Conceptually, the weekend of the 28th/29th of July 2007 should be the greatest jamboree of hurling ever as the Great Powers collide on the Croke Park turf, like an epic game of Diplomacy.
But it won’t be, because the event that brought the two weekends together into one was the heartbreaking death of Vanessa McGarry, wife of All-Ireland winning Kilkenny sub goalie, James McGarry.
Instinctively, I’m not sure this is the right decision, and it’s not the one I would have taken. Are the games not bigger than any one person? The Omagh bomb was not considered shocking enough for the GAA to cancel the Waterford – Kilkenny semi-final the next day.
And yet, it is a moving tribute to an association that likes to see itself as being unique in still belonging entirely to its membership as opposed to two American carpetbaggers (I’ll regret that comment before long) that it can take time to pause and pay their respects to one of its own in his darkest hour.
Condolences to the family of Vanessa McGarry. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam.