'My club, my people' - Kevin Cassidy rounds on David Brady
TV View: It’s still only February but GAA temperatures are already reach boiling point
Kevin Cassidy: was singularly unimpressed by David Brady’s comments about Gaoth Dobhair after the Donegal club’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Corofin. Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
The picture disappeared, the screen turned pink, “fan Linn,” TG4 asked us, and then the air was filled with the soothing strains of a guitar gently weeping. Which was possibly what the tuned-in Kilkenny faithful were doing at that stage of the match too.
Indeed, the minute or so that TG4 lost its feed from Nowlan Park was, most likely, the highlight of the afternoon for those whose hearts bleed black and amber.
It could, of course, have been worse. In the end Kilkenny only lost, in their own back yard, by nine points to Limerick when they’d trailed by 14 at one stage, but lest we’d forgotten, TG4 reminded us that (a) it’s only February and (b) it’s only the league. But also (c) rumours of Limerick being a one-season wonder should be muted. At least for now.
It’s hard to know if this is a solo run, but does the league this year – football and hurling – not have a very sizeable buzz about it? Add in the balmy-ish temperatures and exceedingly blue skies, and that buzz has even had a bit of a championship feel to it.
It’s possibly all down to the telly coverage, TG4 and RTÉ2 the carriers, which always tends to put a gloss on even the matt-est of finishes. And when you have, for example, Joanne Cantwell locking horns with Joe Brolly one week and Donal Óg Cusack the other, the lads getting highly emotional about sundry issues all the way, you can’t but be enthused, even if it’s only the league.
Donal, who would possess the bank balance of Jeff Bezos if he’d a Euro for every time he said “right?”, was exceedingly exercised about Cork GAA’s finances on Saturday evening, although in the absence of accurate figures thus far about the cost of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh renovation we don’t yet know if they make the Children’s Hospital overrun look like a snip. Donal, though, suspected we were in that region.
“There is probably governance that has gone on that would make members of the Five Families blush,” he said, Joanne, Anthony Daly and Ursula Jacob all shifting uncomfortably and turning a whiter shade of pale at the mere mention of organised crime in relation to Cork GAA’s doings while standing on the touchline at Páirc Uí Rinn.
And Donal was feeling no more upbeat after Clare McNamara’s chat with Tracey Kennedy, chair of Cork GAA, when she was asked her if Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s dodgy pitch would be sorted soon.
“We’re fairly sure it should be fine for the championship,” said Tracey, the “fairly” inserting Donal’s heart in his mouth.
But. “There’s a burning desire,” he told us, “if you’ll forgive me, to try and Make Cork Great Again.”
Anthony directed his gaze at the heavens.
“There’s a sense of Corkness in the air.”
But Corkness saw off Clareness in a pitch perfect kind of way, Pa Horgan helping himself to just the 0-16 of their 1-20 winning total in their three-point victory.
Donal was happy out.
Apart from that moment when Clare’s Tony Kelly scored the point that wasn’t. No Hawkeye/VAR required, insisted Donal, the “ball” just needs to change colour.
“I’m dead serious.. it’s like tennis. Tennis used to be a white ball and they changed it to make it easier for people, players, TV to see it. That change of ball can’t come soon enough.”
Anthony chuckled, but Donal had a point, oftentimes that sliotar is as transparent as Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s finances.
Nothing cloudy about Gaoth Dobhair’s efforts to beat Corofin in the All-Ireland club football championship semi-finals at the weekend, also brought to us by TG4. Corofin prevailed. Mayo old-boy David Brady wasn’t impressed, reckoning Gaoth Dobhair’s partying after their Ulster final triumph had banjaxed their hopes of progressing.
To which Gaoth Dobhair’s Kevin Cassidy replied: “Shut the **** up, I’m not even a midfielder and I would still take you to the ****ing cleaners you muppet and I would ram that basketball armband up your arse. My club, my people.”
It might only be February, but all this heat has climate change stamped all over it. Fan Linn.