Peter all too keen to ‘hijack’ hurling heroes’ homecoming

Councilors Padraig Conneely and Donal Lyons at the hurlers' homecoming function in the Salthill Hotel on Monday night.
Councilors Padraig Conneely and Donal Lyons at the hurlers' homecoming function in the Salthill Hotel on Monday night.

Bradley Bytes – A sort of political column by Dara Bradley

There were scenes of jubilation at Pearse Stadium on Monday at the homecoming for the Galway senior and minor hurlers who created history by doing the double of All-Irelands at Croke Park the previous day. But not everybody was happy.

Though the GAA is a political organisation with a small ‘p’, its members tend to look down on Politics with a capital ‘P’.

And by looking down on politics, we mean politicising or politicking of the sport, or the organisation.

That’s where Fianna Fáil Galway City councillor Peter Keane made a booboo.

On Monday, greeting the thousands of fans arriving in Salthill to meet their heroes, was a massive sign on the side of a car.

It had a picture of the bould Peter, and a sign congratulating the successful Tribesmen teams. Indeed, one of the signs was spotted hanging from a flyover on the road to Croker.

A bit naff, but so far, so acceptable.

What irked the GAA diehards was not the hogging of the limelight by the Dáil hopeful, but that he had the neck to hijack the Galway GAA logo.

Stewards – some Blueshirts but one or two from his own party, too – at the city venue complained that Peter’s banner shouldn’t have used the Galway crest, which is sacrosanct.

Congratulate the team with a banner, fair enough. But don’t be dragging the GAA into your political message.

One steward confided with Bradley Bytes that he was of a mind to take the banner down.

“It just wasn’t right that he’d hijack the Galway logo,” he snorted, before making an unrepeatable reference to what he described as Peter Keane’s rather tenuous links with the GAA.

We hear one or two gave Peter a piece of their mind about the giant poster outside the stadium . . . and there was no sign of him later at the official team dinner in the Salthill Hotel where most other city councillors of all persuasions celebrated the Liam McCarthy Cup’s return to Galway after 29 years.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.