Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : AFL Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

INTERNATIONAL RULES OK

GAELIC FOOTBALL, YOU ASK?

 

in 1996 I spoke with Paidi O'Sé, the tough man of Kerry football about International Rules. O'Sé coached his team to the All Ireland 2000 football championship against Galway at Croke Park.

CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE OF THAT INTERVIEW

And I talked to the locals as Ballylanders played some real football ..CLICK HERE to see the game.

In 2000 the boys from Oz met a real Irish President, one elected by the people, and beat the Irish at their own game, and everyone including President Mary McAleese reckons the game has a real future.  Let's hope the men at the top explore the potential of these games to take 'football' to the world.

It was in Hayes Hotel Thurles, Tipperary (pictured below) in 1884 that the Gaelic Athletics Association was formed.  From its inception the GAA, in keeping with its commitment to Irish self determination, banned members from playing British 'garrison' games such as soccer, rugby and cricket. assive USA market? 

In his new book 'One Voice' legendary Irish singer Christy Moore is far from complimentary in his thoughts on the the GAA.  'What's wrong with them GAA arseholes that they won't allow soccer or rugby at Croker?  It's hardly any more foreign than Neil Diamond or American bore ball.............they denied me my Tipperary medal because I played rugby with Cashel.....', he writes.  

Gaelic games, whether with sticks or a round ball are a national passion in Ireland and offer a direct link to the huge and increasingly self conscious Irish Diaspora in America.  At the Tipperary Business Development Institute Conference in Thurles in September 2000 Ed Murnane from Illinois delivered a spirited speech on how the descendants of the Tipperary exodus could enhance the economy of Ireland's most famous county.  You'll find Ed's thoughts on his website www.murnane.org.  They definitely translate to the football question.

Many commentators are now convinced that indigenous games such as Aussie Rules and Gaelic football must adapt if they are to survive against global games such as Soccer.  O'Sé is one such man.  A fluent Irish speaker O'Sé runs a pub on the Dingle.  Yes, that's Tom Cruise on the wall.

"Do you like him?" I asked. 

"I fancy his wife more" came the reply when I met the Kerry man on the Dingle back in 1996.

Rather than plotting to pinch Irish players AFL clubs should help the Irish game to flourish while exploring the American connection. Only through a link with Gaelic Football can Aussie Rules hope to have a serious presence overseas.  Funnily enough, Ian Collins, the former Manager of Football Operations at the AFL, and I were in complete agreement about this when we recently met for a yarn about Soccer at Colonial Stadium.  

Through creative exchange relationships a University could facilitate the development of the game within an Irish/Celtic cultural framework that takes Irish/Australian football to the world. The Tipperary Rural and Business Development Institute in Thurles which hosted the Ceiliúradh Thiobraid Árann conference in September (my paper was on emigration to the Daylesford region) could provide one such link.

Famous as the place where in 1916 James Connolly's Citizen Army took the fight to the British Army, the Dublin GPO on Hurling day hosts a different combatant. 

Kilkenny went on to win the championship.

The good news is that Andrew Demetriou, the man who has replaced Ian Collins at the AFL understands just where to take the International Rules games.  Well, he's a Coburg boy so what would you expect.  Brian Sanaghan taught him how to count at Newlands High. 

You can find the thoughts of Brian in 'the people stand up' section of the politics page.


Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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