On this day: From GAA player revolts to holidaying at home

The GAA was beginning to find out 20 years ago that players were no longer willing to be taken for granted.
On this day: From GAA player revolts to holidaying at home
Cork's Brian Corcoran attempts to dispossess Galway's David Collins in the first-half of the 2005 GAA All Ireland Hurling Final, at Croke Park.  The Erin's Own stalwart said 20 years ago: “The GAA aren’t sharing their revenue with us, why should we have to share ours with them?”  Picture: Haydn West/PA

Gaelic games in Ireland have been a lynchpin of Irish society for more than 130 years - as long as the players are willing to play ball, so to speak.

The GAA was beginning to find out 20 years ago that players were no longer willing to be taken for granted.

Standing up to the authorities were, of course, men of steel and distinction from Cork’s hallowed hurling and football history, indicative of the Rebel County.

The Irish Examiner headline of Thursday, August 10, 2000 said it all: “Militants leave GAA reeling”.

He who would become a bona fide legend of Cork GAA, the great Brian Corcoran, winner of three All-Ireland senior hurling titles and eight dual Munster senior titles in his glorious career, was at the forefront.

The Gaelic Players Association announced it was a force to be reckoned with, it was here to stay, and the paymasters in Croke Park would have to come to terms with it.

The Erin's Own stalwart said: “The GAA aren’t sharing their revenue with us, why should we have to share ours with them?” 

Such a tumultuous announcement would have lit up social media back in 2000, if smartphones were available. They weren’t of course, but snug Motorolas and Siemens were, long before Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy became part of modern lexicon.

On this day 50 years ago, James Chichester-Clark was finding the going tough as The Troubles escalated.

If Micheál Martin is vexed at trying to put out political fires left, right and centre, then imagine trying to navigate the North as its Prime Minister during a dreadful period in its history.

Facing growing discontent and calls for his political head, the Ulster Unionist leader swaggered back to Belfast after a holiday as if he didn’t have a care in the world, “bronzed and smiling”, as the

Cork Examinerdescribed it.

The facade wouldn’t last, though, as he would resign just months later.

In a reminder that black people struggling for equality is not just a 2020 phenomenon, but a long-standing fight against racial injustice, theCork Examinerreported on this day in 1970 that 19 were arrested after a peaceful demonstration against police brutality turned violent.

Bad publicity and the penchant for own goals by pillar banks is also not just a modern phenomenon in Ireland, but a wearily regular one.

AIB, stricken with debt, left people aghast when theIrish Examinerrevealed it was paying golf and gym memberships for employees. The revelation came just days after hiking interest rates on struggling mortgage holders.

The fight to Repeal the Eighth was in its political infancy on this day in 2015. Fine Gael TDs found themselves at odds with each other over their pro-life and pro-choice stances. 

Leo Varadkar, who would go on to be Taoiseach, sided with the pro-choice wing, and a hard-fought referendum would see campaigners fighting for the right to choose victorious in 2018.

In a testament to the enduring greatness of revered jockey AP McCoy, the likes of Robbie Williams joined Princess Anne and other names at Adare Manor for his retirement party on this day five years ago. He rode a record 4,358 winners in his glittering career.

A year ago today, holidays abroad were in the minds of consumers, in stark contrast to The Great Staycation of 2020. A pandemic will change best-laid plans in an instant.

There was also an interview with the chiefs of the Irish Greyhound Board, who conceded that they faced an uphill climb in fixing the organisation's reputation after an explosive RTÉ documentary.

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