Sunday Sports Pages: GAA inequalities and issues of disrespect in sport

Joe Molloy was joined by Declan Lynch and Shane McGrath in studio

Joe Molloy anchored the Sunday Paper review panel this week and was joined by Declan Lynch of the Sunday Independent and Shane McGrath of the Mail on Sunday. 

After listing off the headlines from the Sunday papers, Joe Molloy went on to identify a piece in the Sunday Independent which features Mayo's Sarah Rowe who talks about the lack of resources available to Ladies inter-county teams and the inequalities that continue to stifle the sport. 

Referring to Sarah Rowe's revelation that the players in the Mayo senior team have to provide their own food, a shocked Shane McGrath said:

''The stand-out thing is this idea that the players rotate among themselves the responsibility to provide food so one session a player might bring sandwiches and the next time someone will bring rice-cakes. In an age of high-performance, this idea that players are mustering together sandwiches before training is astonishing.''

Declan Lynch agreed and pointed out that these kind of conditions undermines the honour that goes with playing for your county.

''They are representing the county, it's not like they're going off to play golf and yet that's what they're reduced to. It must be very demoralising. It makes it appear that they're just doing this for their own amusement.''

Shane McGrath also made the sobering point that Ladies GAA players are not the only community of athletes struggling to earn respect and recognition while also making an important point about the 'Ladyball' controversy.

''Lots of athletes work really hard and get no attention. Another point to make is about the Ladyball controversy and people got very hot under the collar about that. But the point is that €1.5m is being put into Ladies Football and this piece shows how badly that is needed.''

Towards the end of the discussion, the controversial Lionel Messi penalty trick from earlier in the week was raised. Shane McGrath wrote of his disapproval in today's Mail on Sunday and reiterated his sentiments in studio. He was also unimpressed with Ronnie O'Sullivan who elected to intentionally make a 146 break rather than go for 147 because he felt the £10,000 prize money was insufficient.

''I thought it was ignorant and 'smart alecery' of the highest degree. If it was anyone other than Barcelona that did it, I think there would have been much more criticism. Similar to Ronnie O'Sullivan, it's annoying that somebody would use their gifts in the service of self-indulgence which is what Messi and Ronnie O'Sullivan did this week.''