Croker: Whingers still whinging

LORDY Lord. There’s no pleasing some people. Croke Park is now open for soccer and rugby, should it be needed, and still some of the complainers are not happy.

Some of these people are probably scouring the GAA rule book to find the next rule that offends them so that they can whinge and bitch and moan for another ten years.

I’ve got some advice for them.

If you want what the GAA have, all you have to do is to raise yourself off your buttocks, get out and sell some tickets, get matching funding from the state (which is available to anyone who asks for it) and build whatever you want. It’s that simple. That’s what the GAA do.

I don’t like attacking other columnists as a rule but I’ll make an exception here. Diarmuid Doyle over at the Sunday Tribune seems to me to typify the arch anti-GAA bigot.

It is obvious that Diarmuid loathes the GAA from somewhere very deep inside. So much so, that logic and common sense seems to escape his grip.

For example, Diarmuid recently attributed the woes of soccer to the GAA ‘ban’. This ban on GAA players playing other sports was removed in 1972. That’s just 33 years ago.

Soccer attendances in those days in Ireland were better than they are now. Since then Milltown and Flower Lodge have been lost. Every last Irish international plies their trade abroad (unlike our rugby players). Soccer is on telly every night. Every kid in Ireland has a soccer jersey. Thousands fly to England to watch soccer every weekend. The country comes to a halt when Ireland get to the World Cup. The last FAI development report concluded that there are actually too many soccer clubs.

And then somehow…somehow the GAA is responsible for soccer not having a national stadium. Words fail me…

Some of Diarmuid’s other arguments are equally priceless but obviously widely shared amongst the Gah-haters. Croke Park’s surface, a hurling pitch, is not good enough to host soccer.

Think about that.

A hurling pitch isn’t good enough but a rugby pitch is. How do you explain that type of logic? The only explanation is that the gut feeling behind it has overcome the human mind’s ability to rationalise. This is otherwise known as prejudice.

The GAA has felt the cold blast of the collective media’s liberal consensus on it’s more archaic practices for the past generation. And, you know, that was fair enough.

But the GAA has changed considerably in the past few years while many of its critics have stayed exactly where they are.

It’s time for the GAA’s critics to start practising some self-criticism and time for wider society to start seeing the anti-GAA stuff for the destructive bigotry, self-hatred and cultural cringe that it is.

It seems to me that nothing will satisfy some people until the GAA decides to disband. Then we won’t have any local practices to embarrass us in the gaze of the great globalised world of McDonald’s, Coca Cola and the soccer industry. In that world, unless someone else tells you you’re ok, you’re inferior.