Happy Christmas to my faithful Ding Bat followers.

You have no idea how long these take, so you better enjoy this …


Empty Fields — Full Hearts Image : Conrad Madden @CMPWarrenpoint

A couple years back , I remember watching a very well produced video from the GAA, that celebrated an event that to be honest, I had never heard of. During the war of Independence, a day of national defiance was held, against a policy of enforced conscription to the join the British war effort in WW1. It was called ‘Gaelic Sunday’ when in flaunting the restrictions from Crown forces, over 300 games of football and hurling were held across the Island.

Watching the video, I was reminded of a visit from the about to be Director General Páraic Duffy to…

When Santa came down the chimney this week, he forgot this little bag of dingbats. Perfect timing for that meat-induced coma. When you’re lying on the sofa at 2pm in your pyjamas wondering have you maximised the potential of your day, fear not.

A good score in the dingbat challenge will reaffirm your faith in yourself, and that this was a day well lived.

Merry Christmas you filthy animals. And happy dingbatting.



Has rugby supplanted Gaelic Games and Soccer as the favoured sport of the Irish nation ?

A break in play popped up and I decided to make a burst for it. Opened the fridge with mug in hand, ready to splash in the bainne and rush back to the sofa, but it was no good. No milk.

The occasion was the Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy. The match was delicately poised at half time with Ireland down four points 16–12. I decided to make a burst for it , so I grabbed one of the dogs (the good one) stuck the lead on and headed down the hill. As I got through the park…

Naïve GAA fan visits the spiritual home of Portuguese soccer

Joel Sartore´s PhotoArk project captured this stunning picture of the (ironically) Spanish Imperial Eagle

On the Thursday before Christmas I was in Porto, Portugal, strolling around the city centre amid the hustle and bustle of the last days before the holidays. If Lisbon is the polished diamond of the country, Porto would be the rustic iron gate. Functional, robust and malleable. There is a hardiness to people in the north, and a more profound desire for traditional ways and methods. This can be seen in the most important shopping purchases of the season — the food.

Many of the shops in the Porto streets…

I remember when it used to be a bit of craic to be a goalkeeper. When you got to wear a jersey with padded elbows, aggressively point and roar at people , and importantly, didn’t have to train as hard as anyone else! Mickey McVeigh, All-Star winning goalkeeper from Down I always remember for wearing big clunky, over-the-ankle boots that may actually have had hobnails in them. The studs were so long, he could have been prosecuted for fracking when he played. John O’Leary, a great hero of mine for keeping without gloves was another fan of the ankle boot.

Is dingbats.

Think about something. When was the last time … you wondered about something? Have you in the last 2 weeks, ever sat back and wondered about a fact, or question? When someone asks you, I wonder how long it would take to walk from here to Athlone… how long would it be before you throw into maps and tell them exactly?

Maybe its the teacher’s son in me, but I love a good quiz. I probably enjoy writing them and being behind the mic even more. Hell hath no fury like a room full of scorned quizzers. …

No images in this article — if you want salacious violence, watch the UFC

Pssst ,The GAA’s real crisis is not blanket defence or handpassing, pass it on

“I’ll make you a deal, if you stay here, I promise to stay here”.

One of the players I used to share a hurling field with had this very sage bit of strategy during a game when things ‘kicked off’. He would negotiate a détente with his opposite number, thereby ensuring the brawl/melée/schemozzle had at least 2 less participants, and less oxygen with which to feed the flames.

In the past few weeks, the powerful tool of social media has spread far and wide news and…

Great days with your club, what to me the GAA is really about.

We’ve spent the last 25 years making the GAA more professional. Time to make it amateur again.

About five years ago I signed up for a coaching course taking place over winter, something I like to do to learn something new, and expand my skillset. This was an innovative and progressive partnership with a local regional college and Ulster GAA. It attracted a high calibre of coach from all over the province; Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and Tyrone. It was exactly what I was looking for: advanced level coaching, an in-depth look at technology and advanced training methods, in short a mini-masterclass in modern GAA management.

We’ve come a long way baby ..(p.s. do you think Meath had a boot deal in the #80s??)

O’Neills are off to the races for the 2018 good and early and had a number of jersey reveals in time for Santa. They took that opportunity to unveil their new typeface, a more friendly lowercase sans serif text that looks really well on the shirts. It’s a move away from the boxy, All-Caps script that they have had variants of for many years now.

Conor Keenan

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