Up Down!

It’s out with the old order, in with the new as the perennial post-millenium powerhouses, Kerry and Tyrone, were both sent packing in surprise quarter-finals today. Whilst the Dubs deserve praise for their defeat of Tyrone, it is the Down men that will be taking centre stage after a fantastic performance saw them see off the champions from the Kingdom. Down will meet the winners of tomorrow’s all-Leinster clash between Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare and Meath in the semi-final, whilst Dublin will in all probability have a date with Cork (who are strongly fancied to see off Roscommon.)

Down are, of course, 5-time All-Ireland champions, and the semi-final will be their first since last winning the Sam Maguire in 1994.

Down Abu!

  • BR

    Now’s the time for Cork to kick it up a gear like we saw in the league and breeze it.

  • Ranger1640

    Nice to hear that the participants of this non Protestant sport (quote Jerome Quinn) had a lovely day out.

  • Alan Maskey


    Ranger, Nice to see you following your national game. Here is an unrelated story to cheer you up: an Anglican woman “priest” gave communion to a dog.

    So who do you think will do the all Ireland this year? Why not put a few bob on it? Or demand a ticket to it as a new convert?

  • When it comes to the betting for the eventual winner I would following the advice of Tom Petty and I don’t back Down. That said as a Kerryman they played the better football and were deserved winners. At this stage I’d like to see the Dubs go all the way.

  • Alan Maskey


    Ranger et al: The company that made sportswear for Down and Fermanagh went bust owing millions. Is this Down’s reward for going back to the O’Neill’s fold? What has the West Belfast MP to say about this kick in the teeth for a West Belfast British/Irish company?

  • Danny

    Well first off I, like all sane people, have no religion. Now that that’s out of the way, get over yourself. You (presumeably) live on the Island of Ireland, and it’s the sport of that Island that has gone back centuries. Even Rangers support Gaelic football. Would you rather people go out rioting or play a game of football?

    And in any case, yeah, it’s Ireland. And if you don’t like what it is to be Irish, if you want to be English, then piss away off to England and leave us in peace.

    AN DÚN ABÚ!!

  • BR

    Ranger 1640 –

    I am a protestant, and I both participate in and watch the GAA. Stop posting nonsense.

  • Ranger1640

    During the case, which was heard in May, Mr Quinn alleged he was the victim of “Protestant and British prejudice”. He launched a scathing attack on his former employers, accusing the BBC of promoting “Protestant-supported sports” over Gaelic games.

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/justice-has-yet-to-take-its-course-says-exbbc-man-jerome-quinn-14890506.html#ixzz0vIVoSycX

    You GAA types wear your victim hood like a badge of honour,


  • Ranger1640

    And you can of course verify that BR.

    For me I’m a regular to the Kevin lynch GAA club. I play tidally winks (shit another Protestant sport) with the locals and discus the state of the economy. Not.

  • Rhinestone Cowboy

    When did Jerome Quinn become the official spokesperson for the GAA? Was that around the same time that Billy Wright became ambassador for Ulster unionism?

    Take your hate and prejudice elsewhere, “ranger”.

  • BR

    I wonder why you won’t believe that fact. Maybe because it ruins your ridiculous idea that the GAA is anti-Protestant. My faith has nothing to do with what sports I choose to follow or not follow. My Gaelic Football club has welcomed many Protestants into its folds (such as myself), who have been essential parts of the team (not so much myself). What did you expect to happen when they joined? Told to say Hail Marys before they joined in their first training session and get turned away when they refused?

  • BR

    I wonder if Ranger would deny that Billy Wright played Gaelic Football at a young age, since it doesn’t fit in with his idea that Protestants aren’t allowed…

  • Realistic Idealist
  • Realistic Idealist

    sorry, i meant to add: …this is for you ranger [comment moderated- watch language]

  • Kevin Barry

    Seriously Ranger, what’s your beef with the GAA. I’ve noticed you popping up on any GAA related link in some pathetic attempt to link the organisation to 5th column activities.

    People go for the craic, to cheer on their county or friends, no one sees it as a way to undermine the British state.

    Also, I actually cannot believe you questioned someone’s religion on this? Can you verify your religion, or are you just someone disgruntled by the GAA because you warmed subs benches when you were a kid?

  • Kevin Barry

    Tiddlly winks is a Protestant sport?


  • Elessar
  • PJ_Maybe

    Goodness Jack Boothman was a hun? Wasn’t Sam Maguire as well? And Darren Graham? Er perhaps we shouldn’t talk about him though.

  • Mick Fealty

    Any chance of having a conversation about sport on a sports thread? No smug Down men reading Slugger anymore… Now if this was an Antrim thread….

  • Alan Maskey

    Ranger: That is an interesting link. I know athletes who curse the GAA as it puts athletics of the TV. They use chicken and egg arguments like you too.
    Mr Quinn probably had a point but it got the better of him. I don’t know what he hoped to achieve by posting om GAA forums. Any ideas?

    So where do you think Sam will go this year? Hey, and another ;poster already mentioned most follow GA for the crack. That is certainly the case with the babes. Maybe you should get a Down top and take your chances with the babes.
    Or, if you prefer the Dubs (blue like Rangers), the women might take good care of you on Hill 16. You might even end up marrying a camogie player, who would fit right in in Co Antrim.

  • PJ_Maybe

    That’s me convinced. Naming an all Island trophy after a protestant? Sure that’s as all inclusive as it gets.

  • PJ_Maybe

    which males it sound like a we trip to Magaluf.

  • Ranger1640

    So Keivn using your and Jerome Quinns logic the GAA is a republican and roman catholic sport.

    Not that we did not already know that.

    Has tiddywinkers named it grounds, teams and competitions in honour of dead Irish republican terrorists and let their facilities be used by political parties for political rallies.

    I wonder will the GAA let me set up a club in the Shankill.

    We have a ground the Billy Wright memorial ground, where we ensure the flying of the Union Flag, and play God Save the Queen, before every game, encourage Ulster Scots and associated cultural activities.

    The team will be called the Lenny Murphy Loyalist Hero’s.

    The club house will play traditional music, the Sash, No Surrender, Rule Britannia, The fields of Ulster, Number one Platoon, Build my Gallows and an all time favourite the Famine Song.

    We will play in red, white and blue, with an away kit of orange and purple.

    We can ask our friends form Ardoyne and Ballysillin, to march down with their away kit on and with a few of our traditional bands, playing our traditional tunes. To our club for a night of culture, don’t think our GAA friends at the other part of Ardoyne. You know the place. Where all the rioting goes on during the summer. Will have any objections to us going pasted???

  • PJ_Maybe

    Christ “makes”

  • Alan Maskey

    Let’s leave King rat out of this or Sinn Fein will be naming a cup after him, much along the thinking lines the Sticks adopted in the early 1970s.

    So, is there a particular Co Down gene that causes Kerry teams to crumble? Certainly Dublin, Cork and some others (let’s pray for the Sheep Shearers whose former captain is now OC of the Free State Army) will be saying that old Provie prayer: Tiochfaidh ar la.

  • Republic of Connaught

    Fair play to the Downmen. They continued their great record against Kerry.

    I would like to see them go all the way now, but I expect Cork to take the crown now that Kerry and Tyrone are out.

  • ranger1640

    If you’re going to use Sam McGuire, as an example as a Protestant how played GAA give the whole story.
    Explain the full story of his Irish republicanism and his part in the Irish republican brotherhood.
    Hardly an example or an icon for an Ulster Unionist to use an example to join with the GAA.

    As for other Protestants past and present in the GAA, they too must espouse the GAA’s Irish republican politics and are comfortable with the influence of the roman catholic church with in the GAA. I am not!

    Samuel (“Sam”) Maguire (1879 – February 6, 1927), an Irish Republican and Gaelic footballer, is chiefly remembered as the eponym of the Sam Maguire Cup, given to the All-Ireland Senior Champions of Gaelic football.


    If the GAA is this all inclusive sport why are all the main protagonists Irish republican? The GAA is very cold place for Unionists.

    The Ex-BBC employee put it nicely when he exclaimed that non GAA sports were Protestant/Unionist, therefore by default the GAA is both roman catholic and republican, nice to have confirmed what we always knew. Even with all the GAA spin.

    If a Protestant plays GAA they must be comfortable with the Irish republican ethos of the GAA, that’s a matter for them. The GAA is politically and with the influence of the roman catholic church it is a strange sport indeed.

    The GAA will never be main stream it will continue to be a parochial activity, because it’s wedded to Irish republican politics and the theology of the roman catholic church.

    Why not scrap all the Irish republican and roman catholic church influences in the GAA, and then maybe I as a Northern Irish, Unionist and Protestant might well start to give this organization the same consideration as other non political and theological activities.

    The only good thing in watching the GAA, is seeing the participants fighting.

  • Alan maskey


    Ranger, Here is the website of your old club. Lots of young bucks coming through so not so much golf for hasbeens as in otehr GAA clubs. Good to see the emphasis is on hurling (and tiddlywinks for you).

  • Murphy

    As a Tyrone man I have to say I am gutted by the teams performance yesterday. They kicked themselves out of it, but at the end of the day they were beaten by a much hungrier team.
    Experience will only get you so far and it is time for Micky Harte to start blooding in some fresher hungrier players. The Tyrone minors comprehensive win yesterday is a sign that all is not lost for the future of Tyrone football.
    I have to say a big congratulations to the Down team who put up a very brave performance against the Kingdom and as a Tyrone man I hope they can go on to take Sam back up to Ulster on this their anniversary year.

    On Rangers comments on protestants in the GAA, my wife is a protestant and a member of our local club and has always been welcome to particapate in club activities.

    On the BBC coverage of the GAA, it has to be said that it is partitionist to say the least.They may have covered yesterdays matches as they involved two of the six NI counties but I would be surprised if they even give the scores of either of todays two matches.
    I have heard the argument given that the BBC are only entitled to provide service and coverage to its licence fee payers and that their are no fee payers from either Roscommon, Cork, Meath or Kildare but then again there were not to many fee payers from either Spain or Germany when the World Cup was shown live on the BBC. Coverage of the World Cup did not end after England exited. They just pay lip service to the GAA.

  • lover not a fighter

    Now this is serious.

    It is imperative that all other counties (bar Tyrone in relatively recent years) uncover this secret ingredient that Down have when confronting the green and gold in the championship.

    Is it witchcraft, an alien force (is Pete Baker from Down).
    The solving of this mystery may reveal some other conundrums.

  • Mick Fealty

    Takes a kingdom to beat a kingdom? Alas, I didn’t see the match, but I did watch their exit from the Ulster Championship,

    My thoughts then was they were a good youthful team with young Clarke as a potential talisman, but who just failed quite to gel, and just failed to take those marginal chances that often make the difference between winning and losing.

    Perhaps they’ve moved on from that day. And if Clarke is getting his Gaelic head back on, so much the better.

    Highlights here: http://www.rte.ie/sport/gaa/championship/mediaplayer.html?replay,2796297,2796297,flash,256

  • sammaguire

    As a Dubs fans I had a great day yesterday. The Down fans were great after the match. Hope we meet in the final.

    Our Rangers friend above might be interested in the fact that there was a 63,000 attendance yesterday with no segregation of fans.There was no stabbings or bottle throwing or anything like that. Sport as it should be. The only Old Firm game I was ever at the fans didn’t mix and have a bit of craic after the match. I didn’t meet a single Rangers fan but saw many policemen on horses.

    As to the football. I think the back door system will have to be re-examined. I like the extra games but it’s not fair Tyrone & Kerry won’t get a second chance as Dublin & Down did. Also going through the Qualifiers seems to give teams an advantage over Provincial winners. Dublin may go further this year by going through the Qualifiers than they did in 5 years as Leinster champions!

    Maybe we should hold on to the Provincial Championships as separate competitions and then run the (All Ireland) Championship as the soccer World Cup. 8 groups of 4 with top seedings granted to the 8 Provincial finalists, followed by a knockout phase for the winners of the groups.

  • lover not a fighter

    ” Maybe we should hold on to the Provincial Championships as separate competitions and then run the (All Ireland) Championship as the soccer World Cup. 8 groups of 4 with top seedings granted to the 8 Provincial finalists, followed by a knockout phase for the winners of the groups. ”

    I do think that the present system needs some tweaking and your idea above is worth a good llook.

  • grandimarkey

    I can’t imagine you average Meath full forward being a diehard republican…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    On a footballing note, having seen the excellent NI BBC program on Clarke in Australia this was the first time I saw him playing but he seemed to make little impact in the early stages of the game (I think he started as corner forward?) but then seemed to become increasingly involved.(Did he change postition?) He deos look a class act and will have a punt on Down – even at fairly ungenerous odds of 7/2 for the Samuel.

  • grandimarkey

    This Cork game is picking up. We could be in for another upset…

  • Rory Carr

    I’m a Down man, Mick. I can do smug if you like – weren’t we just awesome?

  • Rory Carr

    Kerry gold – made in the green fields of Kerry by the farmers’ sons of Kerry – and turned to dross on the field of Croke by the lads from Mourne.

    God! This smug business is great craic – I think I better stop now, it could become addictive.

  • Rory Carr

    Enough of this smug business – Meath are looking pretty hotaginst Kildare at the moment (15mins) Meath 1-3 Kildare 0 – 2.

  • Kevin Barry

    Using my logic I think the GAA is inherently republican? My logic is that the GAA is a sport and that most people don’t care about

    Where did I say it is a republican and a RC sport? I look forward to you sifting through my posts to confirm that one. I can understand, though disagree, with levelling republican bias against the organisation, but to accuse it of being a RC sport is laughable.

    I think you are forgetting that large parts of the GAA have autonomy and are usually free to name their cubs whatever they like? I know of only one club named after a terrorist and I suspect that will be changed. or are you including Irish revolutionaries in with this sole club?

    If so, then I imagine you would also have problems with places in the US named after George Washington or Thomas Jefferson as well as they were terrorists also.

    As for the rest of your rant, you have a problem with Irish trad music also? Have you ever actually been to a GAA club? You know, if you go in you won’t turn to dust or anything like that. How about you ask one of your friends who is a member to bring you to one or to a game and then come back here and tell me that any of what you have written above is a fair reflection of what actually goes on. Or, whenever I’m home, I could bring you to a game; it’s entirely up to yourself.

  • Kevin Barry

    That would be great Mick

  • redhugh78

    Don’t think Down have much to be smug about yet, there were no trophies won yesterday.

    Tyrone were the better team v the Dubs but couldn’t put away their chances,Ultimately Dublin were hungrier and that was the difference, Tyrone just couldn’t replicate the hunger that is so important in my opinion.

  • Alan Maskey

    Meath are not looking too hot now. The GAA must be delighted as they will get bumper crowds for the semis. Now, if only anyone could beat Kilkenny.

  • pacman

    Down V Kildare in three weeks – what a cracking weekend of matches.

    An Dún Abu

  • Alan Maskey

    No provincial champion is in the semi finals.

  • kells

    I hope Down reach the final.It would be great to see South Down with all the colours up.

  • FermanaghRepublican

    I was very impressed with Down against Kerry,however i am not sure of their chances against Kildare,Kildare are a more mobile and athletic team than the kingdom,who had a very static immbile midfield in Quirke/Scanlon.
    Its a Cork/Kildare final for me.

  • Brian MacAodh

    I can’t believe Kerry lost to Down. I’d say 8 or 9 times out of 10 Kerry beats Down, but oh well. Good luck to them.

  • Jean Meslier

    Now that I have sobered up from the intoxication of victory (aye dead on), the magnitude of our win can be summed up by the following John B. Keane quote:

    “A Kerry footballer with an inferiority complex is one who thinks he’s just as good as everybody else.”

    The lack of belief and fear of freezing on the big stage, which has affected all other Northern teams, just does not enter the equation when An Dún take on our Southern cousins.
    Kerry, who are the greatest footballing county in Ireland,
    were appearing in their 45th game in Croker since 1994 whilst Down were appearing in their 2nd.
    Still despite this disparity they were out to set straight the only record which eludes their proud history – to beat Down in a Championship match.

    As someone who, as a 9 year old, was held up by my father to touch the Sam Maguire being displayed on the victory bus by Colm Mc Alarney, as the ’68 team returned to Newry, I have always understood the meaning of victory over Kerry.
    Incredibly the meaning reciprocates amongst the people down there.
    In any visit to Tralee, Killarney, Listowel or Ballyheigue, over the years, just a mention of the name Down was enough to engage respectful conversation into the wee small hours. The locals spoke of Paddy Doherty, Sean O’Neill and Mickey Linden with the same awe as Mick O’Connell, Mick O’Dwyer or the Spillane’s.

    Even, last week, there were cautious words by wise old heads on the Kerry GAA website against over-confident references to Down being an easy draw.
    How right they were.

    2010 is now added to 1960, 61, 68 and 91 as a fifth Down victory out of five against the other Kingdom.

    So now, like 1991, the Championship incredibly opens up for wee James and a possible sixth All-Ireland Final is feasible.
    But how have we fared in previous finals?
    Oh yes, thats another wee record which we have in the Mourne County.
    5 appearances and 5 victories!

    So now with the legendary swagger back in our forward line, the aristocrats move on and not a single mention of “puke football” from the pundits.

    Contae an Dúin go deo!

  • Gerard

    I understand your frustrations but to add an additional competition on these amateur sportsmen is a step too far. Keep in mind that these lads already have the league and the Dr McKenna cup in ulster (all provinces have their equivalents), their club and in some cases university championships.

    If we’re going to have a second chance system then at some point a team is probably gong to lose without having a second chance; so where do you draw the line? However I would agree that a 6 day turnaround for the losing provincial final losers is too short and the stats seem to support this.

    More importantly; I was lucky enough to be in croke last week to watch the red and black put style and flare back into ulster football. Nice.

  • Gerard

    Knock yourself out Rory; it’s been 16 long years and might only last till the end of august!

  • PrimroseAndBlue

    I’m English, with no Irish heritage, and I love GAA football (introduced to it when visiting a friend in, of all places, Crossmaglen).

    I would like to think that I will experience more grief for being an Armagh supporter rather than my alleged religion!