At the outset here, let it be made abundantly clear that the decision of Watty Grahams GFC to lodge an objection to the outcome of last Sunday’s All Ireland Club SFC Final is not only understandable but the correct decision. However, that the matter has come to this is a horrendous indictment of GAA leadership at the highest level.
Against a backdrop where there has been talk of Fossa’s Paudie Clifford being suspended for (correctly) highlighting atrocious refereeing in the All Ireland Club IFC Final, that the GAA would, without public revulsion and the club who were wronged having to scandalously grovel, have done absolutely nothing.
While I couldn’t go so far as to agree with Ger Loughnane’s generalisation that “Outside of those involved, nobody gives a damn about the Club Championships” arriving at such a sorry conclusion is all too easy to arrive at when you see the contempt with which those in authority – on the pitch and off it – have treated both clubs at the centre of the latest boghole of embarrassment the Association has been sunk into by their own incompetence.
So now that Wattys have done what they never should have had to do, the only certainty is that there are absolutely no winners in the sorry mess. Asking Kilmacud to hand back a trophy they have had possession of for nearly a week is not only insane, it’s insulting.
To Crokes, to the competition and, perhaps most importantly, to the person in whose honour the trophy is named. Verbal dung coming out of some quarters that the error was part of some sinister plot by the Stillorgan club is at best highly insulting and at worst another word which I will refrain from using lest there be accusations of manure agitation.
On the other hand, if a refixture is ordered, no matter which sides wins, there will be asterisk beside their acknowledgement as champions. Which in the case of Glen would be grossly unfair as they have done absolutely nothing wrong.
The GAA’s (lack of) response has been akin to trying to hold off a tsunami with a mop and bucket. The ball is now firmly back in the court of the power brokers. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Regardless of what happens from here, the whiff of pig slurry this episode has generated will take a long to douse.