Just wait ’til Jason gets his gloves on the big awards: It’s Walshy on Wednesday

first_imgHere’s a sporting prediction that I’m 100% certain will come to pass: Jason Quigley to be crowned R.T.E. Sportsperson of the Year. Perhaps, even as soon as next year but without a shadow boxing of a doubt no later than the next couple of years.Another professional win for the Ballybofey middleweight at the weekend only tells part of the story. BY PADDY WALSHFor it was the manner of that ferocious display in Los Angeles at the weekend that will have caught the eye of promoters as if they haven’t already been tuned into the punching power of the Finn Valley man.His opponent, Jorge Melendez was down on the canvas three times inside the opening two minutes before the white flag went up along with the Donegal colours.There had been suggestions that the boxer from Puerto Rico would test Quigley to the limit – but that limit only reached two minutes and 24 seconds as the Twin Towns ace claimed his twelfth win in professional ranks and must now be setting his sights (fights) on the big time.And an ultimate crack at a world title. Jason Quigley. World Champion. Has a good ring about it. Jason Quigley. R.T.E. Sportsperson of the Year 2017.  Few would be arguing with that – certainly a lot fewer than the hordes who took to social media to air their despair at the latest sporting personality to claim the latter award.No secret in these parts just where Conor McGregor lies in terms of sporting achievement as far as this column is concerned.And consequently, I’m coming at this with a particularly jaundiced eye but judging by the comments on the R.T.E. website and other platforms, I’m far from the only one entertaining cagey opinions on it.The great majority have expressed their disgust at even the notion to hand out any award to an UFC fighter – not least one that tags you as your country’s Sports Person of the Year.One critic reported that he had been heading home after a night out and saw a couple of drunks knocking hell out of each other on the ground. Both are now in the running for next year’s R.T.E. award. And many more comments along those lines.To be fair there were a few siding with McGregor and insisting he thoroughly deserved the award but I realised when one of the tributes emerged from Michael Healy-Rae, that I was probably on the right side.“I have no doubt that Conor McGregor will go on to break further records in 2017,” the Kerry South T.D. maintained.It’s what else he breaks that concerns me. Don’t kick a man when he’s up, the UFC camp will be telling us. Just kick them when they’re down and watch R.T.E. offer due rewards. Gender quota – and how to reach themWhenever someone puts forward a figure in relation to such things as gender quotas, it’s time to step back and take a long hard look.And no better time to do it than following last week’s pronouncement that sports bodies throughout the country could see their funding cut unless up to 30% of positions on their boards are filled by women.Start putting numbers in the way and you can come up with unworthy solutions and just as likely forfeit the abilities of good people in certain positions.‘Look at all those men’ is an often repeated dig at the sight of many committees and boards and not just those in the sporting world. And indeed the imbalance in relation to gender levels is close to embarrassing at times.But sometimes this is due to women not taking enough of an interest in the sport to bother finding the time to push themselves forward for selection or election.Not a problem where the G.A.A. in Donegal is concerned where it’s not just off the field of play that you find the levels of required interest.Go to any club or county match and the guarantee is that women will make up a fair proportion of the attendance – perhaps even over 30%. But off it, too, there has been significant inroads even if they are still someway off finding some measure of balance.A lot has been written and said about the issue of gender quotas since the recent dictate but I found the remarks of Donegal County Board Secretary, Aideen Gillen, to be the most enlightening.Insisting that gender quotas should not be enforced just for the sake of it, she said she didn’t agree with forcing a very capable male out of a job just to make up the numbers.“There are some very capable women out there and if they secure a position on a board that’s great but if the male applicant is more suited to the position they shouldget it,” the Secretary declared.As she stated, women do have much to offer and a welcome environment should be created to ensure they do have an input.But this is not essentially a problem for the G.A.A. in Donegal. Two of Aideen Gillen’s predecessors, Noreen Doherty and Crona Regan, occupied that key position on the County Board and just last week, as the quotas debate took hold, Naomh Colmcille elected Darina Friel as the club chairperson.The G.A.A. here can certainly hold its head up but what about its rival sporting bodies? Answers through the club secretary.Blanchflower…Mackay…Allen…and O’Halpin?Name the Letterkenny man who almost featured on the great Tottenham Hotspur double winning team of 1960-1961?No good you trawling through the White Hart Lane panel from that era – I did say ‘almost.’My thanks to Sean Donnelly for indirectly providing the column this week with a sporting fact for which I had no prior knowledge.A native of Letterkenny’s Cathedral Place and well known to political enthusiasts for his indebt punditry on the subject on R.T.E. and other outlets, Sean was in London for a family funeral and met up with Seosamh O’Halpin, another Letterkenny man, though from further up the road in Glencar.“Seosamh had a great story to tell,” Sean relates. “He was a soccer player and was signed by Shelbourne F.C. and in 1959 was transferred to Spurs.“This was just two years before they went on to win the league and cup double, the first team to do so in that century with such greats as Danny Blanchflower and Dave Mackay.”And not forgetting the likes of Les Allen, Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones.Seosamh had great time for the then Spurs boss, Bill Nicholson, but not so much for Blanchflower who, apparently, never spoke to his brother, Jackie (of Manchester United fame) after the latter converted to Catholicism.And his own ambitions of securing a place in the great Tottenham team of the time? Ended by a cruel knee injury that put paid to his professional career.From a dusty bookshelf in this columnist’s home, I browsed through Bill Nicholson’s autobiography ‘Glory Glory – My Life with Spurs’ but found no mention of the Letterkenny man who almost made it into footballing history.But no doubt had that injury not intervened, he would have featured somewhere in the book and, potentially, on that great Double winning outfit.Thanks, Sean, for the story.Ireland’s third fittest familyThe Ryans!A hardy – and hardy they are – well done to the Ryan family after their heroics in ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’.I watched the final episode on Sunday night and found myself shouting at the T.V. screen after a couple of decisions that, appeared to this viewer, to go against the Donegal quartet and ultimately knocked them out of contention.But credit to Danny, Keane, Jordan and Alanna for their efforts in the competition. Not the sort of thing I’d normally be watching but it did make for riveting viewing even if those close range camera shots with grimacing faces were sometimes hard to look at. Filling the jerseysFinn Harps have unveiled their new jersey after agreeing a kit partnership with Joma Sport.Good to see this sponsorship deal coming into place in what’s a significant boost for the club.Now all that is required is for a host of playing personnel to fill those jerseys because as things stand they still only have enough for a five-a-side league… Season’s greetingsMay your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmasses be white. Or red and white. Blue and white. Or green and gold. Or whatever colour you follow. Have yourselves a good one….Just wait ’til Jason gets his gloves on the big awards: It’s Walshy on Wednesday was last modified: December 22nd, 2016 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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