During this week’s anguished debate about Sky television and the soul of the GAA, two people kept coming to mind: the late writer and broadcaster Breandán Ó h Eithir and the late rap artist Notorious BIG.In the afterword to his much loved book , Ó h Eithir offers his interpretation of what the GAA is really about and tells the story of Bill Doonan, a restless Cavan man who literally broke for the border in 1943, joined the British army and quickly found himself serving as a radio operator in southern Italy.He was too indispensible to be court-martialled and survived the war to play soccer for a year with Lincoln City and afterwards win two All-Irelands with Cavan; one in the Polo Grounds, New York in 1947 an another in Croke Park the following year. at home.” The spirit of Doonan was at the heart of the debate between the pro- and anti- Sky factions.If anyone ever asks you what the GAA is all about, just think of Bill Doonan, the wanderer, on the side of that hill, in the middle of a World War . Nobody should doubt the integrity of GAA director general Páraic Duffy or president Liam O’Neill on this matter.But his passion for harness racing runs deep and you’ll still see him co-hosting the sport’s biggest races on Sky Racing.
This is a list of television programmes broadcast by Sky 1 in the United Kingdom and Ireland.On a certain Sunday in September, the Irish man vanished and his unit, fearing the worst, quickly mounted a search. “He was up a tree on the side of a steep hill and appeared to be in a trance,” wrote Ó h Eithir.“And in a way he was, for after much effort and experimentation, Private Doonan had eventually homed in on the commentary of the second half of the All-Ireland final between Roscommon and Cavan in Croke Park.Peter Walton remembers the day he realised refereeing had become almost impossible.'Sky TV's commentator Martyn Tyler came up to me before a game and said, "You'll need to be on your mettle today, Peter, because we have 24 different camera angles in the ground".