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"Go And Ask Enda Kenny" - Our Controversial Columnist Finds Out Dark Side Of Being A GAA Columinst

"Go And Ask Enda Kenny" - Our Controversial Columnist Finds Out Dark Side Of Being A GAA Columinst
By Sean Og O Kneejerk
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When we arrived down to Mulligans to meet Sean Óg, he was watching the Kilkenny players gambolling around the Croke Park turf with the O'Duffy Cup. 

Sean Óg doesn't pretend to be as intimately acquainted with the women's game as he is with the men's but he does look at the All-Ireland final when it's on.

And he does revere Ann Downey and her sisters.

Indeed, when he speaks of camogie, he is invariably carried back to that period of Cody-esque Kilkenny dominance in the sport, when the team appeared - at least to those who only heard about their exploits later - to be comprised entirely of Downey sisters.

In fact, there were never more than three Downey sisters on the Kilkenny team for any one of those wins. Ann and Angela were there for the duration. Their younger sister Marina nailed down a place in the team later on. 

"Cody-esque" doesn't even cover their dominance of camogie in the late 80s and into the early 90s. They won seven All-Irelands in a row between 1985 and 1991.

That useless has-been Cody only managed four on the spin with his team.  


I was watching the camogie final here. It was on. I remember Ann Downey and her sister from years ago, winning every All-Ireland going. They were great women.

Of course, I'd like to be able to tell you I watched it closely. But how can I with what's been going on the last few days. This circus has my heart broken. This blasted phone will be the death of me.


Alas, Sean Óg wasn't able to fully concentrate on this year's camogie final. Nor was he able to concentrate fully on the previous evening's All-Ireland U21 final. In fact, he hasn't been able to concentrate on anything much in recent days.

Sean Óg is now seeing the downside of his new role as a columnist with a sports website.

Because of this allegedly "prominent" role and because he lives up in Dublin, a very large number of his acquaintances, specifically Mayo acquaintances, and some of them very tenuous acquaintances at that, appear to be labouring under the misapprehension that he sleeps atop a bed of All-Ireland final tickets.


Over the course of the weekend, he received something in the region of 28 phone calls and 34 text messages from Mayo people telling him to keep them in mind when he does decide to dispense his vast collection of All-Ireland final tickets.     

Not all his callers were from Mayo.


One caller was a Tipperary man who rang him up to call him a "miserable cunt" because of his hostility to the "TIPP, TIPP, TIPP" chant, which plays on an endless loop throughout the city whenever Tipperary win a big game in Croker.  


After four months as a GAA columinst, he is on the verge of destroying his mobile phone, which he only got a few years ago. 

It never stops ringing now. These clowns, some of whom I hadn't heard from in years, are getting onto me begging for All-Ireland tickets in the mistaken belief that I can get hold of them easily or that I have some pull with the GAA.

I have it good authority that the GAA hierarchy resent some of the things I've been pointing out here. They want nothing to do with me and why would they? They're only interested in hiring 'yes men'. That's all that gets hired nowadays and that goes for every profession.


I'm too old for that craic now and I wouldn't want anything to do with them anyway. Would you believe I've never got hold of an All-Ireland ticket. I haven't seen one ever.

The last time I attended an All-Ireland final, kids were let into the old Cusack stand for free. It was the 1986 All-Ireland final. Tyrone threw that one away (there followed a long and unnecessarily detailed account of the 1986 All-Ireland football final which we don't need to regurgitate here...)

You see more on the telly anyway. Why would anyone pay €80 for a ticket when you might stuck up in the sky gazing at the Dublin mountains and the players are just tiny dots in the distance? Or what if you're stuck away in the corner beside the Canal End and you can't see anything going on down in the Hill goal?


I groaned when I knew it was Dublin-Mayo in the final because I knew this ticket nonsense would dominate everything in the lead-up. But pessimistic as I was, I never thought it would be this bad. Whenever Kerry get to an All-Ireland final, you'd never be hassled about a ticket at all.

At this point, Sean Óg's phone rang. His ringtone, by the way, is the standard Nokia ringtone, which is also the Apple iphone ringtone. We're presuming that Sean Óg has not changed it, nor has it entered his head to do so.

We obviously didn't hear the other caller's contribution to the conversation but the only thing Sean Óg said was "Here, go ask fuckin' Enda Kenny, why don't ya?" He promptly hung up with a bull thick expression on him.   

It's usually around this time of year when someone like Willie Joe Padden will tell an RTE reporter that "we're keeping it low-key this time, people aren't going too wild, there's more an air of quiet confidence around Mayo", seemingly oblivious to the fact that he's standing in front of a red and green painted sheep.

Sean Óg's inclination towards joylessness means he takes a dim view of the traditional pre-All-Ireland hoopla in Mayo.

Paidí (the barman) showed me a picture on his phone of a Mayo fan who's painted his Ferarri red and green.

I suppose it's a change from the days when the only things they painted red and green were sheep and pubs and gable walls.

Back in 1989, no one in Mayo was rich enough to own a Ferarri. With the possible exception of Padraig Flynn (*laughs very loudly. Stops laughing when his phone rings again).

(*Sean Óg  O Kneejerk was in conversation with Conor Neville) 

Read more: KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist On Why Langton's Have Booked John Mulhall For Next September

Read more: An Outstanding Bit Of GAA Trivia Is In Very Grave Jeopardy This Weekend

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