That’s why we saluted him in Drogheda that day, our host Deirdre Hurley and Sean Kelly from the Meath management team and Liam Harbison from Paralympics Ireland.
We also discussed Rory’s Olympic Games predicament and whether or not he should represent Britain or Ireland when golf returns to that stage in Brazil three summers from now.
There are those who believe Rory should play under the green, white and orange flag in Rio, as golf in Ireland is a 32 county sport which paid for Rory’s coaching.
Then there are those, some of whom are currently rioting in Belfast, who believe that Ulster is British and British only would probably burn Rory at the stake if he went green in 2016.
Put simply – Rory can’t win. Which is why I suggested on the LMFM program that he should simply skip the Olympics altogether and not align himself to either side.
Little did I know that just last week, Rory would make the very same prediction to BBC television when he suggested that he has three Olympic choices – Ireland, Britain or withdrawal – and may well choose not to play at all in Brazil.
Guess what? After watching the pain the McEntee family went through in these last few weeks, I am happy for Rory to do whatever he wants to do.
Life really is too short to worry about a flag or a game of golf, and I say that as a man who loves his game of golf.
So if Rory is British, Irish or absent in Rio for the next Olympic games I will wish him well. And ask others to do the same.
(Cathal Dervan is sports editor of the Irish Sun newspaper in Dublin.)
GAA: A great start to the year for Ireland’s biggest sporting organization on Sunday was highlighted by the presence of Cavan’s Maggie Farrelly as a lineswoman, so to speak, for the McKenna Cup clash in Omagh. Maggie made history as the first female to act as a sideline official for an inter-county match and has been feted in every national media outlet since the game. She says she wants to referee in Croke Park some day soon and I hope she does.
RUGBY: It’s make or break weekend for Leinster and Munster in the Heineken Cup, but I wouldn’t be holding your breath. They both need big wins, against the Scarlets and Glasgow respectively, to stay in contention but it’s going to be a tall order. At least Brian O’Driscoll is back for the Blues – and that’s like having God back on your side. Or BOD as they like to call him!
SOCCER: Lionel Messi was rightly awarded the world player of the year award on Monday, the Ballon D’Or, with both Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni and captain Robbie Keane voting for him. Little surprise then that Trap has always wished for an Irish Messi to come along. Alas, we may have a wait on our hands.
HERO OF THE WEEK
SHAY Given reminded us why we have missed him with a brilliant performance for Aston Villa in their FA Cup win over Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich on Saturday. Some have poured cold water on Shay’s interest in playing for Ireland again, but they clearly didn’t pay attention to Keiren Westwood’s performance in the 6-1 defeat at home to Germany. My bet now is that Shay plays against Sweden in March.
IDIOTS OF THE WEEK
THOSE who constantly berate Luiz Suarez for cheating – and I have been there myself – lapped up the ammunition supplied by his handball goal for Liverpool against Mansfield in the FA Cup on Sunday. But the biggest fools in all of this are those who lead our game in FIFA and continue to ignore the technology that can help eradicate refereeing mistakes. It has long been time for change.
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