Jobs And The Boys


Meath forward Joe Sheridan (above) is leaving inter-county football after securing a job in the construction industry in the United States.

Which prompted the Meath chairman Barney Allen to contend:

“We did our best for him and we did manage to get him a job but he has a commitment over there now.”

Which itself prompted Declan Conlan to write:

It has always annoyed me how GAA players are handed jobs in Ireland just to keep them here. Like how does that work? [Hypothetical situation] GAA manager: “Give Paddy a job” Bank manager: “But he can’t count” GAA manager: “Ah go on, he plays GAA but wants to leave the country” Bank manager: “Why didn’t you say so, I’ll tell the other applicants to shag off”. Equal opportunity employment all the way. I don’t think so. Can someone please explain this?

82 thoughts on “Jobs And The Boys

    1. CT

      Maybe it’s as much to blame for the standards in banking as the Rock / Zaga employment entitlement scam.

      I have dealings with Mr Plank at one of the banks, (as we all have) making the most stupid decisions.

      Business needs to move away from these nepotistic decisions, to be credible and get the right person for the job, rather then the right persons, cousins, GAA Player.

      Being good at games does not a banker make. As my mum used to say.

  1. T

    Who is Declan Conlon & what does he know about Joe Sheridan or any other GAA players off-field skills? Jealousy?

    1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

      Declan seems to have a bit of an axe to grind. Musta been awful tough not to get picked for that U8’s game and be resigned to watching on from the sideline all your life.

      1. SOMK

        Yes well we’ll see if you’re still pulling that “ooh you must be so jealous” line if the day comes that a semi-competent, former GAA hot shot, political potato ape ends up running the country and makes a decision which plunges the entire country off an economic cliff…


    2. NeilH

      Wasn’t Declan that guy who was offered a job by a friend but turned it down as he felt the interview process was not 100% fair and transparent and the offer wasn’t open to others who may have been more experienced and qualified?

        1. NeilH

          How’s that now? Everyone gets offers and opportunities they may not be ‘entitled’ to, but such is life. Why is this story any different?

          Most of these GAA players get jobs as rep’s or whatever because they are good at it and people who buy stuff like to buy it off a GAA county player because the get to talk ball all day to them.

    3. CT

      Good on Declan Conlon, whoever he is for asking a question that should be asked more often.

      He’s not entitled to the job before anybody else for being good at games.

      1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

        And the company employing the player ges nothing out of it either? Give me a break.

  2. VictorRomeo

    It’s always agricultural equipment advisor(sellin’ tractors an’ diggers) or that sort of stuff, not real jobs…. So let them at it…

    Though to contradict myself, years ago I worked for AIB in Bankcentre – ’twas the early 90’s – and this lad pitched up into our department. He played for Wexford i think. He was hardly every in work, was thick as two really thick planks and was promoted faster than anyone else…. Jaysus the Managers loved him though.

  3. halcyon days

    Remember a quite sporty friend of mine from a village near Carrick-on-Suir got an old-school shunning in his village for playing soccer locally instead of joining the local hurling team – it was considered a waste of his athletic skills for the good of the locality. He is still known by some down there as ‘the turncoat’.
    Worse still he moved to Dublin later on, proving his moral low character in the eyes of some I guess.

    Not totally related, but as good a chance as any to pop this little anecdote it…

    1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

      Do you feel better now you got that off your chest? Was it theraputic?

    2. Pedanto, The Hilarity Man

      Dn’t mind them, Hal. I liked your anecdote, and I am glad you have opened the thread to a wider consideration of the role of sport in the provincial towns.

      1. Five Gold Stars for Frilly Keane

        Yeah.. But to be fair, Carrick is a bad example of local GAA rivalry and the demand for key players

        El Carriko is the biggest Hurling event after V Cork in Tip

  4. Joe

    Without a perk like that no one would ever play an amateur sport, club teams beg borrow and steal to keep players on the team.

    1. RainyDay

      ‘perk like that?’…I think you are missing the point. If you want to play, then play, otherwise don’t bother.

        1. RainyDay

          My point was that you shouldn’t need a job offered as a perk to play amateur sport. If you want to play, well play, otherwise use the door.

  5. Robbie

    Do people not realise GAA is a professional game in all but name? Plus former sports stars bring in business and make contacts through the game, its how business works

  6. ReproBertie

    I must be missing the bit where he got a job he was unqualified and unsuited for.

    No doubt those commenting here have never called a mate to do a plumbing or tiling or painting or electrical job for them.

    1. brian

      Nor do they recall their first job where they worked collecting glasses in their dad’s friends pub or the hardware shop they got a job in because they were a family friend. That’s life. This dude sounds bitter.

      1. CT

        How can you compare some part-time job for a school leaver, with somebody being placed in a job to keep them here and playing games ?

        Don’t get the comparison with somebody doing a nixer either ? I’d rather get somebody I don’t know to do a nixer, then you have some control over the standard and the price, in my recent experience.

        To get back to the point, this is not how things should, or do work elsewhere, the most qualified individual gets the job then you get “good, competent employees” instead of entitled work shy thickos, which exist in spades here.

        1. NeilH

          You would get someone you don’t know to do a nixer? That seems a bit careless. I mean, you would give up any reasonable risk of getting the job done correctly or have any come back if something goes wrong for a start. And you would be supporting the black economy. How’s that any better than throwing a lad a job?

          1. CT

            Simple concept really, crap job, crap service don’t pay, the guy you don’t know tell him to fck off.

            Big mistake, and more commonly here, it goes like this :-

            Use local guy, turns up when he likes, does whatever standard he fancies, nobody ever complains him so he keeps doing poor work, still have to pay him, usually more because he knows you won’t complain him, because he’s known, he’ s like a made man.

            When the government stop paying for their laundry from the tax, (among other wastefulness)
            I solemnly promise to take more interest in whether Mr Nixer & sons is tax compliant.

          2. cluster

            CT, you’ll pay your tax once we get a utopian government, until not one penny is wasted. Typical bullsh*t excuse for tax dodging and then moans about how competently things are done ‘elsewhere.’

    1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

      The GAA is all thats keeping this country together. That and Farmers. God bless them both and keep them safe and thriving.

      1. CT

        If that was the case, then it might go someway to explain why the Country is in the mess it’s in.

        I’ll contribute towards a ticket for the GAA & the Farmers to leave, not sure they would get a visa for anywhere else though

          1. NeilH

            And anti-farming it would appear. What would we do with all the land? Re-zone it? Burn it? Give it away? Make soccer pitches out of it?

          2. CT

            @Tim Nice but,

            I hear emobile have an opening for a head of perceptiveness, you should apply, don’t tell them your second name though.

            Is it the farmers or the GAA who will be cooking my fresh dinners ? I’m confused. And which one will be taking soccer and Rugby with them ?

  7. Schweddy

    What about the various workplaces that actually offer bonuses to employees who recommend a potential new employee. Boston Scientific in Galway is an example of that. Or the businesses that ask in the application form whether you know somebody working there already..

    This Declan guy is making something out of nothing. The Sheridan chap is leaving to the US because the job he has secured there is probably better than whatever his contacts here tried to get him.

    1. CT

      2008 was on the phone, said you should check your facts, in the middle of the biggest recession are they still rewarding people.

      Oh, forgot to mention, not the same thing at all

          1. NeilH

            Sorry CT, but do you live in a cave by any chance?

            I, like most, would be more likely to hire someone who was recommended by a trusted employee of my company already. Not to say that is the exclusive criteria, but, as above, that’s the way the world works. All large companies I know or have worked for have had the same policy of rewarding staff who find good employees to join the team. Once the new employee stays for 6 months, you get your reward.

        1. CT

          Like I said the big eejits, pay somebody for recuiting somebody they were going to get applying anyway.

          Now I type it out makes perfect sense, Yay big Companies you know, and their profits

          1. Caroline

            Not necessarily. Believe it or not, some highly skilled IT people are seriously in demand and would be able to cherry pick where they apply. Someone who knows them well/studied with them is likely to be able to judge their exact skillset and interests and whether they would be up to the job – that actually saves a company a hell of a lot of time on blind recruitment for very specialised work. It’s a niche activity though imo, seat warmers in banks – not so much.

          2. Dave

            CT as has been discussed a few times here recently for skilled people in certain jobs (Science/Engineering etc.) there is problems recruiting. There’s thousands of unemployed people with liberal arts degrees, not so many unemployed people with M. Engs etc.

      1. Justin

        There’s a difference between taking a referral and then applying the usual stringent hiring process to that candidate, versus plain old “jobs for the boys”.

  8. Dave, Dublin

    There’s no evidence that Meath GAA did anything wrong, just that they reached out on behalf of an unemployed player. Least you’d expect them to do.

    If you want to criticise the GAA for messing with the employment market, take a look at their Jobsbridge “internships”.

  9. Abhainn

    If I ran a butchers I’d employ an intercounty player – it would make good business sense!
    I have no problem with this sort of thing, I think these players give enormous joy at enormous personal cost and it’s not like every one of them is being handed out jobs. I’d rather them here playing, entertaining the nation, instead of moving to other parts of the country/globe.

    1. SOMK

      You make a very good point, but the problem is that this kind of thing in a symptomatic of the wider culture of nepotism that exists in this country, it’s a backward, post-colonial hangover we should’ve gotten over ninety years ago but haven’t, because Ireland is retarded.

    1. NeilH

      I was just waiting for one of these! Can’t believe it took so long.

      Didn’t want to break the ice myself, but I’m glad he’s gone! F**k the Royals!

  10. Shay K

    It looks to me like Declan has sand in his vagina. We need to keep all the GAA players in the country. They are the ones keeping the hang sandwich, lucozade sport (they don’t drink as championship starts in 24 weeks time) and VW Golf trade alive. I would also miss the constant use of the words ‘ I suppose’ in their post match interviews.

  11. Dave

    Look it we all know that Joe Sheridan threw it over the line and running away to the States does not solve anything! Wait…have I missed the point here?

  12. Frankness

    Avalanche of people on here defending the culture of “pull” that has directly resulted in us becoming a bailed-out joke of a country. Looks like Ireland is never going to grow up.

    Fair play to the GAA lad for getting the hell out of this corrupt, nepotism trap on his own merit.

  13. Five Gold Stars for Frilly Keane

    I’m surprised at the lack of cheering on the news of one less Meath man, and given that its Joe Sheridan there should probably be crowds to wave the rhymes with púnt off. Having said that, IMO, Joe in his hole is leaving the Meath set up (at the moment anyway) a warning shot is all it is. The gig in Kepack probably wasn’t grand enough

    BTW Jobs for Players has been crucial to the survival of Gaelic Games, from even before the GAA itself was formed. Since there was no club structure as such, sometimes Teams were formed and owned by Landlords, who would offer tenancy deals to handy lads.

  14. Cort

    They’re not just given random jobs and just because they play GAA doesn’t make them thicks!
    They are helped out there’s no doubt about that but 99% of players jobs on their own merit. Almost every player on the Dublin team either has a third level qualification or is currently studying. Also think of the attributes someone would have to have to play inter county GAA, for one they know how to work hard, they are committed, they won’t be calling in sick with a hangover most Mondays or Friday’s. The Old boy networks in the banking and financial industry is far more alarming.

  15. Action Man

    I like Hurling, don’t like bogball and I loathe the GAA.
    Epitome of parochial backwardness and akin to masonry in it’s local ‘fixings’. An amateur sport is just that, amateur. You play for the love of the game, not for the perks.
    It must be sickening for our other amateur sports people, athletes etc who actually compete and do us proud on the world stage to witness such a ‘local yokel’ mentality.

    1. Harry

      “An amateur sport is just that, amateur. You play for the love of the game, not for the perks.”

      There are a number of things you should consider here. First of all, this phenomenon is not about players ‘demanding’ perks. This is about the people who put massive time into organising and administering the sport trying to prevent talented players from leaving, as those players are critical for the success of county team and therefore for the health of the sport in their area of responsibility. It is not about lavishing benefits on players, it’s an emergency response in a specific situation.

      Secondly, the difference between the ‘local yokels’ (charming) and the world stage athletes is that for the most part, the local yokels are much better known in their locality, given that they represent teams drawn from the localities for which there is much affection. The success of a county team means a huge amount to the local population, in most cases far more than success of a national team would. There is therefore, a status associated with representing the county that elevates these ‘yokels’ in the community. This status can be of value to companies, and the elevated ‘yokels’ still need to eat, so mutual benefit arises. Additionally, there are local business owners who are simply supporters of the sport in the county, and like to help when they can. Again, there’s nothing sociologically unique about this.

      There are lots of grounds for critiquing the GAA and I do it often enough myself, but unless you’re angling for a job in the Sunday Independent, I’d recommend broadening your arguments beyond the ‘rural simpletons’ approach. It’s a seductive argument but it’s not a particularly useful one.

      1. Action Man

        I never mentioned anything about ‘rural simpletons’ or rural anything. And everything else you’ve said actually supports my argument. Just because a guy can kick a ball he gets preferential treatment locally whereas athletes training 7 days/week, financially supporting themselves while doing so will only get recognition (let alone a job) when they are number 1 or 2 in the world.

        ‘The success of a county team means a huge amount to the local population, in most cases far more than success of a national team would.’ = Parochial backwardness.

  16. Paul

    It has been my experience that inter county players who have the job skills do progress in companies after they have retired from playing. those players who don’t have the skills generally don’t move very far and often change jobs. It is also important to mention that there is a very competitive third level hurling and football championships, therefore a lot of GAA players are educated to a high level. I don’t see what harm it is to offer a job to amateur players, it is good PR, it is good for the team and the fans. It also will impact on the wider economy. if the best players in the country are forced to leave, this will diminish the quality and will reduce attendances. this will have a knock on effect on hotels, restaurants, pubs and shops.

  17. Schweddy

    I know this thread is about the cheek of GAA players to take job opportunities that are handed to them, but this is not an exlusively Irish trait. I have a good knowledge of college football in the U.S too. There are those who are good enough to be cherrypicked for the NFL and make the big bucks. But there are also the lower ranking players who will stop playing after college and land themselves with good jobs because of the connections they made, regardless of what they studied or how qualified they are.

    This is hardly an exclusively Irish phenomenon. And the mention of other amateur athletes who compete for Ireland on the world stage? You think that these men and women don’t use connections to land jobs after they retire? Do me a favour..

    A few people seem to have a poor grasp of how the business world works. The people employing the players benefit from an increased profile. The players play for the love of the game, training several nights a week and maintaining a level of fitness akin to that of a professional sports player. They don’t get paid a salary for this, yet they provide entertainment for us, and make a lot of money for faceless GAA chiefs.

    1. CT

      So if the NFL do this backward thinking as well, it makes it more justifiable ?

      The World of Business doesn’t have to work that way, and it does not generate more income because some under qualified well placed guy gets a job. For all the kudos how many people deal with the wrong person, doing the wrong job and move their business. Or begrudge some slick sales guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I get GAA advertising sales guys calling me and if it was my Company I wouldn’t let them use the phone.

      Newsflash to these guys, your not entitled to the business cause you mention the GAA. Or your good at games

      1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

        Musta been fierce tough on you not to get picked for that Féile match.

        1. CT

          Two old Chestnuts in one

          1. Not everybody lives and breathes or is remotely interested in sports and the people who play them.

          2.If I’m not remotely interested in games why would I care if somebody picked me to play in their team when I was in school 20 years ago ?

          The discussion was about giving jobs who are under qualified to do the job, and over qualified at playing sport, that a small percentage of the population are interested in. AS far as I remember it anyway

          1. A Brian Kennedy Rugby Tackle

            You seem awfully interested in the GAA for a lad who is trying so hard to claim you’re not interested in the GAA.

          2. NeilH

            CT, as above, no-one said that any of these lads are not qualified to do these jobs. Christ, I’ve seen many a useless p*ick where I work who has never kicked a ball in his life but managed to get through the interview process!!!

            Also, i would say there is a little more than a “small percentage of the population” interested in GAA, or sport in general.

          3. CT

            Like soccer a disproportion amount of time is devoted to sport in all it’s shape and sizes, wonder if there is any accurate figures for who actually give a flying fck at the end of the day.

            It’s not 50% of the population anyway, even a big soccer match only gets a quarter of the population, and how many of them are there for the beer.

  18. Fundament

    A certain former Dublin captain was once my area manager while I worked in a certain crippled building society.

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