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The Secret Kerry Footballer: I know hurlers are mad but cancelling Christmas is a step too far

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Writing exclusively for the Killarney Advertiser, The Secret Kerry Footballer reveals what’s really going on inside the GAA

Hurlers are mad. I was standing next to Jackie Tyrrell at some launch up in Croke Park a few years ago and while we were hanging around for our photo to be taken, I decided to strike up a conversation. Just to be nice, like.

“Well Jackie. How’s the form?”

“What do ya mean by that?!” he snapped, his eyes widening. “I know I wasn’t at the races against Tipp. I know that more than any man!”

By this stage, his nose was touching mine.

“Jesus, relax boy,” I said. “I’m only here to sell a bit of protein milk.”

“Believe you me, I’ll be back,” he growled through gritted teeth. “We’ll be back. Ye’ll rue the day ye ever wrote off Kilkenny!” Then he ripped off his Avonmore t-shirt and sprinted off down the tunnel under the Hogan Stand.

I turned and made eye contact with Cillian O’Connor, who was only a young fella at the time. He was rightly shook by the whole thing. There’s a joke to be made there about Mayo footballers in Croke Park but that’d be easy pickings.

Much like the Mayo footballers in Croke Park.

Kilkenny won the All-Ireland the following year and Tyrrell was immense. When he got his hands on the Liam McCarthy, he turned and glared into the nearest TV camera and put his finger to his lips. “He has silenced his critics,” Ger Canning exclaimed. Cillian texted me and asked if it was aimed at me. It probably was.

The point of my story is that hurlers are mad. I know this from dealing with them (from a safe distance) for many years. But I was still shocked by Austin Gleeson’s recent comments about cancelling Christmas. The Waterford hurler said that he has always enjoyed his Christmases but this year he has made a “conscious decision” to not do that so he can train and be ready for next season. Lads. A conscious decision to not enjoy Christmas. Have you ever heard the like?

Even the German and British soldiers in World War I took a break from shooting each other’s heads off on Christmas Day. But no, that’s not good enough for Austin Gleeson.

If Austin Gleeson was on the front line on Christmas Day, 1914, he would have spent his morning analysing the other army’s likely formations and his afternoon doing the beep test. And the lads having the craic out in no man’s land.

No beer for Christmas. Lord God. The way the GAA has gone, alcohol is effectively banned for 95% of the year as it is. And now they want to take Christmas off us as well? As a footballer in Kerry, the festive season is the only time you can safely go on the lash without fear of repercussions. If you go out drinking at any stage from January to November, there’s a decent chance you’ll look across the bar and see some auld lad judging you from behind his pint. There’ll be nothing verbal but he’ll tell you with his eyes. “Ye’ve a game on Sunday.” Yeah. Good man.

Of course, the irony of it all is that back in the auld lad’s day, beer bans didn’t even exist. He might have been advised to stay away from the top shelf the night before a county final but that was about the size of it.

Our club secretary caught me flooring Sambucas in Mustang’s one night before an O’Donoghue Cup semi-final and he had a right cut off me. Very high and mighty stuff altogether. I contemplated putting the head down and taking my bollocking but then he brought up what I allegedly did on that Kerry trip to Orlando. I had to say something.

“My father told me that when you played, you were encouraged to go drinking the night before a match because there was no way a hangover could make you any worse.”

I wasn’t long quietening him. And we won the following day as well.

To be fair, Paul Murphy scored 1-4 off me and I was whipped at half-time. But look, it’s a team game.

 

Illustration: Adam Moynihan.

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Who’s in your circle?

    Are you happy and where you want to be with your health, where you want to be financially or are you going through the motions each day, unsure of your purpose? Are you supported by others when you’re struggling or only supported by others when things are going well?Are you looking forward to […]

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Are you happy and where you want to be with your health, where you want to be financially or are you going through the motions each day, unsure of your purpose?

Are you supported by others when you’re struggling or only supported by others when things are going well?
Are you looking forward to the next five, 10, 20 years of your life?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, I encourage you to look around at the people you spend your time with. Your time is your most expensive asset. Your mind is your most expensive real estate.

With whom you spend your time, and those that you permit to impact your thoughts and decisions will have a great impact on your life.

From the outside looking in, our gym culture is the most difficult health benefit for others to understand.
Now more than ever all our brains are fed is chaos, division, selfishness and negativity. We can’t have that here. Those that thrive in that environment aren’t a good fit for us, and they won’t last long here. Either they’ll leave on their own, or we’ll tell them it’s time to go.

Years ago, when I was struggling with some people decisions (personally and business); one of my mentors told me something that continues to stick with me. It’s since been something I have said to people many times;
“The people that have helped you get to where you are may not be the same people that can help you get to where you want to go.”

Ask yourself these three questions;

* Who’s in your circle?
* Who do you need to start spending less time with?
* In order to get where you want to be, what kind of people do you need to start spending more of your time with?

Now it’s time to get to work. Start spending less time with those dragging you down. Start surrounding yourself with the people that won’t condone your behaviours that aren’t consistent with your goals, support your work ethic, help you to learn from your failures and will be excited to celebrate your successes.

When you are ready, we are here to help. Book your complimentary consultation by visiting our website www.activate.ie.

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Get on your bike from The Rose Hotel!

  There’s an energetic way to explore Tralee and its surrounds this summer as a new bike rental company has teamed up with The Rose Hotel. Tralee Bike Rental have opened a new bike kiosk located at the hotel where visitors and locals can now hire a bike. “This is a fantastic service for our […]

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There’s an energetic way to explore Tralee and its surrounds this summer as a new bike rental company has teamed up with The Rose Hotel.

Tralee Bike Rental have opened a new bike kiosk located at the hotel where visitors and locals can now hire a bike.

“This is a fantastic service for our customers and we are thrilled to be part of this new collaboration with Tralee Bike Rental. We wish Maurice and his team the very best of luck, and I know all our guests and visitors to Tralee are going to really enjoy this new service exploring Tralee and its surrounds,” Mark Sullivan, General Manager, The Rose Hotel, said.

Tralee Bike Rental have a fleet of comfortable, top quality Hybrid Bikes – ideal for a leisurely cycle, and power assisted eBikes. For families, child seats or trailer for the little legs that can’t cycle yet can be provided!

“We are thrilled to have our new business, Tralee Bike Rental, located on the grounds of The Rose Hotel,” Maurice Whelan, Tralee Bike Rental, said.

“With so many visitors coming to Tralee, we feel this will be a fantastic service and partnership. Included in the bike rental is access to a self-guided tour via our App, which has preloaded moderate and more energetic cycling tours of Tralee.”

The Rose Hotel have a new package, Tralee Activity Break, with bike hire included. You can book this package online at www.therosehotel.com or call 066 7199100.

To contact Tralee Bike Rental, visit www.traleebikerental.ie or call 085 2605817.

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Currow kids go toddling to raise vital funds

  70 toddlers from Currow Play School have become Ireland’s littlest fundraisers as they stepped out to raise vital funds for vulnerable children. They took part in the Barnardos Big Toddle which this year has the theme of ’Community Helpers’. Barnardos currently works with just under 18,000 children and families across Ireland and the funds raised will support Barnardos Early Years […]

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70 toddlers from Currow Play School have become Ireland’s littlest fundraisers as they stepped out to raise vital funds for vulnerable children.

They took part in the Barnardos Big Toddle which this year has the theme of ’Community Helpers’.

Barnardos currently works with just under 18,000 children and families across Ireland and the funds raised will support Barnardos Early Years services.

“This year, Currow Play School turns 25 and we have been taking part in Barnardos Big Toddle since 2006, which is 18 years of toddling in aid of vulnerable children,” Catherine Fleming form Currow Play School said.
“Our toddle is a highlight for the children and the team every year. It’s fantastic to get the little ones involved in something so worthwhile at a young age, it’s always a great day of fun. Barnardos provides a huge number of services in communities across Ireland, but these can only continue with help from the public. The toddle runs throughout June so I would implore anyone with toddlers or wobblers at home to sign up for Barnardos Big Toddle supported by Pipin Pear today.”

Anyone wishing to take part can register today at www.barnardos.ie/bigtoddle.  

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