GAME OF TWO HALVES
As a staunch Dublin GAA supporter it was with great dismay that I realised I would miss the All Ireland semi-final versus Donegal due to the fact that I had booked a family holiday to Spain.
The family headed to the pool while I feverishly checked out station after station on the TV without a result. I resigned myself to RTE updates on my iPhone and a few texts from fellow loyal supporters and friends watching the game at home.
However, in a moment of pure good luck, I located BBC2NI and there before my eyes were the Donegal team standing for Amhran na Bfhionn. I was ecstatic, I was going to be able to watch the game of the year for the Dubs!
Wrong! Not only was I wrong from a watchability point of view as the game plan from Donegal prevented any sort of flowing football, I was also exposed to the most biased commentary from a TV panel that I have ever witnessed.
Unfortunately, the standard of football and the standard of commentary went hand in hand in the first half -- dire.
Dublin's attempt to try and play some sort of football that resembled our native game was totally hampered by Donegal's defensive tactics of playing one man up front and 14 inside their own 40.
At last, things got going in the second half. The slight improvement in the nature of the game did not endear the commentary team however, with the emphasis still very much on a Donegal win.
As we neared the end of the game, the Dublin dominance, even with only 14 men, thwarted the Donegal game and they gained the upper hand.
The ongoing 45 degree commentary by the BBC boys finally began to level out as we neared the 70-minute mark, and then with a final acknowledgment but only at the final whistle . . . it was over.
We had won. I rejoiced and all nationalities at the pool were subjected to a very animated "come on ye boys in blue". Up the Dubs!
D Kelly BY EMAIL
I note from a recent interview with former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that he thinks Gay Mitchell will win the presidential election. Considering this man's utterings on the economy, housing market, etc, etc, I am sure Mr Mitchell is very excited for his future prospects!
K Nolan Co Leitrim.
COURSING IS CRUEL Sinn Fein's assertion that Northern Ireland's ban on hare coursing is an attack on the 'rural way of life' is an insult to the majority of countryside dwellers who abhor cruelty.
Coursing is a minority activity, with an ever-dwindling following, so it's hard to fathom why any political party would alienate a large proportion of the electorate by backing it.
Fine Gael's 2011 election manifesto promised to renew 'outdated animal welfare legislation' with 'greater cooperation across the island of Ireland on animal welfare issues'. They should start by banning coursing and affording hares protection from persecution.
A Yourell BY EMAIL
With the lack of jobs available for young people in this country, it seems their only option is to go to Canada, New Zealand or Australia. All three countries are offering working holiday visas to young people.
A year or two living in one of these countries is a great opportunity and should be seized by as many young people as possible.
B SMYTH MARINO