Sport can give us a lift in good times and in bad
SUNDAY mornings in our town have a familiar style to them. The streets quieten down and those with a little bead of religion still flowing through their blood hush their way towards the worshipping halls. The rest of the town’s inhabitants are at home sleeping off the sweet indulgences of the night before. But the first Sunday in September was different this year.
There was an unexpected air of excitement about the place. As the beeping horns and stream of cars carrying Waterford and Kilkenny flags en route to Croke Park passed by, it could only but make you smile. Those beaming and expectant faces brought it home how special an All-Ireland Final day is to the people whose counties have made it there.
It is a unique feature of this country that at the end of a sporting summer, four counties out of 32 (unless there’s a double up) get to feel special for a day. But then, there’s more to it than those 24 hours. The build up, those few weeks of campaign reflection and daydreams of what might happen in the final are priceless. For a short time each year those counties are united, as everyone shares a common goal.
For Waterford it may have ended in tears, but that didn’t stop the fans turning out in their thousands to welcome their team back across the River Suir. It was their way of saying thank you to these sportsmen who have given them the bones of a decade at the pinnacle of the game. But Irish fans have impressive form when it comes to showing their appreciation. The more cynical will criticise and say turning up to say thanks for a job not fully done is merely rewarding mediocrity. That is missing the point. All Irish fans want to see are their sporting heroes giving it their best shot. The hundreds of thousands of fans that turned out to welcome Jack Charlton and the boys home from Italia 90, even though they hadn’t actually won a game, defines their calibre.
Come next September, it is highly likely that Kilkenny will reach the hurling summit once again but for the right to be their
AND so the bad weather stories rumble on. With the Government being asked to up the fuel allowance for the elderly, which is a completely fair request, another argument has arisen; should they be given the fuel allowance all-year round? Of course they should.
With summer in Ireland gone the way of motorists’ manners, the elderly need to be looked after even more carefully. If approximately 2,000 deaths each year can be avoided by giving people an extra bag or two of coal, then do it.
One thing Ireland is not is a poor country, and deaths of this kind should simply not be happening.
GOOD to see Britney back looking her best after the rough and tumble few years she’s had. Just imagine if you had a mother who was willing to publish all the misadventures you had during your teenage years so that she could make a few bob of your name.
But then maybe if people refused to buy the book then she mightn’t make any money at all. And leave the lovely Britney to do what she does best.