Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit that Shane Curran certainly adds something a bit different to the usual GAA analysis. The former Balls.ie Man of the Year has recently crossed over into the big time with his regular slot on the Sunday Game and his opinions (and manner of expressing them) have served to create a bit of debate over the past couple of weeks.
Central to that were Curran's comments last weekend where he suggested that GAA was in such dire straits that it might go the way of the church and Fianna Fáil unless something is done. With little explanation of what he meant, Curran served to confuse quite a few viewers but he certainly isn't backtracking on those comments.
Speaking to the Examiner today, the former Roscommon goalkeeper expanded upon those comments and it is certainly interesting to hear what he has to say.
The GAA is the last great social pillar in the country, after the fall of the (Catholic) Church and Fianna Fáil and all the other establishments. It’s what keeps the rural fabric together.
Rather than using the age old trope of 'the so called weaker counties' Curran instead points to the fact that 'the peasants' of the GAA are being pushed lower and lower down the food change to the extent that the general public in the weaker counties are well on the road to the dark side.
In weaker counties, there is enough anecdotal evidence and I can see it in Roscommon; rugby is beginning to get a stranglehold in the primary school structure.
Curran points to the fact that the Church and Fianna Fáil were once unbreakable pillars of rural Ireland. Those pillars have broken down, leaving the GAA standing on its own.
People are saying this can’t happen to the GAA but it can, and it will if the organisation travels down the path it is without change.
Similar to Jim McGuinness' article yesterday, Curran places the blame firmly at the feet of the powers that be in Croke Park and while he may not be as revered as the former Donegal boss, there's no doubt Curran is an entertaining voice.