Violence is as old as the GAA – as is the usual hand-wringing

Tipping Point: Administrative has role in shattering violent delusions in expressions of manhood

GAA pitch-side violence Turning a blind eye has conjured the cult of the “hard man”, usually some hero whose talents run from niggling and sledging an opponent to distraction or if that fails blindsiding them with a sly cowardly dig

GAA pitch-side violence Turning a blind eye has conjured the cult of the “hard man”, usually some hero whose talents run from niggling and sledging an opponent to distraction or if that fails blindsiding them with a sly cowardly dig

The GAA is in one of its periodic bouts of hand-wringing about violence. If the past is any guide it won’t last long. That’s because violence and the peculiar ambivalence it provokes within Ireland’s biggest sporting organisation are, as the ad says, bound together.

It is violence we’re talking about too. There’s no point trying to dilute a punch with words like “rivalry” or “needle” or that classic catch-all cop-out called “passion”. If a picture paints a thousand words then recent social media videos make it dispiritingly plain that only one is required – thuggery.

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