A new tradition in the GAA?


Madam, – For probably the first time ever I find myself disagreeing with Tom Humphries (Locker Room, September 20th). I find his comments about the pre- and post- match formalities at Sunday’s All- Ireland football final both glib and excessive in their criticism. He is constantly, in his columns, using rugby as an example of how to “jazz up” a sporting occasion, yet criticises the playing of U2 and the Pogues as the Tyrone minor team celebrated its win. He bemoans the absence of the “annual ramble from the bishop” ignoring the fact that this particular speech has become just that . . . a ramble that the vast majority of the spectators don’t bother listening to.

The GAA is embracing change in modern Ireland with state-of-the art facilities at club and county level, environmental initiatives in its headquarters and in these recessionary times a progressive ticket pricing policy that allows children especially to see their heroes without it costing their parents the earth. It does this while retaining its rightful place as the sporting heartbeat of the country with its constant nurturing of its games at grassroots level, having due and proper regard to the safety of both its players and patrons.

On Sunday, in the absence of the “traditional” pitch invasion, we witnessed for the first time the victors and the vanquished being able to console and congratulate their fellow gladiators in the true spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie that the GAA is famous for. This is the new tradition in the GAA and it should be embraced and not criticised. – Yours, etc,


Sandyford Hall Lawn,


Dublin 18.