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Irish Politics Has Gone GAA Crazy - First Michelle Mulherin And Now Enda Kenny Himself...

Irish Politics Has Gone GAA Crazy - First Michelle Mulherin And Now Enda Kenny Himself...
By Conor Neville
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Michelle Mulherin this week learned the true cost of losing her seat in the Dáil when she was informed that mere senators aren't entitled to All-Ireland tickets.

It's one thing Lisa Chambers taking her seat in Leinster House, it's quite another to see her taking her seat at Croke Park in September. That is too much to bear.

There's a lot of talk of reforming the Seanad. The one reform that Michelle no doubt wishes to see is that senators become entitled to this privilege.

The GAA's present stance involved "clear discrimination" against senators. The use of the 'D' word gave her crusade the air of a principled stand. Though, it probably is worth noting that it took her own appointment to the Seanad for her to find her voice on this issue. She asserted on Drivetime this evening that the denial of tickets to the senators represented a change in policy.

"In my view, this is clear discrimination by the GAA in relation to members of the Oireachtas," she said

The public has been slow to rally to her side on this one. The ineligibility of serving senators to an automatic All-Ireland final ticket does not rank up there with the great injustices of our time. We haven't done any scientific polling on this but anecdotally that seems to be the feeling.

Balls.ie noted that Michelle has been vocal in the past about the 'culture of entitlement' among the unemployed. The phrase sits uneasily alongside her complaints about the withdrawal of her entitlement to an All-Ireland ticket, just because she lost an election. To clarify, she was not looking for a free one.


But then, there is another view which has been advanced in this office, one more sympathetic to Mulherin and her plight.


Mulherin is, like more or less all Mayo people, an ardent supporter of the Mayo football team. And thus, she is entitled to do whatever is required to procure an All-Ireland ticket.

The hustle for an All-Ireland final ticket is a Darwinian affair. You use whatever advantage you can. The constituents can go hang. If Michelle believes that kicking up a stink in the media over the GAA's alleged lack of respect for Seanad Eireann can help her in her quest, then so be it.


She has decided the All-Ireland ticket is worth copping some negativity on the twitter machine, something to which she is no stranger.

One person who is guaranteed his seat in the Stand and a plum one too is Dáil Eireann's most famous Mayo GAA nut. Enda, to his credit, gets down to McHale Park as often as possible for League and championship games.

Ominously for Dublin, he announced in a radio interview last week that he had got his mojo back. He is clearly geed up for this week.


In Irish politics, state of the nation style piece-to-camera set-pieces have traditionally been reserved for only the most important of events.

We think of Charlie Haughey telling the nation that we would have to 'tighten our belts' in 1980 when the spectre of the IMF hung over the country.

Mayo trying to avoid their eighth successive loss in an All-Ireland final is another such event. Enda rallied the troops in a video piece for the Mayo News.



Read more: Ranking Mayo's All-Ireland Final Losses In Order Of Heartbreak

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