Illegitimi non carborundum

So I since I’ve been on my ill-deserved holiday, the following has happened:

  • Brendan Devenney embarrassed himself and the County on Off The Ball and Championship matters, ensuring many who probably wouldn’t care otherwise will be cheering for Mayo on September 23rd.
  • The Homecoming – I won’t describe it as a row, because I guess I’m a pedant – but whatever it was hasn’t helped.
  • The story of Pat Spillane being physically attacked by Donegal supporters has emerged.

To be honest, it’s all very depressing.  I was annoyed after the Semi-Final by the moaning about ticket prices and availability – anyone who has been a GAA fan for more than the past two years should know what the situation is with All-Ireland Final tickets – it’s the same for Donegal as it is for any other County.

But now there are real reasons to be annoyed.  Instead of enjoying the build up, Donegal supporters are seeing and hearing the opinions of someone who was either drunk or has no sense of decorum or a story that has been spun by a ‘media outlet’ I won’t even name here and now the Spillane story – a story that will no doubt turn more people against Donegal supporters, whatever about the team.

If anyone didn’t hear it, this was Brendan Devenney on Off The Ball.  Seriously – if we had to listen to this sort of arrogance coming from someone from Mayo, wouldn’t Donegal supporters feel slighted for their team by hearing such comments? The worst of it is, Devenney would be close to many players on the current panel – you would think he would have the cop on to keep a lid on these sorts of comments.

The Homecoming story has created issues beyond the chattering classes.  The County Board and Jim McGuinness both felt the need to comment on it, even though they didn’t need to in my view.  This is surely an indication that they were worried that it had the potential to affect the players in the lead up to the Final itself and indeed would give James Horan some ‘bulletin board’ material for his preparations.  Shame on Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce for raising the issue at this stage, but shame also on those who spun the story to make it seem like there was a ‘huge row’ in the County or that ‘the People of Letterkenny’ were the ones who behind this ridiculous distraction.

I have no doubt that Jim McGuinness will do an excellent job of keeping his squad focused ahead of September 23rd, but if the negative media atmosphere around the team continues, sooner or later it will filter through to the players.  I only hope that for the next two weeks, things will improve, or at least revert to some ‘normal’ state.  There is much to celebrate about this team, and indeed about this Final pairing to occupy the minds of the media and the supporters of both Counties in the weeks ahead.

As for the Spillane story, well, whatever the man has said, he doesn’t deserve to be physically attacked.  I have issues on what he has said about Donegal before – I went as far as making a complaint to RTE about his ‘Taliban’ comments last year, but I won’t try and defend the idea that he deserves anything worse than a bit of mild verbal abuse, which was as much as we had been led to believe that he had suffered initially.

Anyway, I’m hoping we’ve turned the corner as regards the sort of coverage we’ll see in the build up to the Final.  I’ve just listened to an unedited interview with Jim McGuinness from this week’s Press Night.  It’s cheered me right up.  I’m going to sign off by leaving you with the following – isn’t it great to be in our first All Ireland Final in 20 years.  Who would have thought we’d be in this position in 2012 before Jim McGuinness took charge.  Let’s hope we can all enjoy the next two weeks – never forget that it could be 20 years before we’re in another All-Ireland Final.

This is the first in what I hope will be a series of pieces in the lead up to the Final.  I promise that the next one you read will be much more positive in outlook.

Until Victory Always.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Well said sir lets hope the good ship Donegal is out of the stormy waters and it’s plain sailing from now on!!


  2. Cheers James. Yes, let’s get excited about the Final and start looking back at how we got here! Plenty of good to focus on in the weeks ahead.


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