May 10, 2011

'The GAA Player who Performs in Front of 70,000 at the Weekend Will Be Teaching Your Kids on Monday': "It was a picture of the dissidents' worst nightmares. The GAA was defining the police in Northern Ireland as 'us' and Ronan Kerr's killers as 'them'." Fintan O'Toole muses on the role of the Gaelic Athletic Association in defining and redefining what it is to be Irish (via MetaFilter).

posted by rcade to other at 10:14 AM - 7 comments

I keep forgetting to share interesting sports stuff from Metafilter here :)

posted by Fence at 05:18 PM on May 10, 2011

That's alright. Just don't let it happen again and we'll let you off with a warning this time.

posted by rcade at 06:49 PM on May 10, 2011

Thanks - great article even if it occasionally descends into romanticised blarney. Unfortunately that's an occupational hazard with Irish history.

/Ducks JJ's swinging hurley.

posted by owlhouse at 09:55 PM on May 10, 2011

Are you kidding? Hurling pitches aren't wide enough for my for my wild flailing. Golf courses seldom are either. Interesting article and full of points well made I thought. My old man plays in an annual golf day for the Golfing Union of Ireland against the Irish Rugby Football Union, the Irish Football Association, and the GAA governing guys. I'd suggest that it maybe does some of the GAA guys a disservice to say that they've been going about this quietly and slowly. Speed is alway relative, so in terms of politics - and particularly Irish politics - they've done a lot in a very short time.

On a slight derail, I was shocked and saddened by the recent revelations about Tom Humphries, author of the first quote in your post, rcade. I always liked his writing on lots of different sports, but it would seem that he's a bit of a wrong 'un.

posted by JJ at 05:43 AM on May 11, 2011

So, I wonder if everyone has the same response to the Queen's visit. Just reading the article, I want the Queen to stay away.

posted by bperk at 10:05 AM on May 11, 2011

Speed is alway relative, so in terms of politics - and particularly Irish politics - they've done a lot in a very short time.

Absolutely: progress always comes in small increments in Irish politics, and when wide-reaching decisions needed to be made on relatively short notice -- the Rule 42 suspension precipitated by the need to rebuild Lansdowne Road -- they managed to combine pragmatism with sensitivity.

O'Toole makes a valuable point at the end about the origins of the GAA, contemporary with the codification of other team sports in England. I talk about shamateurism a lot here, but the GAA is an example of how Victorian-era amateurism, led by the upper classes, fit into a country where the gentlemen/players distinction didn't apply in the same way, and it's survived remarkably well.

posted by etagloh at 02:33 PM on May 11, 2011

The commentary tends to be gloriously amateurish too. It can make Fan Zone look polished. Of course, when I say amateurish, I mean superb.

"Teddy McCarthy to John McCarthy, no relation, John McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation".

posted by JJ at 05:48 AM on May 12, 2011

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