The FAI’s Selection of “Granny Rulers” and Northerners: A Response to Eamonn Sweeney

A good reply to Eamonn Sweeney’s recent Independent article about the pursuit of granny-rule players.

Daniel Collins

According to Eamonn Sweeney, writing for the Irish Independent on the 4th of October, “the way [Ireland have] used the granny rule is a prime example of sleeveenism, sharp practice and the search for a short-term advantage”. Sweeney makes a number of negative points, with which I take issue, both in relation to the FAI’s utilisation of the rule and in relation to specific, once-potential or assumed “granny rulers”. He begins:

There’s been something utterly demeaning about the way Martin O’Neill and the FAI have traipsed after [Jack] Grealish, trying to hurry him into accepting the green jersey like it was some piece of dodgy merchandise which might not pass muster on closer inspection.

In the end Grealish didn’t buy it and his refusal brought home just what a squalid mess our Find Another Irishman policy has become. Like many other tenuously qualified players we seek, Grealish would…

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