Scraps Column



RTÉ sports pundit Joe Brolly was on the Today with Sean O’Rourke show recently talking about how he believes the GAA should be more political and take a forthright stance on Brexit in Northern Ireland.

He believes what he termed the ‘Northern Gaels’ who voted to Remain are feeling isolated because the DUP hold the balance of power. According to Brolly, “the DUP are… nut jobs. They believe climate change is a fantasy. They’re homophobic – they believe same-sex marriage is an abomination.” (Curiously, Joe never mentioned that the DUP are against abortion too).

What these issues have to do with Brexit is beyond me but was Joe making the point that all those in the North who voted to leave the EU are “nut jobs”? Also, Joe may have missed the fact that many of the so called Northern Gaels hold the same view as the DUP when it comes to same-sex ‘marriage’ and abortion. Every one out of three voters in the South hold the same views too.

These are ‘red line’ issues for Catholics and Christians on this island. When others call us ‘homophobic’ just because we disagree with same-sex ‘marriage’, it is akin to using a stick to beat down and stamp out anyone who has an opinion other than their own. As regards abortion, hundreds of thousands of people, North and South, have taken to the streets to defend unborn life.

The DUP is also the largest democratically elected party in the North, a point well made to Joe by Sean O’Rourke. I am told too that many Catholics vote for the DUP but would never say so in public. I believe that if the GAA was to take a political stance on Brexit, it would cause further isolation in Northern Ireland, not integration. It’s best to leave politics to the politicians and sport to the GAA.


FOR me, Lent is a time not only for giving up things but to start things that are good for the soul. A tradition that myself and my wife started many years ago was to pray the rosary each day during Lent but have kept it going all year round. There are weeks when we manage this no problem but there are others when we fail miserably. All the same, we have seen the fruits of these efforts over the years. It’s a good witness to our children as well.

Another thing that we started and kept going is to spend at least one hour per week in Adoration. This and the rosary is a powerful combination. They bring to mind Don Bosco’s vision or dream of the ‘Two Pillars’, depicting the Pope at the helm of a large ship engaged in battle with other smaller ships. The Pope’s vessel is heading between two large pillars with the Eucharist on one, and Our Lady on the other.

People praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament has brought many blessings on their families, the Church and their communities. And perhaps more than anything, it has helped them cope with any suffering in their life.

​I hope priests will encourage many of their parishioners to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on the run-up to Easter…for it is Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3)