Independent TD Shane Ross has been appointed the new Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport - or Minister for Sport, for short (in this office at least).
A former business editor for the Sunday Independent, the 66-year-old remains one of Ireland's most prominent commentators in his former field, but many sports fans and scribes across the country are less than enthused as to what 'Rosser' is capable of bringing to the table in terms of football, rugby, GAA and so on.
One man even suggested that Ross doesn't 'even lift' which is surely unfair. In his line of work, he presumably often uses lifts, and his Whistleblowers Protection Bill from 2011 was designed to protect whistleblowers from losing their jobs if they lifted the lid on unethical practice by their employers.
Shane Ross gets sport Croquet funding just shot up 2000% #Dail
— Thomas O'Brien (@ktf81) May 6, 2016
Great to have former county GAA man, former international athlete, Shels fan & general sport nut, Shane Ross, in as Min of Sport. Oh wait...
— Jeremy Lyons (@Jeremy_P_Lyons) May 6, 2016
Shane Ross- Min. for Sport. � pic.twitter.com/DVGSx9CJOE
— Philip McGillycuddy (@ppmcgillycuddy) May 6, 2016
However, the concerned sportspeople above, along with countless others voicing their concerns about the appointment, may not be aware that Shane Ross has more than a passing interest in sport: He spends money on it.
Indeed, Rosser has a hugely entertaining, ongoing sportsbetting feud with his close friend and fellow Independent, Finian McGrath. Yes, it sounds like something we'd make up, granted, but it's actually entirely true:
Where is Finian Mc Grath? I want a bet on the Man Utd v Chelsea battle at Old Trafford tomorrow.
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) October 25, 2014
Ind TD Finian McGrath wakes from slumbers to bet on Tipp to beat Cork this weekend. More easy pickings!! Has he suffered a touch of the sun?
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) August 14, 2014
Light relief: fantastic Munster win. Bet with Finian McGrath - Spurs to beat Liverpool tomorrow. Now back to Central Remedial Clinic work.
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) December 14, 2013
Great weekend for sport.Hope to get to tomorrow's match. NO bet.But bet with Finian McGrath on Saturday.The leftie has backed the Aussies!
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) November 13, 2013
Finian McGrath desperately wants to back Mayo to beat Tyrone on Sunday. He has a bet . Love Mayo but cannot support a big win for Taoiseach!
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) August 21, 2013
And trust us, there are a lot more bets where those came from...
Ross' approach to the convoluted combination of finance and sport tells us three things.
1) He likes sport.
2) He's willing to invest in sport if he foresees tangible returns.
3) Finian McGrath might have a debilitating gambling addiction that we don't know about, and Shane Ross is probably his enabler.
He's even willing to listen to and take advice from the public, a welcomed trait which stood him in particularly lucrative stead after the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley.
@nodrogmas I took your advice. Have bet on Bayern Munich , Finian has backed Dortmund ! Could be dining out tomorrow.
— Shane Ross (@Ross_Shane1) May 25, 2013
This bodes well for those concerned by the current lack of regulation and one clear governing body in MMA, in particular, but also to fans of other so-called marginal sports like boxing.
Jokes aside, it's at least comforting to know that he is indeed aware of what sport is, and it shall be interesting to see how much money, if any, he's given to further invest in sport in this country.
[H/T: Amy O'Connor - TheDailyEdge]