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Francis Duggan

A Memory From 85

I've always thought that Gaelic Football was a grand and a sporting game
But after witnessing a match between Rockchapel and Kiskeam
Played in the Gaelic Playing Field half a mile from Knocknagree
The uglier side of Gaelic Football was all brought home to me.

'Twas Duhallow B league final on an evening in July
And with little to enthuse about for a neutral such as I
A scrappy game of football and the language it was crude
And both sets of supporters were mouthing loud and rude

And I watched on in silence and I could not feel amused
When a linesman by an old Rockchapel mentor was abused
And one could feel the tension rising and things were boiling to a brawl
And 'twould not be a night for sportsmanship or classical football.

And worse was to come later and an ugly sight to see
A young Rockchapel player assaulting the referee
And when he received his marching orders and refused to leave the field
The ref to intimidation rightly refused to yield.

The ref blew the final whistle with Kiskeam to the fore
They had won a tarnished victory by a mere five points to four
In a brutal game of football they'd survived a gruelling test
But at kicking and at mouthing they had come out second best.

'Twas a sad night for Gaelic Football and Duhallow's night of shame
And I'm not pardoning Kiskeam they must partly share the blame
But for a cup and set of medals and with little else at stake
For their attitude and thuggery Rockchapel took the cake.

The ref's motor van was interfered with and a door lock it got broke
By a wild man from Rockchapel a half crazed gray haired bloke
And this rowdy behaviour over a game of ball
It's no wonder I felt sickened fairly sickened by it all.

I've always thought that Gaelic football did not have an ugly side
That the players and spectators on their native game took pride
But now I know quite different and I see things differently
Since that Duhallow local derby game that was played in Knocknagree.

Submitted: Thursday, March 06, 2008

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