Sometimes, I feel like the UN, caught in the middle of a dispute and trying to find a solution.

Right now, my two muckers, Larry Maher and Ginger Farrell, are out with each other after an alcohol-fuelled argument went too far a few weeks ago.

Basically, a few Thursday night pints were going nicely until Ginger rattled Larry by putting forward the theory that Tipperary were responsible for anything bad to have happened in hurling over the last three and a bit decades.

“Cork only won the double in 1990 because Babs Keating called them donkeys,” he said, “and Nicky English riled Clare up by laughing at them, so Loughnane was out for revenge.

“And John Kiely only got involved with Limerick’s intermediates because ye ran up the score again’ them in the 2009 semi-final.”

Naturally, Larry’s hackles were raised. “And what did we do to cause Brian Cody’s Kilkenny to be so shagging successful?” he asked, and Ginger’s response was what really did it: “Ye didn’t have to do anything except exist – that was bad enough.”


A cold war was ongoing for a fortnight but maybe it’s just the time of year – the club’s annual general meeting tends to bring divisions to the fore.

Generally, there are never too many elections for the main officer roles. We’re lucky that we have two people capable of and willing to carrying out the role of club secretary – Ken O’Mahony and Sam Moloney – and they take it in three-year turns, with the other serving as assistant.

Chairperson attracts the more showy types – it used be a source of battle between rival Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil factions, but they’re all friends now since the coalition came in – but our byzantine committee rules ensure that whoever takes the chair ends up being a bit of a lame-duck president, unable to make the sweeping changes they want.

However, it’s when the meeting opens up to the floor that simmering resentments are aired. It is then we have those ruptures that ensure the club is never fully united. This is when the people who never get actively involved are able to lob a few grenades, like the time Billy Gallagher accused Seán Sheehan of nepotism by picking “one son who’s too slow, one who’s too injured and one who’s too stupid.” Sheehan, sitting two rows away, replied that he wouldn’t take advice from someone “who’d try to hang a mirror by driving a nail through it,” and resigned on the spot. The sons – who weren’t bad players, but were keeping Billy’s nephews off the team – didn’t play for the first half of the year either and the imported manager couldn’t get a tune out of the team. Of course, the following year, Billy was one of the first lamenting the outflow of cash “when we should have plenty of suitable managers within the club.”


This year, we do have an internal manager, with Liam O’Rourke back. While he’s still youngish, it’s his second or third stint, but his big idea is the recruitment of former county star Kevin Cahill as his coach. While Cahill was a great man to show passion, nobody would ever have accused him of being a deep thinker about the game – his regular appearances in local and national media would seem to bear that out, but he somehow managed to get on the lucrative coaching carousel.

There are some misgivings within the club about the appointment itself – one of his former county colleagues texted me and said, “To think ye’ll be paying him to coach ye,” accompanied by the crying-laughing emoji – but what had the traditionalists up in arms is the fact that it was made by the club executive in November, without the chance for it to be discussed at the AGM.

Gordon Madigan, a by-the-book fundamentalist, had been making noises in the days beforehand about invoking some article or other to ensure that things were done properly but, in one of his final acts before stepping down as chair, Ger Calnan said that Liam O’Rourke wished to address the meeting.

Expressing regret with the way things were done, Liam announced he wished to step down as correct procedure was all important. Then, Ger proposed a new management team – headed up by Liam O’Rourke and Kevin Cahill. With no alternative proposal, the motion was passed. Gordon Madigan snorted and grunted, but let it pass.

One other thing of note from the AGM was the hope of the club to resurrect the Mossie Sweetnam Sevens Tournament, which used to be a staple of the June bank holiday weekend. A sub-committee was formed to oversee its revival and I proposed two members – Larry Maher and Ginger Farrell. They’ll have to talk to each other now.

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