Sunday 4 March 2012

Nothing without Effort

I think we have mentioned before how fiercely parochial are the GAA (Gaelic Athletics Association) sports of Hurling and Irish Rules football. Living where we do in Co. Roscommon we are expected to support the (very) local team of Eire Og (translation is 'Young Ireland'; you pronounce it with a long 'O' as in Owe). Woe betide us if we are seen to support, say, the Western Gaels from 2 villages away. We thought we might be in trouble when Aerial Keith cleared our gutters and took down the aerial for the payment of some scrap metal which he was collecting because his sons play GA for Western Gaels, and they collect scrap to raise funds for the club. Fortunately for us Eire Og do not collect scrap, so we could all breathe a sigh of relief. You support your local team and then the County. Supporting far away counties just because they are winning is seriously frowned upon. There is none of this nonsense like we have in UK where school kids nominally "support" Man United but have never ever been there, nor yet spent any money on 'stuff' which funds the team.

There's more about Eire Og on

Any UK readers may be interested in some of this. You'll know we don't 'do' soccer. Dad knows next to nothing about it and finds the prospect of watching 90 minutes of play in which very little happens and score lines rarely exceed 1-nil seriously dull and tedious. Sparks and Mr Silverwood tell me that GA is a bit of a different prospect. It's much faster for a start and score lines are higher. They also love another big difference in that the ethics of it are much more supporting of grass roots level, club play. In UK soccer, a village may have a team but they tend to pick their best 11 players and always field them. If you're not in the best 11 then, if you're lucky you might play for a 2nd team but if you're a newcomer and unproven, or you're rubbish (like Dad says he was!) you might never get a game. GA is set up deliberately to rotate the players. If you turn up then you'll get a game soon enough, says Mr S which is great for young lads trying to play. In the UK the first team get all the practice and all the attention so they stay the best. In GA everyone gets to improve. So they tell me, anyway.

Anyway. Mum bought Dad this little wrist-band to support Eire Og. It is in a pleasingly Guinness flavoured black and white and on the other side says "Tada gan iarracht" which Mrs S translated for us as "Nothing without Effort" which seems nicely appropriate for the house rebuild project, doesn't it?

Go Eire Og! Go County Roscommon!

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