

At Chris’ suggestion we will be running another Live blog covering the Ulster Football Championship Final between Antrim and Tyrone on Sunday 19th. People attending can use the #usfc for their Twitter feed. If you don’t use Twitter you can sign up and register your phone to provide updates which will automatically be picked up by the Live blog.

As Chris and I will both be at the match and Mick is away we need a couple of volunteers to administer the Live blog – this just involves approving comments and commentators as they come in. To get the full days events it would require people free from morning until early evening (you don’t need to cover this all). Any takers drop me a mail.

As I’ve had my tickets for a while I can’t chaperone anyone interested in attending but if you want to make it along I know Antrim have a limited number of tickets still available (no idea about Tyrone)

  • killian

    hi mark, id be willing to do it.

  • Mark McGregor


    Cheers. You can get my email address on this post. Drop me a line and I’ll get you sorted closer to the time.

    Any other takers?

  • courageunderfire

    I have two tickets up for grabs if anyone is interested

  • The original Sam Maguire

    I think we’re in the same boat Mark, we don’t have enough seated tickets but there are loads of Hill and O’Duffy floating about.

  • silly silly

    why do they use thier hands if it is called football?

  • 1916

    We call it football because we called Gaelic ‘football’ before the English called soccer ‘football’.

  • Mayoman

    Gaelic football, rugby football, American football, Aussie rules football….. oh dear, silly silly indeed.

  • 1916

    Your right Mayoman. Its called Gaelic football, rugby football, American football, Aussie rules football. Up their soccer pipe, HaHa. We use our hands but the rest of the world unites with us and calls it football. Tiocfaidh ár lá

  • I might go if

    Does anyone know if there will be a paramilitary display at this game ?

  • Glensman

    Aye sure all GAA matches have a paramilitary display…

  • Peter Pan

    “[i]Aye sure all GAA matches have a paramilitary display… “[/i]

    What? The GAA is paramilitary? I thought it was a sports organisation?

  • Glensman

    I was joking above, some troll produces a picture of a community event held on a pitch built through community funding and asks if an Ulster final is going to have a ‘paramilitary display’…

  • William

    Come on Tyrone……if only to make Gerry cry again!!!

  • brendan,belfast

    Mark – too early to start pre game predictions?

    I would say that we have enough talent and athleticism to stay with Tyrone until late in the game. If its a 3 or 4 point difference with 10 to go, Antrim can win it.

    Tyrone will be collectively and individually complacent, its unavoidable.

    btw – a great night in store in the Welly Park Hotel on Friday thanks to efforts of Club Aontroma, ( Lots of high profile GAA names in attendance and a sold out event.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    We don’t need republican stones here. I want to be admin over this GAA thing because I see it as a challenge, to embrace the other community but McGregor says I will not be “made an Administrator on the Live blog” and he insisted I should have known this when he said “As you well know”, suggesting its a position for a non PUL person.

    IRB – Intolerant Republican bigots

  • Chris Donnelly

    We certainly live in hope….

    Great that the worse case scenario might be a possible qualifier game at Casement against Kerry….

  • Maybe I shan’t go

    is it true that The National Flag should be displayed at all matches. if so what has this to do with sport ?, as a unionist, would I be welcomed if i chose to bring my national flag to a game ?

  • Mark

    If u need another hand for the live blog let me know


  • Peter Fyfe

    is it true that The National Flag should be displayed at all matches. if so what has this to do with sport ?, as a unionist, would I be welcomed if i chose to bring my national flag to a game ?

    Posted by Maybe I shan’t go on Jul 14, 2009 @ 09:25 PM

    don’t think there was a tricolour at the con magees all saints match I saw a few weeks ago, not even a national anthem. I was disgusted :-). You may look a bit foolish bringing your national flag. Everybody else will have tyrone or antrim flags. Go ahead though I will look out for it and welcome you with open arms. I am not going to predict how some hallion from Coalisland will behave, but us saffrons are civilized, lol. What annoys you about a tricolour in monaghan?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    did Sam McGuire really provide intelligence to the IRA and help kill innocent Irish?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Can you proudly commemorate Sam MaGuire knowing he was responsible for killing your Irish brethern?

  • Peter Fyfe

    I have never been to a Sam Maguire commemoration, I have saw a few Ulster championship matches though so I am guessing that is what you are getting at. You should start following the hurling in Antrim, they commemorate Lian mcCarthy, born in London and everthing. We may end up in the Cristy Ring though, I am sure you have no problem with a lorry driver from cork. Though it does say he was a devout roman catholic and we know your opinion on them UMH

  • Glensman

    Going on our display against Cavan I would say that we will have the fitness to to stay with Tir Eoghan, provided they don;t put a score on us at the very beginning… Whether or not we’ll have the tactical ability or shooting boots I don’t know.

    Sean Cavanagh can destroy a team all by himself!

  • iluvni

    Are attendances well down at GAA matches this year?
    Just from the clips on the news, it looks that way compared to other years.

  • Glensman

    They’re up in Munster, and i think holding up well in Leinster due to the Dub Hurlers having a good run… The GAA have lowered prices though and offered cheap family tickets. (Just right considering the downturn)

  • Bing Crosby

    It must be great to hear the national anthem sung with great gusto at a gaa match.

    “Out yonder waits the Saxon foe, So chant a soldier’s song”

    That will keep those pesky meddling prods away !

  • Diomedes

    The Irish National Anthem courtesy of the DFA

  • Peter Fyfe

    Out yonder waits the Saxon foe, So chant a soldier’s song

    Part of the soldier’s song, not part of the national anthem so unlikely to be heard at a GAA match. Look for offence and you shall be offended.

  • The Sponsor

    Peter Fyfe

    here is an interesting article

    From the horses mouth

    “Robert Kerr, speaking on behalf of the club, said that since the formation of the GAA there had been an “association with nationalism and republicanism”.

    or maybe you will tell me im seeing things now ?

    But I suppose its nice to see the GAA press forward with their cross-community message, unsing the daily mail, sorry not the daily mail, I meant An phoblacht to spread the word and reach out to unionists.

    love the bit

    “Republicans, particularly former POWs, have provided much of the initial momentum behind the project and this is reflected in the name that has been chosen for the club. ”

    Says it all really, brainwashing children like the Nazis did, the more i scratch beneath the veneer of a “sporting organization” the uglier things get.

  • George

    Are attendances well down at GAA matches this year?
    Just from the clips on the news, it looks that way compared to other years.

    Actually, they are up six per cent compared with the same stage as last year.

    With Dublin looking good, the figures could come close to 2 million for championship matches this year.

    The novelty of Antrim should ensure a good crowd in the Ulster final too.

  • Driftwood

    Why is Gaelic ‘Football’ promoted as close to proper ‘Association’ Football, when you can handle the ball, in fact put it on a bus and take it up the pitch?
    It’s not ‘football’ any more than American ‘football’. It’s handball for those who don’t have the skill to play real football (Soccer or Rugby).
    When is the Northern Ireland Gaelic Hockey (Hurling) final?

  • Lugs Brannigan

    Was at Croker for Leinster Final. “Only” 75,000 at it. We normally get over 80,000 so maybe this is an indication of the downturn in the economy. Full houses from now on though I suspect after what was a thoroughly entertaining match.

    As a Dub I’d love to see Antrim make the breakthrough (no offence Tyrone!!). Probably won’t happen this year but who knows?

    As for that Ulster’s My Homeland twit… kind of confirms to me the validity of the very many stories I’ve heard of what GAA people up there have had to put up with down through the years. Well done to the GAA in Ulster for not only surviving but flourishing.

    Na Dubs abu! (I forget how to do fadas!)

  • The traveller

    The Gaa are a truly global organization, they’re even in Australia

    Hand in Glove“sinn+fein”&cd=16&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a

    some nice pictures of a terorist visiting various gaa gounds

    is it me or does anyone else see similarities between SF-GAA and the NAZIS

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘It’s handball for those who don’t have the skill to play real football (Soccer or Rugby).’

    So the native version aint real football, but Rugby is? Isn’t the ball(egg) mostly carried….with very little kicking compared to the GAA version.
    Drift it seems you’re resorting back to being the Bob Mortimer for UMH’s Vic Reeves.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    you still chucking stones republican? wise the bap

  • RepublicanStones

    UMH your Wildean wit and repartee humbles me….truly.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    this has been removed many times from this thread.

    Who supports the commemoration of the IRA intelligence officer Sam Mcguire who was responsible for the killings of many Irishmen?

  • Driftwood

    Football is a world game.

    gaelic ‘football’, and american football, are ersatz local games,like skittles, don’t compare them with the worlds greatest game.
    Rugby is a niche game but with geographic context. like cricket.

    All GAA sports, are purely ‘Irish’ by definition and outlook. And intentionally ‘parochial’ in the literal sense. That’s ok. french ‘boules’ and aussie rules are in the same category.

    But they are localised and politicised. AND sectarian. No other sport is so prominently based on religious affiliation.

  • RepublicanStones

    Wow, wow, wow Drift me ‘aul flower. Hang on, you first stated that the native version wasn’t real football and now it seems having been shown how ludricous your statement that Rugby was more of a football game was, you go off on a rant equating American football and our local version with skittles????!!!

    It seems you are just out to offend.

    ‘No other sport is so prominently based on religious affiliation.’

    Well I suppose because India is approx 80% hindu, that Kabbadi isn’t prominently based in that religion eh?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Republicans throw stones, Unionists walk roads.

  • Peter Fyfe

    The sponsor

    Did I deny their was an assosiation between nationalism and the GAA? I am happy to admit their is, of course there is. Who said there wasn’t? I thought I said there was no tricolour at slemish park for a recent game. Have you a picture of the match? I honestly did not think they had a flag up. Sorry if I am mistaken. Do you have evidence Christy ring wasn’t a lorry driver? Somebody better change wiki or let his children know what he was really doing. Had you a problem with me knowing if antrim were not playing in Liam or Christy? I am only going by todays irish news, it could be wrong.

    One more thing on a more serious the PSNI have formed a team as well, I also believe there is a RAF team as well now. We all must be brits afterall, lol.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘Unionists walk roads.’

    I thought the 12th was a religious affirmation of the protestant faith UMH….are you letting the cat out of the bag?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    Republicans throw stones, Unionists walk roads.

  • Peter Fyfe


    If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to travel to clones and you don’t have to buy a ticket. Were you planning on doing something in clones this weekend that the match gets in your way? It would be great for me if it was forced upon us in ballymena and i had to watch Paddy cunningham make cavanagh look cock-eyed. Though I have to travel to see it because I want to see the game like anybody else that travels to watch it in private grounds owned by the GAA. The OO could learn something there. Why go into GAA threads to be offended? I would not be suprised if you looked at derry hurling fixtures just to be offended by a clubs name.

  • Peter Fyfe

    This is nothing to do with the GAA but driftwood, did you call american football a local game? That’s some show they put on for the final if it’s only a local game? I must be wrong but I thought it was being televised on UTV or BBC, is it local to here or what? They even managed to get the boss and then a beatle a few years ago. Tom petty last year if I rememeber right. They certainly put on some show for a ‘local’ game. Don’t make such a stupid comment about American football if your wind-up is intended for GAA fans.

  • borderline


    I’ve been reading you for years, had you down as in decent prod category.

    You let yourself down there.

    No matter, we all do it!

  • Secret Squirrel

    Nobody spotted Lugs post 7.
    It’s the key to the right of your space bar in conjunction with your vowel keys.


    Unionism lecturing ANYONE on cultural sectarianism is like Billy Bunter calling someone fat. It’s no surprise that Unionists get great solace and comfort from their apartheid Afrikaaner kin in South Africa, Israeli Jewish fundamentalists, White Southern US supremacists, Serb extremists etc. All these sects have murdered, butchered and tortured those with ethnic, religious and cultural differences. It’s no wonder these headbangers all stick together. Their collective guilt and immorality is soothed and eased by what their international blood brothers get up to. If there is a hell and any justice they will burn for eternity for their crimes.

  • HeadTheBall

    “Out yonder waits the Saxon foe, So chant a soldier’s song”

    Why are we so down on the poor Saxons? Wasn’t it the Normans who raised all the hell? Is it just a lazy rendering of ‘Sasanach’?

  • GavBelfast

    Lurig, you come across as one of those people where the rest of us are probably better-off that these days the internet provides an outlet for vicious anger.



    “If there is a hell and any justice they will burn for eternity for their crimes. ”

    LURIG I sincerely hope you die of aids, or maybe and aids/cancer combo, and that all your family die in a freak accident involving a small raddish.

  • Mayoman

    A decent thread being ruined by people confirming stereotypes.

    Good luck to Antrim, and its a pity some people wouldn’t use the opportunity to genuinely question their own prejudices in the way you did on the 12/13th, Mark.

  • Glensman

    Does anyone know if we’ll be able to pay at the gate on Sunday or is it an all ticket affair?

  • kensei

    When is the Northern Ireland Gaelic Hockey (Hurling) final?

    Hurling predates Christainity here, and probably recorded history. And is a far superior game to watch than football. All stick games probably have soem common root, but well everyone here has some common roots and look how different we turned out.

    Again: go back under your rock, Drift.

  • Mark McGregor


    Is meant to be all ticket through a club, Casement, Creggan or

  • exile

    F*ck the begrudgers, ignore them for we owe them nothing.

    Ádh mor ort Aontroim.. Tír Eoghain agus CLG abú!

  • exile

    Driftwood is a poor man’s wind-up merchant. He has a penchant for making snide and condescending comments on GAA-related threads, the locus classicus being “can anyone tell me if Londonderry have ever won this international competition?” As I said above, f*ck ’em and their unfortunate blend of self-loathing, depression and hatred.

    He showed his true colours a week ago with his little outburst on the murder of Kevin McDaid.

  • Mr Pepperpot

    “A decent thread being ruined by people confirming stereotypes.”

    yeah it confirms nationalists don’t like to talk about the GAA’s militant side.

    The reason that nationalists want to keep the GAA exclusive to the aryan race, and keep the untermenschen prods out is simple.

    Image protestant and loyalists started attending GAA games and forming Loyalist GAA clubs, this would lead to trouble as they would be invariably attacked on and off the pitch, secondly the crowd would have to be segregated to protect the loyalist minority. The “national anthem” would have to be dropped as would flying the “national flag” as the games would now contain both communities, non-neutral pitches would have to be renamed, The IRA would no longer be allowed to use cross community grounds for fundraising events etc, Kiddie Fiddlers would no longer be allowed to bless GAA grounds, They would have to totally rewrite their “rules” as there is no way loyalists can be expected to the strengthening of the National Identity in a thirty-two county Ireland”, heck even the offensive “sam maquire” would have to be disposed off along with all the other Republican Baggage, and so you get the picture.

    So the GAA sings from the rooftops that is “is open to all”, but even the dogs on the street can see them for what they are.

  • The original Sam Maguire

    When I see Glensman asking about tickets, I wonder if there was much uptake for tickets from the Hurling heartland in the North of Antrim? I’d have taken it the bulk of the Antrim football support would come from Belfast and the South of the County.

  • Glensman

    Plenty of foreign nationals play GAA, and I for one (a GAA member) would be happy for there to be protestants either playing for existing sides or forming new clubs…

    People need to chill out he GAA really does have an ethos of ‘the more the merrier’.

  • tony

    Loads of Kids from the Protestant community playing for GAA clubs in South Belfast.

  • exile

    [i]People need to chill out he GAA really does have an ethos of ‘the more the merrier’.[/i]

    Certain elements of the community will instinctively go out of their way to find offence. Best to ignore, we’ve a lot to proud and confident of so feck them.

  • dub


    I see your race to the bottom continues apace

  • Driftwood

    Who am I racing with or against? LURIG, with his ridiculous generalisations about unionists? It seems only mild criticism or disparaging remarks about the GAA and its insular attitude (e.g. towards ‘garrison’ sports)and various nationalists respond as if it was an attack on their family.
    Why all the defensiveness? I think the OO is a load of nonsense and said so.
    That said, I’ll leave the GAA (and other)threads alone, have to admit I know nothing about it. Tendency to jump in and fire off noted, tactical withdrawal for a while.

  • The Reincarnation of Paul Revere’s Horse

    Best of luck to Antrim this weekend. Who would have thought that they would be still in the championship while Armagh and Monaghan had shuffled off the stage. While I hope it isn’t the case, I’m afraid I don’t think the result will be close in the end. I really don’t think Tyrone do complacency. They have too much quality all over the field.

    In regards other matters. I personally am not all that keen on how nationalism is represented in the GAA. Like that Sinn Fein club highlighted earlier. It just doesn’t seem necessary and therefore unnecessarily divisive. I know it could be argued that they are not named after the party but using the phrase ‘Sinn Fein’ as the club name. But I wouldn’t buy that myself.

    I’ve played for clubs with contentious names in countries outside of Ireland. I don’t see the point of it. It seems so out of context to name a club, for instance in Coventry, Roger Casements. Why not call themselves Earlsdon GAA club? I know one function of the GAA is to promote Irish culture, but isn’t just being a GAA club playing Gaelic games enough in that regard?

    I can see how it bothers people from the Unionist communities. Obviously a bit more dialogue is required on this front. Rather than ranting and raving and trying to insult each other here, perhaps something more constructive would be of more use. What do you find acceptable, not acceptable to your sensibilities etc.

    It is of course a symptom of its environment. And much like the legacy of the troubles but also the legacy of the war of Independence, it’s how we propose to remember it and move on together. Do we wipe out everything that offends us or do we move on, accepting that there were 2 sides to this conflict and the other side may want to remember their own people in their own way.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    Spot on, Mr Horse. I actually think there should be a rule that clubs should have to incorporate the relevant local placename in their names. This would be particularly useful in urban areas, particularly abroad. It’d be easier for people brought up outside Ireland to identify with a club with a local name and it would help the club itself put down roots in the community.