Things just ain’t fair in this crazy old world we live in

Country Living with Francis Farragher

It’s probably a bit naive to expect that there should be any sense of fairness in the world as we’re bombarded with one depressing news story after the next from the horrors of Gaza to the trenches of Ukraine.

In a way, it’s like a parallel universe we exist, where in one headline we read about a golfer, Jon Rahm, being offered around $600m to join the Saudi Arabian funded LIV golf tour and in another we see that every single day, nearly 800 million people across the world go hungry.

Cristiano Ronaldo, at 38-years of age, is also pocketing an annual salary of over $130 million, again funded from the pockets of the oil rich Saudi sheiks . . . this is wealth that many of us just can’t comprehend as we potter around in our daily lives, looking for few extra bob here and there to make ends meet.

It’s a time too, when I do have a fair amount of sympathy for the amateur sportspeople of the GAA, most of whom at inter-county level are household names, but who can count themselves somewhat fortunate even at the height of their fame, to have the use of a sponsored car for a year or two.

A few years ago, I remember listening to a radio interview, I think with Joe Brolly (not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s neither here nor there), in which he recalled casually meeting a few top GAA players, who on a free Sunday, were tucking into some choc ices and chocolate.

It seemed to him at the time, a bit odd that such accomplished athletes would be indulging in what we might call junk food, but as they outlined  to him, they had little else in life to enjoy, due to their strict training regimes.

They couldn’t go on summer holidays with their partners or families; going out at weekends for a bit of socialising and maybe a couple of pints was an absolute no-no; they had to commit to a rigorous off-season winter training programme; and the ordinary every-day simple pleasures of life just had to be parked . . . until they call time on their inter-county careers.

Over the past couple of weeks too, it emerged that one of Galway’s most hurling clubs – apparently at the wishes of the players themselves – drew up a rigorous list of both commitments and restrictions that had to be abided by for the 2024 season.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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