Deaglán de Bréadún
Getting back into blog mode after a wee holiday, may I advert to a subject far removed from politics? Any time I attend a GAA match at Croke Park I am struck by the number of water-carriers who invade the pitch at every opportunity.
The Bert at Croker: maybe he knows the answer? (Photograph by Alan Betson)
It’s an irritating distraction from the business at hand. Does it happen on this scale in any other sport? I don’t go to many non-GAA sporting events, so I wouldn’t know for sure. Are hurling and Gaelic football players particularly thirsty individuals? And given the amount of liquid they consume, how are they able to contain themselves until half-time or full-time as I never see a player making a break for the loo?
What’s it about? Is there an advertising dimension? Does the Maor Uisce (what a wonderful title, “Water Mayor”, like Maor Atha Cliath/Mayor of Dublin) who gets on TV offering a bottle of a particular brand of soft drink get a reward from the manufacturers? It’s not weather-related because last Sunday’s hurling match (or was it a massacre?) involving Tipperary and Limerick was conducted in sub-prime conditions for the time of year, yet the water brigade (or whatever is in those bottles) were out in greater numbers than ever.
Or are they conveying top-secret messages from the Bainisteoir (manager)? Or alternatively and rather sadly are they just people who want to say they were on the pitch at Croker during one of the All-Ireland Semi-Finals in 2009?
Somebody please help me out here as I have a feeling that the answer to this question might contain a clue to the solution of our national political and economic malaise which is that an awful lot of people are faffing about with fairly-pointless tasks when they should be focusing on things that really matter.