Paudie Palmer: Very few Imokilly clubs are treating football fairly

Dual mandate is important to allow players a chance to shine in both codes no matter where they're from in Cork
Paudie Palmer: Very few Imokilly clubs are treating football fairly

Alan O'Connor, Carbery, looking to tackle his opposite number Pearse O'Neill, Aghada. The latter is one of the few clubs in Imokilly to treat both codes fairly according to Paudie Palmer. Picture: Dan Linehan

THE good news, I will not be referencing a Kerryman for inspiration for this week’s offering.

I am aware that I should know my place and in the aftermath of Cork’s display on Sunday last, the column should have a hurling intro but that could be a slight on a few who made contact in the aftermath of the last column.

I cod you not, and I may have to contact the endangered species section but there are people in East Cork who care about football. I can’t mention names because they wouldn’t want their club disadvantaged when it came to fixture organisation.

Could an anonymous Twitter account be the answer?

So a few observations. Unlike certain clubs that are one-code only, many clubs in the Imokilly division operate under the dual mandate. However, the majority are failing miserably in their parity of esteem policies. Last year, there was one dual junior club that withdrew from the junior football championship.

As many of you would be aware, there are wonderful dual clubs around this county, who ensure that both codes get equal treatment but that shouldn’t mask the fact that this demands serious commitment and serious leadership from the club officers and club executives.

I am aware of one such club, who a few years ago engaged the services of an outside hurling coach. This gentleman didn’t want to hear about time-sharing with the big ball management.

Anyway as is the usual practice in these clubs, both management teams engaged in talks and a programme was worked out for a certain time period.

The following morning, the hurling messiah contacted the chairman to inform him, that he wasn’t happy and was going to leave. Anyway, the chairman re-examined the schedule and noticed that it favoured the hurlers slightly, they were getting 62% of the time as against 38% for the footballers. The outside coach stayed on.

DUAL DIVIDE

I could mention several dual clubs, where there are individuals on both sides of the divide who would put the other code on life support if they could get away with it.

Proper club structures and strong leadership prevents them from achieving their aims.

A number of years ago a prominent member of a club who were undergoing dual-status issues brought his wisdom to bear by informing the assembled gathering that this club was moving too far left of centre for his liking. In case you are confused, the size 5 was gaining in popularity!

I think that it is fair to mention, that real dual clubs may rarely if ever in this county take possession of the Sean Óg Murphy or the Andy Scannell Cups given the tight schedules that have to operate in. For me that should not be the metric on which success alone is measured.

A dual club where football and hurling are treated equally is in my humble opinion operating at a higher stratosphere than a single code club.

Back to the East, with the exception of Aghada, the vast majority of clubs need to carry out a simple audit as to where they are in terms of parity. Of course, I am aware of the many challenges that face the chairperson of the clubs but can I add another task to their list.

Just a simple question or possibly two. Are you doing your all to ensure you are heading up a real dual club? If no is the answer, which I suspect for many of you it will be, do you intend to do anything about it?

As for the Imokilly Board officers, it would appear that they too are failing in this regard. I must state that a few of those who got in contact were hopeful that the newly-appointed secretary Daniel Lane would improve matters.

So for the moment, let us state that this corner will keep a watching brief.

HURLING HIGH

Now to the hurling league and firstly our apologies to the Antrim readers when we mentioned that themselves and Laois would be engaged in a tussle to avoid representing Division IB in the relegation final.

No need to offer apologies to Westmeath though, as they are shaping up well to represent 1A in that Slán Leat final.

What of Cork, well viewers of last Sunday night’s Allianz League programme were left in now doubt.

Cork's Shane Kingston scores his goal past Waterford goalkeeper Billy Nolan at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last weekend. The Douglas club man was a dual county minor. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Shane Kingston scores his goal past Waterford goalkeeper Billy Nolan at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last weekend. The Douglas club man was a dual county minor. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

When Donal Óg Cusack was going over the top in praising Cork, Shane Dowling the former Limerick hurler, assumed the role of interviewer, interrupted the Cloyne one by asking him, if Cork were good enough to win the All-Ireland?

Of course, they were and not only that but they were also good enough to defeat Limerick.

As you are aware, there is some evidence that Cork has enjoyed reasonable success against Limerick in the recent past. But I think that there will be an added initiative for Limerick to win this year’s Munster championship as the cup that will be presented to the winning team will be the brand new Mick Mackey Cup.

If it was Cork and the cup on offer for the first time was the Christy Ring one, wouldn’t you expect the Rebel County to have an extra pep in their step!

I probably should say that a few years ago when the aforementioned Donal Óg arrived on to The Sunday Game studio armed with figures illustrating the demise of Cork hurling, it appeared that it was only a matter of time before Cork would have an opportunity to claim the Christy Ring Cup.

Good to be living in a dual county.

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