Dessie Farrell's attempts to protect Seanie Johnston undone... by Dessie Farrell
Dessie Farrell’s attempts to protect Seanie Johnston prove counterproductive, while the financial situation in Waterford is far from ‘sweet’ at the moment.
Thanks but no thanks Dessie
Like it or lump it, but Seanie Johnston is headline news at the moment and after the qualifier draw a couple of days ago, he will continue to be up until the game that everyone’s talking about in Breffni Park on Sunday week.
There are more than a few people sick to death of the whole thing, none more so, we would wager, than Seanie himself. Whatever about the rights and wrongs of the transfer itself, the character assassination of Johnston from some quarters (*cough* Joe Brolly *cough*) has been a little distasteful and the player has received support from GPA Chief Dessie Farrell amongst others urging his detractors to get off his back.
"I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of it because everyone will have different views on that," Farrell told the media at Croke Park yesterday.
"What's of interest to us is the human interest story behind it all. For the last number of months Seanie Johnston has been living his life in a goldfish bowl [Ah, but is said goldfish bowl in Cavan or Kildare? - Ed].
"That has been particularly unfortunate. That can't have been easy for him. I know people will forget the pressure that will be heaped on the individual and how he might react to that, and how that can affect him.
"So I think for everyone's sake we'd like to see the story move on now and just concentrate on the football for the rest of the summer. Whatever people's views on it may be, it's done and dusted now and we'd encourage everyone to move on at this stage."
We know that Dessie’s comments were well-intentioned and he had little choice but to talk about it, but by trying to protect Seanie Johnston from media intrusion by speaking about him to the media, Farrell inadvertently guaranteed even more headlines about Johnston, defeating his entire purpose in the first place.
Of course, Farrell’s counterparts at the GAA could have avoided adding to the whole debacle by not ‘fixing’ the qualifier draw to ensure that Johnston’s new county met his old county, but after the events and Twitter controversies of the last couple of days, maybe we’re better off not going down that particular pothole-filled road.
Things are far from ‘sweet’ in Waterford
It’s fairly well-known that Waterford are enduring some financial struggles at the moment, but the lengths that some Déise officials went to in an attempt to try and remedy them of late mightn’t be very well-received in the south-east.
Munster Council Chairman Sean Walsh revealed on Tipp FM on Monday night that a Waterford County Board delegate had proposed playing this year’s Munster Final in Semple Stadium in exchange for a financial “sweetener” and that similar proposals had been brought forward by the county for previous Munster Finals in 2009 and 2010.
There’s quite a bit of detail to the story – for more information, read the report in the Irish Examiner – but the Waterford County Board chiefs must be in dire financial straits if they are willing to offer the opposition home advantage in a Munster Hurling Final, which is by a distance the most prestigious occasion in the provincial calendar.
Hurling followers in Waterford mightn’t react too well to these ethically questionable developments, but the whole episode serves as a reminder of the financial burden carried by many counties at present.