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Letters to the Editor: Looking for Cork stories about the GAA

June 6th, 2022 8:00 AM

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EDITOR – Through your newspaper, may I make a call to readers and GAA followers in Cork to get in touch with any stories they may have for inclusion in the second edition of a grassroots book on the organisation.

Last year’s publication of Grassroots: Stories From The Heart Of The GAA, proved such a success that the GAA and Ballpoint Press are collaborating in a new volume  GAA Grassroots, The Second-Half – with a planned release this autumn.

So I’m issuing a ‘last call’ to make sure that if someone has a Cork-related story to tell, they have the chance to do so.

I need them to get in touch by the end of June so that their submissions can be considered for the forthcoming publication.

We already have over 100 stories for the second volume but it is important that we trawl again this year as we want to include the most comprehensive treasure trove of Gaelic-related stories ever compiled in the 138-year history of the association.

The stories being sought out stand a greater chance of publication if they contain twists and turns rather than historical accounts about clubs or famous ancestors who won medals.

It is not a collection of how clubs were founded or run but about the people in them and what they got up to either on or off the pitch.

Cork stories can be submitted on any subject and from any era – from the time of British rule, through to the Civil War, The Emergency or indeed the era of ‘The Ban’ and vigilante committees set up to uncover GAA members attending or playing ‘foreign games’.

GAA stories always have intrigue, cunning, wit and every member has a unique story to tell about what happened somewhere along the line. That’s why I’d love to get a new crop in for Volume 2. If someone out there has a story but would prefer to relate it to me rather than write it themselves, I can write it up for them.

If you have a story, write to: [email protected] or [email protected] marked ‘GAA Stories’ or phone me directly on 086-8217631.

PJ Cunningham

Wyndham Park,

Bray,

Co Wicklow.

We are entering a wave of change in politics

EDITOR – We are now entering a wave of change in politics across the country of Ireland for the better internationally.

The new interest in the political situation by the US administration is to be welcomed.

There have been many sacrifices by many dedicated people over many years to bring us to this point in the struggle for liberation from British colonial rule.

At long last nationalists/ republicans have united against all the odds to challenge unionist domination in the north east of the island of Ireland.

The election result of 2022 is good for everyone. The unionists have had their day at the helm and the only way they will have power again is if they are willing to share it.

When they do, they will be treated with the utmost respect as equals of our small country.

Noel Harrington

Kinsale.

The public should be entitled to comment

EDITOR – The nameless ‘spokesperson’ for Cork County Council has berated adverse comments made about Maureen O’Hara’s (now removed) commemorative statue as ‘inappropriate’.

In commissioning a public work of art surely the Council should expect the public to react to it; that must be an important function of any work of art – to elicit a response.

Those responses will inevitably reflect a broad range of tastes and preferences. To suggest that adverse comments are ‘inappropriate’ takes a position which is itself inappropriate and is disrespectful of the personal views of those taxpayers who helped to fund the statue.

I confess to feeling sorry for sculptor Don Cronin who, it is reported, took up task after the original artist was unable to complete the commission.

May I suggest that readers visit his website and Facebook pages to see what a talented artist he is?

I hope he doesn’t feel too bruised by the experience and that his talent continues to delight many and (inevitably) dismay some.

But it would be a dull old world if we all liked the same things.

Jeremy Cahill QC

Tig Mhaire

Knockroe

Kilcrohane

A sound I will never feel ‘nostalgic’ about

EDITOR – A speaker at the recent Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity Loss ended her moving and informative presentation by playing the sounds of species we rarely, or in some cases no longer, hear in the Irish countryside.

It made for sad listening, tinged with nostalgia and feelings about what might have been if we’d tried harder to preserve what remains of our wonderful wildlife heritage.

However, one sound I do not wish to hear in our countryside is a hare’s child-like screech on a coursing field, and a sight we can do without is that of this ‘flagship of Irish biodiversity’ as conservationists have dubbed it, getting mauled, having its bones crushed, or being tossed into the air like a rag doll ... for sport.

The Citizens’ Assembly will be making recommendations to the government at the conclusion of its deliberations. But I ask: how can we trust a government, or any combination of parties, that supports and encourages the legality of hare coursing, a practice that is a serious criminal offence in other jurisdictions?

What confidence can we have in a politician who thinks it’s okay to set dogs on one of our truly native mammals, a creature that survived the last Ice Age of 10,000 years and was probably around for eons before that ... to care a fig about our imperilled biodiversity?

To entrust the care of our precious wildlife heritage, which belongs to all of us and should not be the preserve of a heartless minority, to pro-hare coursing politicians, would be on a par with putting vampires in charge of the Blood Bank.

Forcing thousands of captured hares to serve as live bait, apart from the animal welfare objections to it, does little to inspire confidence in our ability to address the multi-faceted threats to biodiversity. It is a national scandal and a perennial blot on the landscape.

Thankfully, public support for it is declining so that this increasingly endangered species – the Irish hare coursing fan – may soon become extinct.

John Fitzgerald

Callan,

Co Kilkenny.

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