LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL

Conor McManus (Monaghan) receives Man of the Match award Photo: Monaghan GAA

Conor McManus (Monaghan) receives Man of the Match award Photo: Monaghan GAA

Cork beat Donegal in the first semi-final  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Cork beat Donegal in the first semi-final Photo: © Michael Fisher

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Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

View from the Lower Hogan Stand  Photo: © Michael Fisher

View from the Lower Hogan Stand Photo: © Michael Fisher

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A close call for the Dubs as valiant Monaghan go down by a single point in the National League semi-final at Croke Park 0-17 to 0-16. After last week’s drubbing by the Dubs at Clones, there weren’t too many supporters in the crowd of 20,000 expecting a Monaghan win. But as one friend from Emyvale said to me before the game, a defeat of around four points would be a good result for the Farneymen. In the end Monaghan almost managed a draw and a chance of taking victory in extra time. The Dubs however moved the ball quickly and precisely, launching wave upon wave of attacks on the Monaghan defence. But Monaghan kept with them all the way, up until the sixtieth minute when the sides were level on fourteen points each.

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

Monaghan huddle before the throw-in Photo: © Michael Fisher

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HALF TIME: Dublin 0-09  Monaghan 0-07

(RTÉ Sport)

Dublin just about deserved their early advantage after a tense opening. Monaghan defended in numbers when Dublin attacked which was perhaps to be expected. Their last Croke Park clash with Dublin in the 2014 Championship ended in a 17-points battering. When the sides met in the final round of the league last weekend, Dublin were again double digit victors. So Monaghan regularly got 12 and 13 men behind the ball, often leaving McManus isolated in attack.

Malachy O’Rourke’s side did go forward in numbers when in possession, however, and picked off some fine points with an efficient display. Man-of-the-match Conor McManus was marked by David Byrne until the 52nd minute when Jonny Cooper was moved onto him. The Clontibret attacker gave Byrne a torrid time and scored six points off him. The ex-All Star escaped for two early points from play and another from a free after a foul on Owen Duffy. Kieran Hughes boomed over a beauty from distance too as did Neil McAdam while goalkeeper Rory Beggan nailed a free from all of 55 metres out.

Points came slightly easier to Dublin initially though and they also had a great goal chance when Cian O’Sullivan dragged a 30th minute shot wide. Dublin defender Philly McMahon strode forward for two points while Rock hit three points in the opening half, all from placed balls. Dubs rookie Brian Fenton closed out the first-half scoring and doubled his tally in the 42nd minute.

But Monaghan were the dominant force for much of the second-half and turned in a powerful display. McManus kicked three more scores from play in a row before Byrne was substituted. Dick Clerkin was excellent as a sub, scoring three points in all that helped Monaghan draw level at 0-13 each in the 55th minute. They remained tied with six minutes remaining but Dublin edged a tense finale thanks to those late points from Rock, O Conghaile and McCaffrey.

Dublin: S Cluxton, J Cooper, David Byrne, J McCaffrey (0-01), J Small, P McMahon (0-02), J McCarthy, D Bastick (0-01), C O’Sullivan, P Flynn (0-01), D Connolly, B Fenton (0-02), K McManamon (0-02), D Rock (0-07, 0-06f, 0-01 45), C Kilkenny.

Subs: MD Macauley for O’Sullivan, P Andrews for McManamon, D Daly for Byrne, E O Conghaile (0-01) for Bastick, C Costello for Fenton, T Brady for Flynn.

Monaghan: R Beggan (0-01, 0-01f), F Kelly, K Duffy, R Wylie, K O’Connell, V Corey, N McAdam (0-01), D Hughes, P Finlay (0-01, 0-01f); D Mone, K Hughes (0-02), T Kerr, R McAnespie, C McManus (0-08, 0-03f), O Duffy.

Subs: D Clerkin (0-03) for Kerr, D Malone for Duffy, S Gollogly for McAnespie, P McKenna for Finlay, D McKenna for O’Connell.

Referee: R Hickey (Clare).

Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke: “We’re pleased with a lot of aspects of our performance. We upped it in the second half. At 14-all we would have liked to go on and win it but that didn’t happen. We’ll take a lot of positives out of the league but we realise we still have a lot of work to do.”

Dublin manager Jim Gavin: “If we’re looking for positives, going down the stretch Monaghan looked in the ascendancy but our guys dug deep and found the scores. Some of our decision-making was poor but Monaghan were very impressive. The game could have gone either way.”

TRUAGH CHAMPIONS

Truagh Gaels Photo: © Michael Fisher

Truagh Gaels Photo: © Michael Fisher

Congratulations to Gaeil Triucha GAA club from North Monaghan, All-Ireland intermediate club champions 2014. In the final at Croke Paek they beat Kiltane from Mayo by an eight points margin, 2-21 to 2-13. Truagh lead by four points at half time, 2-10 to 2-06. The Monaghan men got off to a flying start with two well-taken scores from play but then conceded a penalty when Tommy Conroy was fouled. Mikey Sweeney then added a goal for Kiltane, putting them four points in the lead, before Truagh took control again. I was impressed with the performance of Mark Counihan up front. Plenty of celebration tonight no doubt North of Emyvale, towards Carrickroe and Clara! I was glad to see some of my Tydavnet neighbours there in support of the North Monaghan representatives. Also present was the President of the GAA’s Ulster Council Martin McAviney from Ballybay. Just a pity that Emyvale narrowly missed qualifying for the junior club championship final which was the curtain-raiser. Their semi-final victors Twomilehouse from Kildare saw of the challenge of Fuerty from Roscommon in another high-scoring game 5-7 to 1-11. Both were great advertisements for club football. More details of the match on the official GAA site here and you can find more pictures on the Monaghan GAA site here.

NUJ IRELAND BDC

IEC Cathaoirleach Gerry Curran addresses the BDC  Photo: © Michael Fisher

IEC Cathaoirleach Gerry Curran addresses the BDC Photo: © Michael Fisher

Conferences for the NUJ in Ireland are held every two years. The wider union is also moving to a two-year cycle for the Delegate Meeting, which had already been shifted to an eighteen months interval in order to save money. The next DM will be held in Eastbourne in April and motions for it need to be submitted to our branch meeting by midday on Friday week (22nd November). Please contact Branch Secretary Gerry Carson.

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet with ICTU President John Douglas and Irish Secretary Seamus Dooley  Photo: © Michael Fisher

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet with ICTU President John Douglas and Irish Secretary Seamus Dooley Photo: © Michael Fisher

On Saturday, ICTU President John Douglas addressed the NUJ in Ireland biennial delegate conference, which was held once again in the Cusack stand conference centre at the GAA headquarters at Croke Park. Another meeting was being held on the same level in a different section further along the corridor and above the GAA Museum on the ground floor.

Michael Cusack statue & stand, Croke Park  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Michael Cusack statue & stand, Croke Park Photo: © Michael Fisher

From our vantage point we could see that repair work was continuing on the pitch to protect it during the winter. In the Hogan stand, groups were being taken on tours of the impressive stadium.

Croke Park pitch  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Croke Park pitch Photo: © Michael Fisher

The NUJ website contains some details of the proceedings. Good to see that the government has withdrawn amendments relating to the Freedom of Information legislation that would have introduced new charges.

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet addressing the BDC  Photo: © Michael Fisher

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet addressing the BDC Photo: © Michael Fisher

The union called for immediate publication of Irish government proposals for legislation guaranteeing workers the right to collective representation and bargaining. The NUJ also called for the appointment of a Minister for labour affairs of cabinet rank in order to give greater priority to the rights of workers.

In his report to the conference, Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, said the official commemoration of the 1913 Lock Out will be remembered as “a hypocritical charade”, if the government commitment to publish legislation on collective bargaining is not honoured by the end of this year. He said the inadequate protection for workers and the absence of the legal right to collective representation is a scandal which cannot be ignored. The NUJ and SIPTU, through the ICTU, are preparing a complaint to the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation on the denial of the right to representation.

ICTU President Gerry Douglas addresses NUJ BDC Photo: © Michael Fisher

ICTU President John Douglas addresses NUJ BDC Photo: © Michael Fisher

The report highlights the failure of successive governments to honour commitments to bring about legislative change to protect freelance workers. In the report, Séamus Dooley says:

“We consider the failure to implement the solemn commitments regarding the right of freelance workers to collective representation through amendment of Competition Law as a betrayal. It is ironic that the state should celebrate the contribution of Larkin, who organised self-employed workers, but force unions to seek relief through the ILO after more than a decade of broken promises,”

The last national agreement, Towards 2016, contains a specific commitment to reform of competition law which still has not been honoured. The union is also calling for the establishment of a minister for labour affairs of cabinet rank as a means of ensuring that employment rights are given greater priority, a call first made by the NUJ in 2007.

The NUJ conference also passed two motions dealing with the ‘JobBridge’ programme. In his report, Séamus Dooley called on the government to abandon the scheme. He said there was clear evidence that JobBridge was being used by a range of media organisations as a source of free labour.

IEC Cathaoirleach Gerry Curran received a gift of a framed cartoon. Pictured with Michelle Stanistreet  Photo: © Michael Fisher

IEC Cathaoirleach Gerry Curran received a gift of a framed cartoon. Pictured with Michelle Stanistreet Photo: © Michael Fisher