GAA, County Antrim, BBC, RTE all making sure you miss the match?

Antrim’s once in a life time, for most, run in the All-Ireland Football Championship came to an end last Sunday. For many it was among their best and most unexpected experiences. The absolute disbelief over them getting to an Ulster Final after many years in the wilderness, playing well against the current champions and then some level of hope coming up to facing Kerry, one of the best teams to grace the competition ever.Many ended up disappointed/furious with the non-TV coverage/efforts at transport for what was Antrim’s 2nd most important match in 38yrs, the Round 4 qualifier with a Quarter Final and match at Croke Park as the prize.

Clubs across the county had run increasing numbers of buses during the Ulster Championship but once it hit Round 4 these buses evaporated. Non-drivers were left to trawl GAA websites, plead for a space on a family friendly bus to Tullamore and while Kerry had such buses run by the County, Antrim fans with children were left with the option of getting on a bus with drinkers, begging for a lift or ‘not’ watching on TV.

‘Not’ watching TV was raised in today’s ATN by Fra McCann, the BBC pointed out they weren’t contractually obliged to broadcast the match and declared they would be putting it out on radio. Not the FM channel people found, that’s the one that can be picked up easily and of course was given over to Hugo Duncan but MW – try picking that up.

So RTE came to the rescue with a live web stream didn’t they? Well a live web stream that wasn’t available in the 6 counties unless you contact your ISP and got them to get in touch with RTE to unblock your address – doesn’t work and they know it.

So, lesson learnt – if you want to follow Antrim, or any team from the north don’t be counting on the GAA, RTE or BBC to help out – learn to drive or find a mate with a car and get there. It is the only option and a bloody disgrace. Or just hold out for some schools rugby or Gary Lineker in a big balloon – you’ll get that easy for your licence fee.

(Though it’s a credit to the Antrim fans that managed to get there – I’m gutted it didn’t work out for me and I couldn’t get to experience any of it properly due to both broadcasters treating Gaelic games and Antrim as an afterthought)

  • the gimp

    [i]f you want to follow Antrim, or any team from the north don’t be counting on the GAA, RTE or BBC to help out[/i]

    GAA: an unfair criticism. You can’t attack the GAA, as a whole, for failing to put on buses to ferry people from Antrim up and down to Tullamore and then turn round and highlight how the Kerry County Board were able to put the very same logistics in place for their lot, despite the fact that there would have been massive indifference down in the Kingdom when faced with the prospect of a 4th round qualifier against a relatively weak team, their current internal problems and the fact that they’ve won 33 AIs. This is a local problem, one that is confined to Antrim only and not to the organisation as a whole. Furthermore, given that we’re talking about a community organisation here, it’s then up to the members on the ground to facilitate fans getting to and from the venue. So, in this respect, instead of pointing the finger at the GAA you should be asking questions of your fellow members in the county, especially your club officials if they were found wanting in this respect.

    RTÉ: an absurd criticism. They’re not obliged to give preference to northern teams given that their licence payers live in the 26. With regard to TV, they’re never, and rightly so, in a million years going to give preference to a 4th round football qualifier between David and Goliath as opposed to a hurling quarter-final involving the Dubs. With regard to northern IP addresses being blocked, I think your vitriol would be better directed at the late Michael Collins and those who work to ensure that our island remains partitioned.

    BBC: err, what did you expect?! Seriously!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kN15IZGeMg – an accurate portrayal of how Aunty treats all things enjoyed by Paddy and Biddy in the occupied 6. Says it all really.

    The harsh truth is that not enough of your fellow countymen and women were up for it on Sunday as ye were resigned to defeat and couldn’t be fecked heading down to Offaly on a Sunday afternoon.

    Tír Eoghain abú

  • Brendan, Belfast

    Gimp – you stupid, ignorant clown.

    “The harsh truth is that not enough of your fellow countymen and women were up for it on Sunday as ye were resigned to defeat and couldn’t be fecked heading down to Offaly on a Sunday afternoon.”

    There were approx 6,000 of us there, a week after 15,000 were in Clones, a day after some of us were in Parnell Park for the hurling (heard of that sport?).

    I am sorry for Mark that he didn’t get down to Tullamore (its a memory that will stay with me forever) but it is not the county board’s role to organise buses. Maybe Mark or someone else can start an official supporters club to organise county wide transport options. For the record the match was level with 10 mins to go – so I don’t know who was ‘resigned to defeat.’

    Glad to see a Tyrone man with such passion – how many games were you ever at prior to 03? How’s your record in the Ulster Hurling Championship? Do you like having the most foul mouthed thug ever to grace a GAA pitch representing your county?

    For all your personal faults – and clown like traits – I hope that either you lot or Donegal manage to keep Sam in Ulster.

  • the joxer

    As Provincial runners-up, Antrim should have been given a home draw(as reward for making their provincial final) against mere qualifiers, Kerry. They would then have had a 20k plus crowd at Casement.

  • Mark McGregor

    Brendan,

    I big lesson learnt was my son’s club was the idea of a regionial bus when interest wained at the USFC meaning no child appropriate transport existed.

    If you looked at the Kerry forum, they were organising buses fr their limited travelling support. something Antrim can learn from in our future adventures.

    Still doesn’t deal with the insulting treatment we got from the BBC and RTE.

  • the gimp

    Brendan, I’ve obviously hit a very raw nerve. I find it bizarre that you have to bring Ricey (still bitter after last Sunday?) into this as well as question my own loyality, especially given that I make no assertions one way or the other.

    Nevertheless, you prove my point. 6,000 Antrim fans at what Mark describes as “Antrim’s 2nd most important match in 38yrs” is a poor show.

    Now, what was it I read on this board about “playing the man and not the ball”? Even worse when the petty vitriol is directed towards a fellow Gael.

  • the gimp

    Mark, you’d be better directing your criticism at the Antrim board and the BBC. Do you contribute towards the RTÉ licence fee? Do you expect them to give priority to a Dublin v Limerick hurling quarter final over a SFC 4th round qualifier? Come off it.

  • brendan,belfast

    Interesting that you know to whom I was referring even when I didn’t identify him by name. So at least we all agree he is a foul mouth thug.

    What about those hurling championships of yours?

  • the gimp

    Brendan, you’re making an arse of yourself. You’re obviously not even bothering to read my posts (you ask me if I’ve ever heard of hurling when I mentioned it explicitly in my first post, for example). And There’s no need to get personal. Call him what you want but you’d give your right arm to have Ryan in your team and you know it. You’re a bitter little man. And what about the hurling? We won the Lory Meagher so Liam should be with us, standing proudly beside Sam, within the decade.

  • Republic of Connaught

    It’s a bit of a joke an online match involving Antrim couldn’t be viewed in Antrim.

    You see what is needed here is for a mass congregation of six county GAA supporters to pester the arse off RTE with emails and letters to find a solution to this ridiculous situation.

    Perhaps if people in the north were given the option of paying a small fee to help RTE make their online coverage countrywide this would encourage the RTE drones to do something about the problem.

  • brendan,belfast

    Gimp – if there’s ‘no need to get personal’ why slur an entire county and its much travelled suporters by casually saying not enough ‘could be fecked’ travelling to Offaly?

    Am I bitter after last Sunday? Hardly, I will remember last Sunday with joy and pride for as long as I live. To compete at the highest level of the sport with the team of the moment, and Gaels with class like Sean Cavanagh et al, I would never be bitter about that experience, even if we lost by 6.

    For the record, I would be embarassed and ashamed to have McMenamin in my team, if he played for my clubs under 12’s or for my county.

    I just happen to think that the GAA has a dignity to it which he literally spits on.

  • Dave

    Click Tools/Internet Options/Connections/LAN Settings and put an Irish IP and port number under Proxy Server (to find an Irish IP, google for one).

    That will circumvent the out of jurisdiction problem. (Alternatively, you could just insist that Northern Ireland is Irish and see if it responds to Shinnerism).

  • Mick Fealty

    Gimp,

    When I started work in 79, I worked with a guy who’s father had played in the great Tyrone teams of 1956 and 1957. They were still considered great over 20 years latter, because at that time they were the only Tyrone teams to have won an Ulster Championship. You boys have no memory for anything much before 2002 (the next time you won anything).

    Success breeds confidence, in the supporters as well as in the team. It’s great that a county which takes a lot of its players from Belfast is playing up and past the standards of some its more recently successful rivals.

    For my part, I hope it’s Donegal rather than Tyrone that lifts Sam this year. But they’ve a way to go to get consistency and bring some of that old dominance back. And three tough matches to find it.

    The Meagher Cup was invented for Hurling no marks, like Tyrone (no Ulster senior titles, ever) and, dare I admit it, Donegal (last Ulster senior title, 1932). If they fall at any of the next three fences, I’d be happy for Tyrone to lift it again (despite the insufferable smugness of *some* of their supporters).

  • the gimp

    [i]why slur an entire county and its much travelled suporters by casually saying not enough ‘could be fecked’ travelling to Offaly?[/i]

    Jesus, enough with the hysterics. I didn’t “slur an entire county.” 6,000 of them did travelled. That’s a poor showing for a county’s “2nd most important match in 38yrs”. Also, I doubt that many of the “much travelled suporters” you refer to are those following the footballers. Rather, it’s more likely to be the case that:

    Glens = hurling, Belfast/s.w. Antrim = football. Of course, to even suggest such a divide exists is blashphemous.

    You’re arguments have been weak and flawed from the beginning. If you had a valid point to make then you wouldn’t have immediately embarked on wild hissy fit and attacked myself, my county and arguably my county’s best corner back of the past decade. You’re a credit to the GAA. slán leat

  • the gimp

    [i]You boys have no memory for anything much before 2002[/i]

    Mick, it’s not like you to paint an entire group of people with the same brush. Where the hell did that outburst come from? Many in my county don’t remember what happened before 2008, never mind 2002 or 2003. Our support to many Qualifer games over the past half-decade has been dire at times. However, does that mean that I don’t have the right to state that a 6,000 attendance to a match of that stature for Antrim is poor? If so, do let me know.

    And there was I thinking that the anti-Tyrone brigade resided only in the broadcasting studios Dublin 4.

    P.S. Why are comments closed on the first Andrew Mackinlay post?

  • guest

    Dave’s solution should still work but they seem to be working on it.Other solutions are through http://www.Rojadirecta.com and/or hiding Ip address with Vidalia.

  • Mick Fealty

    Actually, after all the shouting, this is a fair point:

    “Glens = hurling, Belfast/s.w. Antrim = football.”

    The implications of which seemed to have been missed by Gerry on his blog at the weekend: http://url.ie/24ow.

    Has Belfast been trying to hard to live up to the real hurlers of the Glens and forsaking their real talent for football?

  • Mick Fealty

    Gimp, that was just a playful slap… Lighten up! 😉 Sure didn’t I say Tyrone, if not Donegal?

    I was at the last of Antrim’s big matches at Casement in 1970. They’ve been in the wilderness for most of the time in between. Long may their new found success continue. And with success will come the bigger numbers…

  • brendan,belfast

    Mick and Gimp – both of you are displaying your ignorance by buying into the lazy fallacy of
    “Glens = hurling, Belfast/s.w. Antrim = football.”

    For the record, 5 of this year’s starting 15 for Antrim’s hurlers play for Belfast clubs – St John’s, Lamh Dhearg and St Galls. So if a third of the team happens to come from Belfast how is the above statement accurate? I certainly don’t differentiate between north, south or south west Antrim when it comes to my counties teams so why should you?

  • the gimp

    I really don’t mean to come across as “insufferably smug”, Mick. Even with all of my county’s footballing success over the past decade I doubt that we’d have been able to bring along much more than 6,000 to Tullamore for a qualifier (although obviously had it been v. Kerry that’s a different story, different venue). My point is simply that it’s not really effective, never mind accurate, to blame the GAA and RTÉ for failing to provide a means by which Antrim supporters could travel to/watch the match. The simple fact of the matter is that, evidently, there just wasn’t the appetite.

  • Johnnieismarchinghome

    Mark,

    Antrim certainly did not shame themselves, up against the greats of the game.

    I hope they will be back. it is good for our sports.

    But for now: Tír Eoghain abú

  • the gimp

    Brendan, so participation on the team equates to actual support? 13.3% of Tyrone’s senior football team starting 15 (Dooher and O’Neill) come from Aughabrack. The place wouldn’t have more than a few hundred people.

    0% of the team’s panel come from Strabane, a town of 15,000. So, by your logic, no Strabane people follow Tyrone while over 1 in 10 of the team’s supporters come from Aughabrack. The reality, of course, is very different.

  • the gimp

    I’ll leave this discussion before I get more muck thrown at me but before that I’ll echo what Johnnie wrote. The Antrim team, management and supporters were brilliant on the day and I was convinced that they were going to win as the last 10 minutes approached. As an outsider, Galvin’s sucker punch was hard to take. Outstanding year for the senior footballers, I hope they’re still flying the flag for Ulster this time next year.

  • brendan,belfast

    No Gimp i am not saying that making up part of the team is equiavlent to supporters profile – what I am doing is pointing out that it is wrong and lazy to simply state that glens = hurling and Belfast = football.

    Pointing out that a third of the first team live in the city illustrates the ignorance of the lazy cliche.

    Are you really suggesting in your simplified formula that no one in Belfast supports Antrim hurlers? That no one from the Glens supports the footballers? Its a nonsense.

    Anyway I am off to sleep, to dream of Antrim winning the Anglo Celt, of our hurlers being competitive again, of Ricey relying on his skills instead of his abuse…

  • Mick Fealty

    Just asking Brendan, like… We’ve talked briefly about this before a few years ago at the launch of a supporters initiative…

    Apart from Cork, Galway and Offaly, there aren’t many examples of huge success in two codes… Where there are, geographical differences are common…

    In the case of Antrim, obviously the investment is paying off at representational level… But what plans have the county for extending the player base (which for my money is the key inhibitor of further success)…

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    I think the next few years may see Dublin finally bridge the gap and join those elite few counties (and when you consider that, until recently, Antrim were always viewed as superior hurlers to Dublin, it shows the progress made in the Capital.)

    Forward steps for Antrim have been taken this year, but as I pointed out on a thread earlier in the Championship, the evidence of progress has been there for some time.

    The St. Galls’ performances at Ulster and All-Ireland club level, the involvement of Antrim players in Sigerson teams, and – for the future- the return of an Antrim team to the Macrory Cup.

    Success has a habit of breeding success, and the unprecedented exposure for the game in Belfast will provide the GAA with an opportunity to build in the city.

    Regarding hurling, I fear for the sport and, unless the GAA is willing to adopt radical proposals like the Champions League style format floated by John McSparran and others, it will remain a game played at the highest level by just a handful of counties.

    Personally, I’d like to see Ulster enter a united hurling team for the Championship, something that would give hurlers across the other eight counties outside of Antrim an incentive to continue playing the game in the belief that they could one day compete at the highest level, and at least

    Sure it would involve trampling all over tradition, but look where tradition has got the game in 2009.

  • CW

    “When I started work in 79, I worked with a guy who’s father had played in the great Tyrone teams of 1956 and 1957. They were still considered great over 20 years latter, because at that time they were the only Tyrone teams to have won an Ulster Championship. You boys have no memory for anything much before 2002 (the next time you won anything).”

    Mick – get your facts right – Tyrone won Ulster in 1973, so the boys of ’56/’57 were not at that time in 1979 as you put it “the the only Tyrone teams to have won an Ulster Championship”. Then they took Ulster titles again in 1984, 1986 and 1989, 1995 and 1996, not forgetting All-Ireland finals in ’86 and ’95, so as a matter of fact we weren’t a bad side before 2003, even though it took us a long time to lift Sam.

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep, I deserve that Ciaran! Up too late, and up too early tomorrow. Night all!

  • Mark McGregor

    Chris,

    So as we build this squad…you couldn’t sell a few lotto tickets to save my legs? I’m getting tired.

  • George

    Chris,
    Personally, I’d like to see Ulster enter a united hurling team for the Championship, something that would give hurlers across the other eight counties outside of Antrim an incentive to continue playing the game in the belief that they could one day compete at the highest level, and at least

    Sure it would involve trampling all over tradition, but look where tradition has got the game in 2009.

    If you watched Galway versus Waterford over the weekend, you’ll know the game has life in it in 2009.

    Of course it’s not a game those with a weak disposition (i.e. concerned parents) want to play but it is truly a fantastic spectator sport.

    Hurling will continue to survive for that reason alone and if Dublin do bridge the gap it could really prosper. And compared to 10 years ago, hurling does now exist in Dublin.

    As for an Ulster hurling team, it just seems wrong. It would be like Dublin and Meath teaming up to beat Kerry. As a Dub I’d rather go alone even if it means not enjoying a victory for 32 years against Kerry and just 1 in over 70 years.

    That’s just the way it is. Would you expect Antrim footballers to team up with Fermanagh so they could give Tyrone a better game?

    Look at Wicklow, never won anything in over a century but I bet those in Aughrim for that victory over Down didn’t care.

    Being a weak county can be a proud tradition too.

  • the gimp

    George, the gulf in class between Ulster’s hurling teams, with the exception of Antrim (and, to a much lesser extent, Down and Derry) and the likes of Kilkenny and Tipp, isn’t anything remotely like the gulf in class between Dublin and Kerry footballers. (You’ve got to be a bit optimistic for next Monday though?!) Still, it must be nice to be able to draw from a pool of over one million people.

  • The Original Sam Maguire

    Lets be perfectly reasonable about this, whilst the BBC weren’t contractually obliged to show this and they have shown 7 of the 8 Ulster Championship matches live – every single game that has been shown has also been live on RTE. Indeed, the only one they didn’t show live – Donegal v Antrim – was the only Ulster Championship game that wasn’t live on RTE either. I’d be interested to know what resources the BBC puts into their GAA coverages vs RTE or TV3. The way it appears – and I don’t know much about how it operates – is that the BBC are happy enough to pick up a decent rating on a Sunday afternoon with little in the way of outlay if someone else is picking up the tab. Perhaps I’m being too cyncial – the GAA coverage over the past few years has always been on Radio Ulster MW but interestingly, on the FM version of Radio Ulster during the Antrim match, wee Hugo was broadcasting from the festival of a small GAA club in Tyrone.

    However, whither Antrim? The Baker has done a good job this year, but the question has to be asked – playing Devil’s advocate to what Chris said about success breeding success – what happens if they go down the same road following an Ulster Final appearance as Fermanagh did last year?
    While Fermanagh has a lower population than West Belfast, St Michael’s Enniskillen MacRory side has traditionally been a good breeding ground for their footballers. Fermanagh lads at Sigerson level always have felt they’re a step above everybody else and even with a very limited pick the county side never had an inferiority complex – something that has been known to manifest itself in the Saffrons from time to time.
    Ignoring the SW Antrim lads that head to Maghera and Magherafelt, the Belfast lads are in the unfortunate position that there is no one school that is dominant in a footballing context. St Mary’s CBS had traditionally been the MacRory school in Belfast(and it was good to see them back this year), but De La Salle and Rathmore have been on a par with the Glen Road lads in the McLernon for the few years prior to this year and they could operate at MacRory level if the structures are put in place at an early enough stage.

    Perhaps the Belfast Rising plan will bear fruit but the clubs and the schools (both primary and 2nd level) need to be working hand in hand and both realise that the target of an Ulster Final appearance now should be the long term target of an Ulster/ All Ireland Minor title in 10 years time. It was the All Ireland Final of 86 and the Ulster Final win of 89 that planted the seeds for the Tyrone Minor sides of 97/98 that were the backbone of the side that made the breakthrough for Sam. This current crop of Antrim players certainly has potential and can go further in the next several years if they are managed properly – if the McGourty’s could only be properly managed and Sean Kelly was back in the team then Antrim would certainly make great strides over the next 3 – 5 years and an Ulster Final win would be the least of their ambitions. However, making sure the correct structures are in place for the future and being able to build on them will the best thing that can come out of Antrim’s run this year.

  • If you watched Galway versus Waterford over the weekend, you’ll know the game has life in it in 2009.

    I was in a pub on Inis Oirr watching that match on Sunday and it was a belter – and really quite nasty, with a lot of young lads with a point to prove on the pitch. It didn’t look like a sport in crisis either in terms of skill on the pitch, or fan passion in the stadium and in the pubs back home. The Dublin-Limerick match was good as well.

    So, hurling is essentially a regional sport south of the Grand Canal with a few regional strongholds in parts of Galway and rural pockets of East Ulster. So what? It always has been. Hurling abandoned the traditional provincial-All Ireland competitive structure at the top level about six decades before football for that very reason. Outside that, it’s a minority sport with only Dublin’s enormous population base, and to some extent Belfast’s, and a few enormous clubs big enough to play both codes – Lavey, for example, or Portumna – capable of coming close to being competitive.

    I’ve yet to see a credible argument that hurling today is any less well developed outside its heartlands than it was 25, 50 or 75 years ago. Arguably the opposite, actually, especially with the steady improvement in Dublin’s form.

    As for Antrim football, we have a young squad from which I doubt we’ve heard the last. We were outclassed by both Kerry and Tyrone but certainly not put to shame. We will be back, older and wiser and stronger. Belfast Rising needs to be made real, but there’s still a divide between GAA-heads and non-GAA-heads on this side of the border that doesn’t exist in, say, Munster, were both GAA codes happily co-exist with both soccer and rugby. And that’s just talking about the Catholic/nationalist section of the community. Munster rugby, Kerry football, Cork hurling and Roy Keane can all happily dominate their respective sports. The political legacy we live with here doesn’t help but it shouldn’t determine how Gaelic games develop here either.

    But GAA in Antrim needs to work with the warp and weft of the county. While Belfast bridges the gap to some extent, SW Antrim is going to be football country and the Glens and Plateau hurling for the foreseeable future. And soccer is always going to be popular in Belfast, rugby has a significant and growing Catholic fan base in Greater Belfast and we’re still at the baby steps stage as far as promoting Gaelic games among Prods goes. But, hey, I’d rather be where we are today than we were 10 years ago, let alone where we were at the height of the troubles.

    PS – my PC gets live streams from RTÉ fine; remember their GAA web streaming rights are island of Ireland only, not RoI only.

  • BBC: err, what did you expect?! Seriously!? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kN15IZGeMg – an accurate portrayal of how Aunty treats all things enjoyed by Paddy and Biddy in the occupied 6. Says it all really.

    Jesus, that sums up the north of ireland there in three and a half minutes. Classic brilliant parody, very close to the truth.

  • George

    Gimp,
    You’ve got to be a bit optimistic for next Monday though?!) Still, it must be nice to be able to draw from a pool of over one million people.

    One win in 70 plus years against Kerry tempers my optimism.

    As for the one million people, not all of them are Dubs. More relevantly, the GAA has its strongholds in Dublin and is extremely weak in other areas.

    Kilkenny has a male population of 42,000, from babe to pensioner, but it seems they all know how to play hurling.

    The GAA is definitely making strides into areas of Dublin where it previously didn’t exist in but it is a slow process.

    I have to say I’m amazed at the development of hurling. It had virtually no presence 15 years ago.

  • Chris Donnelly

    George

    When hurling is played properly it is indeed a wonderful sight to behold, and the final stages of the Championship provides a glimpse for those outside of the core counties of just what a beautiful game it is.

    Yet, apart from the Clare triumphs in the 90s and Waterford and Limerick’s periodic challenges to Cork-Tipp in Munster, only the Dublin story of late provides evidence of hurling expanding its appeal beyond the very limited core.

    Contrast that with football, and the fact that the senior Championship annually throws up surprises.

    Mark
    Certainly buy a ticket from you, but learnt the lesson long ago about over-committing myself…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    What was the crowd at the Antrim Kerry game?

    Are the crowds always posted on the GAA website – cant see them myself.

  • Britney Spears

    Samuel,

    8,500 – poor show

  • George

    Chris,
    you are forgetting Offaly and Wexford, who also won the McCarthy Cup in the 90s. That means there have been six different winners in the last 15 years.

    I accept there aren’t many surprises but that’s because it gets to the business end very quickly with just 12 teams.

    There aren’t that many surprises in football either once it gets to the business end.

    There have been seven different winners of Sam in the last 15 but only two in the last six years.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    BS,

    not great. but could be worse – it took quare-fellah Ronaldo to get over 10,000 to watch the Irish-lady-ball last week.

    where did you get your numbers?

  • Britney Spears

    Read it in the Irish News, Samuel. You’re right though, crowd numbers are hard to get unless it’s a big’n at Croker

  • RG Cuan

    I watched the Aontroim match on Sunday on RTÉ live feed. I have Virgin Broadcast and could access it no problem, although the online feed itself seemed a bit slow.

  • WindsorRocker

    The Original Sam Maguire has a good point.

    The only live European match involving an Irish football club that the BBC have shown in recent years was the Derry matches against PSG. The only reason they showed that was because French TV were paying for the Beeb to deliver the pictures.

    The BBC’s original sport’s coverage is by and large a joke and we are more likely to hear about some tenuous Irish link to Man Utd or Liverpool than we are to hear about local sport based here in Norn Iron.

  • Chris Donnelly

    George

    Hadn’t forgotten about them, actually included them in the core group of teams- albeit overshadowed particularly of late in Leinster by Kilkenny.

    I know your point about the business end of a season- heck, look at the record of champions in the English Premier League over the past fifteen years! That doesn’t mean that the competitiveness of the league is compromised.

    But the fact remains that, outside of that dozen, there’s nothing. How to expand the game’s appeal must be a focus for the GAA; obviously easier said then done, but a little bit of imaginative thinking could help in that regard.

  • Diet Sam Maguire

    One win in 70 plus years against Kerry tempers my optimism.

    Posted by George on Jul 28, 2009 @ 10:48 AM

    Without googling I can remember beating Kerry in the ’76 Final and ’77 Semi Final. Hopefully Bernard Brogan Jnr will do to Kerry on Monday what Bernard Brogan Sen did back in ’77!

    Still we have a crap record against Kerry. Nothing to be ashamed about that. Everyone else does too!

  • Observer

    “Still we have a crap record against Kerry. Nothing to be ashamed about that. Everyone else does too!”

    ALthough it pains me greatly to say it . . . Down don’t

    (never beaten by Kerry in the championship)