Diarmuid O’Sullivan: Find a solution before this escalates

The Cork GAA great slams the current GAA doping impasse, looks back at his county’s stalemate with Tipperary and eyes up the challenge of Limerick on Saturday night…


My view on the current impasse between Sport Ireland and the GPA is very simple.

These are amateur players you’re talking about here, not professional athletes, so I wouldn’t see it as being fit or right for anti-doping tests to be carried out on them outside of training hours.

If they were being paid for a living to play GAA and drug testing was part of their contractual agreement, then that’s fair. But, I don’t believe this is a fair expectation and 98% of the GAA fraternity would feel the same.

These funds should be released immediately. These players are sacrificing enough.

Their attendance at training sessions and dedication to an amateur sport already has a massive impact on their professional lives – and indeed, their personal lives. This money is due to them, so I hope a solution is found fast before this escalates into something far more serious.

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Tipp owed Michael Ryan that second half

You’d be pleased Cork got something out of Sunday, because if the game went on for another few minutes Tipperary could have snuck it. This competition is about getting points on the board and Cork now have three of those.

They are holding up their end of the bargain and another victory should almost guarantee them a in place in the next round.

I don’t believe something went wrong for Cork in the second half necessarily. Tipperary got a good run at the start.

The introduction of John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer was a big turning point.

His imagination and ingenuity brought a lot to their forward line. It freed up John McGrath a bit more.

Tipperary owed Michael Ryan something if I’m honest, and there was a lot a pressure on him coming into that game. I reckon there was a bit of loyalty to Ryan in what the Tipp lads did throughout that second 35 minutes.

From a defensive perspective, the goals Cork conceded were a disappointment.

When I was involved my rule of thumb was if you make a short pass in defence, then the next ball has to go long. They won’t be happy with letting in two goals in that fashion, but they can only learn from it.

What the game will teach Cork is when the opportunity comes, you have to finish off a team. They hit a few poor wides and ended the first half with 10 of them.

That comes from poor decision making and reckless shots when they were really on top. When you get into that position, you need to keep playing a team game. It’s not about any one individual topping the scoring charts.

The majority of the first half was very pleasing though, no question about it. The rotation, movement and speed of the forwards, along with the heads-up hurling that was played was a joy to watch.

It was pure Cork hurling. They took their men on and put them right on the back foot.

Saturday fight night

Limerick might have had a week off and could be a bit fresher, but you can’t beat big games of a high standard and intensity.

If I was still with Cork, I’d be delighted with where they are. They should grasp the nettle now and really go after it. The squad is young, they don’t need a break.

It’s a real chance for them to go after Limerick on Saturday evening. Cork should use it as an advantage and start the game at 100 miles an hour again.

Limerick are definitely All-Ireland semi-final contenders now. They’re coming in under the radar in a certain respect, a lot of them aren’t household names as yet, but they soon will be. They’ll be a serious danger to anyone in this year’s Championship and even more so next season.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is a new facility, but it still has that old feeling about it. It still has the terraces at both ends, you still have the walk down the marina and the surrounds are pretty much the same.

So, it’s important that we consolidate and hold onto the reputation the ‘Páirc’ always had. People are afraid to come in there, be it the old ‘Páirc’ or the new one. It’s the home of The Rebels and we need to protect that.

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What do you think?