In the week that saw the political incineration of the Blueshirts, the Déise boys treated us to the return of the Blueshorts.
Having written those words so many years ago, it seems only fair to refer to them on the weekend that Waterford are playing Cavan and we are seeing of the political incineration of Fianna Fáil. It is just as well that one of the Soldiers’ favourite children is no longer around to see the decline and possible fall of their party. No, I don’t mean my grandmother, although she’ll be turning in her grave at the prospect. I refer to John Wilson.
Wilson seemed rather too genteel for the rough-and-tumble world of politics. This was a man who once, speaking on RTÉ news, referred to a commission of enquiry as having being ‘punctilious’ in its endeavours. So to discover at the commemoration of Michael O’Hehir before the 1990 football final that he was an All-Ireland medal winner was a delightful shock. It made you feel really good about the GAA’s place in Irish life, that a man of his stature had made his name slopping around between the drumlins in Cavan. And while he didn’t live to see the implosion of the party he served so well, he did see the decline of his county to the point where Waterford – Waterford! – are going to Breffni Park tomorrow with pretensions of victory. Let’s hope the blue shirts don’t do as well as the Blueshirts.
Update: John Wilson’s spirit will rest slightly easier today as Cavan edged Waterford out. It’s still a bit early to say whether Waterford are such obvious relegation fodder, and losing by two points after such a long road trip isn’t a disaster. But the fact that Limerick are now 0 for 3 would make you a little worried that those two teams could be cut adrift. Tipperary next at home, the team immediately above Waterford. Looks important.