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Topics - Lar Naparka

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1
This sad story headlined the Indo’s online edition this morning.
Like all fatalities, this accident will leave the poor girl’s parents and friends feeling devastated as long as they but life will go on as usual and nothing will be done to help prevent other cyclists meeting the same fate as Louise.
That’s why the well-meaning advice from Brian Farrell bugs me a little.
It’s one thing stating the obvious but doing anything about it is another matter.
Nothing will be done and I suppose with the economy in poor shape and the roads getting more and more congested by the day, it will be hard to see what can be done to makes our roads safer for cyclists.
I use my bike as often as I can to get around and it’s a bit rich to see Farrell asking cyclists to make sure their bikes are roadworthy without making any attempts to make the roads bikeworthy in return.
If Farrell’s association has its way, new regulations will be introduced and cyclists will face an on the spot fine of €50 if caught cycling on a footpath.
Sure, cyclists can be a nuisance for pedestrians but forcing them to use the road at all times greatly increases the chances of death or injury on the roads.
Any one got any views on this subject?

Cyclists urged to exercise caution following death of Louise Butler

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/cyclists-urged-to-exercise-caution-following-death-of-louise-butler-29503287.html
16 AUGUST 2013
CYCLISTS are being urged to exercise caution on the roads following the death of Louise Butler (28) in South Dublin.
A total of four cyclists have been killed on Irish roads so far this year.
In the 24 hour period yesterday, three people lost their lives on Irish roads.
Cyclist Louise was involved in a collision with an articulated lorry.
Last night, a woman in her fifties died after her moped collided with a car, while
There have been a total of 121 traffic fatalities so far this year which also includes pedestrians, drivers and motorcyclists with ten of the fatalities occurring this month.
Half of all cyclists are hit by private cars and 30 per cent are hit by heavy goods vehicles according to Communications Officer of the Road Safety Authority Brian Farrell.
Two out of five of cyclists are killed or seriously injured at an intersection.
‘‘Drivers need to take special care and understand that cyclists are entitled to road space as much as any other vehicle on the road. It’s important that drivers anticipate cyclists at blind spots and to give at least a 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist,’’ he said.
‘‘At the same time, cyclists have a duty of care and must be aware that they are vulnerable road users. They must ensure that their bike is in good working order and they are mindful of other road users, particularly when cycling near parked cars and heavy vehicles,’’ he added.
Cyclists should always wear luminous clothing such as hi-vis vests, fluorscent armbands and reflective belts so that other vehicles can see the cyclist clearly.
Brakes should work properly and tyres should be inflated to the right pressure.
‘‘It’s also vital that cyclists give the proper signals, especially when they are in heavy traffic,’’ he said.
Those travelling on bikes should always keep to the left and look behind and give the proper signal before moving off, changing lanes or making a turn….

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GAA Discussion / The Provincial Championships
« on: July 24, 2013, 10:03:46 AM »
Here are Paraic Duffy's thoughts on the subject.
Discuss.

http://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-football/gaa-chief-defends-provincial-system-and-claims-critics-just-dont-get-it-29443738.html

COLM KEYS – 24 JULY 2013
The GAA's director general Paraic Duffy has said that ardent critics of the provincial championships calling for change "don't really get it."
Speaking at the launch of the All-Ireland football championships in Glenswilly, home club of Donegal captain Michael Murphy, Duffy gave firm backing to the current structures after three successive weekends that collectively brought 94 years of famine to an end for three different counties in hurling and football.
He also acknowledged that pitch invasions remain a concern for the Association but are a bigger issue inCroke Park – because of crowd sizes – than anywhere else.
Monaghan-native Duffy was a delighted figure in the Gerry Arthurs Stand on Sunday as Monaghan celebrated a first Ulster title in 25 years, with fans spilling out on the pitch afterwards for the presentation.
"I've always felt that we should keep the provincial championship," he said. "For Monaghan players and supporters that was a huge goal itself, to win a provincial title. I was in Monaghan at the celebrations. People who say 'get rid of the championships' don't really get it.
"If you tell anyone in Monaghan or, say, in Limerick at the Munster hurling final last Sunday, that it doesn't matter... I don't think there is an awful lot wrong with the present system. If there is a better system, fine, but the qualifiers allowed us to retain the provincial championships and allowed us to have different pairings," he said.
He also pointed out that if there had been an 'A' and 'B' championship split evenly, as some suggested should happen, Cavan, Monaghan and London would not have made such progress this summer.
"Sport has to be about the romance, about the small guy having his day. Most counties get their day. The present system is the one which best suits the GAA," said Duffy.
"There are probably teams who aren't good enough to compete, but it's a very small number. Those counties want to be a part of it and want to compete in it. If you have another system, say with eight groups of four, you'd have far more mismatches than with the current system.
"I still believe that we should retain the provincial championships in tandem with the qualifier system."
Duffy admitted it was "something very special" to look down at the Monaghan supporters on Sunday.
"The reason for us saying no to pitch invasions is because it's a health and safety issue. Last Sunday in Clones you had 32,000 people, the week before in Limerick you had 40,000, but in Croke Park you have potential for 80,000 people to come onto the pitch," he said.
"It's a bigger issue in Croke Park than anywhere else. This isn't a GAA crusade. It was done in Croke Park on Garda advice. It is dangerous. It's great if it goes off well.
"The other problem in Croke Park is that when people come onto the pitch they all go out onto Jones' Road again. That's what brought it to a head, where people were coming out there and pushing in different directions."
Duffy said Croke Park must ultimately accept responsibility for any adverse reception referee Joe McQuillan got off the crowd in Newbridge after Saturday night's defeat to Tyrone.
"You can say that it was a Kildare venue, but it was a Central Council fixture, so the onus is on us to look at what happened and make sure it doesn't happen again," he said.



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Anyone got anything to offer?

I was in Kennedy’s pub in Drumcondra once when Kilkenny had destroyed Wexford in a Leinster final.
It was late on and the group beside me well getting well and truly steamed; three or four cats laying into a yallabelly. Yer man was getting some stick until, finally, he could take no more. He could be heard right around the shop as he roared,
”Well, we didn’t piss on our powder in ’98, did we?”
Dead, embarrassed, silence from the cats.


An old secondary school teacher once told my class that, “If the whole lot of ye were bet together with a shovel, ye wouldn’t amount to one half-dacent eejit!”
Lovely man; great craic but feck all use as a teacher.

Any of ye ever been told that he was as thick as two short planks or that he was a black-enamelled bollix?
Well, I heard them both many a time and I was often the target in question but I never found out the original meaning of either. Anyone able to oblige or better still, come up with some new ones?

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General discussion / Crisis- Inside the Cowen Government
« on: November 07, 2011, 06:22:56 PM »
There’s a program going out tonight at 21.35 on RTE 1.
It purports to reveal what really went on the inside, as it were, during Brian Cowen’s time as Taoiseach.
If even half of what I heard is true it should be very interesting indeed……

I'll say no more. ;D

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General discussion / Has Anyone Been to Madrid Lately?
« on: September 23, 2011, 03:33:34 PM »
My brother and his missus are going to Madrid early next month for a week’s vacation.
They know next to nothing about the place and are looking for general information of any sort. Places to go to; pubs and restaurants; transport systems etc. etc.
Very few of their friends, me included, have not been able to help them much in this regard.

If any posters here can help out, I’d be grateful.

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GAA Discussion / Championship Power Rankings
« on: August 24, 2011, 11:29:31 AM »
Ewan MacKenna was a sports writer with the Sunday Tribune.
He now writes for the Eircom Sports Hub.
(http://eircomsports.eircom.net/)
He has recently posted his list of counties in Championship pecking order.
I am posting his top ten here and the full list can be found at:
http://eircomsports.eircom.net/News/news/gaa/football/power-rankings-22-aug.aspx
Anyone care to comment?

1. Kerry (-)
Remember that 1997 All Ireland they captured by beating no more than Tipperary, Clare, Cavan and Mayo. Well this one is beginning to have that peaceful, easy feeling to it as well. The hardest part is yet to come but it says a lot about their route so far that they are in the last two and we still know so little about where they are at as a team, particularly down the spine of their defence where they look susceptible to being run at. In fact the only indication of their standing was a month ago, and even at that we suspected the Munster final was more shadow boxing than an all-out brawl.
At least that day, and on Sunday, they hinted at answers to the many questions surrounding them, particularly at midfield where Bryan Sheehan and Anthony Maher have been sensational, while they are still blessed with the best group of forwards in the country, what with Paul Galvin back to fitness and with a lot of people on his back, Declan O’Sullivan and Kieran Donaghy with so much room for improvement, Gooch slowly coming to boil at the right time of the year as he’s done so many times before and Darran O’Sullivan having a career-defining season capped by that most remarkable of goals against Limerick.
There have been better Kerry teams over the last decade that didn't win All Irelands. But that won't bother this group if and when they take that final step.
2. Dublin (-)
How much of that quarter-final was down to Dublin’s brilliance and how much was down to Tyrone’s dire display would give an indication of their capability of winning it all. That the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle keeps them at number two, but so many of the doubts have been dispelled. Their hunger and physicality was huge, their pace phenomenal, their distribution excellent and their finishing, for points at least, awesome. Tactically Pat Gilroy got it right against a slow side on their last legs but he needed a lot of players to stand up to make it work. So many players did just that.
The defence was packed tight, Michael Dara MacAuley was imposing, Diarmuid Connolly couldn’t miss, Alan Brogan remains Dublin’s best attacker when taking the championship as a whole, Bernard Brogan showed glimpses of his best, even if he’s not there yet, and Paul Flynn’s distribution was that of an All Star. But maybe most impressive of all was the way they forgot so many disappoints at this stage in previous seasons, forgot all the pressure and hype, and got on with beating a team they are far superior too with little fuss.
There’s two ways it can go now. There can be the boom and bust scenario where everything that went right could go wrong next day, or a performance like that could inspire enough confidence to continue playing with such a swagger. If it’s the latter they’ll be on Kerry’s tails not just here and now, but right up to the final whistle in late September.
3. Cork (-)
That they went down without much fighting was the most disappointing aspect of their exit but there are valid excuses, not least a myriad of missed goal chances against Mayo, and a thin squad of forwards, unable to recover from the loss of Ciarán Sheehan, Colm O’Neill and Daniel Goulding. But perhaps the greatest blow to this group of players was the removal of all that desperation to succeed that came along with so many near misses over the years. In the end when they came across a team that wanted it more, they couldn’t respond or match their hunger and that was their downfall.
As much as being All Ireland champions improved them, it also raised a question and a nagging doubt that a league title and facile wins over Clare, Waterford and Down just couldn’t answer. The pain of losing initially brought Noel O’Leary and Michael Shields to Rylane Boxing Club in winter and last season the whole side danced on the canvas. But without pain, we wondered how they would react. Now we know and we wonder if that pain will return next season because they are still a serious side and watching someone else win a relatively easy All Ireland that should have been theirs is bound to hurt.
4. Donegal (+1)
Despite reaching the last four against all odds, we still aren’t sure if they are a very good team or simply a solid team. They’ve a system that is so hard to beat and that might even take them to an All Ireland final and in Neil McGee, Karl Lacey and Michael Murphy they have All Stars. But then what? There will come a day when they are actually called up for some really cynical off-the-ball hitting and their midfield can’t keep losing out as they did against Kildare. This is not a shot at Donegal, rather an honest assessment because while it’s not pretty, it’s plenty effective and they are there to win, not to entertain.
Under Jimmy McGuinness the county has its most dedicated team in an age and their hassling and harrying at the back shows as much. That they gave up their pre-championship night out, instead taking in the Scottish League Cup final back in March is another example of the unity and organisation in the group. Question now is do they have a Plan B, because if a side start kicking scores from distance, do Donegal know how to play less negatively and go toe-to-toe in a shootout with a top-class county? On Sunday we’ll find out.
5. Mayo (-1)
Another hammering by Kerry that could have been similar to those which went before had Darran O’Sullivan goaled a couple of times in the early stages. Their midfield just wasn’t mobile enough to compete with Kerry and while the defence kept tabs on some of the opposition forward line, they couldn’t contain them all. But there is no shame in that and the real story here is not the fact they lost the semi-final heavily, it was the fact that they made it that far while turning Andy Moran into an All Star and turning Cillian O’Connor into an All Star nominee. They are easily the best team in Connacht and while they are nowhere near good enough to make it to the top in a countywide sense, they are at least back as a force and moving rapidly in the right direction.
While their ultimate exit will come to mind initially when we think of their 2011, the Cork win shouldn’t be forgotten. For a while we’ve said James Horan was the right person to resurrect Mayo football but we didn’t think it would happen so soon. Year one of his time in charge has been spectacular, now for that difficult second album.
6. Kildare (-)
What now? Four years in and after Kieran McGeeney gave himself and his great footballing mind as well as everything the players needed to succeed, this is where Kildare end up. What’s most irritating is that they are losing to teams they should be beating at a stage they should be getting past. In short they are underachieving and as much as they talk about decisions going against them (how can a referee 40 yards away tell an umpire waving a green flag that it was a square ball?), they still should have won the quarter-final and won well. They showed guts to get to extra-time against Donegal but then they needed to show ruthlessness and with a three-point lead and Daryl Flynn dominating in the middle, they froze and then melted in the most horrific of mental collapses.
They do need McGeeney to stay though because while he and everyone else must be questioning the players' ability to get over the line, without him they won’t even see that line. The only positive is considering how long it took McGeeney himself to become a champion but judging by this latest collapse, that Armagh side had far more mental strength than this group.
7. Tyrone (-)
That’s all folks. The end of an era as there won’t, and should not, be any coming back from this for a lot of the panel. There were rightly many nice things written about so many players that thrilled us for the last decade but to look at the Dublin game on its own, that was simply pathetic from all concerned. Yes, the opposition were bigger, stronger and faster and it would have taken a miracle to beat that, but all it needed was hunger and some tactics to make it a lot more respectable.
On several occasions Dublin won ball in their own defence where they had five men to spare, and kicked it long to where they were in a three-on-three situation. Tyrone’s extra bodies were floating around the middle throughout as the ball went way over their heads and towards their full-back line which just couldn’t compete with basic man-marking. Dublin were good, but they weren’t that good. Tyrone meanwhile were that bad. The end of an era. Time for the next generation to step up and begin to blossom.
8. Down (-)
Not really a crash landing because their season never took off. On the surface Cork may have knocked them out of the championship, but their 2011 was effectively ended by Armagh all those weeks ago. They had to show this year they could win an Ulster title and go from there but lost their confidence that day and never recovered. But strangely, despite the scoreline against Cork, they showed for long spells of the first half they still have the ability to be the best in their province and one of the better sides in the country. However the likes of Kevin McKernan, Peter Fitzpatrick, Danny Hughes, Kalum King and Mark Poland never reached last season’s highs while Marty Clarke looked a shadow of his former self. There’s something to work with going forward, sure, but they need to start next summer on the right foot and get off the ground early.
9. Meath (-)
Better. Much better. They may have beaten Louth and Galway but their loss to Kildare strangely was the greatest cause for optimism. They stuck with a very good team all night in Navan, Kevin Reilly and the half-back line were superb, Joe Sheridan dictated a lot of play from deep and Shane O’Rourke was decent in a midfield role. There are a couple of problems though. Firstly, the forwards should be scoring more, and Graham Reilly should be in the half-forward line. Secondly, there was no sense of responsibility during their exit because with the game on the line they lacked leaders and a real will to win, something most un-Meath. But hey, they did enough to make sure Banty is around next season to try and rectify those situations, although we aren't sure how many of their followers will be pleased by that.
10. Derry (-)
So often with Derry we’ve seen sunshine followed rapidly by rain. Against Armagh it was all sunshine as their midfield cleaned up, Eoin Bradley was unmarkable with the supply of ball that was aimed at him and the defence was crowded and chaotic. In essence, John Brennan got every little thing right that day. But completely outclassed by Donegal and Kildare and while any side would struggle without the Bradley brothers, it was the way they dissipated in the qualifiers that was most disappointing. Their long-ball gameplan was flawed and predictable and their actions when the game got away from them were sour. They hit late consistently in the second-half in Croke Park, were cynical and dirty and gave an awful impression of a side that had looked so good just weeks before.

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General discussion / Knock, Knock: Who was there?
« on: August 16, 2011, 02:03:15 AM »
Next Sunday marks the 132nd. anniversary of the Apparition at Knock.

According to eye witness accounts, Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. The apparition was witnessed by fifteen people, young and old.
Controversy has raged ever since; two Church commissions were set up to investigate the accounts; one a few weeks later and the other in 1936. Both bodies found the witness accounts to be accurate and truthful and concluded that a miracle had taken place.
One of the last surviving witnesses, Mary Byrne (or Beirne) told the 1936 commission ‘I am clear about everything I have said and I make this statement knowing I am going before my God’. She died six weeks later.

On the debit side, sociologists have noted that social and economic conditions were ripe for a ‘visitation’ to take place. Some have put it down  to mass hysteria brought on by the desire of the witnesses to believe that the Holy Family was aware of their plight and had appeared to bring them comfort and hope.
For believers and non-believers alike, some facts are irrefutable: one and a half million people visited the shrine last year and untold millions have made pilgrimages there since 1879. Many ‘cures’ have been reported which, if true, defy medical explanation.
But were the ‘cures’ manifestations of divine intervention or instances of mind over matter, inspired by simple faith?

Anyone care to discuss?

8
More as a penitential exercise than anything else, I‘ve looked at the results of all NI elections throughout the noughties. (My source is: http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/)

The purpose of the exercise was to see if it were possible to come up with a forecast of the outcome of a UI referendum. This could be any time in the near to medium term future based on those results.
 I wonder if others on the board would also care to consider the stats and let the rest of us know what they think of them.

Points to keep in mind.

First, a public health warning…
I’m no statistician and I’ve often been told that I could clear Croke Park in double quick time when I start meddling with stats!

Second, I’ve omitted the results I don’t consider to be relevant to the discussion eg numbers of seats won.

Third, I would consider such a poll to be a classic Orange vs. Green confrontation, where no local issues etc. come into the reckoning. Because of this I added the DUP/UUP totals and put them on the Orange side to begin with. Likewise, the Stoops and Shinners can be napped to belong almost exclusively to the Green side
.
Fourth, I added a Shift feature to the original presentation of stats.
 Here, I took the results of the more recent election and recorded the change from the one prior to that.
By way of example, the Orange vote in the Westminster elections dropped by 11.2% between elections and the Alliance votes increased by 2.4%.

Here goes…..

visitors can't see pics , please register or login





9
When Limerick and Cork met in the SFC last July, I had to depend on updates from Newstalk 106 to follow the game. The reception was poor and so was the commentator and the analyst beside him was a voluble Kerryman. I think it was Mick O’Dwyer but I couldn’t be certain because of the crackling on the radio and the yapping of the commentator.
However I did catch one comment from Micko, or his sound-alike, that has given me plenty of food for thought since then.
“Will John Galavin never win a Munster medal? If there’s a God in Heaven above, he should and an All Ireland too.”
This came in the closing stages when it was obvious that Limerick, and Galvin, were going out of the championships once again.
He had an absolute stormer against Kerry in the Munster final and an equally good one against Cork in this qualifier game and has been one of the country’s best players for years and yet he will probably never get a championship medal of any sort.
The same can be said of lots of other fine players around the country- both present and past.
I know the Parish Rule and all it entails has been the cornerstone of the GAA since its foundation but it does ensure that many deserving players will never win even a county club medal, let alone a provincial or an All Ireland one.
There can’t be wholesale switching of clubs and counties but the present system denies the likes of Galvin any chance of a tangible reward while many others of lesser ability come by such medals by an accident of birth.
Any opinions?

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General discussion / Where the Heck is Glenconkeine?
« on: July 20, 2010, 01:23:07 PM »
Hi everyone,
I'm doing a bit of genealogical research and it seems that some of my ancestors hailed from the Glenconkeine area.
I know Cookstown and Ballinascreen fairly well and I know this place is somewhere in between them but I don't know its exact location.

I'd be much obliged if someone here could pinpoint the place for me.


11
General discussion / The Political History of Northern Ireland
« on: July 04, 2010, 11:57:31 AM »
In August 20008 a thread was started on this board in connection with the Warrenpoint ambush and more specifically, the celebrations to mark its anniversary by a republican splinter group. (I don’t now recall its name.)
Many of the board members here will remember that the exchanges across the political divide grew a bit heated before Mod 1 stepped in and closed down the thread.
But, just before Mod1 intervened, a spin off thread to discuss the history of Northern Ireland was started.
Wiser counsel, IMO, prevailed and this thread was aborted. Feelings on both sides were running high and in the wake of the mod’s intervention on the Warrenpoint thread, the likelihood was that he’d do the same with this one.
I am proposing that the subject in question should be brought up again, now that passions on both sides ought to have cooled down somewhat.

12
While the pros and cons of the “Pay for Play” issue are getting a good airing at the moment, there are a number of other related issues GAA members everywhere should carefully consider.
For me, the fact is that it becoming increasingly harder for players who are not from the salaried classes or who are not students at some third level institution to play at IC level comes top of the list.
I think problems start to arise with u21 players and get worse when the players in question move up to senior level. There is plenty of talk about ‘burnout’ alright but nothing tangible is being done about it.
Players at college may be asked to play for club, college and the county u21 and senior sides, whereas the first consideration at all times should be to allow them time and opportunity to complete their studies. Many talented young footballers, on leaving second level schools, do not continue their education but go looking for jobs instead. For the vast majority of them, the issue of “Pay for Play” will never arise because they will never have the chance to play to the standards required.

Every county board in the country is doing its best to provide its players with facilities to rival or better those of any other sport, amateur or professional. The GAA provides its members with the best facilities of any sport in the country without exception. Moreover, the standards are improving all the time- but the relentless drive for professionalism in all but name brings its own problems with it.
How many farmers, plasterers, van drivers or other individuals who do any sort of manual work are to be found playing IC football or hurling? Damn few, I would imagine. You are hardly going to find many from the ranks of shift workers or the unemployed either.
I think it was Sean Og who once said that IC players are expected to live and behave like the monks of old for the greater part of the year. (Maybe behaving like them in all respects mightn’t be such a good idea but I know what he meant.) ;D
Can anything be done to lessen the demands being made on players’ time and resources and bring a touch of democracy back to the IC scene?

13
GAA Discussion / Dermot Earley may be forced to retire
« on: April 03, 2010, 12:01:21 PM »
It was reported in the Star yesterday that Dermot Earley, the Chief of Staff of the Irish army may be forced to retire on health grounds. Dermot, who was only promoted to this post within the last couple of years, has been unable to work since Christmas and it appears unlikely that he will be able to return to work.
Readers here may recall that Dermot, from Roascommon, was highly placed in the list of football’s top 100 players that was presented by Martin Breheny in the Indo some months ago.
He is the holder of five Connacht Senior medals, two All Star Awards, one National League medal (1979), one U21 All Ireland Medal (1966), an All Ireland runners-up Medal (1980) and two Railway Cup Medals.
He was a few years my senior at St Nath’y College, Ballaghadereen and even back then he stood out from the crowd as a brilliant footballer and a popular and well-respected individual.
I am shocked and saddened to hear of his illness and can only wish him the very best.
I doubt if there is anyone anywhere who would feel otherwise; as a sportsman and a gentleman he has been extra special.

14
What happened at the Tesco store in Antrim last Sunday has set me thinking.
The GAA has announced a policy of promoting inclusiveness for all and that surely includes Councillor Adrian Watson and those of similar outlook.
ASFAIK, the Ulster Council has taken on the task of exploring ways of establishing contact with members of the Unionist community with a view to inviting recruits from that quarter.
Is it an imitative that should be supported and fostered or is it destined to end in inevitable failure?
In the light of what happened in Antrim town, I’d be interested in finding out what board members think of the chances of the Association developing a fresh source of recruits from across the traditional divide.
Is the venture worth the effort that will be involved or should the idea be dismissed out of hand?
Just how should one go about the process of engagement and at whom should the approaches be aimed?
I presume Adrian Watson won’t react positively to any such approach; are there many others who probably will spurn the outstretched hand of friendship?
Do committed GAA supporters, especially in the six counties of Ulster, welcome an influx of non-Nationalists?
Indeed, does the average GAA fan welcome the possible arrival of non-nationals of any sort and what would the GAA need to change to make the Association attractive to others to get them to come on board.
Very few, possibly only the inimitable EG, have brought up the subject on the board but I’m sure many more have opinions on the subject.
I’d love to hear from as many as possible, including of course members of the ‘cavalry.’

Last but by no means least:
The following is an excerpt from The GAA Strategic Vision and Action Plan 2009-2015:

• We welcome everybody to be part of our Association
• We are anti sectarian
• We are anti racist

Does the above aptly describe us?

15
Few will begrudge the GAA and its membership the right to celebrate the 125th anniversary of its foundation. Obviously, there will be some who do so but no one can deny that it has played a major part in the formation of Irish society as we know it today.
It has always had a strong Nationalist ethos and indeed one of the reasons for its foundation and continuing existence has been its links with Irish Nationalist culture.
But is this sufficient in the Ireland of today and more importantly of tomorrow?
Many in the association talk of extending the hand of friendship to members of the Unionist community in Northern Ireland.
A few short years ago, the mere mention of ‘reaching out’ without a stout ashplant or similar held firmly in one’s hand, would have been unthinkable!
The fact that the idea is even being considered marks progress of a sort to many but there may be others who want the GAA to maintain its strong Nationalist ethos and who discourage contact of any sort with those they regard as their ancient adversaries.
Do you think the GAA is mentally resilient enough and has sufficient self-confidence to go looking for possible recruits from a community that was once regarded with distaste and suspicion?
Talking of ‘reaching out’ is all very well but it takes two to shake hands; will people on the other side of the social and historical divide welcome the open arms approach of the GAA?
What changes will need to be made within the structures of the association if the overtures are to bear fruit?
I think the question of recruiting members from across the community divide will be discussed and debated at length at all levels of the association in the near to mid-term future. Would an influx of non-nationalist players be good or bad for the GAA?
We might have an interesting discussion on these and other matters that need to be considered if the GAA does pursue the ‘reaching out’ proposals.
But there are many other matters that engage our attention as we mark the association’s 125th year in existence and I would not presume that  I am able to name them all; the payment of players’ expenses is certainly one to express opinions about as is the opening of Croke Park for foreign games.
Does any one out there have views to air on these and related matters?
What about the status of the Irish language in the GAA of tomorrow? Is it merely used on formal occasion to pay lip service to the ideals and aspirations of its founding members or is it an essential part of the GAA’s unique character?
Possibly there are even more questions than answers!
I am posting this thread to give members the chance to sound off about everything and anything that is somehow relevant to the celebrations that are about to get underway.

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