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The Winners And Losers From The Kildare Vs The GAA Debacle

The Winners And Losers From The Kildare Vs The GAA Debacle
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Today has brought the most iconic Kildare revolt against power since St Brigid bullied the King of Leinster into building her that convent. So as the GAA cave to Kildare's demands, it's time to gauge the fallout.


Cian O'Neill

Cian O'Neill's reputation in Kildare had taken a battering having spent a full year losing games, the nadir of which came in the Leinster Championship against Carlow. They clawed back a bit of respectability against Derry and Longford, but having landed arguably the toughest draw imaginable in the third round of the qualifiers, the outlook for O'Neill in Kildare looked bleak. Then he found a cause to roil against, appeared on the RTE News and guaranteed himself a spot on Reeling In The Years. Even those sharpening their peripheral vision with occlusion goggles wouldn't have seen this one coming.

The Humble Gael

Most striking about this saga is the speed to which St Conleth's Park became a Trojan Horse from which emerged myriad simmering vexations toward the GAA. There is less a disconnect than a yawning, gaping chasm between the grassroots and the offices in Croke Park, and this issue became their means of striking back. And at the end of it all: VICTORY.

The Director of the inevitable Mayo 30 for 30 documentary

Mayo: incorrigible, irresistible magnets for drama.


Kevin McStay

When the history of this era of the GAA is written, perhaps McStay will be recalled as The Great Liberator of the Gael from beneath the yolk of the Central Competitions Control Committee: it was his stoic stance and subsequent victory over the fixing of the Connacht final that set the template for Kildare's revolt.



Will Donegal now be emboldened to take Dublin out of Croker for their supposedly neutral game in the Super 8s?

The GAA 

Okay, the GAA are definitely the losers here, but we do briefly want to meditate on their great genius: such is their proclivity for farce, they have managed to screw up so royally that they have blown a World Cup out of the news cycle.




While they deserve some credit for belatedly reaching the right decision on this, it has been a bad couple of days for the Association. In an Ireland perceived by most as being cleaved unequally between Dublin and the rest, the GAA are seen as complicit. They have a serious issue regarding malcontent among the grassroots, and it will take a lot of work and time for relations to be repaired. This has also been a PR disaster: Ned Quinn's nonsensical comments on Off The Ball about "animosity" between ticketless supporters poured petrol on an-already blazing dumpster fire. The issue of concerns over the capacity of Newbridge are fair for an organisation that is unique in deriving the bulk of its income from gate receipts rather than TV money, but it was very poorly articulated.

The Riot Police of Newbridge


Just when they thought they might have a Saturday evening off.

Hurling folk 

After a week that grasped the spotlight away from the Munster and Leinster hurling finals, it will be difficult for The Hurling Folk to confirm that at the end of it all, hurling was the real winner.


Anyone reading RTE headlines without context

Wait, they are going to do what to Newbridge!?

Mayo Fans


A lot of Mayo fans will miss out on this game now. Perhaps it could have been held at a large- okay, we'd better stop there.

See Also: Cavan vs Tyrone Has Now Also Been Moved From Croke Park

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