Shane Curran… You’re right Colm O’Rourke, 5 things that are a “bollox” in the GAA currently


Its lovely to see one of the countries top pundits from any of our sports, finally have a little bit of an outburst and say it as we all see it. Colm O’Rourke is a pundit you wait to hear from due to his sensible talking style and logic approach to analysis of a game. Listening to his Sunday Game mini outburst of “bollox”, here are a few issues grating with us GAA family.


1. Double standards

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connelly missed out on playing in Dublin’s record breaking Leinster Final win over Kildare due to a 12 week ban handed down for handling the linesman in their first round win over Carlow. Yes, he should have been banned for the incident and the rules stipulate a punitive 12 weeks . Harsh yes and the subsequent media circus means incidents similar to that will draw comparisons. And thats the crux , Brian Cody finds himself at close quarters with one of our esteemed officials , clearly handles him as if he’s going to break his neck ( joking) common sense apply’s .- ”twas only bit of fun – Though gotta love the way hurling brethren stick up for each other the way Mick Duignan did for Cody on Sunday game . Loyalty boy loyalty .

2. Card Happy Referee’s

This was the cause of Colm’s little outburst shortly after the Leinster Final between Kildare and Dublin while after viewing a card fest in the Ulster Final hours earlier “It’s a load of bollox”. I agree, the referee’s are too inconsistent with their application of the rules and I see it born from the fact that they are not certain themselves on how to apply them. Do I give a black or yellow? , play the advantage or stop the action?. Roscommon’s Paddy Neilan shipped a lot of criticism for his handling of the Tipperary / Armagh game , in particular two incidents where he did not apply the advantage rule.

They were definitely poor decisions and on reflection when Paddy looks back he’ll say both calls were premature . However it’s the brandishing of cards left , right & Center that’s absolutely bewildering , Yellow for this Black, for that, combination Black / Yellow , throw in a Red and you have Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat flying around most GAA grounds from now until the end of competitions . Examples are a plenty of players been black carded incorrectly it’s time to bin it and give yellows for the same offences and 2 cards where applicable . Games are been ruined by the constant secretarial work and time it takes for referees to administer punishments.

A referees job particularly in football is difficult , aligning the rules similar to hurling would make it a lot easier . Keep it simple stupid and we’d have a much better game.


3. Pointless Defensive Football

Setting up ultra defensively to get hammered by 20 points and remaining to play that system. “Ah sure they were going to beat us anyway”… Shane “you know its the modern day football sure”… That’s a load of bollox, why not go at them and have a go until you can and if your getting beat, go back defensive and do like teams did years ago keep the score down. I am convinced these people championing defensive football are couch potatoes and never actually go to the games.


4. Sledging and Nipple Pinching

Ulster I am not picking on a Ulster football here because it’s happening all over the GAA at the minute and believe it or not it’s actually creeping into the Ladies GAA . The dark arts . Sledging is part and parcel of the sport and many others and will be very difficult to eradicate.

Highlighting one incident over another where it may not be as audible or visible can be unfair and subjective. However I’d think that after yesterday’s Ulster final Mickey Harte will be having a quiet word with Niall Morgan over his no doubt kind words to Darragh o Hanlon. By the letter of the law a black card should have been brandished , as I doubt Niall was offering an invite for a few pints after the game.
On the other hand Downs Niall McPharland’s disgusting nipple twisting of Sean Cavanagh in full view was in completely inexcusable .
Retrospective action should follow to cut out this type of cowardly nonsense . A 12 week ban would ensure players respect each other without having to resort to thuggish behaviour . If this was Diarmuid Connelly he’d be banned for life.

5. Token Coverage

A number of games which are not being covered live on TV by either broadcaster are being let slip through the net. A game that is live on TV in the day should not get prime spot again on the highlights show. The chances are the game has being viewed by the majority that want to see it and the neutral GAA fan doesn’t want sit through another viewing. Why not show switch it up a bit lads and give the un-aired games the prime spot in the highlights show. Their were some mighty high scoring games this season in both codes that put together in a highlights show would have being plenty entertaining. I for one would have liked to see a little more of Meath, Carlow and Tipperary in the football this year.

Shane Curran


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