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Joe Kernan: Croker entertainment hit a bum note but don’t give it up

In these austere times, the GAA is quite rightly endeavouring to offer value for money to its patrons at every opportunity.

The season ticket scheme devised for the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup competition proved a great success while the prospect of a reduction in prices for Ulster Championship matches looms on the horizon.

In other respects, the Association is striving to retain the loyalty of its followers of all ages.

Unfortunately, efforts in this respect certainly did not meet with success on Saturday.

The Dublin county board’s initiative in providing live entertainment at Croke Park for the National Football League double bill sadly fell flat on its face.

While the idea of booking ‘The Rubberbandits’ was laudable, the fact that the band employed dubious lyrics in some songs and used crude language on stage proved something of an own goal for the Dublin board.

Many parents in particular were offended by what young people were subjected to and made their feelings known through the media in the earlier part of the week.

Maybe ‘The Rubberbandits’ were a bad choice but suffice to say they left a very sour taste in the mouth at a time when the GAA can ill-afford to earn public disapproval.

I would hope, though, that this will not deflect the Dublin board or indeed any other body under the umbrella from providing live entertainment that they feel will enhance a match-day itinerary in the future. A number of acts have performed at Croke Park in conjunction with big games and have gone down well with the fans.

There has been something of a rush to take the moral high ground this week but perhaps a look in the mirror might be necessary before such an ascent is undertaken.

It is difficult to come up with the right choice of act all the time so I hope that we can look forward to more entertainment further down the line. Indeed, sometimes the music can become a soothing balm when the football falls below standard!

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