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Messages - 6th sam

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Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 16, 2022, 05:16:24 PM »
One of the aristocrats of Down club football cannot field a seconds team for the last two weeks. How can Bryansford be struggling for numbers?
Aristocrats?Where do you get all these terms and ideas from?Regional reserve leagues?

Yes with a play off of the winners and runners up to win all county league. If you look at the DNF for the weekend, Bryansford not traveling to Carryduff, Saval not going to Loughinisland and Annaclone not traveling to Downpatrick. Less travel for reserve players means a better chance the fixture will be played.

This is a fair point, and initial local leagues with all county playoffs may work better

General discussion / Re: 6 County Assembly Elections - 5th May 2022
« on: May 16, 2022, 11:11:14 AM »
The DUP are walking all over the Shinners.
Border Poll in 5 years my arse.

Care to elaborate?
SF as biggest party doesn't change anything. There is no majority for unity if you look at totals for the 2 sides. The DUP can always get the Tories onside .
So "the DUP are running rings around the shinners" because demographics? OK so.
The demographics aren't there for a successful border poll right now . And the DUP are setting the agenda now. What are SF doing ?

How are the DUP setting the agenda? You are sounding like people did when they were saying how great the DUP were negotiating regarding Brexit. Until people realised that their negotiation tactic was to say no and that was it.

The DUP have made a career out of saying “no”. This will continue to work until Others unite against them. A continuing concern is that “the centre” ie alliance/SDLP/UU backed up by the governments , present the problem here as being two sides of the same coin . Which perpetuates DUP influence . SF and DUP are not the same. SF has mellowed and has made significant efforts to continue in government, even returning to government in the absence of Irish language act. They have put many of their republican ideals aside.  In contrast , DUP has been dragged kicking and screaming into power sharing. Any movement towards normalcy and parity of esteem is either resisted or tolerated by “pinching their nose”. They promoted brexit and now can’t accept its consequences. They facilitate and promote extreme unionism . All this , and the centre ground response is always qualified by a “SF are just as bad” narrative , which lets DUP off the hook again .

General discussion / Re: 6 County Assembly Elections - 5th May 2022
« on: May 16, 2022, 09:44:54 AM »
There is some right wing types in the south that wants ireland to join the uk

How does this make them “right wing”?

Good question wobbler. My understanding as a Nordie with an interest in Southern politics .
FG historically would be centre right. Though left/right politics throughout the island are not as binary as they tend to be in Britain , most right wingers in the South would probably be FG supporters. The “west-Brit “ gibe was often directed at those who had an affiliation with “British ways” and were not as patriotically Irish , and the perception was they would have mainly been FG aligned and therefore right wing(albeit centre right).
Historically many FG politicians eg Bruton and Fitzgerald seemed to have little understanding or empathy for nationalists in the North, compared to Ahern/Reynolds/Haughey. FF self proclaimed as the “Republican Party “ have always been wedded to a United ireland , whilst FG , even going back to their origins , have been comfortable with partition.
(Ironically at present , Miceál Martin FF seems to have a more partitionist outlook, whilst Simon Coveney  FG has shown an empathy towards northern nationalists rarely seen in FG.)

Right or left wing aside , there would be no interest in the South in linking back with UK even among those not particularly patriotic . ROI though not perfect , has done well since independence, given that only a few years prior to 1916 Ireland had suffered the horrors of the Famine under British rule, and the UK retained over 90% of the GDP on the island after independence of the 26. NI by comparison , since independence has been a disaster despite its massive economic advantages at its inception.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 12, 2022, 11:10:32 PM »
Down better going with 30 players who want to play for Down and not disappear to America, Australia or drop if the panel. Derry went through 107 players in less than 10yrs, it was a joke. Down beat Derry in Newry 2yrs ago. Gallagher got rid of maybe 8/10 players I have thought good enough to start / on the panel. Due to either attitude or couldn't commit. Down gonna go the same way. Derry keep Slaughtneil on board to backbone the team, Kilcoo seem to they too good for the county team.

Down are in a potentially strong position . Worst case scenario is they go to div 4.  Conor Laverty and his set up will look after emerging talent at u20. New coaching development pathway could be Dublinesque with GPO support in every club . Kilcoo’s all-ireland success will hopefully convert to county spin-off over next couple of years( this usually happens with successful club teams). Ballykinlar due to start .
Importantly we will hopefully benefit from lowered expectations , allowing us to focus on development with mature realism . We are nowhere near a top football county for a variety of reasons. We are close to rock bottom . Let’s get organised, get real and we have enough opportunities as listed above to be able to weed out those without the attitude required for the top. What have we got to lose anymore?
If players either can’t or won’t commit , move on with those that will ( no resentment towards those that can’t/won’t commit). There is no current Down player that is indispensable , and apart from Kilcoo , few are winners at present . Let’s get behind a medium to long term plan, and sacrifice short term
Success to focus on getting our ethos right .

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 12, 2022, 10:35:12 AM »
I see the new Down GAA coaching and Games development plan for 2022 - 2027 presentation is out to the clubs for review and to presented tonight in the Burrendale.

By the looks of it we're going cap in hand to Croke Park with a plan and we're entirely right to do so.

As I said in our place, these plans aren't worth my arsé full of warm snow unless they translate out onto the green grass in a meaningful way.

Have read it through club correspondence. A lot of work done , ambitious plans based on evidence around player development. This is the type of initiative we need and all try to get it on the green grass as u say JC. Hopefully the shot in the arm Down GAA needs,  we are in a good position to become a power again but it will take a patience, commitment and a unity of purpose.

General discussion / Re: 6 County Assembly Elections - 5th May 2022
« on: May 09, 2022, 03:34:50 PM »
Difficult election for the SDLP. They were always a broad church , pun intended , because it’s been mainly church going Catholics. Really green United irelanders, who couldn’t vote SF because of violence , those committed to social democratic politics, and non-green Catholics with either no interest in a United ireland , or against it, but still couldn’t vote for themunns (justifiably because of their anti-Catholic/anti-irish psyche) .
Now the greener SDLP voters are more prepared to forget SF violent past and want nationalist  strength which can’t be provided by SDLP , those with social democracy in their veins probably have some elements of that ethos in Alliance. And those Catholics who don’t want themunns  in, are also happy to bolster Alliance . Alliance’s surge amongst perceived nationalists has gone up
In recent years, after the likes of Anna Lo, admitting they would be ok with a United ireland. Back in the day , we always viewed Alliance as a soft unionist party (which they still are essentially, but are wise enough to hide it) .
As an Irish “nationalist” , not affiliated to any party , I admire both SDLP and Alliance for always damping down violence in very difficult times. Now times are different . SF have worked really hard and with political intelligence to harness new voters but the only way they can positively influence a movement towards a better ireland is by playing things low key, and not motivating the opposition ( they did that brilliantly in this election) . However they also can use momentum and some degree of radicalism to optimise their own vote. It would concern me that if SDLP continue to slide , it shrinks the green bloc and bolsters Alliance, who have always bought into the constitutional
Position of the time and therefore are unlikely to promote an All island solution in the short term.
Alliance are part of the problem Here. They represent a position held by most here that real politics (poverty/health/education/equality ) trumps constitutional arrangements. However they have squeezed out moderate unionism and nationalism, ironically keeping two extremes , who can’t agree , in government.
I think for a lot of reasons we need to re-visit outdated elements of the GFA. Unless there could be a coalition of SF (as largest party on the island)  and Alliance ( with unionist insight ), SF may hope the SDLP get stronger and win back some alliance voters , to contribute to a stronger green bloc. I’d be hopeful then that an increasing nationalist vote keeps DUP in check , with additional support of Alliance who I feel can be persuaded to seriously look at potential future constitutional arrangements on this island  .

General discussion / Re: 6 County Assembly Elections - 5th May 2022
« on: May 04, 2022, 08:31:56 AM »
Can’t say I’ve followed the election that closely but what concerns me is that loss of DUP votes to TUV may not have much negative impact on seats . TuV will get an increased vote but most will still be eliminated early and I imagine will transfer en masse to DUP. Similarly  Ulster unionists voters though attracted by Beattie’s middle ground ethos are still unionists and may favour transferring to DUP.  DUP vote may also hold up ok as their scaremongering, “protocol and keep SF out “ , approach will result in an increased unionist turnout , favouring the unionist party most likely to keep SF out  and optimising internal unionist transferring. There remains nationalist and middle ground apathy - despite demographic changes , the nationalist vote has not really increased as much as expected in recent years.
I hope DUP get a beating but It ain’t over yet.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 02, 2022, 11:25:57 AM »
Fair point re slaughtneil. Though the training and fitness required for hurling is different to football. I heard that Slaughtneil accept that their hurlers involved in football , don’t need additional fitness training for hurling , so they concentrate on their stick work ,

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: May 02, 2022, 10:32:24 AM »
It was a tongue in cheek more than reality. Although this management team are going nowhere through no real fault of their own. They never wanted the job.
Look what Derry did yesterday when they finally got their set up right. And alot of the best players in the county available. I'm not saying we would be better than Derry but we should at least be competitive. Down Meath and Cork look to have big issues somewhere.  Galway and Derry may have rectified theirs.

There’s certainly lessons  in Derry and Galway’s change in fortunes .

The difference between ourselves and  Derry is that they have had a production line of underage success over a number of years. They actually went to division 4 and that probably gave them an opportunity to rebuild . Clubwise they are amongst the strongest in the country , as well as Slaughtneils all-ireland final appearance, Glenn, magherafelt, ballinderry etc are strong and Steelstown are All-Ireland intermediate champions . They havent had our financial restrictions and have a well established centre of excellence. Their slaughtneil players didn’t have the same club distractions this year.
We have had only 1 ulster appearance at underage in 13 seasons and even semi final appearances are a rarity . Our last appearance in an all-ireland was on the back of preceding underage success.
In reality we were fortunate  to be promoted to division 2, and then fortunate to stay in it. In recent years we have been on the receiving end of several poor results under a number of different managers.
We had a challenging campaign in div 2 this year, with a delayed managerial appointment. The brilliant success of Kilcoo , did not translate into Down seniors , as many of their best players are not available and those that are, were likely fatigued after the prolonged club campaign . We get drawn away against an established top teams who beat Dublin last time out. We had few travelling supporters .
In the above circumstances, why are we surprised at a 10 point defeat ?
We have a mountain of work to do to get back to the top table , but there are several things to be positive about: we have AI club champions and a competitive club game. We now have  a strong GAA presence in North Down. We won an ulster u20 title last year. We have a top notch stadium. We are close to cutting sod on a new centre of excellence and our financial stresses have reduced .
We have a mountain of work to do, but our starting point must be a realistic acceptance of where we are at, and an enthusiasm about our potential , but importantly a change from the immature , ill-informed blame culture , which gets too much credibility in this county .

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 30, 2022, 10:45:09 AM »
Working , so won’t get a chance to go, but hoping for a good performance after a challenging league campaign . We have to be realistic about where we are, just looking a few shoots of progress emerging

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 29, 2022, 04:09:42 PM »
Has anyone a list of refs and what clubs they are from. Are there many clubs not contributing?

Apart from referees, what are exactly is your own club contributing to Down GAA?

Any juvenile teams going?  Senior or reserve football?  Hurling?  Camogie?  Ladies Football?  Social club still going?

Catch yourself on.

It’s a very fair point . There has been an exponential increase in teams but not in referees. Every club has to work hard at trying to produce refs or everyone loses out. Our club has nearly  20 teams and 1 referee. There are a number of initiatives to attract and retain referees but all clubs are not producing enough referees . How can we all improve this?

General discussion / Re: Things that make you go What the F**k?
« on: April 21, 2022, 04:09:37 PM »
You've around 600,000 immigrants living in Ireland

Polish being the most, over 120,000 followed by the Brits with over 100,000 living here.. it drops a lot to the Romina's who make up 30,000 Lithuania's 0n 36,000 and dropping further for Nigerian's and Indian's around 10,000 each. The Spanish and Americans Brazilians French German and Italians make up the rest..

The Poles and and the Brits would be I think not a drain on the wellbeing of Ireland. The Indians neither, Lithuania and Latvia immigrants also have a good work ethic..

So its a very small percentage left that most people would feel is draining the health service or social services. The vast majority draining the system will be the lads down the street from you, who are local

Great summary MR. Working in the health service I would agree foreign nationals are not putting a drain on the health service, more concerning is that they actually underutilise health services and have significant health risks related to poverty , living conditions and other socioeconomic factors . Very few are taking attractive jobs which locals really want. They are comparable to thousands of Irish immigrants  who were treated with racist disdain back in the day. They should be welcomed and supported not least to learn from other cultures and improve .

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 19, 2022, 09:12:55 AM »
I don’t think many people have been to the place in awhile but lads you would be lucky to do clough to Kinlar in 10 minutes it’s that bad a road
Google maps which errs on the side of caution indicates ballykinlar is 10 mins from aughlisnafin and 7 minutes from Clough. I accept It ain’t perfect but it’s as close to perfect we are going to get

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 18, 2022, 10:59:31 PM »
The problem here is that for as long as you continue to measures distances to Ballyk in miles instead of hours and minutes, then we will likely never agree. 27 miles to Ballyk doesn’t mean 27 mins…. It means at least an hour of bendy roads, small villages, cyclists, tractors and 5-mile detours for roadworks.
That’s what we’ve had to put up with for years Wobbler. The reality is that Aughlisnafin would be perfect location in terms of convenience for most , but there’s nothing available, it’s on top of a hill and doesn’t have the soil quality ( Owenbeg  and garvaghy have problems in this regard) . A drive from South Down of a further 10 minutes from aughlisnafin is as good as we’re going to get. If you can suggest an alternative available venue 10 minutes south of the Fin, providing the low lying, climatic, soil quality of ballykinlar ( even disregarding the low cost) , I’m sure East Down clubs would be prepared to make the sacrifice of venturing further south, but such an alternative doesn’t exist , and we need action urgently as lack of suitable training venue continues to hold us back. Garvaghy and Owenbeg are ~30 miles from the gaa hinterlands of east Tyrone and south Derry , but they were the most suitable available locations , and the benefit of excellent facilities for training has overridden those raw geographical concerns.
I think there are plans to improve the Clough to Ballykinlar road ,which should be an additional focus for the Ballykinlar project team.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: April 18, 2022, 10:24:10 PM »

Perhaps geographically.

In terms of proximity to where Down people live and work, it’s the middle of nowhere.

I don't disagree with the (lack of) proximity to the A1 argument. If Down are going to play matches in Ballykinlar, then its in an extremely poor position relative to the rest of Ireland.

If it were my call - I think I'd have been looking around the Annaclone/Drumgath area - and put up separate pitches for hurling much nearer the Ards contingent.

But in general, the problem is well beyond the county board - roadlinks across the county are a f**king disgrace. I've real concerns about dozens of young fellas driving to/from training in Ballykinlar several times per week.

The cumulative miles on shite roads add up. Probability of a bad accident will stack up over time.
There are members of the current Down football panel who have to travel 36 miles and 1 hour to get to newry and even Annaclone/Drumgath . The furthest clubs from ballykinlar are 27 miles away. Furthest clubs from newry/Banbridge/Annaclone  are ~ 40 miles away.
A lot of county players live in belfast and ballykinlar is closer to belfast than any other proposed alternatives . It’s only 13 miles away from our Allireland champions Kilcoo .
It’s only 8 miles from the “centre of the county” in Castlewellan, it’s within 20 minutes of half the clubs in Down. It’s close to 11 clubs who currently don’t have match floodlights, opening up floodlit match venues to alleviate fixture issues .  It’s only 16 miles from the ferry , compared to 32miles to the Dub where Down hurlers currently train. It has a natural soil quality and climate much more sustainable and attractive than rivals such as garvaghy and owenbeg, or other venues in Down . Positioning  of a Down centre of excellence should consider optimal cumulative travel for training for Down players, not convenience for opposition , especially since we have a well positioned Intercounty match venue in Newry. Demographic s would indicate that most  growth and potential in GAA in Down is in the north east of the county and any venue should be convenient to this area. And we are getting Ballykinlar for free with a quick turnaround. I wasn’t sold on ballykinlar originally but on considering every other proposed alternative, No other venue even comes close to the benefits of Ballykinlar.  There are strong clubs and corporate potential in and around Newry but Páirc Esler already provides a superb venue and commercial focus, ballykinlar actually enables Down to spread the commercial net further by having a quality base in East Down. The time for debate is over, rather it’s time for getting behind ballykinlar.  I agree with a lot of your views Wobbler but I genuinely think you’re wrong on this one.

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