A leader’s most important job is to provide hope – Act II

If not exactly word-for-ford, that was the gist of the most important line in Colm O’Rourke’s Sunday Independent column on St Valentine’s Day.

The Simonstown Gaels manager’s piece was not only enjoyed by yours truly, but needed. Desperately. I am under no illusions that there will be those, cognisant of my fondness for and the relationship I am blessed to enjoy with the former county star and his family who will murmur “What else would he say?”

Not in this instance however. There are often times I wouldn’t agree with the content of his column. Polarised opinions on the Third Level GAA competitions would be just one example. It is most likely not everybody agrees with everything which comes off this machine either. That’s only as it should be. If we all thought the same life would be exceedingly boring and, even worse, people might become indoctrinated.

Colm O’Rourke of Meath

Avoiding arriving at the conclusion that process has already begun takes skill. And grain trailer loads of patience. Colm’s column, mind you, offered hope, as well as a small degree of vindication. The latter adjective is deployed as there was a certain amount of relief in realising I wasn’t the only one with those sentiments.

As you will have gathered from the headline, this keyboarded perambulation is an addendum to the Trump impeachment piece. My original idea was to include what follows hereafter all in the one post, but, being mindful of what a wonderful editor under whose guidance I worked for all too short a period, reckoned long articles were too unwieldy and that most people’s attention span doesn’t exceed about 800 words before they get bored.

Thus, what you now see before you is something similar from a different angle. At the outset of the commentary on the American situation, mention was also made of another highly successful but firebrand businessman not afraid to rattle a few cages. The great Westmeath man may along the same lines as Trump in terms of brashness, combustibility and voicing opinions folks don’t like, but I don’t think he’s caused an insurrection, yet!

Recently, the man from Gigginstown stated, correctly in my view, that, basically, the country – and the Government, such as it is – are being led around by the nose by NPHET. Given the identity of some of the individuals to the fore on that body, is it not akin to getting directions from Stevie Wonder?

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary

That’s why it was so heartening to see Colm state his belief that underage GAA activity should be allowed to return post haste. I would go even further, why not allow all games back without spectators? If it worked perfectly well for as long it did at the back end of last year, what’s to say it wouldn’t do say again? The ‘party line’ about spectators becoming rambunctious can hardly be laid at the door at the GAA’s door. Therefore the Association carrying the can for same by having all their games locked down indefinitely seems wholly unjust.

If you view O’Leary’s theory from another angle, it highlights the sycophantic manner in which the Brains Trust within the organisation obediently obey the overlords beyond reproach. Look again at the headline above. The leadership of the GAA aren’t exactly conveying much hope, are they, when the (thankfully soon to be retiring) President says “There’s no rush” for games to start back. And then his equally odious parrot-in-chief Alan Milton trots out the predictable, outdated, depressing line “Our players are amateurs, they can’t bubble”.

GAA Communications Director Alan Milton

Neither of them would make great salespeople, would they? Instead of saying “There’s no rush” getting back to action, surely the interests of members of the organisation would be better served by pushing for the earliest return to play possible. As for Milton’s unsurprising but stifling obsession with amateurism, that monotonous old chant is fairly easily deconstructed too.

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