Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: For the love of the game

Donegal stumble over the line against Longford

Caolan Ward is tackled by Liam Connerton. Photo Geraldine Diver

A great painter chooses his or her brushes very carefully.

Most of the master works of art take a long time, and are composed with utmost care and consideration in composition.

Yes, sometimes an apprentice can paint the background on a big canvas, but even then, the real artist will use his skill to cause certain atmospheric moods to assume a presence on that canvas before the painting proper begins.

The picture usually is accompanied by many sketches, outlines, and compositional geography on the canvas, before the artists begins.

Once the painting of the picture begins, it’s usual for the artist to use small delicate brushes, taking great care in every single detail.

If ever you visit a serious art gallery, particularly one containing works of the great masters’, you must look at each picture for awhile, standing well back from the scene.

Then approach the work slowly. You will see detail within the darkness that you weren’t even aware of, at first viewing.

As you come closer to the painting, you will marvel at the things that are revealed.
Subtle, and detailed, requiring of very patient, focused eyes.

It’s a fantastic way to spend an afternoon browsing through a great art gallery, looking at pictures. One gets a sense of the unremitting care that is taken, in composing and painting a picture.

Small brushes can finely represent the smallest detail, without blurring or blemish, subject to the artists ability and skill of course.

I was reminded of this attention to detail when I wrote a few weeks ago about the GAA and provincial councils.

Most of what I said, I would stand by.

But in certain respects I failed to do something that should have had my attention.

I made the mistake of using a broad brush to paint everyone.

One needs to compose the piece carefully, in order to strike a balance. More than most perhaps, I should be well qualified to espouse an opinion on the GAA.

However, more than anyone, I shouldn’t make the mistake of covering the entire with a broad brush.

The detail is part of balancing the story, and being accurate.

I’ve been lucky to have a great grounding in the workings of the GAA and nobody knows better than me, how many genuine hard working, purely driven GAA people populate the real GAA.

It’s important to state that the ones who climb the power regions are mostly coming from most genuine motivation.

Many of them end up on Provincial councils, to the great betterment of same. Indeed Provincial councils, for all their wrongs and mistakes do bring an important aspect of humanity to the workings of the GAA, which we might otherwise lose.

We need to protect that.

When considerations for choosing the members of any ‘committee’ the rural GAA must be prepared to ensure that humanity is not lost in the interests of ‘progress’.

Meanwhile I regret my broad brush approach when lots of people I know, from Kildare, Kerry, Waterford, Laois, Donegal, Longford, Galway and indeed Dublin are genuine GAA men doing everything virtually voluntarily, for the love of the game.

Without their commitment the GAA would be losing what made it special in the first place.
Humanity, and care for the ordinary people, the owners of the GAA.

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