Jim McGuinness: GAA offers a great distraction after return from the US

Battle lines between Democrats and Republicans in Charlotte were clear to see

US President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in North Carolina last week. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in North Carolina last week. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

If you had told me a few months ago that I’d wake up on Halloween morning in Thurles, I wouldn’t have believed you. At the very least I’d have wondered just how much more weird 2020 could get. But I’m happy to be here, heading to the television studio for today’s lunchtime match between Monaghan and Cavan. And then I’ll be high-tailing it home to Donegal, under lockdown, to watch a Sunday rivalry which has occupied a good many of my waking hours down the years.

You may or not know that our family has spent the last couple of years living in Charlotte in North Carolina. I took up a job there in early 2019 coaching the city’s soccer team. While that position ended before I’d have wished, we were very happy living there and had planned on staying over the next year. But the uncertainty over the pandemic and the closure of the schools for what may turn out to be a full academic year changed our thought process. We ended up leaving fairly quickly and returned to Donegal in late summer: it’s natural to be drawn to home in a crisis anyway.

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