What with all the kerfuffle recently about rebelling Rebels and players’ grants, very little attention has been given to the ongoing Peace Process between the GAA and the AFL aimed at getting the International Rules series back on track. Too little attention, to my mind, because not only is this excuse for semi-organised thuggery an idea whose time has come and gone, it just provides the Aussies with more time and opportunity to cast their beady eyes at all that emerging talent within Gaelic football and then to spirit away the best of them.
Not that they need any further encouragement in carrying out such fraternal activity. In fact, it appears now that they’re going to establish a nationwide scouting network on the ground over here so I suppose we can expect more players such as Pierce Hanley to be lost to the game over the coming years. (Hogan Stand reports, by the way, that Pierce is struggling to settle in over there but it still doesn’t sound like he intends to come back anytime soon). And, just to make things easier for them, Aussie Rules clubs are apparently springing up all over the place in this country, including “our own” Mayo Mariners.
Meanwhile, the GAA continues to “negotiate” with these jokers about resuming that bastardised game with them on a regular basis, only this time, mind you, with the X-rated bits excised. (Where have we heard that one before?) But, tell me this – would you open negotiations about going out for a jar with some fucker you found brazenly rummaging around your abode picking up every bit and bauble that took his fancy? Make no mistake: this poisonous dalliance with the Aussies has, by sucking out of Gaelic football all the best emerging talent, the potential to cause catastrophic damage to our game. Pay-for-play is only trotting after it – this one is the real kangaroo in the living room.