In a Word. . . Gender

Here is former colleague Andy Pollak writing after the Slovakia/Republic of Ireland match in Tallaght last month. But… The women were “fast, skilful, determined and take no prisoners in the tackle. If you look at some of the figures associated with that, they’re huge. The shame, the shame. Player Aine O’Gorman spoke of “getting changed in public toilets of airports on the way to matches, being given our kit there”. Any team sport you like? Why do we have a Republic of Ireland women’s international soccer team? It shouldn’t be tolerated there either. Some girls are taking this as unpaid leave, some are taking as holiday leave. Thankfully matters have been resolved to the satisfaction of the women soccer players. It’s maybe two months’ wages out of your 12 months are sacrificed and that’s been going on. Another player Karen Duggan explained how between September 2015 and 2016 “we would have taken over and above 40 days (off work). Why do we have women’s tennis? And don’t give me “the fairer sex” argument. Remember the furore last month over the Republic of Ireland’s international women’s soccer team. If women can lead men in our Defence Forces they can compete with them on a sportsfield. Why should there be this rigid divide between women and men in sport? Bless my sweet soul! Denise O’Sullivan is a stylish and tigerish midfielder. Why just women’s sport at all? Why similarly in Gaelic, rugby, hockey? Katie McCabe was particularly outstanding – a marvellously gifted dribbler and forceful right-winger, who if she were a man would certainly be an ever-present in Martin O’Neill’s team. Stephanie Roche of that “overhead flick and volley” goal of world renown is the main threat up front.”

So less of this gender nonsense in sport. It is no longer tolerated in education, health care, any of the professions or trades, yet I have yet to hear a single voice say it is wrong. Or athletics? Gender from Middle English, Middle French gendre, genre, Latin gener-(stem of genus) meaning kind or sort. We’ve received no reimbursements for six years now.”

All while FAI chief executive John Delaney was swanning it over in Helsinki arranging his successful election to Uefa’s executive committee thus adding more than €100,000 to his current €360,000 salary, plus a €300-a-day allowance when he is on federation business.