The GAA, we are often told, is the most democratic sporting organisation in the world. The evidence we are given is often the fact that it is nigh-on impossible to force anything through congress.
In his annually cantankerous report last year, Dublin CEO John Costello complained about the inefficacy of Congress, making a comparison with Rory McIlroy's latest golfing partner:
Donald Trump would be proud of us. He won the US Presidential election despite getting less than 50 per cent of the vote but that’s still a massive surplus compared with what passes for a majority in the GAA.
Yet again, several motions that won comfortable majorities were deemed lost at Congress last February because they did not get two-third majorities. The idea that 34 beats 66 when it comes to voting on rule changes is impossible to justify.
This weekend past saw another triumph for democracy in the GAA, as a humble steward at Cusack Park, Ennis, refused to be swayed by fame. Clare's hurling hero Tony Kelly attempted to enter the stand for Clare's Allianz League tie with Kilkenny, only to be denied access to the stand by a steward who refused to be swayed by Kelly's fame.
The story is recounted by John Fogarty of the Irish Examiner:
They tried to explain it was Tony Kelly, to which the steward replied he knew who he was but he still wasn’t getting in.
The steward recommended that Kelly try the other side of the stand but said he certainly wasn’t getting in on his side.
This steward let in other individuals afterwards, dignitaries or whatever you may call them, but for some reason Tony Kelly, possibly Clare’s greatest hurler, wasn’t permitted to sit down or gain access via this part of the stand at Cusack Park.
Tony Kelly didn’t make much of it. It was never a case of ‘do you know who I am?’. He tried to explain he was a player but it was embarrassing.
What a line that is: "the steward replied he knew who he was but he still wasn’t getting in".
The story drew a response from a couple of prominent GAA players:
Pat shortt made a living taking the Mick out of these fellas !! Especially stewards who love the power !https://t.co/Kss3YP97aw
— Marc Ó Sé (@osemarc2) February 20, 2017
Most sickening thing about our sport .. power tripping officials 👊👊👊 https://t.co/10b33ABAVJ
— Conor.mortimer (😷)⚽️ (@Conmort) February 21, 2017
Derrick Lynch coined a pretty catchy hashtag: #HighVisComplex: