Owing to the death of Gerald McCarthy’s mother, which will make him even more determined to stand his ground or say to hell with it all, I’ll confine my comments on the continuing contretemps in Cork to the GPA’s stance in effectively denying membership to those Rebels who are actually playing.
Dessie Farrell says the lads who played their hearts out to no avail in Thurles last Saturday night won’t have their applications ‘processed’ until the current dispute is, ahem, resolved.
The chairman of the thus far inter-county-only players’ association is of course, Donal Óg Cusack. Young Donal, in a spectacularly self-serving and mind-numbingly long letter to GPA colleagues around the country last week, said: “We have called on our club members to take back control of the GAA in their county. In the meantime, we will not yield to the latest attempt by the Cork County Board executive to ride roughshod over our principles. We have the courage of our convictions to see that through no matter what happens.”
But isn’t that precisely what a group of youngfellas from clubs in Cork have done: taken back control of the GAA in their county, by playing hurling when others won’t? Yet they’re effectively being treated like ‘scabs’, something that leaves the GPA – an organisation which is necessary and welcome in many ways in an age when amateurs are being asked to meet ever-more-exacting semi-professional standards – open to accusations of not just elitism, but of making it up as they go along.
It’d be a funny old union that insisted only the top earners could join up.