Category Archives: Tramore Hinterland

Tramore Hinterland – Back door better than the alternative

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Well that was all-too-brief. Tramore Hinterland is no more, the reasons why to be found on the paper’s Facebook page. If you want to find out whether ‘Howard’s Way’ went out with a bang rather than a whimper (given it’s about the tedious topic of the back door in hurling, probably the latter), you still have a few days to cough up €1.50. Many thanks to Jamie O’Keeffe for the opportunity.

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It was tricky reading the interview with Joe Harney in these pages a couple of weeks back. My eyes kept on being drawn back to the picture of a Waterfordman holding a Celtic cross. Speaking to a customer a few years back, I noted on his order form that he was from Ballydurn and I confessed that I had no idea where it was and wouldn’t have heard of it but for Peter Queally – the former inter-county hurler, not the beef baron of the same name. “Joe Harney is from Ballydurn” he replied, and no more needed to be said on the matter. By dint of that one thing, Ballydurn mattered.

Eventually you manage to cut through the hero worship and read what he had to say, and his disappointment with the modern game came through, not least his comment about the back door system. Continue reading

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Tramore Hinterland – First Division is No Man’s Land

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This week: a gratuitous reference to the naff 1980’s sponsors of the League of Ireland typifies the kind of low blows I use to plead for an end to the First Division. Tramore Hinterland costs €1.50 and can be purchased from all patriotic newsagents.

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Last week I wrote about how I went to see Waterford United anticipating a mid-table borefest which would confirm my belief that the League of Ireland First Division was a waste of time. And just as with an undergraduate dissertation, anything which contradicted such a belief was to be ignored, so the tremendous entertainment derived from a 4-0 shellacking of Wexford Youths will not interrupt the thought processes that despair at the entity that is the First Division.

For years the League had gotten along just fine with somewhere between 12-16 teams, the schedule for such a small league being padded out by assigning greater importance to competitions like the League of Ireland Shield/Cup and Munster Senior Cup. Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – When rugby singing suddenly stops

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This week in your IR£1.18 – get ready, it’s coming back – Tramore Hinterland the strange circumstances that created a sense of solidarity around the Irish provinces in the Heineken Cup, and why it might not be what the IRFU were looking for.

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The Heineken Cup semi-finals take place at the weekend and there has been much feverish debate about . . . whaddya mean you didn’t know they were on? I thought you were the biggest baddest rugger-supporting mutha in the land. Oh right. Only when Munster are involved.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – Sport needs to think outside the box

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This week: the licence fee would pay for more than two years worth of Tramore Hinterland. While you could argue about what represents better value, there’s no doubt which is more virtuous. Except for TG4, that’s worth every cent.

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Alan Davies’ comments criticising Liverpool’s refusal to play their English FA Cup semi-final on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster have faded into history, ancient history in our 24/7 news culture. In case you need reminding, here’s what Davies had to say: “What are you talking about, ‘We won’t play on the day’? Why can’t they? My mum died on 22 August. I don’t stay in all day on 22 August. Do they play on the date of the Heysel Stadium disaster? How many dates do they not play on? Do Man United play on the date of Munich? Do Rangers play on the date when all their fans died in that disaster whatever year that was – 1971?” Strong stuff, and I’ve omitted the swear words. The usual mealy-mouthed apologies have been offered and rejected and the news cycle has moved remorselessly on. Still, the episode is worth revisiting because it tells us about a couple of things over and above the disaster itself.

With respect to Hillsborough, you can read what I thought nearly nine years ago at www.comeonthedeise.ie/?p=283. Bring tissues.

A minor observation to take from Davies’ comments is what a fine actor he is.  Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland: Ferguson a force of nature

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Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the greatest soccer manager of them all? What, him? I’m not giving Tramore Hinterland €1.50 for that . . .

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The events of last weekend brought the race for the English Premier League to an end, with Manchester United about to come out on top again. Those of us not prone to the curse of wishful thinking would have known that they were on the way with the return from retirement of Paul Scholes, a man who manages to be rated by everybody and still be under-rated. And the moment when even this ever-hopefulLiverpoolsupporter groaned with realisation was a couple of weeks back when Alex Ferguson admitted that they were lucky not to concede a penalty against Fulham. When the most one-eyed man in sport is being magnanimous, you know he’s in total control.

Eamon Dunphy put it very well when he said of Alex Ferguson that he was a great manager but a bad ambassador for the sport. Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland: Rangers’ ruinous folly likely to be repeated

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It’s traditional to express the price of something that represents excellent value in terms of the price of a pint. And given the dry day that’s in it, there’s no excuse for not spending €1.50 on Tramore Hinterland. This week: Celtic fans are entitled to feel smug over the shambles that is Rangers. But not too smug . . .

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I would not call myself a Celtic fan. Back in the 90’s when Rangers ruled the roost in Scottish soccer, I went through a phase where it seemed to matter. ThenLiverpoolarrived at Parkhead for a Uefa Cup match. After a beautiful pre-match rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone from the home support, I thought the bond was about to be made unbreakable. Two hours later I was prostrate in front of the television thanking all known deities, and quite a few that I made up on the spot, for Steve McManaman, an astonishing dribble from his own half and a delicate curling shot from the edge of the area salvaging a probably-undeserved draw for Liverpool and burying forever any notion that Celtic and Liverpool were equal in the contest for my affections. That too could all be a phase, although if it is, it’s a pretty long phase.

Still, you’d want to have left the Faith of our Fathers a long way behind not to have felt a savage glee at the mess Rangers currently find themselves in. Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – Hurling reversion stand to reason

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This week in your only-1.5%-of-the-cost-of-the-household-charge Tramore Hinterland: why we need to get real about Waterford’s long-run chances of hurling glory.

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GAA types can exaggerate the extent to which their pursuit is a bastion of volunteerism. In a previous job an occasional customer was heavily involved with Ferrybank AFC. I asked him how he viewed the success of John O’Shea now that his former charge was probably making more money than everyone else in the club put together. He said he was delighted for John because he was a smashing lad who deserved it and his success rubbed off on the club. And it became clear to me that no one chipping in at Ferrybank or any other soccer club does it to make money. It’s possible to want to see boys and girls under their charge do well without the fear that they might grow up to become grotesque tabloid fodder.

Still, all other things being equal you respect someone more who does it for love rather than money, and when it comes to getting respect Ken McGrath’s cup doth runneth over.  Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – Paywall is F1’s crash barrier

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This week in the column that is worth at least 0.1c of the €1.50 you’ll pay for Tramore Hinterland: why Formula 1’s decision to climb into the bed with the Dirty Digger could soon see the sport become a footnote in our everyday lives.

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I’m loath to criticise any of the decisions Bernie Ecclestone makes for the sport that he has run with an iron fist for over thirty years. But that isn’t going to stop me criticising a decision that Bernie Ecclestone made for the sport that he has run with an iron fist for over thirty years.

Ecclestone has long yearned for a 24-hour outlet for his sport. Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – GAA’s cash conundrum

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Another week, another euro fifty. In this week’s Tramore Hinterland: why those arguing that the GAA should put payments to managers on an official basis must be careful about what they wish for.

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So much that goes pear-shaped in the GAA gets blamed by those in the GAA on the dreaded meeja. Fuss over ‘foreign’ games in Croke Park? We have a healthy relationship with other sports and defy anyone in those other sports to publically say otherwise. Clubs in the North hosting Provo-tinged events? We can’t be expected to keep tabs on every element of our great association. Massive brawl involving players and spectators alike? We . . . have you nothing better to write about, ya Tan-loving West Brit?

Still, there are some GAA talking points that only exist in the minds of jaded hacks Continue reading

Tramore Hinterland – Cultism: A Burden for Life

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This week in your beard-tastic Tramore Hinterland: why supporting an English soccer team is a disease. No ideas on what the cure is. Available for €1.50 at stockists in Tramore and its, uh, hinterland.

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Many moons ago – 146 of them, give or take a few – I experienced an event that crystalised in its own small way the corrosive effect supporting a sports team has on reason and logic.

The location was Anfield Road Stadium. Continue reading