Sir, - I am writing in response to the many Irish football fans who feel that Mick McCarthy was wrong to dismiss Roy Keane. How quickly we forgot that, only the day before, Keane himself quit on his own accord!

If pointing fingers is all we are doing now, then what support are we giving to the 22 lads who didn't act like spoiled brats and who will still be playing their hearts out for us, the fans?

Football is a team sport. Roy Keane was one member of a well trained, well prepared team. So many people say he was the one man on the pitch who could inspire the other ten men playing with him - so why isn't it obvious to them that he would be equally uninspiring with a bad attitude?

Let's face it, if it were us on that pitch, would we really want to play beside a man who could pick up and quit any minute? Who's to say he wouldn't have left two days before Cameroon and really left us in the lurch?

Why would any true Irish football fans say they now aren't interested in the World Cup? Would they have said the same if Keane had got injured in the first match?

I think it's time, now our lads are in Japan, to do exactly what we were willing to do a week ago - support the team! Just becasue Roy Keane couldn't do it doesn't mean we have to go about whining. - Yours, etc.,



Co Tipperary.

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Sir, - What price doctorates now that Roy Keane, a recent honorary doctor of laws, has demonstrated that he cannot function within the norms of his society?

I ask as an impoverished Ph.D. student whose next next two years' fees and research costs would be more than covered by what Roy Keane earns between breakfast and lunch. - Yours, etc.,


Lough Gur,

Co Limerick.

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Sir, - The Roy Keane episode highlights the contrast between two of the great sporting bodies in Ireland: the GAA, an amateur sport with professional administration, and the FAI, a professional sport with amateur administration. - Yours, etc.,




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Sir, - As April Fool's Day has long since passed, I cannot believe that our Taoiseach considered it appropriate or necessary to intervene in football trivialities.

Has he really nothing better to do? Are there not issues more deserving of his attention in Ireland? Perhaps, at the very least, training in priority setting would be helpful to him.- Yours, etc.,


Avenue du Monoplan,



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A chara, - It was interesting to note, with regard to the Keane crisis, that your edition of May 24th published the responses of 24 different people spread out over four pages, with 24 accompanying photographs.

Not one of these quotes was from a woman. World Cup for all? I think not. - Is mise,


Trim Road,


Co Meath.

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Sir, - I can normally avoid the bread and circuses by ignoring your sports pages or dropping the Monday and Saturday supplements unread into my green bin. Now, to my horror, the damn thing is seeping through even to the front page of the real newspaper.

The football - don't we all just love it? - Yours, etc.,


Acorn Road,

Dublin 16.

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Sir, - And yet, somehow, life goes on. - Yours, etc.,


Scholarstown Road,

Dublin 16.