I’m from a small parish so I know what winning a big GAA title means to locals. From the parish elders to the kids who hurl on Saturday mornings, the local GAA team is to the parish was Barcelona is to Catalonia; they’re local heroes. On Sunday, Ballyragget became the local heroes when they defeated Graigue-Ballycallan to land the Kilkenny Intermediate County Final. Unfortunately, that historic day seems a distant memory following a shocking two days of celebrations.
Following their big win, the Ballyragget team, also referred to as St. Patrick’s GAA, was given the expected heroes welcome in the local village:
— St.Patrick’s GAA (@stpatsbally) October 22, 2017
As you’d expect, the local pub wasn’t short of a few punters after the win with the celebrations running over a few days.
Footage has emerged on Snapchat and WhatsApp of some Ballyragget players celebrating the win with two naked women. In an image sent to Daily Trend, one of the women is carrying out an act of oral sex on one of the men. The captions on this image read “hon Ballyragget” while another appearing following another share stating, “this has to stop”.
Could Ballyragget’s Leinster Journey Be Blocked?
As county champions, Ballyragget would be expected to take part in the Leinster Intermediate Championship, but that now hangs in the balance. The GAA is unlikely to take a kind eye to footage of a woman placing her breasts inside a county championship cup.
Screenshots, reportedly from the Ballyragget team’s WhatsApp group, have also emerged showing the team are themselves worried about possible repercussions from the GAA. In these messages, members of the group plead with each other to remove the video, with one member saying “lads get it down to f***” while another worries that “there[sic] talking of not letting us hurl in the Leinster after this”.
The club has acknowledged the video footage and stated “St Patrick’s club wishes to state the photographs were taken at a private event. The club will co-operate fully into any investigation into the matter” said Club Secretary John Glennon.
Should Ballyragget Be Punished?
As I opened with, winning a championship is a big deal and the players have every right to enjoy themselves. However, given the fact that players in the local GAA are role models to younger players in the parish and that this activity spread on Snapchat where many young locals spend much of their online time, many believe the celebrations the St. Patricks club have gone too far.
Have your say: Did the celebrations go too far, or is this an adult celebration in an adult time that just went viral? Let us know in the comments below.