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GAA Lads Don't Go Down When Head-butted, According To John Meyler

GAA Lads Don't Go Down When Head-butted, According To John Meyler
By Conor Neville Updated

John Meyler has come out with comments in today's Irish Examiner which are sure to wind up the self-consciously cosmopolitan folk who dislike the GAA and delight the more nationalist-minded types who like to take shots at soccer whenever possible.

Meyler, former Cork hurler and Wexford manager as well as father of David, said his son's refusal to hit the deck after he was head-butted by Alan Pardew last month should be attributed to his GAA background.

I think it was playing hurling and football with Blackrock and St Michael’s that David played when he was a young fella growing up in Cork, that stood to him.
I think the way David reacted epitomises the way GAA players react, when they do get a belt or a slap, they just don’t go down.
That quality of standing your ground and being manly is built into you when you play in the GAA, you generally don’t feign injury and go down too lightly...The diving and all the simulation that goes on in the Premiership would not be part and parcel of the GAA, because it’s the manly thing to stay on your feet.

Let the battle between each sport's partisans begin. "Manly" is a particularly emotive trigger word to which many GAA people (notably those with close associations to Kilkenny hurling) attach a great deal of prestige, but it is a word which riles the anti-GAA community like no other, as they believe it to be quaint and comically unfashionable.

Certainly, unlike many players, Meyler's instant reflex was not to hit the ground. However, while it's probably true that diving ("play-acting" I believe is the official term in GAA circles) is less prevalent in Gaelic Football and hurling than it is in soccer, its clear that John has yet to see this footage from an All-Ireland semi-final a few years ago.


Or this fine piece of acting from Aidan O'Shea.


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