Songs more suitable than Westmeath Bachelor may be submitted by camogie champs
‘Some of the girls, all they know of Joe Dolan is the statue in the middle of Mullingar’ - manager
Westmeath’s Amy Cully celebrates after her side beat Galway in the All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship final at Croke Park last Sunday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO
All-Ireland camogie champions Westmeath are considering sending a playlist to the GAA of “more appropriate” songs to celebrate their future victories in the wake of controversy over a Joe Dolan anthem being played at their big win last weekend.
The strains of the Mullingar maestro belting out his less-than-contemporary hit The Westmeath Bachelor around Croke Park after the side beat Galway on Sunday provoked a slew of - mostly light hearted - derision.
Fans took to social media to say it was “embarrassing” and an “affront”, with one claiming to be “cringing in the Hogan Stand”. A column in the Irish Times by Malachy Clerkin about it was discussed on the airwaves by RTÉ’s Drivetime.
Clerkin questioned the choice of a tune about “some grotty old bachelor proudly declaring his opposition to ever having a wife” to mark the win of a ladies team.
But Johnny Greville, Westmeath manager, played down the affair.
“The girls took it light-hearted, nobody really took offence to it,” he said.
“They were delighted to win the All Ireland so they didn’t mind what song was being played really.”
However, he did suggest more attention should be paid to what is played in future.
“The song is from a different era and a different time,” he said.
“With the ladies sport, and the way it is moving forward, they maybe should have looked a bit more in depth at an appropriate song, something more relevant to the current era and the current group of people.”
GAA headquarters Croke Park has said counties choose their own victory anthems, but Greville said his team weren’t consulted about what was played.
“Maybe they weren’t expecting us to win it, we were massive underdogs - it might have been just a YouTube clip that they pulled up at the last minute and pumped it out over the PA system,” he added.
“But I think maybe with the girls we have in the group, their age bracket, our location, maybe Niall Horan or Niall Breslin (both from Westmeath) would have been a bit more appropriate than Joe Dolan.
“Some of the girls, all they know of Joe Dolan is the statue in the middle of Mullingar.”
Greville said Westmeath was “lucky to have many famous musicians coming out of the county” and that the team will consider drawing up a selection of more suitable songs for the future.
“The girls will come up with a playlist to send up to them,” he said.