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Topics - Eamonnca1

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Splitting off from the Paraic Duffy thread because I think this deserves a discussion of its own.

(5) Another new evolution in GAA has been the amount of time involved in playing intercounty, which in turn means that whole swathes of people are ruled out, purely because their employers aren't able to be as flexible. And yes, that feeds into elitism, because it means that if you have a Tesco employee in Kinlough, playing for Melvin Gaels, and another five miles down the road in Bundoran, playing for Realt na Mara, and they are both potential county players - the county with the far greater level of funding (in this case Donegal) has a far better chance of getting their player a handy job that's compatible with playing county, while the guy in Leitrim has no option but to keep his job with all the weekend and evening hours that are incompatible with joining a county panel.

This is a great point. For all the talk about "elitism" regarding anything that looks professional, there are advantages and disadvantages to the amateur status. One of the biggest disadvantages is that people in certain types of job who may be good potential players cannot rise to the top because of work commitments. Public sector employees with very understanding bosses and long summer holidays are at a huge advantage over labourers and the self-employed who lose a day's pay for every day they don't work.

Sports like soccer and rugby used to be "gentleman's" pastimes, i.e. a hobby for the upper class only. The only way the working man had access to playing the games in front of big crowds was if the clubs compensated them for time lost at work. This evolved into pay-for-play. The powers-that-be resisted the encroachment of pay-for-play because they didn't want the working class anywhere near them, but they had to bow to the unstoppable market forces in the end because payments were creeping in regardless of the rules.

In those days it was the amateur status that was the "elitist" mindset. Michael Cusack founded the GAA not just to preserve Ireland's sporting identity, but also because he wanted the working man to have access to sport.

Is the make-up of today's inter-county panels looking increasingly white collar as opposed to blue collar? Are we so dedicated to the amateur status that we're losing sight of Cusack's original vision? Is the GAA's amateur status, however well intentioned, inadvertently squeezing the working man out of top flight hurling and football?


General discussion / Foxcommander
« on: October 06, 2017, 12:00:48 AM »
There's a list as long as my arm of rules that he's broken, (feuding and personal abuse being the most obvious) but I think Rule 8 is the most interesting:

8. Joining up to cause trouble, or to annoy people.
   Occasionally, some people join the board simply to post something abusive, or to 'flame' the board. These people are generally easy to spot (see the F365 invasion last
   year) and have no real interest in the GAA Board. Also some people, who have been banned permanently, rejoin under different usernames and continue with the
   behaviour that led to the ban. By tracking IPs, behaviour and other items, we can sometimes tell this fairly easily, and these users will be banned again.
   Penalty - Immediate Permanent Ban

I've been reporting his racist and abusive tirades to the moderators but a quick check on his profile shows that he has made zero GAA-related contributions all year. With over 2,000 posts to his name, only 58 are on the GAA section. A nausea-inducing trace through his posting history reveals a sustained campaign of racism, far right extremism, and hate-filled name-calling and insults directed against other contributors to this board seemingly for the sole purpose of causing the maximum offense.   

He's obviously not here to talk about the finer points of GAA promotion or the sweeper system.

This sounds to me like fitting the description of "joining the board simply to post something abusive, or to 'flame' the board." I move that Rule 8 be invoked and a permanent ban put in place. All in favour say 'aye.'

Is it time for the sister sports to come under the GAA's wing? I think it's long past time.

To use a Pat Dalyism, there are economies of scale with being part of a larger organization.

The GAA would gain from having more progressive input since women tend to be more open minded about trying new ideas, hence the sin bin and hooter in ladies football.

The LGFA and CA would gain from having easier access to facilities instead of hoping the GAA can spare their grounds. It'd open the door to mixed-gender double headers. Want to promote ladies football and get a big crowd at the match? Have the opening rounds of the league or championships with the ladies match as the curtain-raiser before the men's game, that way you could potentially have the Armagh and Tyrone ladies playing before the Armagh and Tyrone men. Then you'd be looking at big attendances. With the cameras already there it'd be easier to get TV coverage for the women's game. Same as how women's Olympic events and grand slam tennis matches already get plenty of coverage since they play at the same time as the men when all the media is in place.

There's a boatload of advantages to amalgamation and I think the LGFA and CA are shooting themselves in the foot by holding back on it.

General discussion / RTE
« on: September 15, 2017, 09:48:58 PM »
Any of you heard about this Secret RTE Producer Twitter account? Some eye-opening stuff in there, employees milking big salaries they'd never get in the private sector, long lunches, endless coffee breaks, 2-man crews on one-man pieces of equipment because the unions say so, 1980s production values, shoddy work, low morale, etc.. RTE's response has been to try to track him down instead of address the stuff he's leaking.

First the cops and now the state broadcaster. What's it going to take to get things working right?

General discussion / The "PC Brigade" brigade
« on: August 15, 2017, 01:37:14 AM »
This is a gear grinder for me but it deserves a thread of its own.

"Political correctness" is a derogatory term dreamed up by right wingers to denounce every bit of progress we've made in advancing the cause of human dignity.

  • Abolish slavery? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Desegregate races? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • End apartheid? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Stop being racist? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Stop being homophobic? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Marriage equality? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Be nice to immigrants? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Prevent refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't smoke around your children? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't smoke in a pub? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't have a few pints before you drive? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't hunt foxes with hounds? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't execute people anymore? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • People upset about the Angelus on RTE? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • Can't force atheists to pray? "Political correctness gone mad!"
  • We have to treat women as human beings? "Political correctness gone mad!"

Newsflash: Times change. Values change. Stuff that was tolerated 100, 50, or only 10 years ago isn't tolerated anymore. This is the way of things. You can yap and whinge and cry about it all you like, but you can either change with the times or squeal like a spoiled brat every time we make a bit of progress and build a better society. If we listened to the "PC brigade" brigade we'd still be sending children up chimneys to clean them from the inside and locking single mothers up in Magdalene laundries.

Away and dry your eyes, you whinging shower of apes!

GAA Discussion / Cork fans flying the confederate flag
« on: August 14, 2017, 06:46:45 PM »
Stop it.  >:(

GAA Discussion / Scór
« on: August 02, 2017, 06:25:22 PM »
I remember when Scór was a big deal.

  • Packed halls on Sunday nights.
  • The endless Question Time that seemed to be designed to be boring.
  • The snack bar opening up at the interval serving crisps and tins of mineral.
  • Scór na nÓg seemed like better crack than Scór na Sinsear, maybe because it was a younger crowd.
  • Young fellas misbehaving at the back of the hall and the MC giving out about it, threatening to send them "out through the door." 
  • The hit-and-miss of the novelty act; sometimes it was funny and sometimes it was painful to watch.
  • There used to be some great ballad groups, I always liked that part.
  • The set dancing to end the show on a high note.
  • Angry letters into the Irish News the next week giving out about the adjudicators' decisions.
  • The MC giving out about bad press the following week and threatening to throw out any club that questions the adjudicators' decisions.

I remember when it got to the Ulster final there'd be a huge crowd bringing their county flags and roaring at full volume when the results were called out.

Tony's other thread posts a report saying that there's been a bit of a decline in Scór in Armagh of late. Is this true? It wouldn't surprise me if the format is anything like it used to be.

General discussion / UK General Election 2017
« on: April 18, 2017, 07:09:42 PM »
Worth a thread of its own?

My prediction is a Liberal comeback because of Corbyn's uselessness and there being nobody else for the Remainers in England and Wales to vote for. Between the Liberals and the SNP, the opposition benches could get interesting.

General discussion / Whist
« on: December 29, 2016, 04:52:24 AM »
Just curious. Anybody here familiar with whist, the card game? My dad still goes to the local whist drive, but he says it's dying out. I wonder how widespread a game it is/was. He's from Fermanagh and it seemed to be popular there, and in North Armagh where I grew up it was popular too. Is it played in many other places around the country?

General discussion / Respectable blue-collar jobs
« on: November 16, 2016, 04:26:53 AM »
I feel like a response to this deserves a thread of its own:

One thing came up in conversation today that I hadn't even thought of before

Remember during the election we heard that Trump had all of his support coming from "non college educated white people".

How fvcking condescending can you get.....I know plenty of trades people over here.....electricians, diesel mechanics, HVAC guys .....who spend years at trade schools, learning trades and doing apprenticeships . They are just as smart and equally, if not more informed as many of the smarmy fvcks looking down their noses at them

I agree 100%

You know what I heard my teachers tell me in my day? "We want youse to go out and get good jobs. Not working outside in the rain as builders or labourers." Another one said "We want you to have a respectable job when you grow up. Not working out in the back yard lifting bricks." I always bristled when I heard that since my dad was a navvy in England when he met my mother, and later he was a breadman when I was growing up. My mother was a housewife until I was old enough to be left alone and she went back to work, first as a store detective and later going into factory work. When I heard teachers talking down to working class people like that I always felt that my own background was being insulted.

I have a handful of siblings, some of us went into professional work and others did not. All of us did well in life, IMHO. The ones that do manual work are as happy as any, and some of them are doing better financially than myself in a lot of ways, and fair play to them.

I have one friend who went to uni and ended up working in banking, but he says he feels out of place in it and he didn't really feel that university was for him. I have another friend who had no notion of going on to higher education, I think he did a HND and was happy to stop at that. Am I supposed to think any less of him?

University isn't for everybody. Software engineering, science, economics and the like are not for everybody, and the sooner we get that into our heads the better off we're going to be. Exposing all children to coding is all well and good, but we shouldn't expect everybody to want to go on to be a programmer. We still need people to build our houses, fix our cars, stack the shelves in the store, and serve us at the bar or cafe.  I work in a tech company in Silicon Valley, and some of the people in there that I have the most respect for are the ones that work in the cafeteria. They get up early and work their asses off, and they do good work. You can tell they take pride in it.

I once had a boss who bragged about taking his son with him in the car one day. He parked across the street from a mechanic's garage and forced the young fella to watch these men at work all day. The lesson he was trying to teach his son was that that kind of work was beneath him, and he had to stick in at college if he was going to avoid lowering himself to that level. Bit harsh in my opinion. I once worked in a machine shop one summer and enjoyed the work. (The ones I had to work with, not so much, but the work itself had its own job satisfaction.) My old boss' son turned out to be a bit of an asshole, and I'd say that little mechanic lesson was probably a factor.

Now there's a whole generation of people brought up to believe that they're so special that manual work is beneath them. Hence you can't get an American to pick fruit out of the fields, only desperate immigrants will do it. How many films have you watched where the good guy prevails by escaping the drudgery of being an ordinary working man? An entire culture has developed where we don't value everybody's job, hence low-wage jobs are treated like a punishment for not being good enough at school. An American conservative once tried to argue with me that minimum-wage jobs "are not designed for people who want to have families." He thought that if you work 40+hours a week, you still don't deserve to earn enough money to get by on if the kind of work you're doing does not measure up in the prestige stakes.

What the hell's the matter with people now? What happened to a bit of respect for the ordinary working man and the dignity of the job?

General discussion / Conservative Watch
« on: February 25, 2016, 08:05:25 AM »
Welcome to this edition of Conservative Watch.

Republicans in Springfield Illinois are targeting single mothers with a bill that would deny them birth certificates of their own children. The measure would require that a father be available to sign the documents, and "…provides that if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child’s father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate."

It "Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member’s name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child."

Failure to provide a birth certificate would strip a person of all manner of rights such as the ability to apply for a driver's license, a passport, a social security number, and would deprive a person of the ability to prove citizenship.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's latest supporters have an interesting uniform:

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General discussion / Is Ricky Gervais funny?
« on: January 11, 2016, 07:42:00 AM »

GAA Discussion / Army team in London GAA
« on: January 10, 2016, 06:58:52 PM »
Club set to object to British army GAA team

Granuaile Hurling Club, based in Harrow, North London, sent notification to the London County Board of their proposal to ‘rescind’ last September’s historic decision to allow a team from the Irish Guards compete in the junior championship.

The move could be viewed as significant, as the new London chairman is Granuaile stalwart John Lacey. The decision to allow in the club was divisive and only passed when then chairman, Noel O’Sullivan, cast the deciding ballot after a tied vote.

An email to the city’s clubs from the secretary of the London County Board Mark Gottsch, and forwarded to the Irish Examiner, read: “A Chara, In accordance with Rule 4.3 Voting T.O. 2015 (p58) I have been requested by Granuaile hurling club to notify all members of the London County Committee of their intention to propose the rescindment of the decision to approve the affiliation of the Irish Guards as a club to the London County Committee.
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“Could all clubs please ensure that their club delegates are briefed and mandated on this proposal.”

When asked by the Irish Examiner to explain their position, Granuaile chairman Donal Corbett said: “We’re affiliated to the London County Committee and perform our business within that structure. We will disclose everything to the London County Commitee.”

Mr Corbett has been heavily involved at County Board level in recent years.

The Irish Guards are the first British army regiment to become an affiliated club in the GAA’s history. British security forces were banned from playing Gaelic games until 2001 under Rule 21.

The Irish Guards applied to join the GAA as a club several months ago after moving to London from Aldershot. At the time of the vote, Noel O’Sullivan said:

“Very simply for me I can see both sides. I can appreciate the way people feel. But we have to move forward, don’t dwell on the past.”

The regiment, nicknamed the Micks, are set to play under the name Gardaí Éireannach.

One London source expressed concern about how the move will be viewed.

“The very fact it’s been proposed portrays us in a very bad light,” he said.

The Irish Examiner

was unable to make contact with the Irish Guards at time of writing.

How embarrassing. On the plus side, they're on a hiding to nowhere with this. There's no rule against letting them play. This was settled with the abolition of Rule 21. If for some reason the London board voted to kick them out of the competition, they could appeal it to Central Council who I think would rule the objection out of order and let them back in.

General discussion / China crisis - is this another 2008?
« on: January 08, 2016, 08:12:18 AM »
Anyone keeping an eye on this? What do you think? Could the rest of the world be about to take a hit from China's troubles?

General discussion / Is Ireland a nation of negative whingers?
« on: December 26, 2015, 07:41:01 PM »
 I was going to post this on the Grinds-my-Gears thread, but it deserves a topic of its own.

It seems that just about every story posted on FB by an Irish news outlet, no matter how positive, usually draws overwhelmingly negative comments.

If it's the government tackling problem x, the chorus goes up: "what about problem y?" 
If the government tackles problem y: "What about problem x?"
If it's a worthwhile initiative to fix some long standing problem that's worth dealing with: "sure it's a joke" or "it's not going to work."
If it's officials on an international trip to drum up trade and investment, "sure it's only a junket."
If it's President Higgins saying something thoughtful, it's a tirade of personalized abuse mocking his height, personal appearance, or even his wife, usually coming from clueless morons who don't know how the constitution works, because he had to sign the water legislation into law.
If it's about Bono, it's the usual "pay your taxes you gobshite."
If it's about Bob Geldof it's the usual "shut up, who do you think you are being successful?"
If it's about any other internationally successful Irish artist: "Sure they're rubbish."
If it's about some bit of infrastructure being built: "sure what about the potholes on my street?"
If it's about helping migrants to assimilate, it's the timeless "what about the homeless" trope.

I'll bet the same whinging shower of apes making these moaning comments are the same people who go into a polling booth and make a point of voting for some tax-dodging, bribe-taking, convicted criminal who "fixshed de road" and forced the government to built a city-sized hospital in his small village just to "stick it to them."

When is the country going to grow up? When are people going to cut out the whinging and take a bit of responsibility for who they vote for? If you want the country to be run properly, vote for the right people. Demand an end to corruption. Demand transparency. If there's nobody decent to vote for, stand for election yourself. Take positive action. Do something about it. Don't just sit there whinging and refusing to believe every piece of good news.

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