Mayo - the nearly men

Good day for GAA coffers with €3m bonus in replay

I almost had to eat my words last Sunday after Mayo nearly pulled off a major upset against Dublin in the All-Ireland final at Croke Park.

For the moment I’m chewing them. Mayo deserved to win but will still be delighted to continue their quest for Sam on Saturday week. They nearly made it but nearly seems to be in the Mayo mindset at this stage.

This reminds me of a story where a mother to be had a craving for eating snails. The couple, Seamus and Bridie, lived outside of town so she asked her husband to go to fetch the snails. It was a Saturday. They did not have any means of transport so the husband set off in the morning for town on foot as usual. He was fond of the bottle so she warned him not to be going into any pubs and come home directly with the snails. Hours passed and there was no sign of Seamus. Bridie’s craving was becoming more intense as the morning passed into evening. Eventually, Seamus arrived at the back door of the house. He made an awful racket as he fumbled with the latch on the door. Bridie rushed to give him a good telling off. She demanded in an angry tone: “Where were you all day”? Seamus, who was well oiled, just keep looking at the floor as he ushered the snails along the floor mumbling “nearly there now lads, nearly there now!”

Although the quality of football was not great, the intensity was fierce and frantic. Had Mayo have lost this game it would have been a travesty. Unfortunately, they scored two own goals early in the game which gave them a massive mountain to climb. Mayo’s performance has breathed life into the football championship given Dublin’s dominance in recent times. We may well look back to Donegal’s loss to Tyrone in the Ulster final and Tyrone’s demise against Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter final. Only a kick of the ball separated these teams.

There were no winners on the field of play but the big winners were the GAA who stand to land a windfall of €3m from the replay on Saturday week. They can thank Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor for that since he scored that very late dramatic equaliser. It’s happy times for the GAA.

MOBILE PHONES

I would like to briefly mention an issue that is finally receiving attention of late. It affects all of us and I’m sure we have all been guilty at some stage or other. Thankfully, I am of a generation who remembers when life was simple; no internet, no social media and no mobile phones. Embracing technology is wonderful but it has consequences. Mobile phones are useful and I often wonder how we managed back in that time not so very long ago when mobile phones had not yet been invented. The phone is now our best buddy. It goes with us everywhere. Sadly, though, the mobile can be detrimental to one’s health and even fatal.

I watched an interview during the week where a gentleman talked about his wife who was killed in a car accident because the driver of the other vehicle was on the mobile phone. The man was heartbroken for his loss but angry that this accident should never have happened. I did a bit of research this past few days in respect of mobile phone usage while driving.

The Road Safety Authority says: “It has been illegal to use a hand held mobile phone while driving or stopped with the engine on since December 2003. If you break this law, even if you are otherwise driving safely, you could face a fine of €100 and three penalty points on your licence. If you go to court, fines will almost certainly be larger and disqualification is possible - the maximum fine in a court is €1,000, or €2,500 if you were driving a bus or a goods vehicle”.

Unfortunately, many people are disregarding this law. The next time that you are on the road, take note of how many people who are on their phones. An Gardai have an impossible task of policing this law because its misuse is so widespread. We have a moral responsibility for the safety of other people’s lives as well as our own. The RSA tells us that we are four times more likely to crash making a call and a staggering twenty-three more times when texting. I’m in no position to preach to anyone but I do believe that this is a serious issue which needs addressing.

Back in Mayo, their senior footballers are determined to do whatever it takes to win the All-Ireland title according to their right-half back Lee Keegan which apparently includes a boxing match in the tunnel before coming onto to the field. This is the story doing the rounds. There were certainly punches thrown between the two teams and seemingly it was Dublin’s fault because they delayed their scheduled time to come on the pitch. Whatever happened, it unsettled Dublin. Saturday 1st October can’t come soon enough.

Keep the faith!