Gaelic GamesThe Schemozzle

The Schemozzle: Behold the inevitable singing of Offaly’s praises

Celebrating London’s long-serving player, and correcting Joe Brolly’s memory

Offaly captain Dan Bourke's lifts the James Nowlan cup after his team's victory in the U20 All-Ireland Hurling Final. Photograph: Tom Maher/Inpho

All has changed utterly on the intercounty scene but a terrible beauty persists – the releasing of commemorative songs when teams win something.

First up was Offaly group JigJam, who performed at their U20 hurlers’ recent homecoming a reworking of Waterboys classic Fisherman’s Blues. Sample lyric: “We journeyed not for glory/Or memories in the sun/And we sang the Offaly Rover/ For the boys of ‘24/ Singing Uaibh Fháile! Uibh Fháile! Woo hoo hoo!”

Hot on the heels of the Faithful lads’ effort, this week Rory Gallagher (not to be confused with the former intercounty manager, nor the deceased axe god of the same name) has re-released his 2012 track Jimmy’s Winning Matches.

While the melody and chorus are much the same, the lyrics have been updated.


“He comes from Glenties man/He’s been in Celtic man/He’s been in Charlotte and he’s even been in China man!” the song begins.

The song is available for download and the proceeds go to Donegal Hospice and cancer care.

A matter of timing

Armagh and Galway were both late returning to the pitch after half-time in their clash on Sunday, with Armagh, the later of the two, eventually making it back after approximately 20 minutes (the rule states “the interval shall consist of a maximum of 15 minutes”), with their dressingroom visited twice by the fourth official, presumably in the hope of hurrying them up.

The penalties for breaching this rule (it’s 10 minutes at club level) differ between club and county. At county level, the transgressors are fined €80 for every minute or part thereof that they are late; for clubs, it’s a crisp tenner.

Interestingly, the maximum “time limit” for the interval is 25 minutes, it appears. So, if a team is more than 10 minutes late returning after their tea, punishment is forfeiture of the game, which is awarded to the opposing team.

A matter of fact

Joe Brolly is mad as hell with Mickey Harte and he’s not going to take it any more. Brolly has laid much of the blame for Derry’s collapse at the door of the former Tyrone manager, of whom he has long been critical.

In his newspaper column, Brolly described Harte as “the rot at the heart of our decay”. On his podcast, referring to the loss to Donegal, Brolly stated: “No team in the history of the Ulster Championship has conceded four goals and won the game.”

Joe may have suppressed memories of the 1971 Ulster final, the last to be played at Casement Park, in which Down beat Derry, who were the defending champions, by 4-15 to 4-11.

Number: 75

London footballer Cahir Healy’s retirement over the weekend brings the curtain down on a remarkable career.

Healy made his senior intercounty debut for the Laois hurlers in 2005, aged 18, and went on to represent the O’Moore County in football as well.

He linked up with London for the last three seasons and the statement from London GAA noted, “Quite fittingly, the 2024 season saw Cahir being the longest-serving intercounty outfield player in action.”


“Jarlath [Burns] is driving this change because he has been lobbied by the hurling counties.” – Sligo manager Tony McEntee on the Smaller Fish podcast regarding the mooted swapping of the SHC quarter-finals and Tailteann semis next weekend.

Number: 0

Cavan wins in Kingspan Breffni and Monaghan wins in Clones in 2024. Bizarrely, both have actually won at the other’s home ground following the Farney’s victory over Meath on Sunday at the Cavan venue while Cavan beat Monaghan at St Tiernach’s Park.