GAA stars leavin’ on a jet plane - striking images as Meath footballer Joe Sheridan boards a plane for the US


Joe Sheridan

Timing can be everything in the world of marketing, even when it is unintentional as whoever chose Dublin All-Ireland winners Bernard Brogan and Eamonn Fennell to work for Aer Lingus now knows.

The Blues duo were photographed at Dublin Airport on Monday afternoon as they helped to launch the Aer Lingus summer schedule that will bring many people away for their annual holidays to the sun spots of Europe and America - and back again presumably.

The photos, featuring Bernard and Eamonn in their Dublin jerseys and a couple of hostesses in their green uniforms beside one of those big Airbus jets, appeared in many of our national newspapers on Tuesday morning.

In one such paper, the Sun as it happens, the photo was the perfect accompaniment to an adjoining story concerning the Meath football star Joe Sheridan, the bane of so many Louth fans in the 2010 Leinster final.

Just as Bernard and Eamonn were smiling for the cameras in one of the Aer Lingus hangars, so Joe was also engaging with a big Airbus jet.

His circumstances were slightly different, however. Instead of getting a few bob to work for Aer Lingus, Joe was paying our national airline for the privilege of emigrating to the United States.

I don’t know if he bought a one-way ticket or not for his flight to Boston on Monday. To be honest, I don’t even know if he flew Aer Lingus across the Atlantic, but he did leave Ireland on a jet plane on Monday and nobody, as the song goes, knows when he will be back again.

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It’s unlikely Sheridan will return in time to play for Meath in this year’s championship. His appearance in the league defeat to Galway on Sunday may be his last Meath game in 2012. We just don’t know.

What we do know is that Sheridan has decided that his career opportunities in the construction industry are greater in Boston than they currently are in Ireland.

The Meath County Board did do their best to find him work here but, as teammate Cian Ward said so eloquently on radio on Monday, a career is better than a job, and that’s why Sheridan had to go.

He isn’t the first GAA player to leave Ireland this year, and he won’t be the last.

By the time the summer championships arrive in New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, there will be many more good and very good and even some bad Gaelic footballers available to the teams on your side of the pond.

That’s the reality of life in Ireland these days, and we have to accept it.

Sheridan’s emigration isn’t an exception and it’s not quite the rule – but we’re getting there. And that has to be a worry for all concerned.

Sideline Views

SOCCER: Celtic manager Neil Lennon has stopped talking to the press in Scotland, a reaction inspired by some of the treatment of comments he made on the financial problems at Rangers. Lennon is still speaking to his club’s various media outlets and the BBC, however, so the ban is not a blanket one and his team are still doing their talking on the pitch. But surely he is old enough and wise enough now to talk to the Scottish press on his own terms and only answer questions he wants to answer. It’s not that difficult. Just ask Alex Ferguson.

GAA: Lovely quote from the Kilkenny manager Brian Cody after his team’s handsome win away to Waterford in the National League on Sunday. Cody believes part of the reason the Cats are going so well at present is down to the fact that the weather is ridiculously mild for the time of year. Summer weather he called it, but if Kilkenny are this good in March, god help their opponents when the real summer weather comes our way. They could be untouchable in the 2012 championship.