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Donal Óg Texted Des Cahill About Blanket Rugby Coverage And Lack Of GAA

Donal Óg Texted Des Cahill About Blanket Rugby Coverage And Lack Of GAA
By PJ Browne Updated

There's a real urgency in Donal Óg Cusack's voice when he talks about GAA. His thoughts do not move at the glacial pace usually connected with the Association.

Most prominent on his mind at an event for the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Championships was the need for the GAA to do a better job of selling hurling and football. Cusack believes the sports do not receive their rightful place in the headlines.

Nearly a month ago, Cusack was listening to the RTÉ News. He found the lack of GAA in the bulletin curious.

Des Cahill, someone Cusack had worked with during his time as an analyst on The Sunday Game, had been the one reading the headlines. The Corkman fired Cahill a text message.

I was listening to the news on RTÉ One a couple of weeks and Des Cahill, who's a good GAA guy, read out the news. There was no mention of the GAA.

I sent him a text afterwards and I said, 'It was a big GAA weekend... Why was there no [GAA]?' He never came back to me, but, you know, he knew where I was coming from.

Listening to the news on the morning that the Lions beat the Maori All Blacks and Ireland hammered Japan in the first Test of their two-match series, he again found it strange that no GAA had been mentioned.

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What riled him the most, considering that it had nothing to do with Irish sport, was that Scotland's upset win against Australia in Sydney had received recognition.

The next news that I saw was on RTE and the heading was 'Lions'. Whatever the Lions is and whatever that means, best of luck to them.

The Lions were beaten [this is incorrect, they won], Ireland were playing Japan - that's a challenge game that they were playing out in Japan. The next headline was that 'Scotland shock Australia' - no mention of GAA.

I said to myself, whatever about the Lions, whatever that is, whatever about Ireland playing a challenge game in Japan, I don't give a fuck if Scotland are after shocking Australia in a challenge game. Where's the GAA coverage?

Cusack believes it's healthy to have multiple sports being played in Ireland. Though, rugby's attempt to stake claim to the ground he believes belongs hurling and Gaelic football does seem to irk him.

I remember seeing a rugby ad a few years ago, 'This is Rugby Country'. Do you remember that ad? I remember looking at this ad, 'This is Rugby Country', thinking 'right... right... right.' It's good. It's healthy. That's the way that the country should be that there's lots of sports going on.

In my view, hurling is as much of an expression of being an Irish person as any other. We've got our song, we've got no problem exporting that. We're famous for exporting our dance and showing it off. We're famous for our poetry. All those arts, hurling fits into that. It's something that should be celebrated.

Electric Ireland Minor Star Award ambassadors Dónal Óg Cusack and Oisín McConville are calling on the public to log on to the Electric Ireland Facebook page and get involved in the Player of the Week voting as the final stages of the GAA Minor season begin. The Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards, which will take place in Croke Park on the 7th October 2017, aim to recognise the achievements and accolades of Minor GAA players.

Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

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