Sunday Paper Review: MMA in Ireland and is modern day GAA losing its appeal?

Donny Mahoney and Mick Foley joined Joe for Off The Bal's Sunday Paper Review

There was much to discuss on this week's Sunday Paper Review with the short-lived retirement of Conor McGregor, the aftermath of the tragic death of mixed martial artist Joao Carvalho and the meeting of Dublin and Kerry in the football league final.

In Joe Brolly's reaction piece to his column last week condemning the sport of mixed martial arts, inevitably Conor McGregor was included in the discussion and whether or not he was "our [Ireland's] most celebrated sportsmen".

Mick Foley of the Sunday Times challenged that view however: "Is he our most celebrated sportsperson? I mean, he's certainly the most talked about.

"Celebrated is totally different. Is he more celebrated than, off the top of my head, the Olympic boxers? I would say if you asked someone if they had more respect for Paddy Barnes or Conor McGregor I'd say it would be very close."

He went on to criticise the lack of coverage that was given in the aftermath of the tragic death of Carvalho in the wake of McGregor's faux-retirement.

"For me the story of the week was still about Carvalho. I didn't think that story was finished yet. His brother was on Primetime that night, the same night McGregor had sent the tweet about his impending retirement.

"The Carvalho story immediately disappeared, pertty much. It didn't completely disappear, there was still people reporting on them but no one was reading them. The whole situation in terms of getting his body home and the whole thing dealt in a dignified way by all those involved in MMA and the IAPA and how they engaged with Michael Ring the acting minister for sport... I think that was going."

Elsewhere today, Donny Mahoney of Balls.ie discussed the importance of today's league final between Dublin and Kerry in the league final.

"It's seems very strange that, here we are in the second last week in April and Kerry facing a season defining game. This isn't how Kerry do it, we shouldn't be talking about them like this until the last weekend in August.

"Dermot Crowe in the Sindo has a piece about how a lot of Kerry's league successes come on the back of humiliating All Ireland defeats. There's definitely some vengeance that they're looking for." 

You can listen to this, the art of good sports writing and whether modern GAA is losing its appeal by clicking the podcast below.